Philosophy of Science 55 (June):218-27 (1988)
A tempting argument for human rationality goes like this: it is more conducive to survival to have true beliefs than false beliefs, so it is more conducive to survival to use reliable belief-forming strategies than unreliable ones. But reliable strategies are rational strategies, so there is a selective advantage to using rational strategies. Since we have evolved, we must use rational strategies. In this paper I argue that some criticisms of this argument offered by Stephen Stich fail because they rely on unsubstantiated interpretations of some results from experimental psychology. I raise two objections to the argument: (i) even if it is advantageous to use rational strategies, it does not follow that we actually use them; and (ii) natural selection need not favor only or even primarily reliable belief-forming strategies
|Keywords||Belief Epistemology Natural Selection Rationality Reliability Stich, S|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Rationality Disputes – Psychology and Epistemology.Patrick Rysiew - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1153-1176.
Darwin's Doubt Defended: Why Evolution Supports Skepticism.Greg Littmann - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (1):81-103.
Evolution, Altruism, and the Prisoner's Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175.
Similar books and articles
Could Evolution Explain Our Reliability About Logic?Joshua Schechter - 2013 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4. pp. 214.
Reliability Connections Between Conceivability and Inconceivability.Peter Murphy - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):195-205.
How to Be a Reliabilist.Jonathan Kvanvig - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (2):189 - 198.
The a Priori Rules of Rationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):113-131.
Calibrated Probabilities and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Barry Lam - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1079-1098.
Primitively Rational Belief-Forming Processes.Ralph Wedgwood - 2011 - In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. pp. 180--200.
When is It Selectively Advantageous to Have True Beliefs? Sandwiching the Better Safe Than Sorry Argument.Christopher L. Stephens - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (2):161-189.
On the Adaptive Value of Some Mate Selection Strategies.Klaus Jaffe - 1999 - Acta Biotheoretica 47 (1):29-40.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads234 ( #14,848 of 2,153,497 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #184,516 of 2,153,497 )
How can I increase my downloads?