How (far) can rationality be naturalized?

Synthese 187 (1):243-268 (2012)
Abstract
The paper shows why and how an empirical study of fast-and-frugal heuristics can provide norms of good reasoning, and thus how (and how far) rationality can be naturalized. We explain the heuristics that humans often rely on in solving problems, for example, choosing investment strategies or apartments, placing bets in sports, or making library searches. We then show that heuristics can lead to judgments that are as accurate as or even more accurate than strategies that use more information and computation, including optimization methods. A standard way to defend the use of heuristics is by reference to accuracy-effort trade-offs. We take a different route, emphasizing ecological rationality (the relationship between cognitive heuristics and environment), and argue that in uncertain environments, more information and computation are not always better (the “less-can-be-more” doctrine). The resulting naturalism about rationality is thus normative because it not only describes what heuristics people use, but also in which specific environments one should rely on a heuristic in order to make better inferences. While we desist from claiming that the scope of ecological rationality is unlimited, we think it is of wide practical use.
Keywords Rationality  Judgment and decision-making  Uncertainty  Heuristics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0030-6
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,165
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays.W. V. Quine - 1969 - Columbia University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Stanovich's Arguments Against the “Adaptive Rationality” Project: An Assessment.Andrea Polonioli - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 49:55-62.
The “Rationality Wars” in Psychology: Where They Are and Where They Could Go.Thomas Sturm - 2012 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):66-81.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Psychological Research on Heuristics Meets the Law.Christoph Engel - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):747-747.
Précis of Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.Peter M. Todd & Gerd Gigerenzer - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):727-741.
What is an Ecologically Rational Heuristic?Stephen E. Newstead - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):759-760.
Rationality, Logic, and Fast and Frugal Heuristics.José Luis Bermúdez - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):744-745.
The “Rationality Wars” in Psychology: Where They Are and Where They Could Go.Thomas Sturm - 2012 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):66-81.
Scientific Rationality and Human Reasoning.Miriam Solomon - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (3):439-455.
From Simon 's Scissors for Rationality to Abc's Adaptive Toolbox.X. T. Wang - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):765-766.
Heuristics and Development: Getting Even Smarter.Gregg E. A. Solomon - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):763-764.
Smart People Who Make Simple Heuristics Work.Annika Wallin & Peter Gärdenfors - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):765-765.
Against an Uncritical Sense of Adaptiveness.Steve Fuller - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):750-751.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-11-03

Total downloads

191 ( #23,056 of 2,172,021 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #40,566 of 2,172,021 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums