Idealisation, naturalism, and rationality: Some lessons from minimal rationality

Synthese 99 (2):181 - 231 (1994)
Abstract
In his bookMinimal Rationality (1986), Christopher Cherniak draws deep and widespread conclusions from our finitude, and not only for philosophy but also for a wide range of science as well. Cherniak's basic idea is that traditional philosophical theories of rationality represent idealisations that are inaccessible to finite rational agents. It is the purpose of this paper to apply a theory of idealisation in science to Cherniak's arguments. The heart of the theory is a distinction between idealisations that represent reversible, solely quantitative simplifications and those that represent irreversible, degenerate idealisations which collapse out essential theoretical structure. I argue that Cherniak's position is best understood as assigning the latter status to traditional rationality theories and that, so understood, his arguments may be illuminated, expanded, and certain common criticisms of them rebutted. The result, however, is a departure from traditional, formalist theories of rationality of a more radical kind than Cherniak contemplates, with widespread ramifications for philosophical theory, especially philosophy of science itself.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
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: 27,141
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Interaction and Bio-Cognitive Order.C. A. Hooker - 2008 - Synthese 166 (3):513 - 546.
Bio-Agency and the Problem of Action.J. C. Skewes & C. A. Hooker - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):283 - 300.
What's the Problem with the Frame Problem?Sheldon J. Chow - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):309-331.
Herbert Simon's Silent Revolution.Werner Callebaut - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (1):76-86.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Unifying the Requirements of Rationality.Andrew Reisner - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):243-260.
Does Rationality Presuppose Irrationality.Xavier Vanmechelen - 1998 - Philosophical Explorations 1 (2):126 – 139.
Rationality and the Structure of Memory.Christopher Cherniak - 1983 - Synthese 57 (November):163-86.
Cherniak on Scientific Realism.Harold I. Brown - 1990 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 41 (3):415-427.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

33 ( #154,660 of 2,163,620 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #129,234 of 2,163,620 )

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