The representation of judgment heuristics and the generality problem

Proceedings of the 29th Annual Cognitive Science Society:1211-6 (2007)
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In his debates with Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Gerd Gigerenzer puts forward a stricter standard for the proper representation of judgment heuristics. I argue that Gigerenzer’s stricter standard contributes to naturalized epistemology in two ways. First, Gigerenzer’s standard can be used to winnow away cognitive processes that are inappropriately characterized and should not be used in the epistemic evaluation of belief. Second, Gigerenzer’s critique helps to recast the generality problem in naturalized epistemology and cognitive psychology as the methodological problem of identifying criteria for the appropriate specification and characterization of cognitive processes in psychological explanations. I conclude that naturalized epistemologists seeking to address the generality problem should turn their focus to methodological questions about the proper characterization of cognitive processes for the purposes of psychological explanation.



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Carole J. Lee
University of Washington

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