The enduring enigma of reason

Mind and Language 33 (5):513-524 (2018)
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Abstract

In The Enigma of Reason, Mercier and Sperber (M&S) present and defend their interactionist account of reason. In this piece, I discuss briefly the points of agreement between M&S and myself and, more extensively, the points of disagreement, most of which pertain to details of the evolutionary components of their account. I discuss in particular the purported modular nature of reason; their account of myside bias as an optimum/adaptation; and the claim that reason thus construed must be an individual‐level and not a group‐level adaptation. In the final section, I offer brief considerations on an alternative account of reasoning, where the focus is on how sociocultural environments may tune the social production and evaluation of arguments.

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