Philosophia 40 (3):473-482 (2012)

Authors
Tobias Starzak
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Abstract
A common view in philosophy is that the way human beings reason is not only gradually better, but that our way of reasoning is fundamentally distinctive. Findings in the psychology of reasoning challenge the traditional view according to which human beings reason in accordance with the laws of logic and probability theory, but rather suggest that human reasoning consists in the application of domain specific rules of thumb similar to those that we ascribe to some intelligent non-human animals as well. However, this view on human reasoning is unable to explain human accomplishments like technological innovations or scientific progress. David Papineau offers a theory of human theoretical rationality that is consistent with the psychological view on human reasoning but that can also explain how humans sometimes are able to transcend the limitations of their biologically quick and dirty modes of thought and thereby reach a high level of accuracy. Papineau claims that the abilities that constitute theoretical rationality are unique to the human species and thus, that human reasoning is fundamentally distinctive after all. In this paper I am going to discuss to what extent these abilities in fact are unique to our species and whether this theoretical rationality can be called an anthropological difference
Keywords Rationality  Animal cognition  Psychology  Reasoning  Theory of mind  Anthropological difference
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-011-9359-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,981
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

Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & Guy Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4):515-526.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

8 The Evolution of Knowledge.David Papineau - 2000 - In Peter Carruthers & A. Chamberlain (eds.), Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language and Meta-Cognition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 170.
Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
Can Human Rationality Be Defended "A Priori"?David Shier - 2000 - Behavior and Philosophy 28 (1/2):67 - 81.
Rationality Disputes – Psychology and Epistemology.Patrick Rysiew - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1153-1176.
On Mental Probability Logic.Niki Pfeifer - 2006 - Dissertation, Department of Psychology
Inferring.Barbara Winters - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (2):201 - 220.
F.J.J. Buytendijk's Concept of an Anthropological Physiology.Wim J. M. Dekkers - 1995 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 16 (1).
Rational Animals: What the Bravest Lion Won't Risk.Ronald de Sousa - 2004 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (12):365-386.
Rationality, Reasoning and Group Agency.Philip Pettit - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (4):495-519.
Narrow Syntax and the Language of Thought.Wolfram Hinzen - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):1-23.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-01-02

Total views
49 ( #209,045 of 2,427,273 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #346,009 of 2,427,273 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes