Ending the rationality wars: How to make disputes about human rationality disappear

In Renee Elio (ed.), Common Sense, Reasoning and Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 236-268 (2002)

Stephen Stich
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Richard Samuels
Ohio State University
Michael Bishop
Florida State University
During the last 25 years, researchers studying human reasoning and judgment in what has become known as the “heuristics and biases” tradition have produced an impressive body of experimental work which many have seen as having “bleak implications” for the rationality of ordinary people (Nisbett and Borgida 1975). According to one proponent of this view, when we reason about probability we fall victim to “inevitable illusions” (Piattelli-Palmarini 1994). Other proponents maintain that the human mind is prone to “systematic deviations from rationality” (Bazerman & Neale 1986) and is “not built to work by the rules of probability” (Gould 1992). It has even been suggested that human beings are “a species that is uniformly probability-blind” (Piattelli-Palmarini 1994). This provocative and pessimistic interpretation of the experimental findings has been challenged from many different directions over the years. One of the most recent and energetic of these challenges has come from the newly emerging field of evolutionary psychology, where it has been argued that it’s singularly implausible to claim that our species would have evolved with no “instinct for probability” and, hence, be “blind to chance” (Pinker 1997, 351). Though evolutionary psychologists concede that it is possible to design experiments that “trick our probability..
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References found in this work BETA

Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
The Language Instinct.Steven Pinker - 1994/2007 - Harper Perennial.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thinking is Believing.Eric Mandelbaum - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):55-96.
The Whole Truth About Linda: Probability, Verisimilitude and a Paradox of Conjunction.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2010 - In Marcello D'Agostino, Federico Laudisa, Giulio Giorello, Telmo Pievani & Corrado Sinigaglia (eds.), New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. pp. 603--615.
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.

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