Rational Decision-Making in a Complex World: Towards an Instrumental, yet Embodied, Account

Logos and Episteme 13 (4):381-404 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Prima facie, we make successful decisions as we act on and intervene in the world day-to-day. Epistemologists are often concerned with whether rationality is involved in such decision-making practices, and, if so, to what degree. Some, particularly in the post-structuralist tradition, argue that successful decision-making occurs via an existential leap into the unknown rather than via any determinant or criterion such as rationality. I call this view radical voluntarism (RV). Proponents of RV include those who subscribe to a view they call Critical Complexity (CC). In this paper, I argue that CC presents a false dichotomy when it conceives of rationality in Cartesian – i.e. ideal and transcendental – terms, and then concludes that RV is the proper alternative. I then outline a pragmatist rationality informed by recent work in psychology on bounded rationality, ecological rationality, and specifically embodied rationality. Such a pragmatist rationality seems to be compatible with the tenets of post-structuralism, and can therefore replace RV in CC.

Similar books and articles

Adaptively Rational Learning.Sarah Wellen & David Danks - 2016 - Minds and Machines 26 (1-2):87-102.
Two paradoxes of bounded rationality.David Thorstad - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
Environments That Make Us Smart Ecological Rationality.Peter M. Todd & Gerd Gigerenzer - 2007 - Current Directions in Psychological Science 16 (3):167-171.
A Framework for Theories of Bounded Rationality.Richard John Reiner - 1993 - Dissertation, York University (Canada)
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

282 (#68,330)

6 months
136 (#22,897)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ragnar Van Der Merwe
University of Johannesburg

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references