Questions tagged [rationality]

Rationality is the use of reason to find the truth based on facts and to decide how to act to achieve desired goals. Also use this tag for questions regarding any view or intellectual movement which holds rationality in high regard and accepts it as the only legitimate way to get to the truth.

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Can you help me understand Derek Parfit's thought experiment?

This is an excerpt from Parfit's Reasons and Persons. I can't totally wrap my head around it. Of course, I get the basic idea: Kate is a writer who works too hard. Her work makes her happy. But she ...
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Argument for a social conception of objective morality

What might some objections to this argument be? By definition a rational agent is, when exercising their agency, evaluating different courses of action before deciding among them. The actions they ...
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Graham Priest's "escape from Hell" puzzle

The gist of the puzzle is that every day, the Devil offers to flip a coin to see if you escape; one loss and you're guaranteed to be stuck forever, but each day the probability of a winning toss ...
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Is a decision made before the rationalization?

Well, I was listening to a podcast in Spanish and a great scientist was saying that there are studies that are seeing that decision making is not as rational as we think it is. He says that the moment ...
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What is "rational"?

Rational = x x = ? I've been defining words for myself for a while and one that I haven't defined rational yet. Anyone have a good definition for one, on a basis of utilitarianism.
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What is this view called or have anyone argued for such view? We don't have free will to commit suicide

2 possible descriptions: View A. suicide is rational in the vast majority of cases but we don't have free will (biologically) to commit suicide i.e. a healthy brain can't cause a suicidal behaviour, ...
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Does Aumann's agreement theorem extend to moral propositions?

Aumann's agreement theorem says: two perfectly rational agents with the same prior estimate of an event's probability and common knowledge of one another's posterior estimates cannot come to ...
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Does determinism prevent rationality?

If hard determinism is true, and our thoughts are merely the results of a causal chain of atomic interactions, are reason and logic illusory? This matter has likely been discussed in another thread, ...
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Would it be fallacious to assume rationality presumes pre-emptive knowledge?

In short, would it be a fallacy to presume that rational thinking (as opposed to empirical thinking) leads to the conclusion that all knowledge is innately contained a priori? In that sense, all ...
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How do Rational Egoists Respond to Psychology?

Rational egoism is the position that humans always act rationally and to further the actor's self-interest. But ever since Carl Jung psychologists have pretty much been in agreement that humans do not ...
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What is the distinguishing factor between conviction and threat?

What is the distinguishing factor between conviction and threat? I want my friend to restrain from doing an action. I am showing him the bad consequences of the action thus, I am trying to convince ...
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What's the difference between morality and rationality?

What's the difference between morality and rationality? Some of my friends argue with me saying, What is rational is what is moral I do not believe so because, I believe there are absolute moral ...
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Does Parfit's self-interest theory imply that you should be never self-denying?

In "Reasons and Persons", Derek Parfit introduces a "self-interest" theory of rationality, which says you should ensure that your life goes as well as possible. In §3 (p. 9 in my ...
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Is rational to logical as rectangle is to square?

That is, if X is logical, is it necessarily rational? What's an example of something that is rational, but not logical. If logical does not necessarily imply rational, what's an example of something ...
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Question about Cogito, ergo sum

As far as I know Decartes tried to prove that he existed from the fact that he was thinking. And he thought this was only proof. My question is following: -- why is the argument brought up above, ...
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How does Kant argue that all people have moral dignity

How does Kant argue that all people have moral dignity, the ability to conform to a moral law in which all people are ends only. I have not substantially read Kant, but it occurred to me, suddenly / ...
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According to game theory, are people trustworthy? [closed]

According to philosophical presumptions of game theory, are people trustworthy if there are incentives (profit and less loss) involved in lying? And if this question isn't entirely accurate as a ...
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Why should we treat others as *always* rational when they are not?

In Kantian system, murdering is nonrational because it cannot become a universal law. Yet Kant insists that it's immoral to lie to murderers. This is the same with saying they are rational being, ...
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How do ethicists tackle the question "Is it immoral to have sex in public places?" Is it possible to use rational and empirical ideas to answer?

Is it immoral to have sex in public places? If so, what are the rational and empirical reasons? Most people believe it’s immoral to have sex in public places. Have ethicists come up with any good ...
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According to Kant, which one is an autonomous being: me or my rationality?

If we consider a person's identity lies not in his rationality, but in, say, his body or his consciousness, then it seems not so obvious why we can regard a person as autonomous simply from the status ...
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Can "why-is" close the "is-ought" gap? [closed]

[UPDATE: Clarified that choosing what-ought-to-be from what-can-be is based on our knowledge of ourselves, not on our knowledge of good and evil] “I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of ...
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Can animals follow logical rules of inference?

I've been trying to recall a thought experiment, which I very vaguely remember to have come across either in Davidson or Dennett, that considers the following scenario: A hound is chasing its quarry ...
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What are the most rational basic beliefs?

I understand that this question might be difficult or even unresolved. But within a foundationalist view of knowledge, has anyone proposed a set of basic beliefs that seem to be the most rational for ...
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What does rationalism prove that empiricism can not?

I have always had trouble understanding rationalism. I am very unclear as to what a rationalist can prove that an empiricist cannot. Are their any examples of something or a situation being ...
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An attempt at reconstructing the reasoning behind Kant's universalization principle

Please let me know whether you detect objectionable points in my attempt at reconstructing Kant's universalization principle. Reference : Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. https://en....
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Philosophical framework for avoiding short-term strategies

In business and politics, often decision-makers make decisions that cause short-term gain, but long-term loss. So economically, this might be an unreasonable (lossy) and thus irrational process. Is ...
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Recent versions of books such as Critique of Pure Reason

I am looking for books which have a critical view on reason and rationality especially in the light of all the new things we currently know in 21st century. In a sense maybe new versions or iterations ...
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Can it be rational to have beliefs one knows to be inconsistent?

It seems that the answer would be yes, especially when we think about the example of the preface paradox (authors stating in prefaces "the errors that are found herein are mine alone", i.e. believing ...
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How is rationalism still used today?

This was a test question in my class I thought I had the right answer to, but apparently got wrong. How would you answer this? If experimental sciences demonstrate that empiricism has "won the day", ...
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What is the difference between stupid and crazy? [closed]

What is the difference between stupid and crazy? Craziness is irrational, so what's the difference? Both involve a failure to function well. Is it that crazy serves a purpose, retroactively speaking? ...
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3 votes
9 answers
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How can we decide which view to accept concerning our ultimate justification of our knowledge (Münchhausen trilemma)?

I recently came across the Münchhausen trilemma, which I think helps to explain my question. Basically, according to the trilemma, we have three options for explaining the ultimate justification of ...
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Term for the idea that regardless of our philosophy, only the observable/physical matters

I'm looking for terms that define the following presuppositions: every action should be valued based on its outcomes, not choosing is a choice impact of an action must be valued based on the ...
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How does Socrates's acting on a dream in Plato's Phaedo square with his rationality?

Socrates is a symbol of rational thinking. He called himself a lover of wisdom. But, on the other hand, he started to make music (poetry/composing) just on the direction of a voice that he heard in ...
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Are there writers on the topic of an inherent human bias towards the value of rational thinking?

Some people place humans as 'higher animals' because we are uniquely capable of rational thought, while most other animals are not. This assumes that the trait of rationality is superior to other ...
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Two Solutions to the Problem of Death

Many people have long been plagued with the fear of their eventual demise. But suppose in the future two possible solutions to the problem may be developed. The first solution is a pill that if taken,...
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Is symbolic regression Popperian or inductivist?

This has been on my mind for a few days. I'd love a criticism of my arguments outlined here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/fallible-ideas/9bcC5WN6bLs. I'll re-issue them here: While ...
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Can we adopt a certain perspective without subjective experience?

Introduction I am not speaking about our conscious perspective that includes our conscious knowledge of what is rational and what is irrational. I am speaking about the deep perspective that controls ...
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Has anyone claimed that no decision is inherently better or more rational than any other decision?

The is-ought problem, for those who believe it is an actual problem, is the problem that you can not deduce an ought statement from any number of is statements. It seems natural for this to lead to a ...
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Are there contemporary adherents to this view about systemised ethics?

In some parts of the field of truth, no doubt, men who work by these divergent ways are apt as men to represent antithetical types. But over the whole field this need not be ...
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Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

A hallmark of recent political developments is extreme partisanship, where each side has near total distrust of the other. To exacerbate this situation there has been a breakdown in agreement over ...
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Understanding McDowell's Mind and World

In "Mind and World" John McDowell takes a Sellarsian approach, claiming that the given is a myth. Yet, he says, if I understand him correctly, the space of reasons is not a mere "spinning in the void",...
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Are there philosophers who have considered free will for agents who are not considered rational?

The tag for "free-will" currently has the following with my emphasis in bold: for questions concerning the freedom of choice of rational agents Are there philosophers who have considered freedom ...
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Can a ban on certain words be justified rationally?

In our world there is a notion of political correctness. There are some words which can be considered rude or abusive in themselves, regardless of the thought behind them. However, this seems awkward ...
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Is it possible for a human being to be rational?

How i see the rational man: A man who not only able to believe that something is rational/irrational, but in the same time able to function in respect to this belief. An example for the irrational ...
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Please explain Good's solution to why we should make new observations

IJ Good's paper (1967) gives a solution to Ayer's problem on why we should make new observations. I'm trying to follow the steps in his solution. His assumptions are that: There are r mutually ...
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Do objective improvements to descriptive ethics always improve normative ethics?

Robert Nozick provided an argument against Utilitarianism called Experience Machine. The argument involves only the "Is" part: "We have reason not to plug into the experience machine." But this makes ...
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reductio ad absurdum vs. argument by lack of imagination

A reductio ad absurdum is a correct way to argue. An argument by lack of imagination is an informal fallacy. But if a reductio ad absurdum is applied outside of a highly formalized setting like ...
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Why does Newcomb's paradox seem to have different solutions depending on when the choice is made despite determinism?

I believe the Newcomb's paradox is a significant problem in philosophy, since I regard it as a well formulated version of the lazy argument (under certain conditions) with real life implications. ...
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Is it possible for the "feeling of having a rational thought" to be an illusion? If so, how can you have any confidence whatsoever in your thoughts?

All our reasoning, logic, deductions, Science, Philosophy, eureka moments, Aha! moments, etc. are based on a feeling of confidence that we are "thinking correctly", we are "reasoning correctly", we ...
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Why would philosophical agnosticism and pragmatic atheism be considered more rational than philosophical agnosticism and pragmatic theism?

I'm referring to the accepted answer on this post. The answerer states that If one is both attentive to empirical scientific studies and to philosophical investigations of the limits of knowledge, ...
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