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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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3answers
124 views

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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4answers
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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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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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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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Is the universe rational? [closed]

Physics relies on the fundamental postulate that the universe follows certain laws which, because they are laws, are rational. It remains to find out exactly what those laws are. If one could find out ...
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Is it logical to fall in love?

Does logic only apply to certain human situations? For example, is it logical to fall in love?
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1answer
60 views

What does it mean to be rational? [closed]

What does it mean to be rational/reasonable? Is it reasonable to believe only things that can be and are verified empirically? Are things reasonable only if we understand them at an intuitive level? ...
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What impact has Douglass Hofstadter's superrationality had in terms of philosophy?

Superrational decision making is a type of rational decision making in which the players cooperate in a one-shot prisoner's dilemma without coordination, punishment, or magical thinking. The idea is ...
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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Theories of rationality/emotions which make Epicurus' death argument work?

I've read restatements of Epicurus' famous argument which attempt to prove that the fear of death is irrational (I don't know if Epicurus himself ever used a word like this. From what I've read, he ...
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1answer
247 views

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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Hiddenness of God

I have some questions regarding the argument of the Canadian philosopher John Schellenberg (Hiddenness of God) or (nonresistant nonbelief). See it here: The argument from nonresistant nonbelief My ...
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1answer
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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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7answers
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Is immorality just irrationality?

If someone acts immorally - assuming some sort of free will - then they are doing so despite it being demonstrably wrong, i.e. it is a mistake as surely as 1+1=3 is a mistake. Doesn't this then give ...
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The Law of Identity and Emptiness

If all rational, logical, philosophical, scientific, and mathematical reasoning starts with the initial axiom that 'X=X' - that is a 0 information tautology - can it be said that all ensuing rational, ...
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Equal evidence for and against a belief - which to choose?

If there is a belief for which there is an equal amount of evidence both for and against (the evidence is provided by experts in the appropriate field), what is the most rational thing to do in a ...
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7answers
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When and why do we say that two things are the same?

In a preceeding question I have asked about the foundations of rational reasonning. It seems the concept of identity plays a key role. However "identity" is not observed in the real world: our mind ...
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10answers
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Is atheism or agnosticism more rational?

While there is still widespread disagreement regarding the existing definition of atheism, it is normally considered as the "Rejection of belief in the existence of deities". One accepted definition ...
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Why does Kierkegaard's pseudonym Johannes De Silentio believe Abraham exemplifies faith?

From Fear and Trembling: All that time [Abraham] believed--he believed that God would not require Isaac of him, whereas he was willing nevertheless to sacrifice him if it was required. He ...
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290 views

Why do some consider it irrational to pray?

Whether a god who listens to prayers exists, is not known. But what is known is that the probability of such an existence cannot be proven to be zero. Hence, if somebody is in a major peril and can ...
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223 views

What arguments support the idea that rational thinking requires language use?

The idea that rationality has language as a necessary condition might be called, per Brandom, lingualism. What are the most popular arguments for this position? Why should we think that the way we ...
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What defines “lack of evidence” and is it irrational to believe in something without evidence?

It is commonly accepted that the lack of evidence for a particular proposition makes belief in said proposition irrational. However, imagine the following proposition, P: An object exists for ...
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Can something be rational but not logical?

I'm having trouble understanding how something can be rational, logical, or both. I had understood up to this point that they could be used interchangeably, but now I've been told that that's not ...
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6answers
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Are there any aspects of science which do not change over time?

I`ve read this artilce about Historicist Theories of Scientific Rationality. All the theories seem to state that the science is evolving over time, i.e. it changes in cumulative or revolutionary way (...
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If all men became equally rational, would rationality still have any meaning?

Rationality, as Wikipedia says, is: Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to ...
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Can playing lotteries be rational?

Suppose you have to choose between: a. getting 1$ b. getting a ticket of the lottery L(p) which gives you 1'000'000'000$ with probability p and 0 with probability (1-p), with p such that the expected ...
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1answer
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How could human choices be actually rational?

Theoretically, human could be rational. But how is it possible that human are not influenced by their senses and only proceed with pure reason? Like practically?
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1answer
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Is human civilization doomed to repeat cycles of cataclysms? [closed]

The full question is: Is human civilization doomed to repeat cycles of cataclysms because, on average, humans cannot make rational decisions regarding complex subjects for which they have incomplete ...
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Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

A common argument in today's news is that: Someone commits a heinous crime by shooting a bunch of people. Anyone who commits a heinous crime must be insane. Sane people cannot apply rational thought ...
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“If chance may have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir” - was Macbeth irrational to ignore his own advice? [closed]

I remember as a teen studying Macbeth thinking that the quoted text was the most rational thing Macbeth says in the whole play. Why doesn't he take his own advice? (There wouldn't have been much drama ...
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Has Descartes interpreted the rational mind as res cogitans?

I've read several description of the Descartes' dualism but I'm still not really sure: Does Descartes comprehend the human rational mind, human psychology - the part of thinking that is not ...
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1answer
297 views

What are sanctions for logical inconsistency? [closed]

A Dutch book is a situation that allows a smart gambler to place bets in a way that guarantee a profit for him. It can be shown that if a bookmaker follows the rules of Bayesian calculus in the ...
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180 views

What is the point of prayer for theological rationalists?

Of course, there are psychological aspects, you can unify a community or concentrate on your life goals. I feel like Christians try to do something like that when they say that prayer should be a ...
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Are we obliged (have responsibility) to think/act rationaly?

A person who leads a very organized daily life from morning to night might not be much happier from a person who has no routine at all and do whatever he likes, whenever he wants. Similarly it can be ...
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Does existentialism rule out the existence of a rational world?

I have no grounding in philosophy, but I have just this minute been reading a few articles about existentialism. I was confused by its apparent rejection of rationalism. I understand that this ...
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4answers
246 views

What rationalizations exist for motivation?

We're all just atoms interacting, there is no supernatural, free will is either invalid or an illusion, depending on how it's defined. There is no purpose to our lives, it really makes no difference ...
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1answer
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Buridan's ass (and determinism)

A question was asked here relatively recently about the ability of human's to come up with truly random numbers, and (in my opinion) one can meaningfully ask that same question regarding almost any ...
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Is one rationally justified in assuming a dominant philosophical position that one has some reasons to doubt?

If one has insufficient reasons for rejecting a dominant philosophical position but sufficient reasons to doubt that the dominant philosophical position is unproblematic, to what extent is one ...