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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Is the rationality an instinct for the man? [closed]

I read a post in facebook few minutes ago and the titular says something about a boy banging a dog, and then the boy broke the dog's leg because the dog bit her little sister and also the boy stabbed ...
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How can rational choice theory be explanatory?

In his work, John Harsanyi appears to have taken issue with classical social theorists' account of social phenomena. For example, he criticized Max Weber's typological approach on the grounds, "If we ...
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Do human beings always act rationally (i.e. in an internally consistent manner)? [closed]

When a human being acts, is it always in an internally logically consistent (i.e. rational) manner? To answer this question, the assumption is that emotions are a part of our internal logic. We have ...
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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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What sets apart humans from other animals? [duplicate]

What sets apart humans from other animals? Is it rationality? Or morality? If humans are inherently rational animals then why are they so often irrational in judgments and decisions? And if humans are ...
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Is there any prospect for a unified account of rationality?

It is a commonplace that philosophers, psychologists and economists often talk about rational belief or rational behavior, but they seem to mean different things by it. Is this because (a) there is ...
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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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535 views

Are aesthetic judgments rational?

I was reading this article: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aesthetic-judgment/#1.4 I was thinking that aesthetic judgments are responses that derive from our emotions. So they can be considered ...
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Are we that different from (irrational) animals? [closed]

Well, up to now I'm pretty sure I didn't find anyone who can ignore feelings. I do try my best since I do think that they are the irrational thing we have, but of course, I still have them. Fear, ...
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Is it possible to prove the invalidity of logic without using logic?

Is it possible to validly invalidate logic without using logic? Mere assertion gives rise to the question, "How do you know?". At that point, you end up having to use logic to justify the thesis ...
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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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Free Will and Rational Thought - Kant

According to http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/history/ Kant believed in both determinism and rational thought. Kant subsumed causality and determinism under his idea of Pure Reason. ...
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If intelligence maximizes future freedom of action, then are intelligent agents free?

Alex Wissner posits that there is an equation for intelligence: F = T ∇ Sτ or: intelligence is a force, F, that acts so as to maximize future freedom of action. It acts to maximize future ...
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What are the necessary and sufficient constraints on the world-to-mind direction of fit?

A glossary that John MacFarlane keeps defines direction of fit like so: direction of fit: The direction of the “match” between the world and an intentional state or speech act that is required for ...
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What would Kant say about an irrational person?

I've been reading about Kant and everything I've read so far assumes that as we make ethical decisions we are dealing with a rational person. For example, Kant argued that rational beings can never be ...
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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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Why wouldn't a government be as tainted as ordinary people according to Hobbes?

I have been watching an episode of Total Philosophy, on Hobbes' theory on why we should be governed. I was now wondering how it could be possible to achieve a just and authoritative government, if ...
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Intuition as long term rational thinking

I read this article about intuition (gut feeling?) on wikipedia, and I simply can't get my head over it. Why is intuition considered as "acquiring knowledge without interference or the use of reason". ...
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1answer
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Rational irrationality of emotions and simulated annealing

When a colleague of mine stated that "emotions are life's simulated annealing" I found that idea very interesting. In order to explain why let me describe briefly the optimization algorithm known as "...
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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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Does Risk Aversion cause Diminishing Marginal Utility, or vice versa?

Let A be the set of possible states of the world, or possible preferences a person could have. Let G(A) be the set of "gambles" or "lotteries", i.e. the set of probability distributions over A. Then ...
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What arguments have there been on the relative merits of praxeology vs rationality?

Suppose you know what someone's goals are, and how much they value each of their goals. Then if you observe their behavior in a given situation, how can you understand why they acted the way they did?...
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Is induction as a means to reach a conclusion rational?

According to Humes's argument, induction by its nature assumes a uniformity that is not justified. This is a very deep and interesting observation, and a point often used by the religious to justify ...
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Why are humans risk-averse? [closed]

The economic theory and much of the decision theory are based on the assumption that we are risk-averse creatures; in the sense that we are more sensitive to bad outcomes than the good ones and so ...
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What is this expanded notion of rationality called?

I usually used to take "rational" as meaning "in accordance with reason". Recently however, I read a book on emotional intelligence, where the author implied that certain emotions are "rational". That ...
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What would constitute a reasonable expectation of privacy?

To some degree this is presumably a legal question, but my question is really trying to ask about the principle here. I guess the core question is about what expectations a "reasonable" agent might ...
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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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Why does Aquinas argue that rationality of the universe points to a creator?

In the Summa, Aquinas, working from an Aristotelian philosophical position, argues that the rationality of the universe points to a creator. If I am correct in interpreting his work, he says that the ...
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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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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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What is Kant's argument about the relationship between logic and reason?

At Wikipedia, I read: Logic arose (see below) from a concern with correctness of argumentation. Modern logicians usually wish to ensure that logic studies just those arguments that arise from ...
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Are there any differences between the Eastern and Western philosophical traditions on what constitutes rationality?

I am aware of the way Western philosophers define rationality but I do not know whether Eastern philosophers define it. Are there any differences between the Eastern and Western philosophical ...
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Does rational choice theory stack up against reality?

Rational choice theory has been criticised on the grounds that "consumers are not rational, so doesn't make much sense because utility functions can't model consumer preferences." But is there actual ...
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Is it wrong to say something is X if it cannot not be X?

I'm having a discussion with someone who thinks that it's a non-sequitur to describe something as X if it's not possible for it to not be X. Here's an example: It's wrong to say a chair is amoral, ...
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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 ...