Blame it on the Norm: The Challenge from “Adaptive Rationality”

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Abstract

In this paper, I provide a qualified defense of the claim that cognitive biases are not necessarily signs of irrationality, but rather the result of using normative standards that are too narrow. I show that under certain circumstances, behavior that violates traditional norms of rationality can be adaptive. Yet, I express some reservations about the claim that we should replace our traditional normative standards. Furthermore, I throw doubt on the claim that the replacement of normative standards would license optimistic verdicts about human rationality.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Volume44
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • rationality, heuristics, cognitive biases, adaptive behavior