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The Roots of Reason: Philosophical Essays on Rationality, Evolution, and Probability
     

The Roots of Reason: Philosophical Essays on Rationality, Evolution, and Probability

by David Papineau
 

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ISBN-10: 0199243840

ISBN-13: 9780199243846

Pub. Date: 03/28/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press

David Papineau presents a controversial view of human reason, portraying it as a normal part of the natural world, and drawing on the empirical sciences to illuminate its workings. In these six interconnected essays he offers a fresh approach to some long-standing problems.

Papineau rejects the contemporary orthodoxy that genuine thought hinges on some species of

Overview

David Papineau presents a controversial view of human reason, portraying it as a normal part of the natural world, and drawing on the empirical sciences to illuminate its workings. In these six interconnected essays he offers a fresh approach to some long-standing problems.

Papineau rejects the contemporary orthodoxy that genuine thought hinges on some species of non-natural normativity. He explores the evolutionary histories of theoretical and practical rationality, indicating ways in which capacities underlying human reasoning have been selected for their biological advantages. He then looks at the connection between decision and probability, explaining how good decisions need to be informed by causal as well as probabilistic facts. Finally he defends the radical view that a satisfactory understanding of decision-making is only possible within a specific interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199243846
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1Normativity and Judgment6
2The Evolution of Knowledge39
3The Evolution of Means-End Reasoning83
4Probability as a Guide to Life Co-authored with Helen Beebee130
5Causation as a Guide to Life167
6Uncertain Decisions and the Many-Minds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics212
Index240

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