Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Zoom Talk: Joe Dewhurst (MCMP) und Kevin Reuter (Zurich)

Meeting-ID: 9443 3194 088

02.06.2021 16:00  – 18:00 

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Folk Psychology, Rationality, and Decision Theory

Kevin Reuter (Zurich): The Ordinary Concept Of Rationality

Philosophers have developed sophisticated views of rationality. But a crucial issue has been largely neglected so far: What is the ordinary concept of rationality? This is all the more surprising as many theorists agree that similarity to the ordinary understanding of rationality is an important desideratum of their theories. In this paper, we engage with two questions: (a) Is rationality a normative concept?, & (b) Is the folk concept of rationality understood as coherence or reason-based. We first present the results of a corpus-linguistic study which shows that people consider 'rational' to be normative and 'irrational' to be often understood derogatory. Second, by pitting reason-based vs. coherence-based theories directly against each other, we found that reasons more strongly determine laypeople’s attributions of rationality than coherence.

Joseph Dewhurst (MCMP): Normative Folk Psychology and Decision Theory

This talk will explore two possible directions of interaction between normative folk psychology and decision theory. In one direction, folk psychology plays a regulative role that constrains practical decision‐making. In the other direction, decision theory provides novel tools and norms that shape folk psychology. I will argue that these interactions could lead to the emergence of an iterative “decision theoretic spiral," where folk psychology
influences decision‐making, decision‐making is studied by decision theory, and decision theory influences folk psychology. Understanding these interactions is important both for the theoretical study of social cognition and decision theory, and also for thinking about how to implement practical interventions into real‐world decision‐making.