Natural Rationality Conference

Thursday March 29, 2007, Room HH-357, Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo.


9:30 Welcome

9:45   “The Rationality of Gambling” , Kent Ly (University of Waterloo)
10:15 Question time

10:30 “Mechanistic Modeling and Bounded Rationality”, Adam Garetson (University of Waterloo)
11:00 Question time

11:15 End of conference

Notes are available here


• Naqvi, N., Shiv, B., & Bechara, A. (2006). The role of emotion in decision-making: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 260-264.

• Elster, J. (1994). Rationality, emotions, and social norms. Synthese, 98(1), 21-49.

 Notes are here.

  • Reading notes are here

Week 8 – Readings and notes

February 28, 2007

Notes are here, and reading there:

• Clark, Andy (1996) Economic Reason: The Interplay of Individual Learning and External Structure, in J. Drobak and J. Nye (eds) The Frontiers Of The New Institutional Economics (Academic Press: San Diego, CA 1996) p. 269-290

Next meeting:March 1st

February 14, 2007

Please note that our next meeting will be on March 1st, same hours, same room. Have a good reading week!

– b

Research project guidelines

February 14, 2007

Here: RGL (pdf)

new schedule for week 7

February 12, 2007

IMPORTANT: please note that this week’s meeting will be held on the departmental reading room (HH-335), on  Tuesday (Feb.13) at 1pm.

Week 7 – Readings and notes

February 12, 2007

7- Evolution and economic rationality

• Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1994). Better than rational: Evolutionary psychology and the invisible hand. The American Economic Review, 84(2), 327-332.

• Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich, Rationality and Psychology, in Alfred Mele & Piers Rawling, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford Reference Library. (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 2004. Pp. 279-300


 “Reply to Morton White,” (1998, 664-5):

Naturalization of epistemology does not jettison the normative and settle for the indiscriminate description of ongoing procedures. For me, normative epistemology is a branch of engineering. It is the technology of truth-seeking, or, in more cautiously epistemological term, prediction. Like any technology, it makes free use of whatever scientific findings may suit its purpose. It draws upon mathematics in computing standard deviation and probable error and in scouting the gambler’s fallacy. It draws upon experimental psychology in exposing perceptual illusions, and upon cognitive psychology in scouting wishful thinking. It draws upon neurology and physics, in a general way, in discounting testimony from occult or parapsychological sources. There is no question here of ultimate value, as in morals; it is a matter of efficacy for an ulterior end, truth or prediction. The normative here, as elsewhere in engineering, becomes descriptive when the terminal parameter is expressed.

(Pursuit of Truth, p.19).

Insofar as theoretical epistemology gets naturalised into a chapter of theoretical science, so normative epistemology gets naturalised into a chapter of engineering: the technology of anticipating sensory stimulation.

Quine, W. V. O. (1986). Reply to morton white. In L. E. Hahn & P. A. Schilpp (Eds.), The philosophy of WVO Quine (pp. 663-665). La Salle: Open Court.
Quine, W. V. O. (1990). Pursuit of truth. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.