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Neurath's ship: The constitutive relation between normative and descriptive theories of rationality

  • Michael R. Waldmann (a1)

I defend the claim that in psychological theories concerned with theoretical or practical rationality there is a constitutive relation between normative and descriptive theories: Normative theories provide idealized descriptive accounts of rational agents. However, we need to resist the temptation to collapse descriptive theories with any specific normative theory. I show how a partial separation is possible.

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Quine, W. V. O. (1960) Word and object. MIT Press.
Spohn, W. (2002) The many facets of the theory of rationality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2:247–62.
Waldmann, M. R. & Hagmayer, Y. (in press) Causal reasoning. In: Oxford handbook of cognitive psychology, ed. Reisberg, D.. Oxford University Press.
Waldmann, M. R., Nagel, J. & Wiegmann, A. (in press) Moral judgment. In: The Oxford handbook of thinking and reasoning, ed. Holyoak, K. J. & Morrison, R. G.. Oxford University Press.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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