Article ID: CBB462306928

Stanovich's arguments against the “adaptive rationality” project: An assessment (2015)


This paper discusses Stanovich's appeal to individual differences in reasoning and decision-making to undermine the “adaptive rationality” project put forth by Gigerenzer and his co-workers. I discuss two different arguments based on Stanovich's research. First, heterogeneity in the use of heuristics seems to be at odds with the adaptationist background of the project. Second, the existence of correlations between cognitive ability and susceptibility to cognitive bias suggests that the “standard picture of rationality” (Stein, 1996, 4) is normatively adequate. I argue that, as matters stand, none of the arguments can be seen as fully compelling. Nevertheless, my discussion is not only critical of Stanovich's research, as I also show that (and how) his research can push forward the so-called “rationality debate” by encouraging greater theoretical and experimental work.

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Authors & Contributors
Downes, Stephen M.
Steinhart, E.
Mysterud, Iver
Malik, Kenan
Stanovich, Keith E.
Driscoll, Catherine Mary
Biology and Philosophy
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Biological Theory
Princeton University Press
Rutgers University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Wisconsin at Madison
University of New Hampshire
New York University
Evolutionary psychology
Behavioral sciences
Human evolution
Philosophy of science
Definition of human; human nature
Türck, Ludwig
Buller, David J.
Great Britain
United States
20th century, late
19th century
21st century
20th century

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