Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Another long-term question to explore

Note to self -- a potential future research/philosophy project (which I was already thinking about when a posting from siderea brought it into better focus): how do people learn rationality? It's pretty clear that, the fondest wishes of economists aside, humans are not inherently rational -- everything I've seen indicates that human thought, no less than animal, is driven mainly by pattern-matching rather than logic. Rationality is presumably a learned trait, and apparently one that different people learn to different degrees and apply in different ways. How is it formed?

Of course, the possibly-harder first question is, what is "rationality"? One person's rational response is another one's foolishness. Most issues really don't boil down to provable logic, so what does it mean to be "rational" on those subjects? Is the word actually meaningful, and if so, how does it really work? Is "rational thought" really anything more than a habit of how one interacts with and applies data?

I suspect some people have already done significant research in these directions. It would be interesting to see if I agree with them at all...

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