A call for application is out for the International Rationality Summer School Institute 2016 to be held September 4-16, 2016, in Aurich (Germany). Apparently yes, the picture’s from there, although I still have to check out But regardless, this is a cool initiative — very proud to be part of it! I’ll be talking about Norms vs. evidence in reasoning research. Course description below.
Norms vs. evidence in reasoning research
Diagnoses of (ir)rationality often arise in the empirical investigation of human reasoning. How can such diagnoses be disputed and assessed? We will articulate a principled classification of different cases relying on a view of experimental work from a philosophy of science perspective. We will then see that much fruitful research done with classical experimental paradigms was triggered by normative concerns and yet fostered insight in properly psychological terms. Cornerstone examples will be discussed, including Wason’s selection task, the conjunction fallacy, so-called pseudodiagnosticity, and more besides. The analysis provided suggests that normative considerations retain a constructive role for the psychology of reasoning — contrary to recent complaints in the literature — but not the one that “normativist” cognitive scientists have often assumed. In particular, the approach I propose does not blur the is-ought distinction.