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Bayesian RationalityThe probabilistic approach to human reasoning$
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Mike Oaksford and Nick Chater

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524496

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524496.001.0001

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Rationality and rational analysis

Rationality and rational analysis

(p.19) Chapter 2 Rationality and rational analysis
Bayesian Rationality

Mike Oaksford

Nick Chater

Oxford University Press

One of the central goals of this book is to show how empirical data on human reasoning can be reconciled with the notion that people are rational. This raises two questions: first, the general theoretical question of how the concept of rationality relates to human behaviour; and, second, the methodological question of how to develop ‘rational’ explanations of behaviour. The answer to the first question will provide a starting point for tackling the second; for which John Anderson’s methodology of rational analysis is advocated. This chapter is divided into two parts. First, it discusses formal and everyday rationality, and various possible relationships between them. Second, it outlines how the programme of rational analysis, which is the framework of the research in this book, leads to a new conception of how formal and everyday rationality are related.

Keywords:   rationality, human reasoning, John Anderson, rational analysis

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