Phil 397: Practical Reasoning
State University of New York at Geneseo
Professor JeeLoo Liu
Q: What human behaviors are generally irrational?
____ common behavior: wishful thinking, self-deception, enjoys flattery, denial of truth, emotional response, resentment of politicians,
____ eccentric behavior: gambling, buying lottery, compulsive buying, trusting psychics, seek unjustified ways to change oneีs lot,
Q: Do you think that humans are rational? If we are generally rational, under what conditions do we act irrationally? How does irrationality creep into our thinking or behavioral mode?
Q: Is there a significant difference in our reasoning when it concerns our well-being? Does reasoning involving self-interest operation in the same way as reasoning on purely theoretical matter?
Q: Why is there a gap between oneีs judgment and oneีs action? Do such gaps threaten human rationality? Or is weakness of will a separate issue?
Q: What is the foundation of human rationality? Is it by nature or by social convention? How much of rationality itself (not just standards of rationality) is relative to society?
Q: Do humans evolve in terms of rationality? Are primitive people as rational as we are? To what extent is rationality based on knowledge about the world?
Stephen Stich: Could Man Be An Irrational Animal?
Donald Davidson: Who Is Fooled?
Donald Davidson: Incoherence and Irrationality
Donald Davidson: Paradoxes of Irrationality
Donald Davidson: Deception and Division
Donald Davidson: How Is Weakness of Will Possible
Ariela Lazar: Division and Deception: Davison on Being Self-Deceived
Jean-Pierre Dupuy: Rationality and Self-Deception