Difference between revisions of "Rationality"

From Issuepedia
(Notes: rule of succession. Links: standard references.)
(some updating and rewrites; link to "rationality detection")
Line 1: Line 1:
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==
[[category:concepts]][[Rationality]] is the quality of being [[rational]].
+
[[category:concepts]]Formally, [[rationality]] is the quality of being [[rational]]. More practically, it is the application of logical reasoning processes to external [[reality]].
  
It is difficult to define terms like [[rationality]] ([[rational]], [[rationalism]]) and [[reason]] ([[reasonable]], [[reasonableness]], [[reasoning]]) without ending up in a [[circular definition]], as we do not yet have a good understanding of how [[intelligence]] – i.e. that quality which allows entities to reason – functions. It is much easier to identify specific examples that are ''not'' rational (and to explain why they are not) than it is to give a set of rules by which rationality can be identified.
+
It is as yet impossible to rigorously define terms like [[rationality]] ([[rational]], [[rationalism]]) and [[reason]] ([[reasonable]], [[reasonableness]], [[reasoning]]) without ending up in a [[circular definition]], as we do not yet have a good understanding of how [[intelligence]] – i.e. that quality which allows entities to reason – functions. (Obtaining this understanding is one of the major goals of the study of [[artificial intelligence]], since an important part of recreating something artificially is to understand how it works in nature.)
  
Obtaining this understanding is one of the major goals of the study of [[artificial intelligence]], since the best way to recreate something artificially is to understand how it works.
+
It is much easier to identify specific examples that are ''not'' rational (and to explain why they are not) than it is to give a set of rules by which rationality can be clearly identified.
 +
 
 +
It is somewhat less easy, though still possible, to work out a set of guidelines by which [[rationality detection|rationality may be detected]] with a reasonably low error rate.
 
==Misuse==
 
==Misuse==
The words "[[rational]]" and "[[rationality]]" are often misused to advocate solutions which serve some specific pragmatic goal at the expense of larger [[ideal]]s, e.g. "rational economic theory says that the minimum wage [or pollution laws, or safety inspections, etc.] harms businesses and reduces profits". If your goal is to improve conditions for a community, however, it is ''not'' rational to accept a solution which maximizes local benefits (e.g. corporate profits) at the expense of that community's well-being.
+
The words "[[rational]]" and "[[rationality]]" are often misused to advocate solutions which serve some specific pragmatic goal at the expense of larger [[ideal]]s, e.g. "rational economic theory says that the [[minimum wage]] [or pollution laws, or safety inspections, etc.] harms businesses and reduces profits". If your goal is to improve conditions for a community, however, it is ''not'' rational to accept a solution which maximizes corporate profits at the expense of that community's well-being.
  
The concept of [[rationalization]] is often conflated with "rationality".
+
The concept of [[rationalization]] is often [[conflate]]d with "rationality".
 +
==Related==
 +
* [[rational]] (adjective form)
 +
* [[rationality detection]]
 +
* [[rationalization]] (falsely conflated with rationality)
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
* The [[wikipedia:rule of succession|rule of succession]] is a rational, mathematical way of estimating the odds of something which has never been observed to occur.
 
* The [[wikipedia:rule of succession|rule of succession]] is a rational, mathematical way of estimating the odds of something which has never been observed to occur.
Line 16: Line 22:
 
* {{rationalwiki}}
 
* {{rationalwiki}}
 
* {{lwwiki}}
 
* {{lwwiki}}
* {{!in|conservapedia}}: no information as of 2009-11-17.
+
* {{!in|conservapedia}}: no information as of 2009-11-17. Some information on 2010-09-10, but no equivalent page.
 +
** [[conservapedia:Communicative rationality|Communicative rationality]] "is a leftist concept..."
 +
** [[conservapedia:Minimum-rationality standard|Minimum-rationality standard]]
 +
** [[conservapedia:Rational behavior|Rational behavior]]
 
* {{dkosopedia}}
 
* {{dkosopedia}}
 
* {{!in|sourcewatch}}: no information as of 2009-11-17.
 
* {{!in|sourcewatch}}: no information as of 2009-11-17.

Revision as of 01:59, 11 September 2010

Overview

Formally, rationality is the quality of being rational. More practically, it is the application of logical reasoning processes to external reality.

It is as yet impossible to rigorously define terms like rationality (rational, rationalism) and reason (reasonable, reasonableness, reasoning) without ending up in a circular definition, as we do not yet have a good understanding of how intelligence – i.e. that quality which allows entities to reason – functions. (Obtaining this understanding is one of the major goals of the study of artificial intelligence, since an important part of recreating something artificially is to understand how it works in nature.)

It is much easier to identify specific examples that are not rational (and to explain why they are not) than it is to give a set of rules by which rationality can be clearly identified.

It is somewhat less easy, though still possible, to work out a set of guidelines by which rationality may be detected with a reasonably low error rate.

Misuse

The words "rational" and "rationality" are often misused to advocate solutions which serve some specific pragmatic goal at the expense of larger ideals, e.g. "rational economic theory says that the minimum wage [or pollution laws, or safety inspections, etc.] harms businesses and reduces profits". If your goal is to improve conditions for a community, however, it is not rational to accept a solution which maximizes corporate profits at the expense of that community's well-being.

The concept of rationalization is often conflated with "rationality".

Related

Notes

  • The rule of succession is a rational, mathematical way of estimating the odds of something which has never been observed to occur.

Links

Reference