Difference between revisions of "Rationality"

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(some updating and rewrites; link to "rationality detection")
(Related: Aumann)
 
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==Overview==
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[[category:concepts]]Formally, [[rationality]] is the quality of being [[rational]]. More practically, it is the application of logical reasoning processes to external [[reality]].
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[[thing type::concept]]
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[[thing type::attribute]]
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[[category:concepts]]
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==About==
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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]] &ndash; i.e. that quality which allows entities to reason &ndash; 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 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]] &ndash; i.e. that quality which allows entities to reason &ndash; 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.)
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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.
 
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 corporate profits at the expense of that community's well-being.
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* The words "[[rational]]" and "[[rationality]]" are often misused to advocate solutions which serve some specific, obvious goal at the expense of less obvious goals
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** '''Example''': "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, it is ''not'' rational to accept a solution which maximizes corporate profits at the expense of that community's well-being.
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* The concept of [[rationalization]] is often [[conflate]]d with "[[rationality]]".
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* [[Rationality]] does not require {{l/sub|dispassion}}, nor does rational dialogue require participants to suppress their feelings. While emotion can often interfere with rational judgement (and strongly-expressed sentiments can interfere with rational dialogue), a judgement that was made on a rational basis may lead to strong emotion as an entirely rational reaction. It may even be irrational ''not'' to experience emotion, depending on the nature of the question.
  
The concept of [[rationalization]] is often [[conflate]]d with "rationality".
 
 
==Related==
 
==Related==
 
* [[rational]] (adjective form)
 
* [[rational]] (adjective form)
 
* [[rationality detection]]
 
* [[rationality detection]]
 
* [[rationalization]] (falsely conflated with rationality)
 
* [[rationalization]] (falsely conflated with rationality)
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* [[Aumann's agreement theorem]]
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==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.
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* {{rationalwiki}}
 
* {{rationalwiki}}
 
* {{lwwiki}}
 
* {{lwwiki}}
* {{!in|conservapedia}}: no information as of 2009-11-17. Some information on 2010-09-10, but no equivalent page.
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* {{conservapedia}} (No equivalent page as of 2010, but as of 2015 there is now a full article.)
 
** [[conservapedia:Communicative rationality|Communicative rationality]] "is a leftist concept..."
 
** [[conservapedia:Communicative rationality|Communicative rationality]] "is a leftist concept..."
 
** [[conservapedia:Minimum-rationality standard|Minimum-rationality standard]]
 
** [[conservapedia:Minimum-rationality standard|Minimum-rationality standard]]
 
** [[conservapedia:Rational behavior|Rational behavior]]
 
** [[conservapedia:Rational behavior|Rational behavior]]
 
* {{dkosopedia}}
 
* {{dkosopedia}}
* {{!in|sourcewatch}}: no information as of 2009-11-17.
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* {{!in|sourcewatch}}: no information as of 2015-06-20

Latest revision as of 19:57, 20 June 2015

About

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, obvious goal at the expense of less obvious goals
    • Example: "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, 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".
  • Rationality does not require dispassion, nor does rational dialogue require participants to suppress their feelings. While emotion can often interfere with rational judgement (and strongly-expressed sentiments can interfere with rational dialogue), a judgement that was made on a rational basis may lead to strong emotion as an entirely rational reaction. It may even be irrational not to experience emotion, depending on the nature of the question.

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