Inquiry Under Bounds
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CitationThorstad, David. 2020. Inquiry Under Bounds. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractBy the lights of traditional normative theories, human inquiry is substantially irrational. Humans regularly violate normative constraints set out by logic, probability theory, and decision theory. Traditional normative theories blame the agent, taking these findings to show that humans are irrational. By contrast, I suggest that it is often better to blame the theory. Many seeming irrationalities are instances of rational inquiry by bounded agents. To defend this claim, I develop a global consequentialist, reason-responsiveness account of rational inquiry and offer three arguments for that account. First, it delivers natural accounts of duties to gather evidence and expand awareness. Second, it explains the value of rationality. Third, it is our best hope for vindicating empirically demonstrated biases as instances of rational inquiry. I apply this account of rational inquiry to clarify and ground a collection of normative claims that arise in scientific theorizing about bounded rationality.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365888
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