Constraints and Contexts

1st Edition - September 1, 2016

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  • Editors: Tzu-Wei Hung, Timothy Lane
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128046234
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128046005

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Rationality: Contexts and Constraints is an interdisciplinary reappraisal of the nature of rationality. In method, it is pluralistic, drawing upon the analytic approaches of philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and more. These methods guide exploration of the intersection between traditional scholarship and cutting-edge philosophical or scientific research. In this way, the book contributes to development of a suitably revised, comprehensive understanding of rationality, one that befits the 21st century, one that is adequately informed by recent investigations of science, pathology, non-human thought, emotion, and even enigmatic Chinese texts that might previously have seemed to be expressions of irrationalism.

Key Features

  • Addresses recent challenges and Identifies a direction for future research on rationality
  • Investigates the relationship between rationality and mental disorders, such as delusion and depression
  • Assesses reasoning in artificial intelligence and nonhuman animals
  • Reflects on ancient Chinese Philosophy and possible cultural differences in human psychology
  • Employs philosophical reflection, along with linguistic, probabilistic, and logical techniques


Researchers and students who work in cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, and linguistics

Table of Contents

  • I: Introduction

    • Introduction
      • Chapter 1: Rationality and its Contexts
        • Abstract
        • Acknowledgments

      II: Science

      • Introduction
        • Chapter 2: Bayesian Psychology and Human Rationality
          • Abstract
          • 2.1. Introduction
          • 2.2. The standard picture and the standard empirical challenge
          • 2.3. The standard challenge to human rationality
          • 2.4. Rationality reanimated
          • 2.5. Rationality rechallenged
          • Acknowledgments
        • Chapter 3: Scientific Rationality: Phlogiston as a Case Study
          • Abstract
          • 3.1. Introduction
          • 3.2. Chang on retaining phlogiston
          • 3.3. Evaluating the benefits of retaining phlogiston
          • 3.4. The rationality of eliminating/retaining phlogiston
          • 3.5. Scientific rationality more generally
          • 3.6. Conclusions
          • Acknowledgments
        • Chapter 4: Cross-Cultural Differences in Thinking: Some Thoughts on Psychological Paradigms
          • Abstract
          • 4.1. Introduction: a universal mind game
          • 4.2. Piecemeal intellectual endeavours
          • 4.3. Is the psychology of thinking inherently culturally biased toward explaining western behavior?
          • 4.4. A holistic analysis of holistic versus analytic thinking
          • 4.5. Some thought experiments
          • 4.6. What of cognitive universals?
          • 4.7. Resolutions

        III: Pathology

        • Introduction
          • Chapter 5: Delusion and the Norms of Rationality
            • Abstract
            • 5.1. Introduction
            • 5.2. The epistemic conception of delusion
            • 5.3. The absence of reasoning deficits
            • 5.4. The challenge from cognitive neuropsychiatry
            • 5.5. The demarcation challenge
            • 5.6. The functional conception of delusion
            • 5.7. Conclusions
          • Chapter 6: Outline of a Theory of Delusion: Irrationality and Pathological Belief
            • Abstract
            • 6.1. Delusions
            • 6.2. A social theory of delusion
            • 6.3. Rationality redux: formulating the problem
          • Chapter 7: Is Depressive Rumination Rational?
            • Abstract
            • 7.1. Introduction
            • 7.2. The analytical rumination hypothesis
            • 7.3. Rumination
            • 7.4. Rumination and the resting state hypothesis of MDD
            • 7.5. The resting state, depressive rumination, and rationality
            • 7.6. Conclusions
            • Acknowledgments

          IV: Irrationality

          • Introduction
            • Chapter 8: Reason and Unreason in Chinese Philosophy
              • Abstract
              • 8.1. Incommensurability thesis
              • 8.2. The very idea of correlative thinking
              • 8.3. Ineffability of yi (oneness) in Zhuangzi’s daoism
              • 8.4. In what sense is yi ineffable or unnamable?
              • 8.5. Transcendence of logic and rationality in Zen Buddhism
              • 8.6. Does zen transcend logic and rationality?
              • 8.7. Conclusions
            • Chapter 9: Irrationally Intelligible or Rationally Unintelligible?
              • Abstract
              • 9.1. Introduction
              • 9.2. The semantic concept of truth in ancient Chinese philosophy
              • 9.3. Paradoxical expressions and the white horse paradox
              • 9.4. Charity and humanity
            • Chapter 10: Does Classical Chinese Philosophy Reveal Alternative Rationalities?
              • Abstract
              • 10.1. Introduction
              • 10.2. Identifying different rationality by identifying different logic
              • 10.3. Attribution of inconsistency and different logic: a circular argument
              • 10.4. Attribution of inconsistencies and different paradigm of rationality: an alternative defence
              • 10.5. Assumption of consistency in the interpretation of multiple authors texts
              • 10.6. Conclusions

            V: Nonhuman

            • Introduction
              • Chapter 11: Bridging the Logic-Based and Probability-Based Approaches to Artificial Intelligence
                • Abstract
                • 11.1. Introduction
                • 11.2. Two systems to switch between
                • 11.3. Modeling systems 1.5 and 2.0
                • 11.4. What rationality permits
                • 11.5. Reasonable nonmonotonic logic?
                • 11.6. Main results
                • 11.7. Concluding remarks
                • Acknowledgments
              • Chapter 12: Rationality and Escherichia Coli
                • Abstract
                • 12.1. Introduction
                • 12.2. Three theses and their inconsistency
                • 12.3. Possible solutions and E. coli’s rationality
                • 12.4. Objections and replies
                • 12.5. Further questions

              VI: Communication and emotion

              • Introduction
                • Chapter 13: Rational Belief and Evidence-Based Update
                  • Abstract
                  • 13.1. Introduction
                  • 13.2. Reliability of testimony
                  • 13.3. Rational acceptance
                  • 13.4. Reliability and update
                  • 13.5. Rational update
                  • Acknowledgments
                • Chapter 14: Reason and Emotion in Xunzi’s Moral Psychology
                  • Abstract
                  • 14.1. Soek’s two models
                  • 14.2. The high reason model
                  • 14.3. The high reason model and Xunzi’s moral psychology
                  • 14.4. Clarification of the concepts: xin and qing
                  • 14.5. The roles xin and qing play in moral reasoning
                  • 14.6. Moral reasoning as conscious cost-benefit analysis
                  • 14.7. More on the role qing plays in the reasoning process
                  • 14.8. Xunzi’s hybrid model and his conception of moral reason
                  • Acknowledgments

              Product details

              • No. of pages: 298
              • Language: English
              • Copyright: © Academic Press 2016
              • Published: September 1, 2016
              • Imprint: Academic Press
              • eBook ISBN: 9780128046234
              • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128046005

              About the Editors

              Tzu-Wei Hung

              Tzu-Wei Hung is an assistant research fellow and a project coordinator at the Institute of European and American Studies at the Academia Sincia. His research and teaching interests include philosophy of psychology, philosophy of language, and early Formosan Philosophy. He is also the editor of Communicative Action (Springer) and Existential Engagement (Academia Sinica). His honors include the Taiwan Merit Scholarship, National Science Council and the Academia Sinica Fellowships for Doctoral Candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

              Affiliations and Expertise

              Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

              Timothy Lane

              Timothy Joseph Lane holds the Philosophy of Mind Chair at Taipei Medical University (TMU). He is also Dean of TMU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of TMU-Shuang Ho Hospital’s Brain and Consciousness Research Center. In addition, he is a joint-appointed Research Fellow with Academia Sinica's Institute of European and American Studies, as well as an adjunct research fellow with National Chengchi University's Research Center for Mind, Brain, and Learning. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, The Journal of Philosophy, Analysis, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, and Social Neuroscience. He has been the recipient of awards from many agencies and foundations, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Joseph and Frances Morgan-Swain Foundation. He was also awarded the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology’s highest award for research excellence.

              Affiliations and Expertise

              Philosophy of Mind Chair at Taipei Medical University (TMU), Dean of TMU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of TMU-Shuang Ho Hospital’s Brain and Consciousness Research Center

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