December 13, 2009

Rationality visualization

In his book What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought, Keith Stanovich explains how cognitive psychologists define rationality. They distinguish two basic forms of rationality: 1) INSTRUMENTAL RATIONALITY, behaving in such a way that you achieve what you want, and 2) EPISTEMIC RATIONALITY, taking care that your beliefs correspond with the actual structure of the world.
At the risk of simplyfying too much, instrumental rationality seems to be about doing what works and epistemic rationality is concerned with truth and refers to seeing reality for what it is. It seems to be a pitfall to overlook any of these two rationalities. Only focusing on what is true but forgetting to do what works may lead to your neglecting to do things that help you to survive and remain connected to other people (A). Only focusing on doing what works but neglecting the what is true question may lead to you moving efficiently through a web of falsity distancing you more and more from reality (B). Thinking about this I thought of visualizing this as follows:


  1. The graph seams somewhat strange to my eyes.

    I think that seeing reality for what it truly is leads to congruence, doing what you think. I guess I was looking for a way to point on the graph a place where you see reality clearly and also do what works.

  2. Hi Peter, I visualized it confusingly I guess. The two lines are not meant as grahps but as lines depicting certain zones. Of course doing what works and seeing reality for what it is can go hand in hand very well. The position where this can be found is in the upper right corner


  3. maybe add colors and a little legend. :D

  4. Maybe when I have some time I'll try to make an improved version
    thanks again


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