Does reflection lead to wise choices?

Philosophical Explorations 14 (3):297-313 (2011)
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Abstract

Does conscious reflection lead to good decision-making? Whereas engaging in reflection is traditionally thought to be the best way to make wise choices, recent psychological evidence undermines the role of reflection in lay and expert judgement. The literature suggests that thinking about reasons does not improve the choices people make, and that experts do not engage in reflection, but base their judgements on intuition, often shaped by extensive previous experience. Can we square the traditional accounts of wisdom with the results of these empirical studies? Should we even attempt to? I shall defend the view that philosophy and cognitive sciences genuinely interact in tackling questions such as whether reflection leads to making wise choices.

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Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham