Mind and Society 13 (2):227-245 (2014)

This paper examines the adequacy of an evolutionary-oriented notion of rationality—ecological rationality—that has recently been proposed in economics. Ecological rationality is concerned with what it is rational to do, and in this sense is a version of what philosophers call ‘practical rationality’. Indeed, the question of the adequacy of ecological rationality as it is understood in the paper, is the question of whether ecological rationality is a genuine notion of practical rationality. The paper first explicates and motivates the notion of ecological rationality by explicating the notion of practical rationality, grounding ecological rationality in an evolutionary approach to the emotions which is mainly illustrated by the example of fear, and outlining the reasons adduced in economics for generalizing ecological rationality beyond the emotions. The paper then argues that the raison d’être of practical rationality is first and foremost a specific role it plays in the explanation of behavior, or in telling why it has occurred. Finally, based on –, the paper argues that ecological rationality lacks a constitutive feature of practical rationality—namely, normativity—which is related to the latter’s basic explanatory role, and thus cannot be considered a genuine notion of practical rationality. While the paper focuses on the economic version of ecological rationality, its conclusions apply just as well to other, related, versions of the ecological notion that have been proposed in biology and evolutionary psychology.
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DOI 10.1007/s11299-014-0151-y
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Complexity and Individual Psychology.Yakir Levin & Itzhak Aharon - 2015 - Mind and Society 14 (2):203-219.
The Challenge of Fear to Economics.Mario A. Cedrini & Marco Novarese - 2015 - Mind and Society 14 (1):99-106.

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