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Adaptive ThinkingRationality in the Real World$
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Gerd Gigerenzer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195153729

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195153729.001.0001

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Domain-Specific Reasoning

Domain-Specific Reasoning

Social Contracts and Cheating Detection

(p.211) 10 Domain-Specific Reasoning
Adaptive Thinking

Gerd Gigerenzer

Oxford University Press

This chapter first introduces the challenge of domain specificity and then applies a domain-specific theory for a specific adaptive problem, social exchange, to a reasoning task that has puzzled researchers for several decades. It describes a domain-specific theory of cognition that relates reasoning to the evolutionary theory of reciprocal altruism. This theory turns the traditional approach upside down. It does not start out with a general-purpose principle from logic or probability theory or a variant thereof: it takes social objectives as fundamental, which in turn makes content fundamental, because social objectives have specific contents. Traditional formal principles of rationality are not imposed; they can be entailed or not, depending on the social objectives.

Keywords:   domain-specific reasoning, social exchange, cognition, cheating detection, social contracts, social objectives

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