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Free Will and Action ExplanationA Non-Causal, Compatibilist Account$
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Scott Sehon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758495.001.0001

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Rationalizability and Irrationality

Rationalizability and Irrationality

(p.39) 3 Rationalizability and Irrationality
Free Will and Action Explanation

Scott Sehon

Oxford University Press

One might object that the teleological account overemphasizes rationalizability and thereby ties agency too closely to rationality. This chapter clarifies and defends the teleological account by responding to this sort of worry. First, rationality should not be identified with being a coldly logical person who fights off emotions, feelings, and impulses. Sometimes the most reasonable thing to do is to follow one’s heart rather than one’s head. Second, the teleological view has ample room for agents who occasionally do stupid things. Third, even the sort of ‘systematic irrationality’ to which agents are said to be prone is not a problem for the view: for example, those who regularly buy lottery tickets or who are subject to the endowment effect as described by Kahneman and his colleagues are not as systematically irrational as sometimes portrayed.

Keywords:   irrationality, rationalizability, emotions, agency, teleology, action explanation, lottery tickets, endowment effect, Daniel Kahneman

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