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Understanding PeopleNormativity and Rationalizing Explanation$
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Alan Millar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254408.001.0001

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Rationality and Simulation

Rationality and Simulation

(p.213) CHAPTER 8 Rationality and Simulation
Understanding People

Alan Millar (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The emerging perspective is that understanding people has a distinctive subject-matter — rational agents who, as such, are subjects to ideals of reason and the related normative commitments. It differs from natural-scientific understanding because of the explanatory role it accords to normative considerations. This chapter compares and contrasts this perspective with simulation theory, often contrasted with the theory-theory. Particular attention is paid to work by Jane Heal. The upshot is that putting rationality considerations centre-stage in relation to understanding people does not commit us to putting simulation centre-stage. Following this, there is a critical discussion of Stephen Stich’s attempt to downplay the significance of the link between rationality and the possession of propositional attitudes.

Keywords:   simulation theory, theory-theory, propositional attitudes, belief, action

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