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Self-Knowledge for Humans$
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Quassim Cassam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657575.001.0001

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Normative Rationalism

Normative Rationalism

Chapter:
(p.75) 7 Normative Rationalism
Source:
Self-Knowledge for Humans
Author(s):

Quassim Cassam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657575.003.0007

One version of Normative Rationalism says not that we do approximate to homo philosophicus but that we are supposed to approximate to homo philosophicus. For Normative Rationalists like Boyle, the claim that humans are essentially rational is a claim about our essential nature rather than about how we actually think most of the time. In reply, it is argued that it is not in our nature to approximate to homo philosophicus, and that it is in our nature not to be, or even come close to being, model epistemic citizens. A different version of Normative Rationalism says that we ought to be like homo philosophicus, but this can’t be a moral ‘ought’. The respects in which we aren’t like homo philosophicus aren’t necessarily bad for us and might in certain circumstances enhance our psychological well-being.

Keywords:   Normative Rationalism, Matthew Boyle, homo philosophicus, humans, rationality, psychological well-being

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