This category contains 4 posts

Rationality does not guarantee agreement, but we might get along better

I think we would all get along a lot better if we were rational, but not because we would all be in complete agreement if we were rational. Rationality is a tool for getting what we want. Rationality tells us how the world is, and what the results of our actions are likely to be. … Continue reading

Rationality Versus Rationalization

There’s something satisfying about carefully reasoning one’s way to a conclusion. To set aside one’s preconceived notions, decide on a new course of action, and to achieve reasoned confidence that one is doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this sort of reasoning is the exception rather than the rule. It’s not that we don’t give reasons … Continue reading


As children, we’re taught that we should “walk a mile in another man’s shoes” before we judge him. This is admirable advice, to be sure. However, I can’t help thinking that this advice isn’t as effective as it might have been. In my last post, I discussed fundamental attribution error: incorrectly inferring that another person’s … Continue reading

A Rational Future

What if the only thing holding us back from being more rational was our weak understanding of what it means to be rational? We all have some idea of what rationality is, but it’s only a vague idea. For the vast majority of us, rationality is a fuzzy concept, like beauty. If I ask you … Continue reading