The Nature of Rationality

Robert Nozick, Author
Robert Nozick, Author Princeton University Press $55 (226p) ISBN 978-0-691-07424-5
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
To Harvard philosophy professor Nozick, rationality and belief are each an evolutionary adaptation to a world that changes in nonregular ways. Our acts resonate with symbolic meanings and ``stand for'' our principles and beliefs. In this boldly original, technical inquiry which will reward serious students of philosophy, Nozick uses decision theory to propose new rules of rational decision-making that take into account the symbolic, practical and evolutionary components of our behavior. He considers bias, the role of imagination, rational social cooperation and how society's decision-making results in incremental or sweeping institutional changes. This challenging treatise champions reason as a faculty that enables us to transcend our mere animal status and to strive toward goals by the light of principles. (July)
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