(2011) Axiomathes 21 (1).

Rationality as effective organisation of interaction and its naturalist framework

Clifford A. Hooker

pp. 99-172

The point of this paper is to provide a principled framework for a naturalistic, interactivist-constructivist model of rational capacity and a sketch of the model itself, indicating its merits. Being naturalistic, it takes its orientation from scientific understanding. In particular, it adopts the developing interactivist-constructivist understanding of the functional capacities of biological organisms as a useful naturalistic platform for constructing such higher order capacities as reason and cognition. Further, both the framework and model are marked by the finitude and fallibility that science attributes to organisms, with their radical consequences, and also by the individual and collective capacities to improve their performances that learning organisms display. Part A prepares the ground for the exposition through a critique of the dominant Western analytic tradition in rationalising science, followed by a brief exposition of the naturalist framework that will be employed to frame the construction. This results in two sets of guidelines for constructing an alternative. Part B provides the new conception of reason as a rich complex of processes of improvement against epistemic values, and argues its merits. It closes with an account of normativity and our similarly developing rational knowledge of it, including (reflexively) of reason itself.

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Hooker, C. A. (2011). Rationality as effective organisation of interaction and its naturalist framework. Axiomathes 21 (1), pp. 99-172.

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