alexa The social origins of folk epistemology
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Hugo Mercier

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Because reasoning allows us to justify our beliefs and evaluate these justifications it is central to folk epistemology. Following Sperber, and contrary to classical views, it will be argued that reasoning evolved not to complement individual cognition but as an argumentative device. This hypothesis is more consistent with the prevalence of the confirmation and disconfirmation biases. It will be suggested that these biases render the individual use of reasoning hazardous, but that when reasoning is used in its natural, argumentative, context they can represent a smart way to divide labor without loosing epistemic value. 

This article was published in Review of Philosophy and Psychology and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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