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NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 41, March 2011

Eric Peng
Pages 1-33

The Bleak Implication and the Selection Argument -Are Humans Irrational?

This essay is to reject the so-called “bleak implication”—human beings are irrational in nature, which was said to follow from experiments on human reasoning in the eighties. The rejection is advocated by way of re-constructing for the cognitive scientists their argument for the bleak implication. Meanwhile, Stich constructs what he calls the “Selection argument” for human rationality, and then rejects it. This essay examines his arguments and argues that his objections are defective. This essay then revises the selection argument to show how human rationality is connected to the design and performance of human reasoning mechanism with the hope that we may re-open the possibility of defending human rationality from an evolutionary point of view.

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