Christopher Stephens (University of British Columbia)

Christopher Stephens
Friday, November 3, 2017 3:00pm
Strickland 114

Why Be Rational?

Philosophers typically assume that we should be rational; however, it not
clear why. Is it always in our interests to form our beliefs in accordance
with the evidence? Philosophers such as Pascal and James have argued that
it is sometimes prudent to form one¹s beliefs in conflict with the
evidence. Following Clifford, other philosophers argue that we should
always form our beliefs based on the evidence. I use decision-theoretic
tools to provide a framework for answering the question of whether and why
it is prudent to believe based on the evidence.