Almost Ideal: Computational Epistemology and the Limits of Rationality for Finite Reasoners

Dissertation, University of California, Davis (2016)
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The notion of an ideal reasoner has several uses in epistemology. Often, ideal reasoners are used as a parameter of (maximum) rationality for finite reasoners (e.g. humans). However, the notion of an ideal reasoner is normally construed in such a high degree of idealization (e.g. infinite/unbounded memory) that this use is unadvised. In this dissertation, I investigate the conditions under which an ideal reasoner may be used as a parameter of rationality for finite reasoners. In addition, I present and justify the research program of computational epistemology, which investigates the parameter of maximum rationality for finite reasoners using computer simulations.

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Danilo Fraga Dantas
Federal University of Paraiba


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