The Rational Mind

ISBN : 9780198845799

Scott Sturgeon
368 ページ
153 x 153 mm

Scott Sturgeon presents an original account of mental states and their dynamics. He develops a detailed story of coarse- and fine-grained mental states, a novel perspective on how they fit together, an engaging theory of the rational transitions between them, and a fresh view of how formal methods can advance our understanding in this area. In doing so, he addresses a deep four-way divide in literature on epistemic rationality. Formal epistemology is done in specialized languages-often seeming a lot more like mathematics than Plato-and so can alienate philosophers who are drawn to more traditional work on thought experiments in epistemic rationality. Conversely, informal epistemology appears to be a lot more like Plato than mathematics and, as such, it tends to deter philosophers drawn to formal models of the phenomena. Similarly, the epistemology of coarse-grained states boils down everything to a discussion of rational belief-making the area appear a lot more like foundations of knowledge than anything useful for the theory rational decision, such as decision-making under uncertainty. The Rational Mind unifies work in all of these areas for the first time.


1 Guided Tour
2 The Bayesian Model (Probabilism)
3 The Bayesian Theory of States: Critical Discussion
4 The Bayesian Transition Theory: Critical Discussion
5 The Belief Model (AGM)
6 Critical Discussion of the Belief Model
7 Conditional Commitment and the Ramsey Test
8 Puzzling about Epistemic Attitudes
9 Belief-First Epistemology
10 Credence-First Epistemology: Strengths and Challenges
11 Force-Based Attitudes
12 Force-Based Confidence at Work
13 Inference and Rationality


Scott Sturgeon is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. He has published numerous articles in journals such as Mind, Journal of Philosophy, Nous, Philosophers' Imprint, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. He is the author of Matters of Mind: Consciousness, Reason and Nature (Routledge 2001).