The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation

Front Cover
MIT Press, 1990 - Psychology - 181 pages
2 Reviews
From Descartes to Popper, philosophers have criticized and tried to improve the strategies of reasoning invoked in science and in everyday life. In recent years leading cognitive psychologists have painted a detailed, controversial, and highly critical portrait of common sense reasoning. Stephen Stich begins with a spirited defense of this work and a critique of those writers who argue that widespread irrationality is a biological or conceptual impossibility.

Stich then explores the nature of rationality and irrationality: What is it that distinguishes good reasoning from bad? He rejects the most widely accepted approaches to this question approaches which unpack rationality by appeal to truth, to reflective equilibrium or conceptual analysis. The alternative he defends grows out of the pragmatic tradition in which reasoning is viewed as a cognitive tool. Stich's version of pragmatism leads to a radical epistemic relativism and he argues that the widespread abhorrence of relativism is ill founded.

Stephen Stich is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and author of From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation

User Review  - Steffi - Goodreads

Lovely debunking of the value of truth and logical reasoning. Great support for relativist philosophies. Read full review

Review: The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation

User Review  - Jennifer - Goodreads

I think Stich and me have a mind meld going. This book was great! Read full review

About the author (1990)

Stephen P. Stich is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, where his current research interests are in Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. His publications include "From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science" (1983), "The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation "(1990) and "Deconstructing the Mind" (1996). He has written articles in the area of Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Language, and Epistemology.

Ted A. Warfield is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where his current research interests are in Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, and Metaphysics. His publications include "Mental Representation: A Reader" (1994; co-edited with Stephen Stich) and "Skepticism" (co-edited with K. DeRose). He has written articles on Determinism, Moral Responsibility, Human Freedom, and Knowledge.

[

Bibliographic information