No rationality through brute-force

Danilo Fraga Dantas


All reasoners described in the most widespread models of a rational reasoner exhibit logical omniscience, which is impossible for finite reasoners (real reasoners). The most common strategy for dealing with the problem of logical omniscience is to interpret the models using a notion of beliefs different from explicit beliefs. For example, the models could be interpreted as describing the beliefs that the reasoner would hold if the reasoner were able reason indefinitely (stable beliefs). Then the models would describe maximum rationality, which a finite reasoner can only approach in the limit of a reasoning sequence. This strategy has important consequences for epistemology. If a finite reasoner can only approach maximum rationality in the limit of a reasoning sequence, then the efficiency of reasoning is epistemically (and not only pragmatically) relevant. In this paper, I present an argument to this conclusion and discuss its consequences, as, for example, the vindication of the principle ‘no rationality through brute-force’.

Keywords: finite reasoning, logical omniscience, efficient reasoning, asymptotic analysis, computational complexity.

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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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