Seminar: 11/9 - Sherri Roush
11:00 to 12:30 PM at:
Department of Philosophy, UC Berkeley
What is Reasoning Good For?
It is possible to have beliefs that are reliably correlated with the
world without being able to talk informatively about this fact. In perception
this may be the rule rather than the exception. Why then should we have an
ability to reason about our beliefs, and convince ourselves that we are right
about them? I argue that this reasoning has a function that is also carried out
at the basic perceptual level through self-monitoring that does not use
reasoning or consciousness. This function is calibration, the attunement of
one's degree of belief in p to one's track record of reliability in making
judgments about p-like matters. I argue that the function of calibration, in
turn, is pre-emptive self-correction, the adjustment of your belief-states
before the world punishes you for being wrong.