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Why do humans reason? (RCCR Summer Seminar Series)

Why do humans reason? Hugo Mercier
Hugo Mercier is a research scientist at the CNRS (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris), where his work with the Evolution and Social Cognition team and the Collective Intelligence team has focused on two main topics: The function and workings of reasoning (see The Enigma of Reason) and How we evaluate communicated information (see Not Born Yesterday).

This seminar is part of The Reading Centre for Cognition Research’s 2021 Summer Seminar Series: Understanding ourselves and others: reasoning and rationality

The aim of this seminar series is to explore these newer approaches to reasoning and rationality, looking at cutting edge work in the area and asking what these moves might tell us about how we go about understanding the actions of others and ourselves.

A standard picture of humans as generally ordered and orderly thinkers has come under significant pressure in recent years, in particular from the work of Kahneman and others who have stressed our susceptibility to a range of cognitive traps (such as framing or bias). Although the claim commonly associated with this school of thought – that we are ‘predictably irrational’, in Ariely’s phrase – has been rejected by many, even those who seek to defend our status as good reasoners often suggest a more complex and potentially messy set of processes, mechanisms and features than those standardly appealed to in classic folk psychological approaches.

All welcome!

If you have any questions, please email Emma Borg e.g.n.borg@reading.ac.uk

Microsoft Teams meeting – join here



11 May 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Dr Emma Borg


Microsoft Teams