Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory

@article{Mercier2011WhyDH,
  title={Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory},
  author={Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  year={2011},
  volume={34},
  pages={57 - 74}
}
Abstract Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their… 
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The Argumentative Theory: Predictions and Empirical Evidence
  • H. Mercier
  • Philosophy
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2016
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