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Title:Historicity of Understanding: Why Making a Decision Involves More Than Decision-Making [slide set]
Author(s):Bruce, Bertram C.
Community Informatics
Decision making
Abstract:This is the slide set for a presentation of a chapter to appear in Comparative Decision Making, edited by Philip Crowley & Thomas Zentall, published by Oxford University Press. Abstract for the chapter: Aristotle developed the classic ideal of the thinker as an individual, distinctly human decision maker. That view resonates through the Western tradition to this day. However, recent research calls it into question: Is there support now for the Continuity hypothesis--that decision making is a property of diverse complex systems, living and artificial, even of collectives and networks, or instead for the Punctuation hypothesis--that human decision making stands apart from whatever it is that other complex systems do? And what about rationality, a third component of the classic ideal? To what extent is decision making a rational process and what does that imply for Continuity versus Punctuation? This paper explores these questions, drawing from empirical research, from models in sociology and cognitive science, and from philosophy, especially pragmatism. It concludes with a "yes, but": Yes, we need to reject the classic ideal, and instead consider some form of the Continuity hypothesis; but we need a richer view of decision making, which recognizes the historicity of understanding.
Issue Date:2011-05-15
Citation Info:Bruce, Bertram C. (2011, May 15). Historicity of Understanding: Why making a decision involves more than decision-making [slide presentation]. Presented at International Conference on Comparative Decision Making, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, May, 13-15, 2011.
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-17

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