pp 1–9

Contextual Debiasing and Critical Thinking: Reasons for Optimism


DOI: 10.1007/s11245-016-9388-x

Cite this article as:
Correia, V. Topoi (2016). doi:10.1007/s11245-016-9388-x


In this article I argue that most biases in argumentation and decision-making can and should be counteracted. Although biases can prove beneficial in certain contexts, I contend that they are generally maladaptive and need correction. Yet critical thinking alone seems insufficient to mitigate biases in everyday contexts. I develop a contextualist approach, according to which cognitive debiasing strategies need to be supplemented by extra-psychic devices that rely on social and environmental constraints in order to promote rational reasoning. Finally, I examine several examples of contextual debiasing strategies and show how they can contribute to enhance critical thinking at a cognitive level.


Biases Contextualism Critical thinking Debiasing Meliorism Rationality 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • SFRH/BPD/101744/2014

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ArgLab, IFILNOVA, Nova Institute of PhilosophyUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations