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Contextual Debiasing and Critical Thinking: Reasons for Optimism

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Biases Contextualism Critical thinking Debiasing Meliorism Rationality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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

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