Agency without rationality
pp. 265-280in: Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi, Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds), Eva Picardi on language, analysis and history, Berlin, Springer, 2018
In the chapter I suggest that epistemic rationality should not be seen as a condition for intentional agency, but rather as an aspiration. Common failures of epistemic rationality in agents, such as conservatism, superstition, and prejudice, do not prevent us from interpreting and predicting those agents' behaviour on the basis of their intentional states. In some circumstances, including confabulatory explanations and optimistically biased beliefs, instances of epistemic irrationality are instrumental to agents developing an illusion of competence and coherence, and thereby sustain the agents' motivation it pursue their goals.