Rationality is the characteristic of thinking and acting optimally. An agent is rational if it wields its intelligence in such a way as to maximize the convergence between its beliefs and reality; and acts on these beliefs in such a manner as to maximize its chances of achieving whatever goals it has. For humans, this means mitigating (as much as possible) the influence of cognitive biases.
Epistemic rationality is that part of rationality which involves achieving accurate beliefs about the world. It involves updating on receiving new evidence, mitigating cognitive biases, and examining why you believe what you believe. Epistemic rationally can profitably be perceived as those cognitive operations that contribute to the INDUCTIVE uptake of data via perceptions, i.e., the gathering of evidence objectively so that it falls into natural patterns uninfluenced by the psychology of bias.
Instrumental rationality is concerned with achieving goals. More specifically, instrumental rationality is the art of choosing and implementing actions that steer the future toward outcomes ranked higher in one's preferences. Said preferences are not limited to 'selfish' preferences or unshared values; they include anything one cares about. Instrumental Rationality can profitably be perceived as those cognitive operations that contribute to the DEDUCTIVE evaluation of data via pattern recognition and the projection of principal into an assumed future, i.e., the coming to conclusions objectively by recognizing that patterns extend from past to future and are predictive.
- What Do We Mean By "Rationality"?
- The Martial Art of Rationality
- Your Rationality is My Business
- Why truth? And...
- All Less Wrong posts tagged "Rationality"