Again, the Evolution of Misbelief

Posted on July 30, 2009


A while ago I wrote a post commenting on an e-article by Ryan McKay and Dan Dennett. Since that time Ryan and Dan have, as I expected, put a lot of work into that thing and it is now about to be published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  Ever since I was introduced to that journal by Werner (only two years ago, it is my shame to reveal), my respect for it has grown. Given these pieces of information it should be possible to infer my reaction upon finding out this morning that BBS has accepted my offer to comment on the McKay/Dennett article.

The word limit for BBS comments is 1000 words, which is not a lot of space to make even a single point well. I’ll be trying to make two. The first will be to point the significance of the degree to which a belief is open to investigation upon whether a misbelief can become functional. The second will be to argue that the authors really need to make much fuller use of bounded rationality theory as that is the account of reason that really explains systematic misbelief.