Rationalization enables cooperation and cultural evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion

Abstract

Cushman argues that the function of rationalization is to attribute mental representations to ourselves, thereby making these representations available for future planning. I argue that such attribution is often not necessary and sometimes maladaptive. I suggest a different explanation of rationalization: making representations available to other agents, to facilitate cooperation, transmission, and the ratchet effect that underlies cumulative cultural evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere40
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

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