Rationalization enables cooperation and cultural evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion

1 Citation (Scopus)


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
Pages (from-to)e40
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


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