more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 6951

[catalogued under 18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 5. Rationality / a. Rationality]

Full Idea

Ordinary rationality is generally conservative, in the sense that you start from where you are, with your present beliefs and intentions.

Gist of Idea

Ordinary rationality is conservative, starting from where your beliefs currently are


Gilbert Harman (Rationality [1995], 1.3)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Reasoning Meaning and Mind' [OUP 1999], p.23

A Reaction

This stands opposed to the Cartesian or philosophers' rationality, which requires that (where possible) everything be proved from scratch. Harman seems right, that the normal onus of proof is on changing beliefs, rather proving you should retain them.