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Jun 1, 2004
Been wondering about rationality recently. What does it mean to say that someone is rational? What could rationality possibly be about?

Below are a few alternatives to consider:

1) Rationality is the ability to reason in such a way as to end up believing true propositions more often than not.

2) Rationality is the ability to avoid having inconsistent beliefs to the greatest degree possible.

3) To be rational is to follow (either implicitly or explicitly) the prodedures of (formal and/or informal) logic in one's reasoning.

4) To be rational is to believe, in addition to one's beliefs, the propositions that are implied by the propositions one believes.

5) Someone is rational if and only if they act more often than not in accord with their beliefs.

6) Saying that someone is rational is merely the same thing as saying that one agrees with what they believe.

7) 'Rationality' and its cognates are words whose sole use is to claim power or privelege in a discourse.

Mix and match if you like, but be forewarned-- I'm not sure all of these are compatible with one another. I'd be interested to see which of these you all favor and for what reasons. I'd be even more interested in seeing proposals that I haven't thought of!
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