to be or not to be rational (podcast)
To Be or Not To Be (Rational)!? - SciPhi
to be or not to be rational (podcast)

The Rationality Thesis

We take a look at the rationality thesis and delve into the rationality debate asking; are humans rational creatures that make performance errors or irrational creatures that sometimes demonstrate rationality?

Dave talks about slides in this stream which you can find here:

To Be or Not Be Rational – The Video

This Podcast was from our Live Video Stream. If you prefer to watch than listen, check out the below:

Watch this video on YouTube.
  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 06:05 – Start of slides
  • 08:11 – What is the Rationality Debate?
  • 11:59 – What is the Rationality Thesis?
  • 12:54 – Experiments in rationality
  • 14:09 – The Standard Picture
  • 16:17 – The Linda Experiment
  • 22:15 – The Wason Selection Test
  • 25:29 – Rationality experiment results
  • 29:52 – Man is irrational
  • 32:49 – Man is rational
  • 36:36 – Pessimist and Optimist Commitments
  • 38:05 – Irrational or Arational?
  • 49:27 – Competency and Performance Errors
  • 56:17 – Mistakes or ability?
  • 1:02:58 – Modus Ponens Principle
  • 1:05:53 – The Conjuction Principle
  • 1:07:14 – Thinkin about the brain thinking
  • 1:07:58 – Cognitive Heuristics
  • 1:11:21 – Cognitive Modules
  • 1:13:55 – Cognitive Kludges
  • 1:15:28 – Cognitive biases
  • 1:18:50 – Empirical, or conceptual?
  • 1:24:46 – Sosa and Galloway
  • 1:33:23 – Chater and Oaksford’s Everyday Rationality
  • 1:37:19 – Chater and Oaksford’s Formal Rationality
  • 1:39:39 – David Papineau’s Wide Rationality
  • 1:46:30 – David Paineau’s Epistemic Rationality
  • 1:52:13 – A little bit of discussion

If you have any questions, want us to go into more detail about something, corrections, critique etc. feel free to leave us a message either under the article/video/podcast on the site, on YouTube, or feel free to DM us on one of our social media accounts.

Want to Watch us Live?

You can watch us live on:

SciPhi Show

The Published SciPhi Show can be found in the following YouTube playlist:

SciPhi Shortz!

We’ve just started a new project called SciPhi Shortz! Essentially 5-15 minute videos going over the basics of a topic in a way that might be more digestible to people that would like to watch the streams, but don’t have 2 hours, so they can dip in and out to the bits that interest them!

SciPhi Highlights

Don’t have time for the longer streams? We’ve got you covered. We created a playlist of various clips and highlights from the stream. These are a combination of interesting segments, jokes and funny bits, questions from the audience and times when we stack it and think you deserve a laugh at our expense.

Fresh AiR Podcast

The Fresh AiR Podcast is still going strong and can be heard in a number of outlets.

For the full experience, we suggest the website: as we provide a number of links to various resources discussed in the article, however, can be seen on a number of podcast outlets such as:  iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podplayer  – and we are not limited to these either, just search for Answers in Reason or Fresh AiR in your favourite podcast syndication.

Fresh AiR Videos!

Whilst the SciPhi show is quick live videos discussing relevant and current topics, with Season 3 we tried a few different things with Fresh AiR, inclusive of videos taking people through concepts.

These can be found both on the site, and in this YouTube playlist:


At Answers in Reason we provide all our content to you for free, but we do have server costs and would love to be in a position to provide you content more regularly than we do.

As such we have started a Patreon page.

Each Tier has the benefits of the previous tier plus additional benefits

Tier 1 provides basic access to the community. 

Here you will see any of our private blog posts, memes, and anything else we share just to our Patreon. You also get basic access to our discord server.

Tier 2 gives early access

Before we release our articles and podcasts to the public, you get access as soon as they are produced. 

Josh wearing an AiR T-Shirt (Answers in Reason)
One of our patrons, Josh, modelling his lovely AiR T-Shirt

Tier 3 gives enhanced access

We will give you the podcast server address with the ability to listen in to the conversation live, and message us whilst on AiR.

You will receive access to the podcasts before they have been edited. The raw show, including any faux pas, and none of the after-show additions like the soundbytes.

You will also get enhanced access on the discord server, and be allowed to join us on the SciPhi streams. (Subject to availability, we don’t want to crash the server)

And lastly, we will send you an AiR T-shirt after 3 months of membership.

Tier 4 gives pro access

As a dedicated fan, we not only give you all the above (plus free delivery on the AiR T-Shirt World Wide) and additional exclusive content but also we have a circa 30 minute interview, finding out about your life and interests, and what you hope to gain from the community.

There will also be additional gifts from time to time, clothing, mugs, etc. 

Tier 5 gives the Apex of Access

You get all the previous benefits PLUS you get to suggest and cohost a topic for Fresh AiR. (The topic does have to be running with the theme of Fresh AiR, e.g. a Philosophical/Scientific angle of sorts)

Tiers may be subject to review and change in future if required, but you will always be informed in advance.