Many things have been called rational, or irrational, as the case may be, including beliefs, actions, desires, and persons. Of these, perhaps the two that have received most attention are belief and action. Discussions about the rationality of belief fall under the domain of theoretical rationality and those concerning the rationality of action under practical rationality.

Theoretical Rationality

Theoretical rationality is often called “epistemic” rationality, since it is concerned with the question of obtaining knowledge. An agent can be said to know that p only if, apart from believing that p and p being true, she is able to give reasons for her belief that p. Theoretical rationality hence can be understood as the capacity of cognitive agents that allows them to adopt beliefs about the world ...

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