Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Pinto, Robert C.,






In this thesis I consider a key problem in the theory of rationality, namely that as limited knowers we must set limits on the scope of our considerations. In Chapter I, I outline the problem: the need to draw certain kinds of cognitive limits in order to be rational and the special role that emotions play in that process. In Chapter II, I outline a theory of rationality. I do this by considering a number of views on rationality and epistemology and by pointing out their strengths and flaws in order to arrive at my own account of rationality. My own view emphasizes the problem of our limited capacity as "knowers" and how we can accept that and still pursue truth and knowledge. Central to this is the need to limit the search for evidence; we must accept our reasoning ability as limited and come to closure. In Chapter III I consider some prominent theories of emotion in order to understand what role they might contribute to a theory of rationality. In Chapter IV I consider de Sousa's arguments for the conclusion that emotions have an essential role in creating salience, and in so doing help us overcome (i) cognitive binds of indecision (Buridan's Ass) and (ii) the need to exclude possibly relevant evidence (the frame problem). I argue, against de Sousa, that emotion is not required to free us from a deterministic rationality yet agree with his speculation that emotion might help to solve cognitive binds by mimicking cognitive encapsulation.Dept. of Philosophy. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .M354. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0440. Adviser: Robert C. Pinto. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.