From “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds” in the New Yorker:
Humans’ biggest advantage over other species is our ability to coöperate. Coöperation is difficult to establish and almost as difficult to sustain. For any individual, freeloading is always the best course of action. Reason developed not to enable us to solve abstract, logical problems or even to help us draw conclusions from unfamiliar data; rather, it developed to resolve the problems posed by living in collaborative groups.
“Reason is an adaptation to the hypersocial niche humans have evolved for themselves,” Mercier and Sperber write. Habits of mind that seem weird or goofy or just plain dumb from an “intellectualist” point of view prove shrewd when seen from a social “interactionist” perspective.
Central to my thesis on the homo collaborance is human’s ability to cooperate based on many mechanisms. One of the central abilities is the adaptation of our individual brain it self, and hence its (in)ability to reason.
“The Enigma of Reason” (Harvard), Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber