Session Title

Irrationality as a Fruitful Methodology (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe

Organizer Name

Deanna Forsman

Organizer Affiliation

North Hennepin Community College

Presider Name

William Schipper

Presider Affiliation

Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland

Paper Title 1

Panelist

Presenter 1 Name

Deanna Forsman

Paper Title 2

Panelist

Presenter 2 Name

Jennifer Jordan

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Stony Brook Univ.

Paper Title 3

Panelist

Presenter 3 Name

Richard Scott Nokes

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Troy Univ.

Paper Title 4

Panelist

Presenter 4 Name

Larry Swain

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Bemidji State Univ.

Paper Title 5

Panelist

Presenter 5 Name

Silas Mallery

Presenter 5 Affiliation

North Hennepin Community College

Start Date

11-5-2014 8:30 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1220

Description

As scholars of the Middle Ages, we attempt to understand and explain human behavior in the past. Often, we favor explanations that stem from reason, even though modern social science demonstrates that while groups have relatively predictable behavior, that of an individual need not be so. The purpose of this roundtable is to spark a discussion around the idea of the irrationality of human behavior, and to explore the possibility of using irrationality as a fruitful methodology of inquiry and explanation. Can we have meaningful discussions about the past if we assume that not all thought processes, decisions, and behaviors were rational?

Deanna D. Forsman

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May 11th, 8:30 AM

Irrationality as a Fruitful Methodology (A Roundtable)

Schneider 1220

As scholars of the Middle Ages, we attempt to understand and explain human behavior in the past. Often, we favor explanations that stem from reason, even though modern social science demonstrates that while groups have relatively predictable behavior, that of an individual need not be so. The purpose of this roundtable is to spark a discussion around the idea of the irrationality of human behavior, and to explore the possibility of using irrationality as a fruitful methodology of inquiry and explanation. Can we have meaningful discussions about the past if we assume that not all thought processes, decisions, and behaviors were rational?

Deanna D. Forsman