Bounded rationality"When intelligence explores unfamiliar domains, it falls back on "weak methods" which are independent of domain knowledge."Herbert Simon put forward the concept of bounded rationality, but little explication is available outside the professional literature. Simon assumed that individuals act rationally, but are limited by knowledge. Simon's major interest was organizations. No individual member of an organization possesses all the knowledge of the organization. For example a research person charged with developing a new product might have excellent ideas, but limited (bounded) knowledge of how customers would use the product and also limited knowledge of manufacturing quirks. Successful organizations integrate these individual (bounded) types of knowledge.
Herbert SimonAre creationists rational?
One can also view public perceptions of evolution (science) from the perspective of bounded rationality. The average person has little concept of the experimental nature and theoretical structure of science, the history of biology, the wide range of organisms that populate Earth, the nature of and evidence for geological time or the nature of biological variation. In the absence of such knowledge creationism is plausible and rationalizing is a satisfactory method for defending the position.
The lesson from Simon's perspective is that one needs broad knowledge to begin with along with the ability to recognize limitations and extend knowledge by consulting others with broader or more specialized knowledge. The larger lesson is that successful societies must utilize and integrate specialist knowledge. The road to societal success is developing specialist knowledge (high quality education) and successfully integrating it (high quality management).
Satisficing, Motivated reasoning