We must not forget that the scope of practical reason, which covers problem solving and decision making, is certainly a field that requires a multidisciplinary treatment, with valuable contributions being made from specific areas.
We can include here a range of scientific, deeply interrelated disciplines, commonly known under the common term of cognitive science: different disciplines centras in the description and explanation of the mechanisms of thought, especially, but not only, human, and more general all complex treatment system able to acquire information, retain, use and transmit knowledge. In our case, we focus mainly on what refers to solving problems by humans. The list that follows is not exhaustive, but indicative.
- Psychology: addresses the process that allow us to achieve goals we set at any given time. The process includes awareness of the problem, define and formulate and finally resolve it. That implies a high level of complex thought while proper management of feelings.
- Neuroscience: a specific branch is dedicated to studying the neural substrates underlying cognitive processes.
- Cognitive Linguistics: interprets the language in terms of concepts and analyzes the close relationship between language and cognition, emphasizing their mutual influences.
- Computer Science: cover the theoretical foundations of information and computation, with various specific areas of particular importance in the resolution of problems: theories of information, data analysis, analysis of algorithms, expert systems and artificial intelligence…
Along with the cognitive sciences, we note another large group under the generic title science of the human behavior (including social science). Human behavior, both descriptive and normative approaches, has received special attention:
- Economic analysis of human behavior, as part of microeconomics trying to find both behavioral patterns of humans and guide the way to solve problems making decisions, more specifically, consumer theory.
- Social Anthropology, related to approaches from ethology and evolutionary psychology and social psychology, trying to understand human behavior within the overall framework of the behavior of all living beings who seek to solve problems maximizing strategies of survival and reproduction.
- Sociology and political science: research, largely normative part, look for adequate procedures to resolve social conflicts and develop strategies for mediation.
The third block is constituted by the philosophical disciplines grouped under the general heading of ethics or moral philosophy, with also the important contribution of the study of argumentation. This block is, of somehow common core that allows articulate all the work of the center. In the broad field of ethics, it is important to consider some key issues:
- A reflection on the specifics of the moral field, emphasizing the values that guide the behavior of human beings are. This requires a comparative analysis of the different values that guide mankind has been developed and are now in force and a reflection on the capacity of perception of moral values at stake in each moment of human life. The family and phenomenological approaches are of great value to further the field of securities.
- A reflection on the moral argument, or the role that reason plays in the foundation of values and problem solving and decision making. In this field the hermeneutic-critical method, the contributions of casuistry (study cases we dealt with problems and moral dilemmas) and historical-experimental method are important hiring the results obtained by the different moral proposals to solve problems, with special attention to the relationship between means and ends and the assessment of the consequences of the decisions taken.
- A reflection on the formation of morally educated people, which involves defining the core competencies of the moral personality. It encompassing what is traditionally understood as character formation or formation of virtues, while behavioral habits that reinforce a morally good behavior.