chapter  5
22 Pages

Reasoning and Intelligibility

WithJames P. Bennett, Stuart J. Thorson

Politics can be seen as a creative process in which events occur that are in most every sense novel. From this perspective, a remarkable feature of political life is that these events, though novel, are often intelligible to political practitioners. By "intelligible" is meant nothing more than that political practitioners can "make sense of" the events. Computational theories of politics typically begin by taking as a given the intelligibility of politics and then attempt to show how political choices, decisions, or events can be generated. Computational theories of politics typically begin by taking as a given the intelligibility of politics and then attempt to show how political choices, decisions, or events can be generated. Attempting to write a computer program for the recognition of deterrent acts—from the perspective of the would-be deterrer—helps us to identify those features that make the intelligibility of deterrence a problem.