Debunking myths of reason

  • There is no single, universal rationality. Rationality is a consensus of a group on how to think and act. There are many different rationalities.
  • Rationality cannot exist without unsupportable, foundational beliefs
  • The term ‘irrational’ is often used to imply ‘mad’ and to dismiss one’s interlocutor rather than to engage them with sensible arguments, sincerity and an open mind
  • Richard Rorty defines allegations of irrationality as affirmations of vernacular “otherness”, and so accusations of irrationality are not only brushed aside, but are expected during any argument. (From the Wikipedia article bearing his name).
  • Rationality has boundaries and is therefore inherently close-minded
  • ‘Rationality is on our side’ has replaced ‘God is on our side’
  • ‘I am being rational, my interlocutor is being subjective’
  • Thinking my beliefs rational can be a specious way of enchanting them with divine authority
  • Rationality is more often than not prejudiced and that prejudice is hidden in language and the limitations of the conceptual framework
  • One man’s rationality is another man’s sophistry
  • Rational can be code for pretentious, irrelevant mental-masturbation
  • Rationality can be merely imperialist subjectivity
  • Rationality does not infer reasonableness
  • Rationality can mean following the herd and adopting views of the culture against your better instrincts
  • Rationality is often just pragmatism given undue prestige
  • A rational soul? Point to it or stop the fantasy
  • Reason is but rationalisation of the non-rational
  • Rationality is merely saying ‘I know that I know’
  • In a meaningless universe, everything and anything can be said to be rational, so long as you have the power to coerce such a belief

Don’t get me started on ‘analytic’…

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2 Responses to “Debunking myths of reason”

  1. Why philosophers still don’t get emotions « Behold the man Says:

    […] *For a collection of assorted rants against this specious concept, see Debunking myths of reason […]

  2. The Self Does Not Exist « Behold the man Says:

    […] (with genetic disposition) that it does exist. Although I could try to fool myself through ‘reason’ that I have no self-experience, my senses would not oblige. More to the point, the self is not […]

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