• 180 Proof
    8.4k
    And your point is –?
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    And your point is –?180 Proof

    Be practical-minded! Get the hell out of ivory towers!
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    Non sequitur. :confused:
  • Olento
    10
    Or does it correspond to reality because our observed physical reality seems to follow some level of consistency as well?Paulm12

    Maybe our reason is mathematical, or logical by nature, and we just observe what we can, and that's why the particular reality as it appears to us behaves consistently. Thus, the reason is circular in a way that we find what our brain can find, we understand the universe the way our brain work. To me it looks like this tells nothing about the reality outside our subjective understanding.

    In the 17th century, we explained the universe as gigantic, mechanistic clockwork, all was backed up with our mathematics and we could verify our theories with measurements. Then we ran into some troubles but fixed that with some more mathematics. Now we can model objects that we cannot see with our ever sophisticated mathematics, and run tests in vast particle accelerator machines, and the universe seems to be happily following along. We just keep on solving anomalies with some more mathematics, and developing more sophisticated models. And all this grows out of basic logic our brain starts to build when we grow up. Me, not-me. Me, mother. One and the Many. What if the reality can be whatever, we just don't know any other way to break it up.

    This sounds like Kant, and I'm not very proud of it. I mean it's 2022, I should know better.
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    Science can't offer a reason for existence. The magical appearance of something out of complete nothing is reason-devoid and as such an irrational explanation.Hillary

    True. But science is just one expression of reason. I wrote an explanation about the origin of existence using reason here https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12098/a-first-cause-is-logically-necessary/p1 But to the point of the OP, what do you think reason is, and should we trust it?
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    In this case, the idea of “reason” I had in mind were things like modus ponens, avoiding what are defined as local fallacies, drawing conclusions from new or existing information, etc. But it is a sort of fuzzy concept IMO.Paulm12

    Yeah, it can be difficult to define. In your case, I think you're viewing reason as logic. While I think logic is used with reason, it is not necessarily equivalent. I want to say logic is the result of reason, whereas reason is the process by which logic is understood and acquired. One can have reason, but never have learned formal logic. Still, you may want to edit the OP and add in specifically that you mean logic while the topic is still new. Its a good topic!
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    But to the point of the OP, what do you think reason is, and should we trust itPhilosophim

    If I want to know the reason of existence, I wanna know why there is a universe with life in it. A physical mechanism offers no answer to that question. I think I have a reasinable(!) cosmological model, but that still offers no reason. It just can't have come into existence out of the blue. There has to be a reason, an intention, a purpose, to let it appear from nothing. That reason offer gods. And power of creation was used. Took them a while though to invent the basic structure, like it took me 15 years to find the model. So the reason for lifee is not to pass on genes or memes (which is circular and based on the unproven central dogma in molecular biology), to sing, to perform, do science, dance, sport or paint, etc. Science can't explain it. All these activities are disenchanted by science. Gods bring back the wonder.
  • Philosophim
    1.2k
    If I want to know the reason of existence, I wanna know why there is a universe with life in it. I think I have a reasonable(!) cosmological model, but that still offers no reason. It just can't have come into existence out of the blue.Hillary

    That's a fair and great point. I first want to say, because it is not said enough on these boards, that is a fine thing to want. It is not stupid or deserves derision that you have a desire for such answers. I might be derailing the thread here, but I find this important.

    The conclusion I make is that it did all come out of the blue. That is necessarily came out of the blue. But that's not important here. What's important here is to ask yourself why the circumstances of your existence necessitate how you must exist? Lets say a person is raised in a drug dealing household. Does that necessitate they must become drug dealers? No. What if an evil God created humanity? Must you necessarily be evil if you have a rational mind? No.

    The power that you hold may be shaped by the circumstances that caused your existence to be, but they do not necessitate what you do today, or in your future. The power of philosophy and reason is to examine the things we take for granted in a new light, and find freedom in breaking free of unreasonable circumstances or societal pressures. It is not to destroy wonder, it is to restore wonder, curiosity, and an understanding of our freedom.

    The purpose you serve today, is to be what you are today. To discover, solve problems, experience joy, sadness, comfort, hardship etc. It is to live. And if you are one of the lucky few who thinks about it, you can work to live how you want to live in the now of today and tomorrow. Find your passions, your drives, and what makes you feel alive and pursue that. Be the person that on their death bed does not look at regret with what they did not do in their short time here on Earth.

    And if you don't mind, consider that there are a lot of us also trying to do this. So don't hurt us unnecessarily in your pursuit. Maybe offer a little consideration when we fail or stumble, and some short praise and admiration when we reach it. We will offer it back in kind, and hopefully make the world a better place for us all.
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    In honesty: :clap:
    Great words! Which shows their power!

    I agree the reason or purpose for live is life itself, with all ups and downs (I experience both rather extremely, if you know what I mean), and the things you mentioned. And in this light gods disappear into thin air indeed. Still, all the great things in life, like painting, photography, dance, love, physics, etc. get a kind of load then in the sense that science can't explain them.

    Thanks for your great comment!
  • Harry Hindu
    4.8k
    Reason, while misusable and in some respects is inadequate for adapting to reality, works better – more reliably, more defeasibly – than all of the alternatives.
    — 180 Proof
    Harry Hindu
    Yes. And there must be a reason for this.Harry Hindu
    More than that it works – why?180 Proof
    You tell me. What makes something work vs. not work, or more reliable vs less reliable?
  • Joshs
    3.2k
    Still, all the great things in life, like painting, photography, dance, love, physics, etc. get a kind of load then in the sense that science can't explain them.Hillary

    It seems to me that the kind of science that offers an alternative to mechanism, panpsychism or animism in explaining the origin and nature of the physical world must spring from a philosophy that does the same. One would not expect to find such a philosophy in Kant or earlier thinkers, but Hegel would appear to have inaugurated a new era with his evolutionary dialectic. Marx’s dialectical materialism, Bergson’s creative evolution, elan vital and lived duration , the phenomenologists’ thing in itself , Heidegger’s Being in the world , Deleuze’s difference and Derrida’s differance all point to creative becoming as the basis of both living and inorganic processes. If one still wants to post gods as the source of this becoming , they would have to be much less interesting and powerful than the sort of gods that the Kantians and pre-kantian philosophers needed in order to explain the difference between the living and the inorganic. The radically relativist philosophers in particular not only remove the gap between life and non-life, they also remove the idea of purpose and reason as anything more than contingent values. This does t leave much for a god to do.
  • bongo fury
    1.3k
    In other words, what are our reasons for trusting reason?Paulm12

    Without it our sentences wouldn't face the tribunal of experience as a corpus but only individually. Reason binds them together.

    Or does it correspond to realityPaulm12

    Not on any grand scale, no.
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    Adequacy of means to ends.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.8k
    Adequacy of means to ends.180 Proof
    Around and around we go.

    You tell me. What makes something work vs. not work, or more reliable vs less reliable?Harry Hindu
    In saying that something works or is reliable is also saying it is adequate, so what makes something work vs. not work, reliable vs. unreliable or adequate vs. inadequate if it does contains some element of truth vs. false - as in it follows from what is the case vs. what is not the case?
  • Paulm12
    67

    Very good point, I think logic would have been a better way to say it. For instance, I was taking the 2nd definition of reason (not the noun one) that says
    the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic
    I will update.
    In order to use logic to understand our world, we in some way have to assume our world is logically intelligible and predictable.
  • javra
    1.7k
    Or does it correspond to reality — Paulm12

    Not on any grand scale, no.
    bongo fury

    Question: For the principle that “a claim about X cannot both be true and false at the same time and in the same respect” to hold (given that “true” is “conformant to that which is real”), how is it not inevitable that the principle “the reality of X or any of its properties cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect” must also hold?

    This on the grandest of scales ... I'll add that the answer should preferably withhold from entering realms of Cartesian Skepticism.

    The first principle pertains to what can result from psyches, the second to what is ontic; both, however, being covered by the Aristotelian principle of noncontradiction – which, tmk, is foundational to all consistent logic.

    Hence, for one example: if a claim about X can both be true and false at the same time and in the same respect, then the reality of X or any of its properties must be able to both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. Yet this latter state of affairs doesn’t specify the world as we know it day to day.

    I will update.
    In order to use logic to understand our world, we in some way have to assume our world is logically intelligible and predictable.
    Paulm12

    Yes. I'm in agreement with this.
  • javra
    1.7k


    Neglected the question of what our reason for trusting reason is, else what our logic for trusting logic is. Yes, reason is rationally baseless - founded on infinite regress, circularity, or ad hoc dictums - and so forth. But I’ll argue that, we are existentially determined to so trust reasoning on grounds that we have no other choice but to so trust. Even if the specific form our reason/logic takes is, for example, that of dialethism, it is yet there. As is also the case with our possible mistrust of reason/logic: we can only accomplish this mistrust via use of some reason/logic which we innately trust.
  • litewave
    651
    In other words, what our our reasons for trusting reason/logic?Paulm12

    Basically, to trust logic means to trust that a thing is what it is and is not what it is not. Logic is just an elaboration of the principle of identity or non-contradiction. Whether we understand or perceive the thing correctly is another matter.
  • Relativist
    1.7k
    IMO, reason is a concept grounded in truth and meaning. A statement carries meaning, and is a bearer of truth value. Various qualifiers and connectives carry meaning that affects statement truth value in well defined ways. We reason by applying these meanings consistently. Consequently,I see no metaphysical mysteries associated with reasoning, other than the "hard problem" of consciousness.
  • bongo fury
    1.3k
    the reality of X or any of its propertiesjavra

    Properties and relations are where correspondence gets too grand for me. They are too much like verbs and adjectives to be plausible as contenders for ontological commitment along with X, Y and Z. And they aren't required for asserting truths about X, Y and Z.
  • Janus
    12.2k
    Reason is inescapable in the context of discursive thinking insofar as to question reason, reason is required.
  • javra
    1.7k
    I see that as rephrasing of what I affirmed. Am I missing something?
  • Janus
    12.2k
    No ,sorry, I should have added 'yes' or 'right' to indicate that I was agreeing with you.
  • javra
    1.7k
    :smile: :up:
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    Reason, while misusable and in some respects is inadequate for adapting to reality, works better – more reliably, more defeasibly – than all of the alternatives.
    — 180 Proof
    Yes. And there must be a reason for this.
    Harry Hindu
    :roll: Once more, explicitly, for the slow ones way in the back ...
    Reason is inescapable in the context of discursive thinking insofar as to question reason, reason is required.Janus
    :clap: :100: Thanks! (Harry needs this spoon-feeding.)
  • javra
    1.7k
    the reality of X or any of its properties — javra

    Properties and relations are where correspondence gets too grand for me. They are too much like verbs and adjectives to be plausible as contenders for ontological commitment along with X, Y and Z. And they aren't required for asserting truths about X, Y and Z.
    bongo fury

    I kind of want to ask, though a bit off topic: a property of liquid water (not ice or steam) is that it's wet. I can sort of see the argument that wetness is subjectivity dependent, hence mind-dependent, hence not "objective" in the sense of mind-independence. Still, would you be arguing that the wetness of water does not correspond to reality? If so, on the grounds that I've just mentioned? (Probably won't argue with your answer; just curious.)
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    Obviously if we are doing philosophy, we try to use reason/rationality to make an argument and avoid contradictions. However is reason simply, as the postmodernists would argue, just another normative way of looking at the world that creates a power structure?

    Note that I’m using reason as defined as:
    the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic

    Or does it correspond to reality because our observed physical reality seems to follow some level of consistency as well? In order to use logic to understand our world, we in some way have to assume our world is logically intelligible and predictable.

    In other words, what our our reasons for trusting reason/logic?
    Paulm12

    Not sure that ‘by a process of logic’ is quite correct. Reason and rationality are not identical. Reason is at least capable of acknowledging the limitations of logic, whereas rationality excludes affect, rendering logic ‘absolute’.

    We ‘trust’ logic due to affect, or irrational desire for a systematic order and predictability to reality - a fear of uncertainty.
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