• Bob Ross
    772
    Although moral facts may not exist and—even if they did—are useless, epistemic normative facts exists; for epistemology has a hypothetical imperative as its precondition: that one ought to gain knowledge. Thusly, one is already committing themselves to “knowing the world” when they engage in epistemology, and there are objectively better ways of “knowing”: there are epistemic normative fact-of-the-matters which are better for “knowing”.

    Although I cannot claim to have discovered all epistemic normative facts (and I am confident there are probably many more), here are some that I think are quite plausibly such:

    1. Intuitions (i.e., intellectual seemings): one ought to take as true what intellectual strikes them as being the case unless sufficient evidence has been prevented that demonstrates the invalidity of it.

    2. Parsimony (i.e., Occam’s Razor): entities ought not be multiplied without necessity.

    3. Coherence: the belief (in question) should cohere adequately with one’s higher-prioritized beliefs about the world.

    4. (Logical) Consistency: there ought not be logical contradictions in the belief nor in contrast to higher-prioritized beliefs.

    The first epistemic norm (i.e,. #1 above) is, I would say, inevitably circularly justified—like reason in general: I use it because I absolutely have to irregardless; and it is the grounds for the others. For example, it strikes me as the case that it is objectively better to explain a phenomena without extraneous conceptual details when one is committed to gaining knowledge about the world.

    Contrary to what I have argued in past (with some members of this here forum), I think that, in light of this, “rationality”, in the sense of “acting in a manner that agrees with reality”, can be objectively grounded insofar as the hypothetical imperative (of knowing the world) is a presupposition of epistemology and thusly not within it; and so “rationality”, which in the sense defined (above) is deeply rooted in epistemic principles, is grounded in the objective epistemic norms.

    Thoughts?
  • wonderer1
    971
    1. Intuitions (i.e., intellectual seemings): one ought to take as true what intellectual strikes them as being the case unless sufficient evidence has been prevented that demonstrates the invalidity of it.Bob Ross

    I have a more complicated perspective on intuitions.

    Intuition is foundational to our thought and taking intuitions as true is something we do as fast thinking on autopilot. Being creatures that sometimes need to act quickly in emergencies, we sometimes need to act on intuitions without questioning them.

    That said, there is a lot of epistemic value in questioning/testing intuitions when we have the luxury of doing so, because over the long term our intuitions can evolve to new and better intuitions as a consequence of such questioning/testing.

    Another way of looking at intuitions, is as being the conclusions we jump to, and I expect we all have experience with jumping to wrong conclusions and can recognize value in reducing the frequency with which we jump to wrong conclusions.

    I'm a big advocate for honing one's intuitions, and leaving that honing to other people's presentation of contradictory evidence seems excessively passive to me. An ability to refine one's intutions over time seems to me to be fairly crucial to philosophy and science, and inability to learn from philosophy and science looks looks to me as if it is strongly tied to an inability or unwillingness to question one's intuitions.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    I appreciate your response! Everything you said I found to be fair enough!

    I was not meaning to imply that the evidence against one's intuitions must come from beyond oneself; as I agree that one should be actively trying to "attack" their own intuitions. However, they will only be able to critique their intuitions, or even change their minds, by accepting new (or other) intuitions; and so intuitions, I would say, are still primary even in the case that one is critically thinking about them.
  • 180 Proof
    13.2k
    To slightly paraphrase ...
    I think that, in light of this, “rationality”, in the sense of “acting in a manner that agrees with reality”, can be objectively grounded insofar as the hypothetical imperative (of reducing suffering (i.e. species defects)) is a presupposition of ethics (ecology, medicine) and thusly not within it; and so “rationality”, which in the sense defined (above) is deeply rooted in ethical (ecological, medicinal) principles, is grounded in the objective ethical (ecological, medicinal) norms.
    I assume, @Bob Ross, you will take issue with this paraphrase and so I look forward to you making explicit its problems or confusions.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    Aren't (3) and (4) key components of rationality? As in, a rejection of rationality could target either of these points. Your thinking seems to have been heavily influenced by the ideas of rationality as shown by (3) and (4), as well as your use of "objective".

    Your definition of rationality is terrible, "acting in a manner that agrees with reality". You're really going to refer to "agrees with reality" as being "objectively grounded"?

    The manner of acting that can be referred to as "agrees with reality" is just "good". That which is sensible, efficient, or appropriate, is what can be referred to as "agreeing with reality", more or less, right? So, it's objectively good to be things that by definition can only refer to things that are good? Yeah... no kidding.

    Contrast rationality with a reasonable alternative. Setting up rationality as "good" and then talking about how it's good to be good, that's pointless.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello 180 Proof,

    I assume, @Bob Ross, you will take issue with this paraphrase and so I look forward to you making explicit its problems or confusions.

    I do, in fact, take issue with the “paraphrase” (:

    Here’s my contentions:

    1. It is a not a paraphrase of the OP but, rather, applies the OP to a specific metaethical & normative ethical position.

    2. Specific metaethical or/and normative ethical positions are irrelevant to the OP’s argument, as, according thereto, there are objective epistemic norms simply due to the nature of epistemology.

    3. A “hypothetical imperative (of reducing suffering…)” being a “presupposition of ethics” has no relevance to there being a hypothetical imperative of epistemology. There could be moral facts or no moral facts, and there would still be the hypothetical imperative of “one should determine how to know [the world]” which is implicitly accepted when engaging in epistemology.

    4. Moral facts are useless. See here for details.

    5. Moral facts could certainly impact how one engages in epistemology, but they wouldn’t themselves generate (by my lights) epistemic normative facts—they would only ever produce more moral facts (of which influence, at a deeper level, one’s epistemic commitments to some degree).

    6. Although this is going to come down to what you mean by “rationality”, I would say that rationality is not deeply rooted in ethical principles. For example, a psychopath can systematically kill people in an extremely rational fashion.

    It seems like, and correct me if I am wrong, you ground rationality purely in ethics and not epistemology (and I do the opposite).

    I look forward to hearing your reply 180 Proof!
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    Aren't (3) and (4) key components of rationality?

    I would say that all four epistemic norms (I expounded) are key to being rational.

    Your definition of rationality is terrible, "acting in a manner that agrees with reality". You're really going to refer to "agrees with reality" as being "objectively grounded"?

    I am not entirely sure what you mean here: yes, acting in a manner that agrees with reality is the general definition I use. The epistemic principles which are used to do so are objectively better or worse then other epistemic principles one could use to try and do so; and so rationality, being grounded in those norms, is likewise grounded in objective norms.

    The manner of acting that can be referred to as "agrees with reality" is just "good".

    This is a semantic association that I did not want to use for the OP (because it isn’t necessary). Objective epistemic norms provide an epistemic “goodness” but not a moral goodness.

    The act of agreeing with reality (i.e., being “rational”) is epistemically “good” because it is an objectively better means of “knowing the world”, which is a hypothetical imperative that one has committed themselves to the very moment they engage in epistemology.

    That which is sensible, efficient, or appropriate, is what can be referred to as "agreeing with reality"

    No. That which is “appropriate” or “sensible”, is going to depend on the person or society and I am not arguing that any sort of individual or collective agreement itself proves a principle to be objective (epistemically).

    That which is “efficient” could be an aspect of being rational, if by that you mean parsimonious, coherent, logically consistent, etc.

    So, it's objectively good to be things that by definition can only refer to things that are good?

    Couple things:

    1. I am not saying that one should be things that agree with reality: I am saying that one should act in a manner that agrees with reality.

    2. It is not objectively morally good but, rather, epistemically good to be rational.

    3. I don’t understand what you mean by “by definition can only refer to things that are good”: being “rational” is not itself what is “good” here but, rather, the epistemic norms provide the “good” and rationality is guided (or compelled to) that epistemic “goodness”.

    Contrast rationality with a reasonable alternative.

    What do you mean? A reasonable alternative definition?

    Setting up rationality as "good" and then talking about how it's good to be good, that's pointless.

    I never used the term “good” nor did I imply that rationality is just by definition "good": you are countering your own straw man of my argument.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    I am not entirely sure what you mean here: yes, acting in a manner that agrees with reality is the general definition I use.Bob Ross

    Okay. Your definition can't be taken literally, as it wouldn't make sense, and so I need to interpret what kind of manners of acting would "agree with reality". You've said this isn't just "good", great, prove me wrong. I struggle to imagine you can come up with one because I can't understand why it would ever be good to not "act in a manner that agrees with reality". Could you give me an example of where it would be?

    I've called your definition another way of saying "good" because I'm confident you think it's always "good" to act in a manner that agrees with reality. Meaning, you will not be willing to refer to anything that you thought wasn't good as "acting in a manner that agrees with reality". Do you see my logic? Your definition almost certainly divides between good and bad, and that's seemingly the only thing it does.

    Objective epistemic norms provide an epistemic “goodness” but not a moral goodness.Bob Ross

    I hadn't intended "good" to refer to "moral goodness". Your "good" is unknown to me, it's just clear that your definition is a version of "good".

    The act of agreeing with reality (i.e., being “rational”) is epistemically “good” because it is an objectively better means of “knowing the world”, which is a hypothetical imperative that one has committed themselves to the very moment they engage in epistemology.Bob Ross

    Objectively better? Could you elaborate? Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?

    1. I am not saying that one should be things that agree with reality: I am saying that one should act in a manner that agrees with reality.Bob Ross

    Yes, I believe I said as much, the "it's" here is referring to what I had guessed "acting in a manner that agreed with reality" entailed.

    What do you mean? A reasonable alternative definition?Bob Ross

    Well, that would work too.

    I read your response to 180 and hmm, you are definitely understanding rationality in your own way. I had been assuming much based on my understanding of normative rationality, but it's clear that doesn't apply to you.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    It seems as though we are thinking of “rationality” in completely different ways, which is fine! What would be the fun in us simply agreeing? (;

    Although I am going to address your points as adequately as possible, I would like to ask you to define and elaborate on, likewise, what you think “rationality” is; that way, I can assess and compare our views more sufficiently.

    Your definition can't be taken literally, as it wouldn't make sense

    I am failing to see why it doesn’t make sense when taken literally: could you please elaborate on what wouldn’t make sense if taken literally?

    You've said this isn't just "good", great, prove me wrong. I struggle to imagine you can come up with one because I can't understand why it would ever be good to not "act in a manner that agrees with reality". Could you give me an example of where it would be?

    I hadn't intended "good" to refer to "moral goodness". Your "good" is unknown to me, it's just clear that your definition is a version of "good".

    Firstly, I honestly don’t know to interpret a generic goodness. Although I don’t think this is what you are asking (because of the last section of the above quote), if you are asking how one could consider it morally bad to “act in a manner that agrees with reality”, then I would say that literally any position that one could hold that posits such would be an example. For example, it is perfectly compatible with my OP for one to also posit that it is morally abhorrent to be “rational” (in the sense I defined); or for a psychopath to systematically kill people in a highly rational manner.

    In the sense of epistemic goodness, although I may have misspoke in a previous post, I would say that the “goodness” is the result of accepting the hypothetical imperative to “determine how to know”; and from this is where epistmology stems (and the epistemic norms therein and rationality).

    In the sense of another category or type of goodness, I genuinely do not know what to make of it without further clarification. What exactly do you mean by this?

    I've called your definition another way of saying "good" because I'm confident you think it's always "good" to act in a manner that agrees with reality.

    What is “good”, if I were to allow myself to contemplate this generic goodness without fully understanding it yet, in its most trivial sense, is just what one thinks one ought to do; and if you think that you ought to act in a manner that agrees with reality, then, yes, it would be good. However, in this sense, “goodness” is trivial: I can say of any definition of any verb, for example, that it is “good” insofar as I think I ought to be performing that action—but the definition of the verb is not presuming that it is in-itself good as a matter of definition. I would say that being rational is an objective consequence of engaging in epistemology, and that the definition of it has nothing to do, in-itself, with it being good. In other words, being rational is good if one is engaging in epistemology (or committed themselves to some sort of moral imperative).

    Meaning, you will not be willing to refer to anything that you thought wasn't good as "acting in a manner that agrees with reality"

    Couple things that standout to me in this sentence:

    1. Whether I think being rational is good (in any sense of the term) is irrelevant to its definition in the OP.

    2. I could, as a hypothetical, claim that it is (morally) bad to be rational, or that one can be rationally evil because the definition is morally neutral itself.

    Do you see my logic? Your definition almost certainly divides between good and bad, and that's seemingly the only thing it does.

    I don’t see how it, by definition, divides between moral goodness vs. badness, and it being epistemically good is not the definition of it but, rather, a biproduct “rationality” being an essential element of epistemology.

    How is the division between some good vs. bad “the only thing it does”?

    Objectively better? Could you elaborate? Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?

    There are objectively better norms for “knowing the world”; that is, there are better ways, independent of minds (i.e., of “opinions”, of “subjects”, etc.), to come to know reality.

    An easy way to think of this is that if there weren’t any better ways to “know something”, then any explanation is valid. Thusly, I can say that I know that “this is green” because “a square circle told me”; that “cucumbers are on mars” because “I like the idea of that”; that you are wrong because “1+1=2” (and somehow that makes you wrong); etc.

    Epistemology entails that one is engaging in intellectual investigation that tries to figure out what actually exists, and this implies that there are betters ways of knowing. These ways are not just subjectively better, it is objectively (epistemically) wrong to claim that “cucumbers are on mars” merely because “I like that idea” because it violates this attempt to know the world (as opposed to what we want the world to be).

    you are definitely understanding rationality in your own way. I had been assuming much based on my understanding of normative rationality, but it's clear that doesn't apply to you.

    We clearly do not think of rationality in the same way, and that is why I would appreciate it if you elaborated more on your view (so that I can better respond to your inquiries). For me, the only kind of rationality is normative, so when you say “normative rationality” it makes me anticipate that you may believe that there is a non-normative mode of being rational: is that true?
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    Although I am going to address your points as adequately as possible, I would like to ask you to define and elaborate on, likewise, what you think “rationality” is; that way, I can assess and compare our views more sufficiently.Bob Ross

    Rationality has a few aspects to it:
    1) Logical thinking - One should think logically, and avoid unhelpful emotional and psychological influences.
    2) Goal-driven thinking - One acts in accordance with their goals
    3) Logical Consistency - One acts in accordance with their values and beliefs
    4) Hierarchical Thinking - One follows 2) but prioritises goals and values in order of importance
    5) Reflection and Openmindedness - One aims to improve their thinking and decision-making
    6) Ethical Considerations - Rational decision-making should take into account ethical principles and moral values.
    7) Acknowledging Biases - One should aim to think objectively, be mindful of the potential for biased thinking and aim to focus on the facts
    8) Evidence-based Thinking - One should ensure their thinking has sufficient evidence to be justifiable

    In comparison to alternatives, I'll highlight a few things that are accurate in my estimation:

    1) Goals must be rational

    This is a critically important point to understanding rationality, one's goals must qualify as rational, or else goal-driven behaviour is irrational. It's unlikely that a psychopath's desire to kill would qualify as rational, though it's possible. If they understood their actions were wrong, considering that morality is of the highest importance, we couldn't say their actions aligned with their beliefs and values, which is a prerequisite to rationality. Their actions have risks such as imprisonment or death, if one understands the risks of an action outweigh the potential rewards, then by definition, pressing ahead anyway would be irrational.

    Rationality has an important role in morality, because within philosophy, morality is overriding, it's of the highest priority. To argue logically that morality isn't overriding is unlikely to succeed within the context of philosophy. Essentially, one doesn't get to ascribe rationality to their own actions, and there are quite a few hoops to jump through.

    2) Rationality is holistic

    Rationality perceives a person as a machinery comprised of beliefs, values and goals, all tied together, what one produces should correlate with those parts. One's beliefs need to be non-contradictory, there needs to be cohesion, and everything should make sense together. One must review their beliefs, values and goals to ensure their quality and cohesion.

    There's more I could say, but that's the gist of it.

    What you're describing is seemingly best described as "instrumental rationality", a strict means-end approach.

    I don’t see how it, by definition, divides between moral goodness vs. badness, and it being epistemically good is not the definition of it but, rather, a biproduct “rationality” being an essential element of epistemology.

    How is the division between some good vs. bad “the only thing it does”?
    Bob Ross

    Are you honestly saying that it's not epistemologically good to "act in a manner that agrees with reality"? I interpret your definition to be directly referencing my accurate understanding of the world, and my ability to understand my acts in relationship to how things really are (reality). It suggests that when one makes decisions or holds beliefs, they're basing them on accurate information and evidence about the way things actually are.

    You've set up rationality as inherently good with your definition, have you not? Rationality by your definition is "good epistemological practices". It's not that complicated, there's no circumstance where you'd consider being called irrational praise. It's not conditionally good, it's necessarily good. No soul under any circumstances would consider being called irrational praise, especially not with your definition.

    1. Whether I think being rational is good (in any sense of the term) is irrelevant to its definition in the OP.Bob Ross

    I agree, but only because being rational is inherently good by your definition, and I believe it's unreasonable to think otherwise.

    There are objectively better norms for “knowing the world”; that is, there are better ways, independent of minds (i.e., of “opinions”, of “subjects”, etc.), to come to know reality.Bob Ross

    How unfortunate, you're contrasting rationality against nonsense. I find your understanding incorrect on so many levels. To begin with. where in your definition of rationality does it reference anything related to "knowing the world"? Or in other words, why do I need to act in a manner that agrees with reality to know the world? It's pretty much the other way around, I need to know the world to act in a manner that agrees with it.

    I could fail to follow most of what you call rationality and be no worse off in "knowing the world", perhaps if you want to talk only about epistemology, that's what you should do. Make no mention of acts, logic or goals, limit your definition to knowledge if that's all you want to talk about.

    For me, the only kind of rationality is normative, so when you say “normative rationality” it makes me anticipate that you may believe that there is a non-normative mode of being rational: is that true?Bob Ross

    By normative, what I mean is, rationality can be interpreted in a number of ways, "normative" is "the normal way". As in, there are other ways of interpreting rationality besides the normal way. My only meaning is that l I'm saying your understanding isn't normal.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    I appreciate your elaboration of your view! As I believe now that our views are not so apart as we originally thought.

    I agree with a lot (although not all) of the tenants you voiced about “rationality”, as I would consider them coherently derived from my definition: let me explain.

    Logical thinking - One should think logically, and avoid unhelpful emotional and psychological influences

    Why does thinking logically entail being rational? Because, I would argue, it is means (an act) which agrees with reality when one is trying to derive something. In other words, if they want to derive something, then it is most rational to be logical because it agrees with reality; and, for example, why it is irrational to think in accordance with “if it is has the property of blueness, then it is true: if not, then it is false” is because it doesn’t agree with reality: blueness is not a property that determines, in reality, the truthity of a proposition.

    Goal-driven thinking - One acts in accordance with their goals

    Why is goal-driven thinking rational? Because, in reality, one has to start with their will when performing anything; so it agrees best with reality to understand what one’s goals really are (so that, for example, they don’t waste a bunch of time).

    Logical Consistency - One acts in accordance with their values and beliefs

    I don’t agree with this one for two reason:

    1. Logical consistency is not “one” acting “in accordance with their values and beliefs”: it is to not hold any logical contradictions in one’s beliefs.

    2. Acting in accordance with one’s values and beliefs, to me, is subsumed under “goal-driven thinking”.

    Hierarchical Thinking - One follows 2) but prioritises goals and values in order of importance

    Again: it is rational to do this because it agrees with reality. If prioritizing things was merely a reflection of whimsical imagination, then it would not be rational to do so when trying to perform actions, or actualize goals, in reality.

    Reflection and Openmindedness - One aims to improve their thinking and decision-making

    This is rational because, as you can anticipate, it provides the person with a better understanding of the world, which, in turn, is predicated on the goal to agree with reality. If one doesn’t care about agreeing with reality, then they may very well decide to be close-minded—to stick to whatever belief they like and stand ten toes down.

    Ethical Considerations - Rational decision-making should take into account ethical principles and moral values.

    No (: This is a hard no for me. Again, a psychopath can kill people in a highly rational (as in carefully planned, logically consistent, goal-oriented, coherent, effective, etc.). Which leads me to briefly respond to:

    It's unlikely that a psychopath's desire to kill would qualify as rational, though it's possible. If they understood their actions were wrong, considering that morality is of the highest importance, we couldn't say their actions aligned with their beliefs and values, which is a prerequisite to rationality.

    You have amended the originally example I gave in a manner that fundamentally changes it: you are positing that the psychopath themselves believe that they are doing something wrong. Of course, a person who does something they think is wrong (in its most primitive sense of the term) is being irrational because they are contradicting themselves.

    However, my example made no such stipulation: a psychopath could believe it is perfectly right (or at least permissible) to do horrific things to other people; and they can do so in a highly rational manner. This is no different than anyone else who deploys principles of which they think highly agree with reality to achieve their goals.

    Their actions have risks such as imprisonment or death, if one understands the risks of an action outweigh the potential rewards, then by definition, pressing ahead anyway would be irrational.

    I agree that if the reward does not outweigh the risk, then it does seem (at least prima facie) to be irrational to do so. However, two things to note:

    1. It is not self-apparent that the psychopath’s reward of thrill and gory action against countless victims does not outweigh the risk of being put in prison (from their perspective).

    2. The reward is subjective in most scenarios; that is, how rewarding an action is is usually based heavily on one’s personality. So, for me, it may be that I don’t find the reward outweighing the risk, but someone else could and would be still rational.

    Ok, back to your tenants:

    7) Acknowledging Biases - One should aim to think objectively, be mindful of the potential for biased thinking and aim to focus on the facts

    This is only rational because it is a principle which attempts to agree with reality: in this case, to try to know the world better by attempting to remove the bias lens of subjective interpretation.

    Evidence-based Thinking - One should ensure their thinking has sufficient evidence to be justifiable

    This is rational because it is the best way of agreeing with reality (in action). If I want to know something, then the best way to know (something about reality) is to evaluate the evidence. If this were not true, then this would not be rational to do.

    In summary, I think that your tenants are derived from my over-arching definition of rationality.

    Rationality has an important role in morality, because within philosophy, morality is overriding, it's of the highest priority

    I am not denying that morality supervenes on epistemology but, rather, that what one ought to do to know the world is distinctly and completely different, in principle, from what one ought to do for the sake of being ethical. Thusly, to be rational is purely an epistemic consideration; but it may be that certain rational behaviors are banned for moral reasons.

    Are you honestly saying that it's not epistemologically good to "act in a manner that agrees with reality"?

    It is, but you weren’t claiming that before: you were claiming that it is “good”.

    You've set up rationality as inherently good with your definition, have you not?

    I wouldn’t say it is inherently good whatsoever; but I would say it is i]epistemically[/i] good and not (necessarily) morally good. This is because what I need to do to know the world may not coincide with what I need to do to behave ethically; and rationality is only epistemically good because it is the best means of achieving knowledge, and the definition itself does not entail an inherent goodness of any sort. It is good as a biproduct of what epistemology is set out to do: to know the world.

    It's not conditionally good, it's necessarily good.

    Rationality is conditioned to be epistemically good by what epistemology is set out to accomplish, which is to know. It is not logically, actually, nor metaphysically necessary that it is good.

    No soul under any circumstances would consider being called irrational praise, especially not with your definition.

    This is just an reflection of the colloquial usage of “rationality”: of course, it is an insult in every day-to-day talk to be called irrational; but that doesn’t lend any weight to your argument that rationality as I defined it is inherently good.

    How unfortunate, you're contrasting rationality against nonsense.

    Irrationality is nonsense.

    Or in other words, why do I need to act in a manner that agrees with reality to know the world?

    Because in order to know the world one has to deploy principles which agree with it.

    It's pretty much the other way around, I need to know the world to act in a manner that agrees with it.

    This is a good point, and I think there are two things worthy of pointing out here:

    1. You rightly point out that one cannot just inherently know how to agree with reality; but my point is that that is what people who are engaging in epistemology are trying to do! They are, in other words, attempting to agree with reality to know it; for one cannot come to know reality by using principles which do not hold for anything in reality: it is like using an instrument that doesn’t work. I would say that rationality is all about, at its core, agreeing with reality in this way; and that rational people are always taking in the world as input, processes it, and attempting to come up with principles which will help them better process the information.

    2. No one, under my definition, is perfectly rational: not even if they did every tenant you can think of 100% of the time. This is because one can never absolutely know that their actions 100% agree with reality. That belief of agreement is pragmatic (i.e., evidence-based) reasoning. We can only ever strive to to be perfectly rational.

    Make no mention of acts, logic or goals, limit your definition to knowledge if that's all you want to talk about.

    Actions, logic, and goals are all pertinent to epistemology, and are not precluded nor excluded by the practice.

    "normative" is "the normal way”

    Normativity, as I understand it, is etymologically “the normal way” but means something which is a prescriptive statement (e.g., ‘ought’, ‘should’, ‘obligated to’, etc.) and not merely what is “normal” in society. Granted, sociologically people tend to use it in the “normal to society” manner.
    As in, there are other ways of interpreting rationality besides the normal way. My only meaning is that l I'm saying your understanding isn't normal.

    Fair enough!
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    No (: This is a hard no for me. Again, a psychopath can kill people in a highly rational (as in carefully planned, logically consistent, goal-oriented, coherent, effective, etc.).Bob Ross

    Yes, well, as I said, you're describing instrumental rationality.

    You have amended the originally example I gave in a manner that fundamentally changes it: you are positing that the psychopath themselves believe that they are doing something wrong.Bob Ross

    I didn't amend anything, I merely said it was unlikely and then gave some if statements.

    In summary, I think that your tenants are derived from my over-arching definition of rationality.Bob Ross

    They're definitely not derived from your over-arching definition of rationality...

    Your definition is so vague, that I'd be surprised if you couldn't fit whatever you wanted into it. Hence why I called it a form of "good".

    Thusly, to be rational is purely an epistemic consideration; but it may be that certain rational behaviors are banned for moral reasons.Bob Ross

    You're entitled to your opinion, but you'll get pushback from others.

    Rationality is conditioned to be epistemically good by what epistemology is set out to accomplish, which is to know. It is not logically, actually, nor metaphysically necessary that it is good.Bob Ross

    This is just linguistics. You're behaving as though your definition was earned, given to the term rationality because it really deserves it. Have you forgotten that you just made it up...?

    but that doesn’t lend any weight to your argument that rationality as I defined it is inherently good.Bob Ross

    I'm shocked it's something that required an argument. Genuinely, how is this even a discussion for you? There's zero ambiguity here, it's never good to fail to act in a manner that 'agrees with reality", there's no merit to it. Not epistemologically, morally, logically or in any other way.

    Irrationality is nonsense.Bob Ross

    And you've decided these are the two options? Rationality or irrationality? Get a bit more creative.

    Ahh... by the way, you won't be able to succeed in this if you keep your current definition of rationality. Perhaps just try to think about rationality through its tenants instead.

    Because in order to know the world one has to deploy principles which agree with it.Bob Ross

    Principles that agree with the world? Good gracious... Well, that's checkmate I guess, nobody would dare argue with principles that agree with the world.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    Based off of your response, I do not think this discussion is going to be productive. I think I put in the effort to address all of your points and, instead of reciprocating that effort, you resorted to primarily re-voicing your distaste for my definition (with no real substantive response).

    I am going to briefly respond to your points, but if you are unwilling to engage with my previous response, then I think we may have to just agree to disagree.

    Yes, well, as I said, you're describing instrumental rationality.

    This is may be true, but I do not know what this “instrumental rationality” is that you are referring to; and, thusly, will not endorse it. I am saying what I am saying, and if it happens to coincide with some position I have never heard of, then that’s fine.

    I didn't amend anything, I merely said it was unlikely and then gave some if statements.

    You said:

    It's unlikely that a psychopath's desire to kill would qualify as rational, though it's possible. If they understood their actions were wrong, considering that morality is of the highest importance, we couldn't say their actions aligned with their beliefs and values, which is a prerequisite to rationality.

    Your justification for it not counting as rational, which is imperative for your position to work, is the hypothetical that they understood their actions were wrong; which was not a part of my example: that’s what you amended. If this was just a hypothetical side-note, then please respond with how the psychopath’s rational murdering is irrational. You seem to just be saying, by my lights, that it is immoral, but why would that have any affect on the rationality of it?

    Your definition is so vague, that I'd be surprised if you couldn't fit whatever you wanted into it. Hence why I called it a form of "good".

    You cannot fit anything into it: it is a very clear definition. If one is acting in agreement with reality, then they are fundamentally behaving in a rational manner. Any principles derived from this obligation or taste to ‘act in agreement with reality’ is likewise a part of ‘being rational’.

    You're entitled to your opinion, but you'll get pushback from others.

    That is fine, but I am wanting to know your push back.

    This is just linguistics. You're behaving as though your definition was earned, given to the term rationality because it really deserves it. Have you forgotten that you just made it up...?

    Logical, actual, and metaphysical necessity are not mere ‘linguistics’: they are modes of modality.

    All definitions are ‘made up’, but that doesn’t mean they are whimsical or arbitrary.

    What do you mean by ‘earned’? My definition is meant to best portray, at its root, what rationality is and I think it captures it quite well. I was never claiming to have provided every principle that can be derived therefrom.
    There's zero ambiguity here, it's never good to fail to act in a manner that 'agrees with reality", there's no merit to it. Not epistemologically, morally, logically or in any other way.

    Logic does not comment on the merit of arguments other than its form, so what do you mean by it has no merit to it if it abides by logical laws?

    I already accepted that it is epistemically good; and any moral merit is just an irrelevant importation of you own ethical theory.

    And you've decided these are the two options? Rationality or irrationality? Get a bit more creative.

    I am not sure what you are implying here: either something is p or it is not p; so either something is rational or it is not rational.

    Ahh... by the way, you won't be able to succeed in this if you keep your current definition of rationality. Perhaps just try to think about rationality through its tenants instead.

    The tenants of rationality are not the same as its definition: they are examples of it. I gave the definition.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    Based off of your response, I do not think this discussion is going to be productive. I think I put in the effort to address all of your points and, instead of reciprocating that effort, you resorted to primarily re-voicing your distaste for my definition (with no real substantive response).Bob Ross

    What do you think makes something part of rationality? Is something only part of rationality when we agree with it? What makes an understanding of the concept "correct" or "incorrect"?

    You say you disagree with the ethical dimension of rationality, but is it even valid for you to disagree? Who gets to decide what is or isn't part of rationality, and on what basis?

    Rationality just is what it is, I explained my understanding of what it is, and if you provide a very good problem with it, then I won't just say "Ah, that's not part of rationality then", I'll instead say, "You've pointed out a good problem with the concept".

    You've set up rationality as "good", you've literally defined it as "good practice", and thus, rationality can never be a problem, and I think that's asinine. There are many flaws with it, but look at your OP, you're making the case for rationality, while also defining rationality as "best practice". Can't you see how stupid that is? If rationality is best practice, then it's self-evident that it's the best, so why would we need a thread validating it? There's nothing to discuss, besides rejecting your definition.

    Your justification for it not counting as rational, which is imperative for your position to work, is the hypothetical that they understood their actions were wrong;Bob Ross

    I said it was possible for a serial killer's actions to be considered rational, but it was unlikely, and then I defended that assertion of unlikelihood. I did not give points to assert that it was inherently irrational.

    The reason rationality is biased against the serial killer is that it emphasises moral views as being of the highest priority. Morality excludes personal factors and motivations, it's about what's best for the group. The serial killer's joy of killing isn't a valid moral argument, and without that, intellectually speaking, the serial killer would probably conclude that their actions weren't best for the group - obviously. Yes, they press ahead anyway, but rationally, their actions do not correlate with their moral beliefs, so we could say they're being irrational.

    You may understand rationality as unbiased and fair, as you seem to think it's literally perfection, but all that means is you're unable to critically analyse the concept. It's not unbiased, it's not fair, and the concept is rigged against the serial killer - though mind you, most people are fine with that.

    If you wanted to know what instrumental rationality is, how about, GOOGLING it? What the heck... I'm not the first person to bring it up to you.

    All definitions are ‘made up’, but that doesn’t mean they are whimsical or arbitrary.Bob Ross

    Everyone has an opinion. Reasons and justifications come as easily as ideas, nothing special. That's no cause for dishonest language. Rationality can be best practice - and let anyone define what that is, or it can be a specific idea, as outlined previously, choose one.

    I am not sure what you are implying here: either something is p or it is not p; so either something is rational or it is not rational.Bob Ross

    Ah, is that so? You said yourself that nobody can be 100% perfectly rational, which should invalidate it as a binary, does it not? Rationality is just an idea, it can have flaws, well, at least if you define it reasonably, which you haven't.

    The tenants of rationality are not the same as its definition: they are examples of it. I gave the definition.Bob Ross

    Yes, I'm unwilling to work with you while you use that definition, it's dishonest to an extreme, but like I said, keep it as is your right. I recommend that if you intend to keep it no matter what, you shouldn't respond to this comment, it will be a waste of your time.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    I recommend that if you intend to keep it no matter what, you shouldn't respond to this comment, it will be a waste of your time.

    I never intend to retain my views at all costs, as that is intellectually ingenuine and does not further the conversation. If I am convinced by anything you say, then I am more than happy to concede on whatever point you are making; and I expect the same from anyone else.

    Yes, I'm unwilling to work with you while you use that definition, it's dishonest to an extreme, but like I said, keep it as is your right.

    These kinds of straw mans do not help us further the conversation: why do you think, in addition to me being wrong, that I am being dishonest?

    What do you think makes something part of rationality?

    I already gave the definition and elaborated on it in detail to you: see the OP.

    Is something only part of rationality when we agree with it?

    Not at all, and I never suggested that. Someone is being rational if however they are acting sufficiently seems to be agreeing with reality.

    What makes an understanding of the concept "correct" or "incorrect"?

    This is just a question about epistemology in general, and I would say that it is based off of many factors; such as the one’s I had in the OP. E.g., parsimony, explanatory power, intuitions, reliability, credence, logical consistency, coherence, empirical adequacy, etc. Of course, we develop more fine-tuned principles depending on the goals of the particular study, but I would say the aforementioned are the basics.

    You say you disagree with the ethical dimension of rationality, but is it even valid for you to disagree?

    I think so. I don’t think you have demonstrated why “rationality” would include ethical considerations, and I think I have demonstrated that excluding ethics actually fits experience better (such as in the case of a rational psychopath).

    Who gets to decide what is or isn't part of rationality, and on what basis?

    Epistemological speaking, on evidence, intuitions, explanatory power, coherence, etc…

    I am not saying that everyone should use the term in the manner I defined it: there are literally millions of contexts and there may be some where it is better to use a different definition; and, of course, if one wants to discuss with a particular group of people who use it in a specific manner, then it is probably best to use it in there sense of the word (even if one disagrees).

    It just depends; but I think that my definition gives the best account of the crux of what it means to be rational.

    Rationality just is what it is, I explained my understanding of what it is, and if you provide a very good problem with it, then I won't just say "Ah, that's not part of rationality then", I'll instead say, "You've pointed out a good problem with the concept"

    I agree, but this has not happened in our conversation. You have not provided, by my lights, a very good problem with my definition. If you did (and I recognize it), then I would gladly concede on that point.

    You've set up rationality as "good", you've literally defined it as "good practice", and thus, rationality can never be a problem, and I think that's asinine.

    It can never be an epistemic problem, but it can surely be a pragmatic or moral problem! You keep conflating the different types of “goodness” I have outlined with some sort of generic one, which doesn’t work.

    Also, I have not crafted “rationality”, by definition, in a way that fits my goals (i.e., as good); but, rather, it is epistemically good because of the inherent hypothetical that a person commits themselves to when engaging in epistemology. You keep overlooking this point I keep making.

    Can't you see how stupid that is? If rationality is best practice, then it's self-evident that it's the best, so why would we need a thread validating it?

    This is stupid because you are arguing against your own straw man of my position. I never said rationality is “the best practice”: practice of what? I, likewise, am not even claiming it is inherently, in-itself, the “best practice” of epistemology: I am saying that the inherent hypothetical imperative to epistemology favors rationality as the best means of achieving it.

    I said it was possible for a serial killer's actions to be considered rational

    Let me clarify. If you accept that a serial killer can be rational and it is morally wrong to be a serial killer, then rationality precludes morality. Now, please tell me which antecedent you disagree with, so we can further this discusion.

    It sounds like your response is that it is possible because morality is about what is best for the group: now you are just importing your specific normative ethical theory into this, of which, in this case, I disagree with; but I do not see how it is relevant for us to now argue about our different ethical theories. First, I want to know what benefit there is to including moral considerations in the term “rationality”, and then we can dive into ethical theories if we want to.

    It's not unbiased, it's not fair, and the concept is rigged against the serial killer - though mind you, most people are fine with that.

    As I have defined it (which has no moral considerations), it isn’t rigged; so the crux between our positions is that you seem to think it needs to include moral considerations, and I don’t. Why do you think it needs moral considerations?

    If you wanted to know what instrumental rationality is, how about, GOOGLING it? What the heck... I'm not the first person to bring it up to you.

    I don’t want to know (right now): it isn’t relevant. I want you to engage with what I am saying, and not whatever instrumentalist rationalism says.

    Ah, is that so? You said yourself that nobody can be 100% perfectly rational, which should invalidate it as a binary, does it not?

    Not at all. I said nothing that denies the law of noncontradiction.

    Rationality is just an idea, it can have flaws, well, at least if you define it reasonably, which you haven't.

    I never said my definition is flawless.

    I would also like to mention that the primary focus of the OP is not the definition rationality: you have just hyper-focused on it: the argument is that there are objective epistemic norms.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    I don’t think you have demonstrated why “rationality” would include ethical considerations, and I think I have demonstrated that excluding ethics actually fits experience better (such as in the case of a rational psychopath).Bob Ross

    Clarify something for me, are you trying to use the word "rationality" as though you invented it? To give it your own definition and understand it in your own way. Or are you treating it as a public term where I need to justify my understanding of rationality?

    On one hand, you're telling me that your OP defines rationality, and I should deal with what you're saying, on the other, you want to have a discussion about "What rationality is" and what comprises it.

    I think so. I don’t think you have demonstrated why “rationality” would include ethical considerations, and I think I have demonstrated that excluding ethics actually fits experience better (such as in the case of a rational psychopath).Bob Ross

    Instrumental rationality excludes ethical considerations, if I wanted to convey that I wasn't using them, I'd use that term. As for why rationality would include ethical considerations, it's largely because most people care about them. I listed ethical considerations as an aspect of rationality, not a prerequisite to being rational, and I explained that a serial killer could be considered rational, and gave some if statements to demonstrate part of what was necessary for that to happen.

    Rationality is holistic, unlike instrumental rationality, and so it includes the wider ramifications of one's actions. You've given me a hypothetical of a serial killer with no conscience, and a very particular and unusual set of priorities and beliefs, and I've agreed that they could be rational, but your example isn't representative of even the average serial killer, let alone the average person.

    For the majority, who do have moral beliefs and value ethics, one will naturally need to take these factors into consideration. One aims to act in a way that makes sense considering one's goals, beliefs and values, that's rationality.

    You're depicting rationality as ultra-pragmatic and goal-driven by denying the ethical element, which would be fine if you specified you were talking about instrumental rationality... or if you're pretending you made up the term rationality and you're defining it in your OP.

    It can never be an epistemic problem, but it can surely be a pragmatic or moral problem! You keep conflating the different types of “goodness” I have outlined with some sort of generic one, which doesn’t work.Bob Ross

    The problem you outlined with a "generic one" and the way in which it doesn't work was intended. I've only ever brought up the term "good" to demonstrate the problems with your definition. You've overcomplicated things by insisting on interpreting "good" as moral. I'm tired of making the same point though, so I won't.

    First, I want to know what benefit there is to including moral considerations in the term “rationality”, and then we can dive into ethical theories if we want to.Bob Ross

    Benefit?

    Why do you think it needs moral considerations?Bob Ross

    I don't think it needs to, it just does. I understand rationality as something far more specific than you seem to. In terms of "agreeing with reality", that is so goddamn vague, I could add anything I wanted, and I would, as would everyone. I would understand the term however I wanted. You can't both define rationality as "acting in a manner that agrees with reality" and then also outline the ways in which we must understand when actions "agree with reality". A definition is just a small, short few words, and then people fill in what that means for themselves.

    Not at all. I said nothing that denies the law of noncontradiction.Bob Ross

    Well, if you say so.

    I would also like to mention that the primary focus of the OP is not the definition rationality: you have just hyper-focused on it: the argument is that there are objective epistemic norms.Bob Ross

    There are objective standards for good singing or dancing as well, and everything else, sure, why not epistemic norms as well?
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    Before responding to your whole post, I wanted to get some clarification first.

    I think I may have identified our confusion with each other: are you trying to convey that "rationality" includes the consideration of one's morals and values, as opposed to 'rationality' entailing any sort of particular ethical theory?

    If you are just trying to convey that one needs to be consistent with their own values, whatever they may be, then I agree and do not see how my definition precludes that. If you mean that 'to be rational' includes someone adhering to a particular ethical theory, then I disagree and say "rationality precludes ethics" (in that sense).

    I think that it is rational to consider one's values stems from the fact (i.e., that it agrees with reality for me to say that) that one must use their values inevitably to perform any actions; and so it would be irrational to contradict or put no effort into deciphering one's values. However, there is no consideration of any ethical theory in what it means to 'be rational', as it would be very odd indeed to say that someone is irrational for merely disagreeing with one's normative ethical theory (or what not) even in the case that they are being logically consistent, coherent, etc.

    And to respond to your clarification request:

    Clarify something for me, are you trying to use the word "rationality" as though you invented it? To give it your own definition and understand it in your own way. Or are you treating it as a public term where I need to justify my understanding of rationality?

    I am not sure if I fully followed this question, but I would say that I am treating it as a term that is open to refurbishment as problems arise with its current definition.

    If by “public term” you are referring to colloquial speech, then I would say that I am not aware of any reputable dictionary that defines “rationality” with any ethical consideration (as it usually just means vaguely "to abide by reason"); and, furthermore, people (at least from my experience) tend to have a notion of rationality that precludes ethical considerations in the sense of what is or is not ethical to do.

    For example, if someone disagrees with another person’s normative ethical theory (e.g., someone disagrees with you that what is morally good is what is best for the group) and their theory was highly thought-out, logically consistent, coherent, has some good points, etc., then most people would say that the person (that disagrees with their theory) is being rational but that they simply disagree. In your definition, I think it lacks this key aspect of how people use it in colloquial speech if you are claiming that what is wrong or right is relevant to 'being rational' as opposed to 'one must be coherent and consistent in whatever they think is right or wrong'. Hopefully that makes sense.

    In terms of a technical definition, which I am much more interested in than colloquial notions of it, I think that my definition is a sharpened form of the colloquial notion.

    For now, I would like to start here so as hopefully we can progress the conversation and hone-in better on what each other mean.

    Bob
  • 180 Proof
    13.2k
    It seems like, and correct me if I am wrong, you ground rationality purely in ethics and not epistemology (and I do the opposite).Bob Ross
    On the contrary, I "ground" ethics and epistemology and ... "in rationality" (i.e. adaptive inferential-discourse). Maybe this divergence is why we're talking past each other.

    Moral facts are useless.
    To whom? For what? Like ecological or medical facts, the utility of "moral facts" is a function of context, Bob: that is, such facts oblige rational agents to posit hypothetical imperatives – normative practices – which are adaptive with respect to those facts as constraints.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    I think I may have identified our confusion with each other: are you trying to convey that "rationality" includes the consideration of one's morals and values, as opposed to 'rationality' entailing any sort of particular ethical theory?Bob Ross

    Yep.

    If you are just trying to convey that one needs to be consistent with their own values, whatever they may be, then I agree and do not see how my definition precludes that.Bob Ross

    I am not saying one needs to be consistent with their own values, I'm saying that's part of rationality.

    I think that it is rational to consider one's values stems from the fact (i.e., that it agrees with reality for me to say that) that one must use their values inevitably to perform any actions; and so it would be irrational to contradict or put no effort into deciphering one's values. However, there is no consideration of any ethical theory in what it means to 'be rational', as it would be very odd indeed to say that someone is irrational for merely disagreeing with one's normative ethical theory (or what not) even in the case that they are being logically consistent, coherent, etc.Bob Ross

    No, rationality by definition references the importance of acting in accordance with one's values, that's what rationality is. You keep referencing your definition to prove we can justify the tenants of rationality with it. Yet, your definition is so vague, that I have no doubt your definition can be used to justify anything bar utter nonsense, so I'm not convinced by what you're doing whatsoever.

    Technically, yes, any ethical theory could suffice, but it's more complicated than that as I explained earlier. Your ethical theory must be rationally justifiable and must be in harmony with what's realistic, your expectations, your values and your goals. Consider also, who it is that finds an ethical theory rational or irrational.

    If I'm judging the rationality of your choice of ethical theory, I may arrive at a different conclusion than you, and the serial killer is a good example of that. Most wouldn't find the serial killer's goals and values to be rationally justifiable, and so even though his actions align with their own goals, it mightn't matter, but it depends. Rationality is a bloated concept, so full of aspects that I think one can arrive at whatever conclusion one likes.

    You took issue with me explaining rationality references ethical considerations, but I just explained my view of what rationality is, it wasn't an endorsement. I don't like or see the value in the concept of rationality, your attempt to just redefine the term as evaluative, as utterly good while retaining the nuances of it, I find a dishonest practice. I'm not interested in fixing the term, it refers to what it refers to.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello 180 Proof,

    On the contrary, I "ground" ethics and epistemology and ... "in rationality" (i.e. adaptive inferential-discourse). Maybe this divergence is why we're talking past each other.

    Probably. Can you firstly define what you mean by “rationality” and, secondly, explain how and why you ground ethics in it?

    Bob: that is, such facts oblige rational agents to posit hypothetical imperatives – normative practices – which are adaptive with respect to those facts as constraints.

    Are you saying that the moral facts obliges us to posit hypothetical imperatives? If so, then what are those facts? And how are they facts (as opposed to hypothetical imperatives themselves)?

    In terms of my position, I have already outlined it here.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    I think I may have identified our confusion with each other: are you trying to convey that "rationality" includes the consideration of one's morals and values, as opposed to 'rationality' entailing any sort of particular ethical theory? — Bob Ross

    Yep.

    I see! Let me try to interpret your response through this lens then.
    I am not saying one needs to be consistent with their own values, I'm saying that's part of rationality.

    I am confused here: aren’t you saying that it is a part of rationality to be consistent with their own values? If not, then please elaborate on what exactly you are referring to here is a part of rationality (so I can assess).

    Or are you making a distinction between acting in accordance with vs. consistent to one’s values? Because you say:

    No, rationality by definition references the importance of acting in accordance with one's values, that's what rationality is.

    Yet, your definition is so vague, that I have no doubt your definition can be used to justify anything bar utter nonsense, so I'm not convinced by what you're doing whatsoever.

    So I can understand your counter here better, please provide me with one example of something which you can derive from my definition which is “utter nonsense” (or even just nonsensical).

    If I'm judging the rationality of your choice of ethical theory, I may arrive at a different conclusion than you, and the serial killer is a good example of that

    I agree, and this is why rationality is not contingent on one’s ethics. It is not irrational or rational, in-itself, for a psychopath to murder people simply because they are doing something immoral. However, it is irrational for one to be inconsistent in their ethical commitments.

    Most wouldn't find the serial killer's goals and values to be rationally justifiable, and so even though his actions align with their own goals,

    Why? If that psychopath is being consistent, coherent, etc. then I don’t see why anyone would be justified in saying they are irrational on the grounds of them performing an act which violates that person’s ethical theory (of what is the right thing to do).

    Rationality is a bloated concept, so full of aspects that I think one can arrive at whatever conclusion one likes.

    Well, now “rationality” is just being treated as a trivial notion! My definition is the core of the concept of what it means to be rational; the term, for me, is not just a whimsical term.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    I am confused here: aren’t you saying that it is a part of rationality to be consistent with their own values?Bob Ross

    Yes, I am. In other words, I am saying an aspect of rationality is for one to act in accordance with one's values regardless of whether I think one should act in accordance with their values. I personally don't think one should strive to act in accordance with their values, as I think this leads to rationalisations. My decision-making process inherently involves using my values, if I decide to do something that apparently contradicts my values, I don't see a problem with that. By the way, I'm not aiming to contrast "acting in accordance with" and "acting consistently with", as I think they express the same idea.

    I'd argue the entire idea of acting in a way that is consistent with one's values is a moral one. It's about holding people accountable. If you can get me to agree that "People should treat each other with respect", then you can hold me to that in the name of rationality whenever I fail to do that. I might then say "Well, in this case, they deserve it, so it's fine", and then you might dispute that, and that's an important role rationality plays in morality and ethics.

    If I agree "People should treat each other with respect" but then later say "Oh, but by the way, I don't really care and I'll just do whatever I want, whenever I want", then what was the point of agreeing in the first place?

    You can interpret the relevance of this idea as you like, but that's how I perceive it. The idea of rationality starts to fall apart if we don't include any moral considerations, particularly in the holistic element, noteworthy as instrumental rationality lacks that holistic element. We can talk about what one should do to accomplish goal X as is done in instrumental rationality, provided the goal is measurable and specific. (i.e. not "agree with reality" or any other non-specific, unmeasurable term).

    So I can understand your counter here better, please provide me with one example of something which you can derive from my definition which is “utter nonsense” (or even just nonsensical).Bob Ross

    It's not possible from your understanding, because you've defined rationality as the opposite of nonsense. Linguistically, it'd be a contradiction to say something that can be correctly referenced as rational was nonsense, because by referencing something as rational ("...agrees with reality"), one is literally saying it's sensible. I can't call something sensible and nonsensical at the same time, can I?

    You just don't appear to view this as a linguistic problem, your term more-or-less references sensible behaviour, that's its definition. In language, we would then reference something as "rational" to convey our opinion that "this is a manner of acting that agrees with reality". It can never be true that "a manner of acting that agrees with reality" was nonsensical, as anything nonsensical cannot be correctly referenced as being "a manner of acting that agrees with reality".

    It's when you allow me to interpret and use the word you've created, without you interfering with my usage, that I can show the problem. But if I say "X action agrees with reality", to show how I've interpreted something nonsensical to be "agreeing with reality", I presume you will just tell me "Nope, wrong, X doesn't agree with reality, therefore your example is invalid". Arguably, the very fact that I intentionally selected a nonsensical example is contradictory, because I'd know my example was wrong.

    The difference between the word "sensible" and rationality, is that sensible has no baggage, it's a purely evaluative term. Thus, I consider it an honest word. Rationality is inherently "That which is sensible" and also includes a bunch of subjective ideas, which implies that those subjective ideas define what's sensible.

    Why? If that psychopath is being consistent, coherent, etc. then I don’t see why anyone would be justified in saying they are irrational on the grounds of them performing an act which violates that person’s ethical theory (of what is the right thing to do).Bob Ross

    Right, but I didn't say that. I'm saying they'd find the serial killer to be inconsistent and incoherent because the serial killer's ethical stance was nonsensical or unjustifiable. Most serial killers believe that what they're doing is immoral, they just either don't care or can't help themselves. You consistently misunderstand language, as though there's an objective truth to whether the serial killer is consistent and coherent, rather than thinking of these as words people use to convey opinion.

    Obviously, nobody who thought the serial killer was coherent and consistent would simultaneously say he was irrational because he was incoherent and inconsistent, as that would be contradictory.
  • 180 Proof
    13.2k
    Can you firstly define what you mean by “rationality” ...Bob Ross
    It's a symbolic practice heuristically (or algorithmically) effective for controlling behavior and / or the environment despite insufficient time and/or information – IIRC, Peirce-Dewey's conception of 'rationality': practice.

    ... and, secondly, explain how and why you ground ethics in it?Bob Ross
    I ground ethics in rationality (i.e. inferential rules/heuristic-making) because I conceive of ethics as the study of 'the how of well-being', that is, how to reduce negations of well-being. (NB: Thus, I analogize well-being (how to reduce its negation) in ethics with e.g. sustainability (how to reduce its negation) in ecology and optimal health-fitness (how to reduce its negation) in medicine.)

    Are you saying that the moral facts obliges us to posit hypothetical imperatives?
    Yes; just as medical facts and ecological facts also oblige us to ask 'how to reduce' their adverse impacts as noted above.

    If so, then what are those facts?
    Species (e.g. h. sapiens) specific functional defects – natural vulnerabilities – which cause dysfunction or worse – increase suffering – in living individuals when such defects are neglected and/or exacerbated (via e.g. deprivation). In other words, whatever harms – is bad for – our kind.

    And how are they facts (as opposed to hypothetical imperatives themselves)?
    At minimum, they (e.g. hunger, bereavement, isolation, injury) are constitutive constraints on – limits to – (our) biological functioning.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Yes, I am. In other words, I am saying an aspect of rationality is for one to act in accordance with one's values regardless of whether I think one should act in accordance with their values

    I agree and don’t see how this contends with my definition. Also, this entails that the psychopath is being rational as long as, all else being equal, they are acting in accordance with their values.

    I'd argue the entire idea of acting in a way that is consistent with one's values is a moral one. It's about holding people accountable.

    Right now, we are just discussing what rationality is, not why one would be motivated to tell someone to act in accordance with their values. With regards to motivation, there are a lot of reasons someone would advocate for a person to be rational.

    that's an important role rationality plays in morality and ethics.

    I agree that ethics heavily relies on rationality (which is epistemic); but not vice-versa. Usually, what is used to decipher what is wrong or right is epistemic principles (e.g., law of noncontradiction, etc.), but rationality itself does not include any moral considerations (viz., rationality only makes reference to people being consistent which, in turn, implies that one ought to be consistent in their values; and they must abide by their values because they literally can’t act without a value judgment occurring; but neither of these consideration are ethical ones: it doesn’t say what is right or wrong).

    The idea of rationality starts to fall apart if we don't include any moral considerations

    I don’t see any moral considerations in what you have been saying about rationality. Saying that one should be consistent in their moral considerations is more like a prerequisite to ethics, not ethics itself.

    It's not possible from your understanding, because you've defined rationality as the opposite of nonsense.

    I don’t care if you abide by my semantics, if you think that my definition leads to implied nonsensical propositions (that are posited as true), then I need you to be able to demonstrate at least one. Otherwise, I don’t think you can claim that.

    It can never be true that "a manner of acting that agrees with reality" was nonsensical

    What action that is a manner of acting in agreement with reality is nonsensical to you? Give me one example.

    is that sensible has no baggage,

    Like “common sense” and “reasonable”, it has a ton of baggage.

    Right, but I didn't say that. I'm saying they'd find the serial killer to be inconsistent and incoherent because the serial killer's ethical stance was nonsensical or unjustifiable.

    But if all you are claiming is that a part of rationality is that one should “act in accordance with one's values”, then they would be factually wrong to claim that the serial killer is irrational because their ethical position is so-called “unjustifiable” or “nonsensical”. As long as they are being consistent and coherent (with their own views), then a person would be wrong to call them irrational; hence, rationality does not have any meaningful connection to ethics.

    Most serial killers believe that what they're doing is immoral, they just either don't care or can't help themselves

    You have to be careful here: usually they mean “immoral” merely in the sense that they are doing something that most people would consider wrong, but they themselves don’t think it is.

    You consistently misunderstand language, as though there's an objective truth to whether the serial killer is consistent and coherent, rather than thinking of these as words people use to convey opinion.

    Firstly, I don’t think truth is objective nor subjective, but that’s for a separate discussion.

    Secondly, I do think there is a truth to the matter of whether the psychopath or serial killer is being internally coherent and logically consistent: that absolutely not a matter of mere semantics.

    Obviously, nobody who thought the serial killer was coherent and consistent would simultaneously say he was irrational because he was incoherent and inconsistent, as that would be contradictory.

    Then you agree with me that ethics is not a part of the discussion about if a person is being rational; for that serial killer could be violating every common moral law and still be considered rational.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    It's a symbolic practice heuristically (or algorithmically) effective for controlling behavior and / or the environment despite insufficient time and/or information – IIRC, Peirce-Dewey's conception of 'rationality': practice.

    Thank you for the definition! So, is “rationality”, then, for you, a pragmatic tool for achieving our desires? If so, then wouldn’t that tool be separate from the desires and wouldn’t it have a set of principles which stem from it that are “rational”? If so, then wouldn’t those “rational” principles, which you say are used for pragmatic purposes of control, devoid of moral content themselves (irregardless of whether someone is deploying them with morally motivated reasons)?

    I ground ethics in rationality (i.e. inferential rules/heuristic-making) because I conceive of ethics as the study of 'the how of well-being', that is, how to reduce negations of well-being. (NB: Thus, I analogize well-being (how to reduce its negation) in ethics with e.g. sustainability (how to reduce its negation) in ecology and optimal health-fitness (how to reduce its negation) in medicine.)

    Upon further contemplation, I actually don’t see anything wrong with this (without importing my own normative ethical theory in the mix); but I am saying that vice-versa is false: rationality is not defined with any moral considerations. Someone can be utterly rational and immoral.

    To me, you using rational principles to infer your ethical obligations is fine, as rationality, then, would be a prerequisite to your ethical discussions; but rationality itself would not be presupposing any ethical considerations.

    Are you saying that the moral facts obliges us to posit hypothetical imperatives?
    Yes; just as medical facts and ecological facts also oblige us to ask 'how to reduce' their adverse impacts as noted above.
    I see.

    Species (e.g. h. sapiens) specific functional defects – natural vulnerabilities – which cause dysfunction or worse – increase suffering – in living individuals when such defects are neglected and/or exacerbated (via e.g. deprivation). In other words, whatever harms – is bad for – our kind.

    I understand that these are facts, but how are they moral facts? They do not inherently have any obligations contained therein, nor do they inherently have moral worth, nor are they categorical imperatives...someone has to decide, as a matter of taste (no matter how deep within their psyche), that they have any moral worth.

    And how are they facts (as opposed to hypothetical imperatives themselves)?
    At minimum, they (e.g. hunger, bereavement, isolation, injury) are constitutive constraints on – limits to – (our) biological functioning.

    A limit to our biological functioning is not, by my lights, a moral fact; it is an amoral or non-moral fact. There is nothing about a limitation on our biological functioning that itself categorically obligates someone to strive to reduce impairments or injury to their physiology.
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    I agree and don’t see how this contends with my definition.Bob Ross

    Me neither, which makes sense, given it doesn't have anything to do with your definition.

    Right now, we are just discussing what rationality is, not why one would be motivated to tell someone to act in accordance with their values.Bob Ross

    I'm talking about the motivations for creating the word rationality and the motivation for seeing actions or choices as rational or irrational.

    I agree that ethics heavily relies on rationality (which is epistemic); but not vice-versa.Bob Ross

    I don't think rationality "relies" on ethics, but ethics play an important role in rationality, in so far as one's goals, values and beliefs naturally take ethical considerations into account. If one admits that's not true for them, fine, as their reward, they can expect their contributions in group discussions to be largely ignored going forward.

    Your thinking is binary. As far as you're concerned, seemingly, if you can prove a single exception, then you've proven rationality is disentangled from ethics. I'm focusing on the 99.99% of cases where ethics matter, you're focusing on the 0.01% of cases where it mightn't.

    Why are you so concerned with this technical, trivial truth that rationality doesn't necessarily include ethics? If rationality doesn't technically mandate including ethics, should we ignore the relationship between the two? Welcome to the real world, where people don't always speak honestly. Where we advocate for rationality, full well knowing and intending the implications the concept would have on morality and ethics.

    I don’t see any moral considerations in what you have been saying about rationality. Saying that one should be consistent in their moral considerations is more like a prerequisite to ethics, not ethics itself.Bob Ross

    The importance of rationality in morality and ethics is the moral consideration, that's why the idea is attractive. Take that away, and we won't ignore that rationality is complete nonsense. It's merely a convenient/useful fiction.

    Rationality lists a plethora of different standards for thinking, and it contains within it, nothing that mentions anything that falls outside the area of thought. Despite that, its definition, as well as yours, primarily focuses on acts as being rational or irrational. If I skip going to the gym because I feel tired, since going to the gym is aligned with my long-term goals, we could call that irrational. If I was studying but got distracted by a conversation with a friend, since what I'm studying for is action to accomplish my higher priority goal, then by definition, that's irrational. If I know it would be beneficial to put my keys in the same spot each time, but I forget to do it, by definition, that's irrational.

    The implication of rationality as a word is clear, my action is irrational, and here are all of these various thinking techniques that are aligned with rationality, in other words, the term inherently asserts the problem is in my thinking. Yet, by definition, actions are rational or irrational even in cases where there's nothing wrong with the quality of my thinking. Why inherently? Because as you yourself said, it's merely true that one's actions were irrational, well, that holds even if common sense would tell us that this is not a knowledge problem.

    Describing actions that don't align with long-term goals or higher-priority beliefs as a flaw of one's thinking is a riot, but that's exactly what the term does. The implication that such actions are necessarily thinking or knowledge problems is absurd and antiscientific, but that's really the only unique thing about rationality. To be able to argue that a failure to act morally is in fact, a knowledge/thinking problem, is greatly useful, but in reality? It's rarely that simple.

    Rationality as a word, fails because it doesn't know when not to apply itself, and your definition is just as poor. One's actions may not be of "a manner that agrees with reality" for many reasons outside of knowledge. You can insist that the term is purely epistemic, but you're wrong. Your definition, and normative rationality, merely imply that irrationality is an epistemic problem, and do so incorrectly and misleadingly.

    There are many other problems with rationality, mostly in the implications it has about the nature of human beings and thought. That there's a need a kind of logical consistency mindmap, ensuring none of one's beliefs contradict and that everything aligns perfectly, is just another nonsense. It's perfectly healthy to have contradictory beliefs and logic doesn't have to be able to work perfectly when being taken out of context. Again, where it does seem particularly important that we don't allow contradictory beliefs and for logic to be inconsistent is in morality and ethics, which I don't think is a coincidence.

    What action that is a manner of acting in agreement with reality is nonsensical to you? Give me one example.Bob Ross

    You're asking me to give an example of sensible behaviour being nonsensical, why don't you see that as a problem? The definition is vague, that's the issue, and what I consider sensible may seem nonsensical to you and vice versa.

    Firstly, I don’t think truth is objective nor subjective, but that’s for a separate discussion.

    Secondly, I do think there is a truth to the matter of whether the psychopath or serial killer is being internally coherent and logically consistent: that absolutely not a matter of mere semantics.
    Bob Ross

    Explain how "There is a truth to the matter" is not the same as saying there's an objective truth. Aren't you saying, "There is a truth that is true regardless of whether someone disagrees", or in other words, that it's not subjective?

    Then you agree with me that ethics is not a part of the discussion about if a person is being rational; for that serial killer could be violating every common moral law and still be considered rational.Bob Ross

    It's part of the discussion in 99.99% of cases, and arguably in 100% of cases, but there's some subjectivity there. As I said, if I want to interpret the serial killer's actions as irrational, and his thinking and goals as foolish, nothing stops me. You're intent on understanding rationality as an actual, objective truth, but I won't join you there. It requires interpretation, and the claim here is vague and unmeasurable, I think treating its truth as scientific-like truth is silly.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello Judaka,

    I don't think rationality "relies" on ethics, but ethics play an important role in rationality, in so far as one's goals, values and beliefs naturally take ethical considerations into account

    But, as I said before, rationality does not consider anything ethical except for being consistent in one’s ethics; and I thought you agreed with me on that? Now it sounds like you are claiming that what is rational is contingent on what one thinks is ethical or unethical beyond merely being consistent.

    Your thinking is binary. As far as you're concerned, seemingly, if you can prove a single exception, then you've proven rationality is disentangled from ethics.

    Sort of. If I can provide an example of a person that you would consider rational, under the definition thereof, which does not exhibit a property of which you are claiming is essential to rationality, then I thereby have demonstrated a contradiction in your view. Thusly, either, in that case, you have to refurbish your definition of rationality or reject that the person is being rational. You can’t have the cake and eat it too (;

    In the case of the psychopath, you can’t claim that (1) there is such a thing as a rational and egregiously immoral psychopath and (2) that rationality, by definition, entails moral goodness.

    I'm focusing on the 99.99% of cases where ethics matter, you're focusing on the 0.01% of cases where it mightn't.

    I am just using a radical example to tease out the contradiction in your view. I don’t think morality is relevant 100% of the time to whether or not a person is being rational. Perhaps, if you would like, then you could offer a counter-example, similar to mine, that demonstrates the need of moral consideration to determine a person as being rational? I would be more than happy to entertain any such examples.

    Why are you so concerned with this technical, trivial truth that rationality doesn't necessarily include ethics?

    I am not. Again, the OP is about there being objective epistemic norms: it isn’t even focused on rationality. You brought up rationality, and somewhere along the lines we started conversing about whether ethics plays a role in its the definition.

    If rationality doesn't technically mandate including ethics, should we ignore the relationship between the two?

    What relationship?!? You are just begging the question here, as I am saying there is no relationship between rationality and ethics (in that direction), but there is vice-versa. If you think that there is, then please elaborate; or, at this point, just provide a counter-example (like my psychopath one).

    Welcome to the real world, where people don't always speak honestly.

    There is absolutely no relevance to the OP whether people are dishonest or not.

    Where we advocate for rationality, full well knowing and intending the implications the concept would have on morality and ethics.

    Like I said before, ethics is tied to rationality, but rationality is not tied to ethics. I don’t disagree that what is rational will impact ethics, but you are saying that ethics impacts rationality.

    The importance of rationality in morality and ethics is the moral consideration

    In that case, then you aren’t saying that ethics impacts rationality but, rather, vice-versa; which I have no problem with.

    nothing that mentions anything that falls outside the area of thought

    Thinking is an action, and actions which are in agreement with reality are rational. Sure, one could say that one is not intentionally being rational if they act in agreement with reality (to the best of our knowledge) but more lucked their way into it—but they would still be acting in a rational manner.

    Despite that, its definition, as well as yours, primarily focuses on acts as being rational or irrational.

    That is all the definition should ever portray: what is rational, and, in light of that, what is not. There is absolutely nothing else the any definition should do other than define the word.

    If I was studying but got distracted by a conversation with a friend, since what I'm studying for is action to accomplish my higher priority goal, then by definition, that's irrational.

    Firstly, this just depends on what your goals are: if you are just casually studying, then it would not be irrational to step into a side conversation.

    Secondly, if the goal is the maximize comprehension (of what one is studying) then it is actually better to take breaks.

    If I know it would be beneficial to put my keys in the same spot each time, but I forget to do it, by definition, that's irrational.

    I don’t think this is irrational because you were still being consistent, to your best ability, with your goals: you just forgot. I don’t see how the act of genuinely forgetting is irrational.

    Yet, by definition, actions are rational or irrational even in cases where there's nothing wrong with the quality of my thinking.

    I think this is a good point: I think that defining it as merely an act precludes intentions, which I think matters. Perhaps a better definition is “an act that attempts to agree with reality”. If you had the intention of doing something quite rational, but for some reason your body fails to actualize that intention in a rational manner, then I wouldn’t say you are being irrational; because the irrational behavior was outside of our control (in any meaningful sense of the term).

    Describing actions that don't align with long-term goals or higher-priority beliefs as a flaw of one's thinking is a riot, but that's exactly what the term does.

    I don’t see how this is a flaw: if one has a goal and has prioritized it above all the others, then it makes no sense do something prioritized lower—either de-prioritize the goal or do it.

    The implication that such actions are necessarily thinking or knowledge problems is absurd and antiscientific

    How is it absurd and antiscientific?

    One's actions may not be of "a manner that agrees with reality" for many reasons outside of knowledge. You can insist that the term is purely epistemic, but you're wrong

    Give me some examples of when someone would be justified in acting in a manner that disagrees with reality.

    You're asking me to give an example of sensible behaviour being nonsensical, why don't you see that as a problem? The definition is vague, that's the issue, and what I consider sensible may seem nonsensical to you and vice versa.

    I am starting to suspect you don’t have any examples of my definition implying something nonsensical; as I already stated that you don’t have to use the term “nonsensical” in whatever way you are assuming I use it. You are the one who said it implies “nonsensical” claims, so what are they?

    I am interpreting, on my end, the term in its colloquial usage (unless you specify otherwise): having no meaning; making no sense or ridiculously impractical or ill-advised.

    You keep assuming I define “nonsensical” in terms of “rationality”, but even if I do it has no bearing on whatever you claiming, as you used the term in whatever sense you mean it.

    Explain how "There is a truth to the matter" is not the same as saying there's an objective truth.

    You can see my thread on truth here .

    It's part of the discussion in 99.99% of cases, and arguably in 100% of cases, but there's some subjectivity there

    Then give me an example!

    As I said, if I want to interpret the serial killer's actions as irrational, and his thinking and goals as foolish, nothing stops me.

    You would be violating my definition and most (if not all) colloquial definitions.
  • 180 Proof
    13.2k
    For more context, consider this post from an old thread "An inquiry into moral facts" ...
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/540198
  • Judaka
    1.7k

    But, as I said before, rationality does not consider anything ethical except for being consistent in one’s ethics; and I thought you agreed with me on that?Bob Ross

    Nope, goals must be rational as well, if your ethical position is invalid, inconsistent or illogical, then you aren't being rational by merely being consistent.

    Sort of. If I can provide an example of a person that you would consider rational, under the definition thereof, which does not exhibit a property of which you are claiming is essential to rationality, then I thereby have demonstrated a contradiction in your view.Bob Ross

    I described it as an aspect, we've already covered this, and yet you're bringing it up like I haven't clarified this multiple times.

    In the case of the psychopath, you can’t claim that (1) there is such a thing as a rational and egregiously immoral psychopath and (2) that rationality, by definition, entails moral goodness.Bob Ross

    My claim isn't that by definition it entails moral goodness, but I think one could reasonably interpret moral goodness to be a condition for rationality. In practice, us consistently finding immoral actions to be irrational would allow one to interpret that moral goodness was a condition. Remember that when you give me an example like "the serial killer has this goal and this opinion and these values", that's remarkably distinct from reality. I have no basis by which I can question the traits or opinions of a hypothetical serial killer, and so your word is law here. You can give your serial killer all the traits, values and beliefs (and you have done that) to make him rational, and thus, I can't reasonably call him irrational. That's true for the hypothetical serial killer, but not in any real-life case.

    In real life, I'll be using my interpretations, my beliefs, my characterisations, my knowledge and my understanding of the serial killer, not yours. It's there that my biases and my opinions will be allowed to operate as usual, and there that the serial killer is unlikely to be considered rational - though it depends on the judge.

    We won't see eye to eye on this though, it's clear enough that we have a different understanding of logic, language and truth.

    Perhaps, if you would like, then you could offer a counter-example, similar to mine, that demonstrates the need of moral consideration to determine a person as being rational?Bob Ross

    I already tried to, but you just found ways of dismissing everything I said, as though that meant something. Whatever traits or beliefs your serial killer needed to be rational, you gave him, however, it was required to interpret his actions to be rational, you argued for. As someone who considers rationality highly subjective, none of this is compelling. Mostly you're just proving that he who acts the judge can conclude how they deem fit.

    What relationship?!?Bob Ross

    Just rationality's importance in ethics.

    I don’t disagree that what is rational will impact ethics, but you are saying that ethics impacts rationality.Bob Ross

    I'm saying that rationality is merely a tool for ethics, everything else is largely misdirection.

    Thinking is an action, and actions which are in agreement with reality are rational.Bob Ross

    So you keep insisting. I was generous with your definition, I thought you were relying on a common understanding of what it might mean for something to "agree with reality", but it seems not, do you mean it literally? Can you explain how two unthinking concepts can be "in agreement"? Explain how that works.

    That is all the definition should ever portray: what is rational, and, in light of that, what is not. There is absolutely nothing else the any definition should do other than define the word.Bob Ross

    The definition of rationality defines what is rational, the word portray sends shivers down my spine... Do you think rationality is a natural phenomenon or what?

    I don’t think this is irrational because you were still being consistent, to your best ability, with your goals: you just forgot. I don’t see how the act of genuinely forgetting is irrational.Bob Ross

    Your definition makes no mention of "to the best of one's ability".

    Perhaps a better definition is “an act that attempts to agree with reality”Bob Ross

    That would be a significant improvement for sure.

    I don’t see how this is a flaw: if one has a goal and has prioritized it above all the others, then it makes no sense do something prioritized lower—either de-prioritize the goal or do it.Bob Ross

    How silly. I'm going to just ignore this comment.

    How is it absurd and antiscientific?Bob Ross

    A failure to act logically isn't necessarily an inability to comprehend what's logical, in fact, it's usually not. We struggle to do what we know we should do for a variety of reasons, surely, you can think of examples without my help.

    I am starting to suspect you don’t have any examples of my definition implying something nonsensicalBob Ross

    Yep, you're right. I won't repeat myself a third time.

    You can see my thread on truth here .Bob Ross

    Your understanding is a mess as expected. Truth is merely a correct reference or the correct answer, it's a function of logic and it's tied to language. I wrote something somewhat relevant recently.

    I imagine you are using the word "truth" to roughly reference "being in accordance with reality". The other common use is through logic. The two combine to create a significant grey area for me. Let me ask a simple question, is a dog a dog? I think most people would agree, that it's objectively true, that a dog is a dog. But why? I think it's fair to say that language isn't part of reality, and the categorisation of a dog as a dog isn't either. So, it must be logic that makes it true.

    Long story short, I think it's clear that truth is working in reverse here, it's not that "a dog is a dog in reality". It's "When a thing, in reality, meets all the prerequisites to be a dog, then it is a dog". So, if an animal meets all the prerequisites to be a dog, then it's objectively true that it's a dog.

    Equally, the "truth" of my argument, involves interpreting reality as meeting the prerequisites of something like "useful". It's true that my argument seems correct, or it's true that my argument seems accurate, or something like that.
    Judaka

    To reference the "truth" of whether an act is rational or irrational is the same as referencing "the correct reference" or "the correct answer". Scientific claims are measurable and specific, and there, if the truth conditions and claims adhere to standards, then there should be a "correct answer". Rationality, neither measurable nor specific, is an unscientific claim, its truth betrays the characteristics you imagine truth should have. Anyone can create a category, give it a logic, and then claim truth when those conditions are met, isn't that so?
  • Apustimelogist
    193
    I think maybe there is still a kind of something like an is-ought problem in epistemology in the sense that people may have different amounts of evidence regarding some hypotheses but the fact that I have evidence doesn't follow that I should take up one belief or another. Some people may take up a belief on very little evidence and some on a lot more.
  • Bob Ross
    772


    Hello 180 Proof,

    I appreciate you referring me to your exposition of moral facts (in another thread), but, unfortunately, I am not seeing how they are really such. A promise is not an ‘is that entails an ought’, for it is the obligation to fulfill one’s promises that furnishes one with a valid deductive argument for any obligation contained in the promise itself. Just my two cents.
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