



Titel 

There can be no rational argument against rational argumentation  Geplaatst door 

T. Rivas  Samenvatting 

Any rational argumentation against rationality is selfdefeating.  Tekst 

There can be no rational argument against rational argumentation: a very short statement
by Titus Rivas
Opponents of the rational method for philosophy or science often resort to argumentation to bolster their position. Implicitly, they assume that their arguments against rationality make sense, i.e. that their arguments are rational. However, if one rejects the validity of rational argumentation, by definition, one cannot use rational arguments against the rational method.
For instance, it is often claimed that the results of quantum mechanics go against reason and therefore undermine the validity of rational argumentation. This is absurd, because such results can only (rationally) lead to the undermining of reason if rational thinking is valid. Either the rational method is valid or it is not, but you cannot use it to prove that it is not. (By the way, this implies that antirational conclusions based on quantum data must be false and that theorists should draw different conclusions. Quantum reality may be weird, but it cannot be rationally incoherent since we could never establish this through the rational method. We could not establish anything anymore.)
Some may say that the rational method is selfdefeating, because it leads to antirational conclusions in the context of quantum mechanics. But this is nonsense, because it can only do so as long as it is NOT selfdefeating but valid. If reason really collapsed, no rational argument could hold anymore. We'd stop knowing anything whatsoever, even the (overrated) Socratic insight of "knowing nothing" would become baseless.
Does this mean that the rational method is necessarily the only method to reach true insights? Certainly not. There can be other valuable methods, such as the intuitive method, for example in the realm of the establishment of ultimate axiological and metaethical principles. Such methods are nonrational or arational, which is not the same as irrational though, let alone antirational.
Any method that is compatible with the rational method deserves some respect. Only the rejection of rationality itself does not. It is selfdefeating and therefore untenable.
This very short statement was published on txtxs.nl on May 21st 2011.
Contact: titusrivas@hotmail.com
  Gebruikte steekwoorden 

philosophy, rationality, rationalism, irrational, epistemology, logic, arational, intuitionism 
printversie

auteur mailen 
sluiten










