Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why reasoning together is difficult

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In part, because some people do not like reason. The New Scientist has a special section this time:

Seven reasons why people hate reason
Special Report from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

Linguist Noam Chomsky talks about reason and exaggerated claims. Watch the full-size video

Penrose talks about when we need to sidestep reason. Watch the full-size video

Bioethicist Tom Shakespeare talks about why reason doesn’t tell a good story. Watch the full-size video

From religious fundamentalism to pseudoscience, it seems that forces are attacking the Enlightenment world view – characterised by rational, scientific thinking – from all sides. The debate seems black and white: you’re either with reason, or you’re against it. But is it so simple? In a series of special essays, our contributors look more carefully at some of the most provocative charges against reason. The results suggest that for all the Enlightenment has achieved, we still have a lot of work to do.

Editorial: How to make reason more reasonable

How humans dared to know
The 21st-century passion for “Enlightenment values” owes a lot to the 18th century. Philosopher A. C. Grayling discusses where those values come from and what they mean today

1: Reason stands against values and morals
Shaping a moral and humane world requires more than reason, says Archbishop Rowan Williams

2: No one actually uses reason
If we had to think logically about everything we did, we’d never do anything at all, says neuroscientist Chris Frith. Watch a related video

3: I hear “reason”, I see lies
Science is routinely co-opted by governments and corporations to subvert people’s ability to make their own decisions, say sociologist David Miller and linguist Noam Chomsky. Watch a related video.

4: Reason excludes creativity and intuition
Reason is lost without art, says Turner prizewinner Keith Tyson. Watch a related video.

5: Whose reason is it anyway?
Real people don’t live their lives according to cold rationality, says bioethicist Tom Shakespeare. Watch a related video.

6: Reason destroys itself
Even in formal mathematics, reason breaks its own rules, says mathematician Roger Penrose. Watch a related video.

7: Reason is just another faith
Unconditional reliance on a single authority is never sensible, says philosopher Mary Midgley.

EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE

Lee Smolin on negotiating diversity

Mary Midgley on reason and scepticism

Tom Shakespeare on a world based on reason

Peter Singer on science and morality

Written by LeisureGuy

29 July 2008 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

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