Sign in to follow this  
Philip Coates

The Nature of Reason

Recommended Posts

"Man’s essential characteristic is his rational faculty. Man’s mind is his basic means of survival—his only means of gaining knowledge..." [from "What is Capitalism?"]

It is understandable that people make mistakes of exclusion with very broad concepts such as reason, selfishness, capitalism. The very scope of such 'big' concepts (and the omnipresence of the occurrences and application of each one) often makes people use them or understand any one of them in a limited, too narrow or reductionist way. It's so big, applies to so many instances - and so many types, and across so much of life - that it's quite easy to make mistakes.

In the case of "reason", there is a tendency to take that concept to mean a primarily outward directed form of cognition in which one identifies and integrates, parses and questions and dissects all the phenomena one observes or otherwise has seen or experienced in a lifetime. For example, the "man of reason" reads books, questions his professors or superiors, does not take for granted what he has been taught in churches or schools, is creative in envisioning new ideas and products and identifications.

But a key aspect of being a man of reason [or woman, obviously] is using reason to control actions and habits. To bring ideas into reality in the real world, to implement, to execute, to apply. To get up out of the armchair. E.g., to produce, to be productive not just identify or advocate production. (A common, colloquial term for one form of this is "will power".)

Contrast this against one who characteristically or repeatedly in major issues or areas of life goes purely on impulse or who fails to act in vital areas of life when it is too much of an effort. Such a person is *not* a man of reason in the full sense. No matter how intelligent or acute he is in purely intellectual (or academic or professional) areas.

In a related sphere, it's quite often the case that those with great intellectual skills in matters outside of themselves, are not very psychologically well-developed or well-balanced. They may be repressers - not allowing themselves to fully feel or identify their feelings. (The mistake of Roark-inspired "stoicism" is a common form of that). There's also the opposite extreme, that of the emotionalists. They may "let it all hang out", such as those commonly called rageaholics who one sees screaming at adversaries at political events, on the internet, etc. A/ One mistake is to control and bury everything (or at least very important spheres of one's self), the expression in the real or external world of what you really feel or value. B/ Another, which can lead to the preceding, is to not identify or be fully aware of that. C/ Still another is to have no editing function, no self-control, no sense of proportion or context in expressing or emitting what is inside

While rage and depression and delaying the expression of emotion till a proper time can be appropriate response to some particular events, if one is a person of reason one needs to learn not just to identify concepts about the external world with care and precision and context, but one needs also to master the often-difficult art and science of how to act upon such identifications.

And finally one needs to rationally become a 'mature' integrated personality. To have one's psychology, one's evaluations and emotions and inner life thought through and organized and integrated in harmony with the areas of abstract cognition and of action.

Three areas are required then, to say you live rationally are a person of reason. Not -perfection- in any of these areas. Everyone makes mistake in all three, but a sustained and basically successfully effort in all the basic areas is mandatory for your "tool of survival" to be activated and working to your advantage.

Edited by Philip Coates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest an emphasis on critical thinking; that makes a lot more sense than Phil's article which belongs as a Preface to a 700 page book needing many years of research and writing. And as a Preface it's only a precis.

--Brant

why do I get the impression Phil's into control?

run genius, run!

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a misstatement in the transition from paragraph four to five of my post above:

"One who characteristically or repeatedly in major issues or areas of life goes purely on impulse or who fails to act when it is too much of an effort."

--has now been changed to:

Contrast this against one who characteristically or repeatedly in major issues or areas of life goes purely on impulse or who fails to act in vital areas of life when it is too much of an effort.

Edited by Philip Coates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world but now you can only buy ritalin and and prozac so can you use reasson other then in some way ppl used it after they did read darwin but before darwin got mainstram (or the basic for new way of think abut humans and how to orgeniaz socity)?i dont say you cant use reasson to read the god spell or to read globalzation books but will it still not be eh unreassonbel to think you can use it before we have the tools to change it ?will not ppl think you are a man of no reasson if base you ideas and knowlege on infomation other pepol dont have ?(you live i a small rual village but have academic books on your pda that you read but nobody else in that village have read it,you read 3-4 other langueses so good that you can have a academic coversation in it but your frinds/realtivs/school teacher dont know it and understand the information you have read )

eh not well balanced is that what this forum are abut;) talk abut and think and ogrnaize ideas and conspcets normal foks dont undertand ?

i guss a perosnal wiki and a kind of time manger/brain storming software on your computer/pda allso will slowe the problem of orgenize your ideas so you dont end up as a arrogant loner like roark if you young you can backpack and tell foks you meetabut your ideas and conscetp but i guss that can only do if you are younger then 40 years old...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world but now you can only buy ritalin and and prozac so can you use reasson other then in some way ppl used it after they did read darwin but before darwin got mainstram (or the basic for new way of think abut humans and how to orgeniaz socity)?i dont say you cant use reasson to read the god spell or to read globalzation books but will it still not be eh unreassonbel to think you can use it before we have the tools to change it ?will not ppl think you are a man of no reasson if base you ideas and knowlege on infomation other pepol dont have ?(you live i a small rual village but have academic books on your pda that you read but nobody else in that village have read it,you read 3-4 other langueses so good that you can have a academic coversation in it but your frinds/realtivs/school teacher dont know it and understand the information you have read )

eh not well balanced is that what this forum are abut;) talk abut and think and ogrnaize ideas and conspcets normal foks dont undertand ?

i guss a perosnal wiki and a kind of time manger/brain storming software on your computer/pda allso will slowe the problem of orgenize your ideas so you dont end up as a arrogant loner like roark if you young you can backpack and tell foks you meetabut your ideas and conscetp but i guss that can only do if you are younger then 40 years old...

A decent respect for the opinions of mankind, and your self, requires that you write in proper sentence and paragraph form and that you take some care with your thoughts and your spelling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world but now you can only buy ritalin and and prozac so can you use reasson other then in some way ppl used it after they did read darwin but before darwin got mainstram (or the basic for new way of think abut humans and how to orgeniaz socity)?i dont say you cant use reasson to read the god spell or to read globalzation books but will it still not be eh unreassonbel to think you can use it before we have the tools to change it ?will not ppl think you are a man of no reasson if base you ideas and knowlege on infomation other pepol dont have ?(you live i a small rual village but have academic books on your pda that you read but nobody else in that village have read it,you read 3-4 other langueses so good that you can have a academic coversation in it but your frinds/realtivs/school teacher dont know it and understand the information you have read )

eh not well balanced is that what this forum are abut;) talk abut and think and ogrnaize ideas and conspcets normal foks dont undertand ?

i guss a perosnal wiki and a kind of time manger/brain storming software on your computer/pda allso will slowe the problem of orgenize your ideas so you dont end up as a arrogant loner like roark if you young you can backpack and tell foks you meetabut your ideas and conscetp but i guss that can only do if you are younger then 40 years old...

A decent respect for the opinions of mankind, and your self, requires that you write in proper sentence and paragraph form and that you take some care with your thoughts and your spelling.

Maybe he's doing the best he can do and he's to be commended for it.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world but now you can only buy ritalin and and prozac so can you use reasson other then in some way ppl used it after they did read darwin but before darwin got mainstram (or the basic for new way of think abut humans and how to orgeniaz socity)?i dont say you cant use reasson to read the god spell or to read globalzation books but will it still not be eh unreassonbel to think you can use it before we have the tools to change it ?will not ppl think you are a man of no reasson if base you ideas and knowlege on infomation other pepol dont have ?(you live i a small rual village but have academic books on your pda that you read but nobody else in that village have read it,you read 3-4 other langueses so good that you can have a academic coversation in it but your frinds/realtivs/school teacher dont know it and understand the information you have read )

eh not well balanced is that what this forum are abut;) talk abut and think and ogrnaize ideas and conspcets normal foks dont undertand ?

i guss a perosnal wiki and a kind of time manger/brain storming software on your computer/pda allso will slowe the problem of orgenize your ideas so you dont end up as a arrogant loner like roark if you young you can backpack and tell foks you meetabut your ideas and conscetp but i guss that can only do if you are younger then 40 years old...

A decent respect for the opinions of mankind, and your self, requires that you write in proper sentence and paragraph form and that you take some care with your thoughts and your spelling.

Maybe he's doing the best he can do and he's to be commended for it.

--Brant

Nonsense, Brant. A microcephalic on crystal meth could write better than that. The forum editor even underlines misspellings for you. Are you telling me that someone who uses the words extropian and transhumanist isn't familiar with the shift, space and return keys? I didn't bother to read him past the first sentence, and neither did you nor anyone else. If he wants to pass the turing test he'll need to try a little harder. I at least am respecting him enough to let him know he can do better. But if you want to praise him for just having pressed a lot of keys, feel free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would help if you really knew what you were talking about. A generic statement may hit the bullseye 99% of the time and still bitch-slap an innocent.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reply to post #7.

An extreme dyslexic might have real difficulty even reading the outcome of a spell checker and it is possible to write garbled sentences which are quite grammatical. For example: Extreme green flies sleep furiously. Every word correctly spelled and in correct syntactical for and it does not make much sense. I would be very cautious about stomping on dyslexics, autistics and Aspies. I record books for the blind and dyslexic and I am quite familiar with some of the problems such readers have, especially young dyslexic readers. Older dyslexics learn some tricks to avoid errors, but younger dyslexics have not yet had a chance to learn.

Ach wad some Power, the giftie gie us

to see ourselves as ithers see us.

Question: is Robert Burns an idiot? His poetry comes out a mess when put through a spell and grammar checker.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reply to post #7.

An extreme dyslexic might have real difficulty even reading the outcome of a spell checker and it is possible to write garbled sentences which are quite grammatical. For example: Extreme green flies sleep furiously. Every word correctly spelled and in correct syntactical for and it does not make much sense. I would be very cautious about stomping on dyslexics, autistics and Aspies. I record books for the blind and dyslexic and I am quite familiar with some of the problems such readers have, especially young dyslexic readers. Older dyslexics learn some tricks to avoid errors, but younger dyslexics have not yet had a chance to learn.

Ach wad some Power, the giftie gie us

to see ourselves as ithers see us.

Question: is Robert Burns an idiot? His poetry comes out a mess when put through a spell and grammar checker.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Again not one single person on this forum bothered to finish reading that post when first reading it.

The use of "ppl" is sloppy text messaging, not dyslexia.

Even dyslexics can see the red underlining of misspelled words by the editor when they post.

As for the "idiot"? Burns was writing in Scots, not in sloppy English, Bob.

Edited by Ted Keer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reply to post #7.

An extreme dyslexic might have real difficulty even reading the outcome of a spell checker and it is possible to write garbled sentences which are quite grammatical. For example: Extreme green flies sleep furiously. Every word correctly spelled and in correct syntactical for and it does not make much sense. I would be very cautious about stomping on dyslexics, autistics and Aspies. I record books for the blind and dyslexic and I am quite familiar with some of the problems such readers have, especially young dyslexic readers. Older dyslexics learn some tricks to avoid errors, but younger dyslexics have not yet had a chance to learn.

Ach wad some Power, the giftie gie us

to see ourselves as ithers see us.

Question: is Robert Burns an idiot? His poetry comes out a mess when put through a spell and grammar checker.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Again not one single person on this forum bothered to finish reading that post when first reading it.

The use of "ppl" is sloppy text messaging, not dyslexia.

Even dyslexics can see the red underlining of misspelled words by the editor when they post.

As for the "idiot"? Burns was writing in Scots, not in sloppy English, Bob.

You should be appreciated for the high level of your education. Much more than mine.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another of my favorite Scots lines:

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht, Wi muckle faught and din

My mother used to read that to me so often as a "bairnie".

Jim

Edited by James Heaps-Nelson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world

Nonsense, Brant. A microcephalic on crystal meth could write better than that.

I don't know, it definitely reminds me of Finnegans Wake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh dont the word neuroscince say anybody anything ? maybe you can use reasson to buy brainchemcial pills in a extropian/transhuamist world

Nonsense, Brant. A microcephalic on crystal meth could write better than that.

I don't know, it definitely reminds me of Finnegans Wake.

LOL. I had the exact same thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another of my favorite Scots lines:

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht, Wi muckle faught and din

My mother used to read that to me so often as a "bairnie".

Jim

I have a best friend from high school whose father speaks in exactly this way. Spitting image of Mike Myers' father in So I Married an Axe Murderer. (A must-see top-notch sense of life comedy, by the way.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this