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coberst

Can reason be humanized and remain reasonable

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Can reason be humanized and remain reasonable?

The pre-Socratic, which became the traditional view of rationality, was that thinking was essentially contemplative action; thinking was regarded as an unmediated interfacing between the thinker and the object of thought. This tradition also drew a distinct line between theoretical and practical thinking.

Aristotle considered practical thinking was human action whereas theory was a communion with the divine. Man was considered to be essentially a theoretical being guided by a search for truth. Only when practical concerns were bracketed could this communion take place.

“It is worth noting that for Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and even Spinoza, desires and passions were not original properties of the human soul but the ‘disturbances’ it suffered as a result of its union with the body and which it could and should constantly endeavor to transcend.”

The first attack on this traditional view was via Hobbes, refined by Locke and the French Enlightenment. They argued that man was essentially a practical creature constantly in search for happiness. As Voltaire said “the passions are the wheels which make all these machines go”.

The second line of attack came from Hegel and Kant. Kant said that it was the perceiver that placed order upon the universe and that the knower could not know the thing-in-itself, i.e. reality is out there but we can not know it in any absolute fashion. Reality for us is the reality we create in response to our inner cognitive process driven by the sensations from the world out there.

Hegel argued that human thought was “culturally and historically conditioned and could not transcend the categories and assumptions of its time.”

“Marx married liberal psychology to Hegel’s historicism…Human thought was determined by interest…not in individual but in socio-historical terms…Each individual thought, he believed, in terms of the categories characteristic of his class…Such limited and distorted thought Marx called ideology.”

Ideology is the BIG problem of our times and the BIG question is ‘can the historically naïve traditional theory of the rational model be revised without destroying rationality completely?’ In other words can rationality be recovered from its heavenly haunts and be placed securely and solely within the human world without losing the positive aspect of reason.

Many humans express this common sense view of belonging to a supernatural world through their religious belief; however, even those who are not religious are often captives of the mind/body dichotomy that is so prevalent in Western philosophy.

I think that to deal effectively with this paradox we must become sophisticated enough to comprehend its source and to modify it at that point or not at all.

Cognitive science has introduced a new way of viewing the world and our self by declaring a new paradigm which is called the embodied mind. The primary focus is upon the fact that there is no mind/body duality but that there is indeed an integrated mind and body. The mind and body are as integrated as is the heart and the cardiovascular system. Mind and body form a gestalt (a structure so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts).

The human thought process is dominated by the characteristic of our integrated body. The sensorimotor neural network is an integral part of mind. The neural network that makes movement and perception possible is the same network that processes our thinking.

Quotes from Knowledge and Belief in Politics: The Problem of Ideology edited by Robert Benewick, R. N. Berki, and Bhikhu Parekh

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Do you think that rationality is consistent from one person to the next? For example would you say the capacity to say "1+1=2" is physically inherent in the brain from one person to the next ( generally speaking )?

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coberst, some of the thing you are presenting is quite interesting human beings are not really domesticated (Not in the sense the animals we have reared that way are). To our benefit we know today that humans have been on

earth for about 250,000 years and in regards to spoken language, well been around for about 10,000 years at most. In the animal world the closest animals to us are the Chimpanzee and the Dolphin, but probably not for the same reasons.

Cognitive science has introduced a new way of viewing the world and our self by declaring a new paradigm which is called the embodied mind. The primary focus is upon the fact that there is no mind/body duality but that there is indeed an integrated mind and body. The mind and body are as integrated as is the heart and the cardiovascular system. Mind and body form a gestalt (a structure so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts).

Consider a reality in which our common definition for the past does not exist and in its place are the effects of wave dynamics in relation to electron spin. Everything that has happened, within every moment precisely recorded.

A past that exists in the present.....

Ideology is the BIG problem of our times and the BIG question is ‘can the historically naïve traditional theory of the rational model be revised without destroying rationality completely?’ In other words can rationality be

recovered from its heavenly haunts and be placed securely and solely within the human world without losing the positive aspect of reason.

I agree but if it were not for our ego's much of what we have today would not exist. Our population continues growing and we need this technology otherwise things will probably get more than just a little gross.

The pre-Socratic, which became the traditional view of rationality, was that thinking was essentially contemplative action; thinking was regarded as an unmediated interfacing between the thinker and the object

of thought. This tradition also drew a distinct line between theoretical and practical thinking.

Aristotle considered practical thinking was human action whereas theory was a communion with the divine. Man was considered to be essentially a theoretical being guided by a search for truth. Only when practical concerns were bracketed could this communion take place.

“It is worth noting that for Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and even Spinoza, desires and passions were not original properties of the human soul but the ‘disturbances’ it suffered as a result of its union with the body and which it could and should constantly endeavor to transcend.”

Rationality works great when one gets there food from a grocery store. When the nearest food is 5 days away but you have plenty of water desires and passions are exactly what one needs.

Of course, they are referring to the divine soul. But in relation to how we can understand ourselves today perhaps your correct, it's time for a Resonance.

Any thoughts?

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Do you think that rationality is consistent from one person to the next? For example would you say the capacity to say "1+1=2" is physically inherent in the brain from one person to the next ( generally speaking )?

It is a hypothesis of SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) that the sensorimotor activity of collecting objects by a child constitute a conceptual metaphor at the neural level leading to a primary metaphor that ‘arithmetic is object collection’. The arithmetic teacher attempting to teach the child at a later time depends upon this already accumulated knowledge. Of course, all of this is known to the child without the symbolization or the conscious awareness of the child.

The pile of objects became ‘bigger’ when the child added more objects and became ‘smaller’ when objects were removed. The child easily recognizes while being taught arithmetic that 5 is bigger than 3 and 3 is littler than 7. The child knows many entailments, many ‘truths’, resulting from playing with objects. The teacher has little difficulty convincing the child that two collections A and B are increased when another collection C is added, or that if A is bigger than B then A+C is bigger than B+C.

At birth an infant has a minimal innate arithmetic ability. This ability to add and subtract small numbers is called subitizing. (I am speaking of a cardinal number—a number that specifies how many objects there are in a collection, don’t confuse this with numeral—a symbol). Many animals display this subitizing ability.

In addition to subitizing the child, while playing with objects, develops other cognitive capacities such as grouping, ordering, pairing, memory, exhaustion-detection, cardinal-number assignment, and independent order.

Subitizing ability is limited to quantities 1 to 4. As a child grows s/he learns to count beyond 4 objects. This capacity is dependent upon 1) Combinatorial-grouping—a cognitive mechanism that allows you to put together perceived or imagined groups to form larger groups. 2) Symbolizing capacity—capacity to associate physical symbols or words with numbers (quantities).

“Metaphorizing capacity: You need to be able to conceptualize cardinal numbers and arithmetic operations in terms of your experience of various kinds—experiences with groups of objects, with the part-whole structure of objects, with distances, with movement and location, and so on.”

“Conceptual-blending capacity. You need to be able to form correspondences across conceptual domains (e.g., combining subitizing with counting) and put together different conceptual metaphors to form complex metaphors.”

Primary metaphors function somewhat like atoms that can be joined into molecules and these into a compound neural network. On the back cover of “Where Mathematics Comes From” is written “In this acclaimed study of cognitive science of mathematical ideas, renowned linguist George Lakoff pairs with psychologist Rafael Nunez to offer a new understanding of how we conceive and understand mathematical concepts.”

“Abstract ideas, for the most part, arise via conceptual metaphor—a cognitive mechanism that derives abstract thinking from the way we function in the everyday physical world. Conceptual metaphor plays a central and defining role in the formation of mathematical ideas within the cognitive unconscious—from arithmetic and algebra to sets and logic to infinity in all of its forms. The brains mathematics is mathematics, the only mathematics we know or can know.”

We are acculturated to recognize that a useful life is a life with purpose. The complex metaphor ‘A Purposeful Life Is a Journey’ is constructed from primary metaphors: ‘purpose is destination’ and ‘action is motion’; and a cultural belief that ‘people should have a purpose’.

A Purposeful Life Is A Journey Metaphor

A purposeful life is a journey.

A person living a life is a traveler.

Life goals are destinations

A life plan is an itinerary.

This metaphor has strong influence on how we conduct our lives. This influence arises from the complex metaphor’s entailments: A journey, with its accompanying complications, requires planning, and the necessary means.

Primary metaphors ‘ground’ concepts to sensorimotor experience. Is this grounding lost in a complex metaphor? ‘Not by the hair of your chiney-chin-chin’. Complex metaphors are composed of primary metaphors and the whole is grounded by its parts. “The grounding of A Purposeful Life Is A Journey is given by individual groundings of each component primary metaphor.”

The ideas for this post come from “Philosophy in the Flesh”. The quotes are from “Where Mathematics Comes From” by Lakoff and Nunez

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I agree but if it were not for our ego's much of what we have today would not exist. Our population continues growing and we need this technology otherwise things will probably get more than just a little gross.

Therein lay the rub. Technology makes possible the great increase in population and technology must find a way to provide for this population, which will increase the population further, which will require more technology...

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During the American-Vietnamese war, then-retired General James Gavin proposed a solution to the conflict. The United States should declare victory, and go home.

Evidently, it works for the mind-body problem, too. There is no problem. Why didn't Descartes think of that?

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During the American-Vietnamese war, then-retired General James Gavin proposed a solution to the conflict. The United States should declare victory, and go home.

Evidently, it works for the mind-body problem, too. There is no problem. Why didn't Descartes think of that?

The Catholic Church was very careful about what thinkers could say. Example Galileo.

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Rationality works great when one gets there food from a grocery store. When the nearest food is 5 days away but you have plenty of water desires and passions are exactly what one needs.

Of course, they are referring to the divine soul. But in relation to how we can understand ourselves today perhaps your correct, it's time for a Resonance.

Any thoughts?

I think there are still things that are tenable in rationalist philosophy if its not seen as a product of a divine soul. I could name a philosopher who might resolve this to some degree but it would probably get me flamed. I wasn't sure what you meant by the grocery store analogy. I do think rationality is a tool for survival. It will certainly help you at least plan out the most effective way to get the food even if you need desire to actually do it.

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Therein lay the rub. Technology makes possible the great increase in population and technology must find a way to provide for this population, which will increase the population further, which will require more technology...

God did say be fruitful and multiply. :) Truthfully what would the population of the world be in 200 years even with China presently making it illegal to have more than one child.

I think there are still things that are tenable in rationalist philosophy if it's not seen as a product of a divine soul. I could name a philosopher who might resolve this to some degree but it would probably get me flamed.

I wasn't sure what you meant by the grocery store analogy. I do think rationality is a tool for survival. It will certainly help you at least plan out the most effective way to get the food even if you need desire to actually do it.

Have you ever considered that prophets (taking into consideration that prophets could perform miracles) are actually favorable mutations, the result of punctuated equilibrium as defined in evolutionary theory.

Individuals who would have led a relatively average life had they been born millions of years from now. As by that time skills such as the prophets preformed would apply to nearly anyone (potentially). Many animals use tools and in relation to the work done with Chimps and Dolphins were communicating and the known Universe is way larger than we thought. While certainly some may disagree and with respect to the divine soul life after death is life.

Any thoughts?

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