Thursday, July 25, 2019

Questioning Reason Again

I saw this website when looking for things interesting on the internet.  It considers ideas that are very important and for that reason I decided to reply.

Reason: Our Only Guide to Knowledge

My problem is not with "reasoning" but the concept that human inherently have a "thing" within them that filters internal and eternal contact with the world, self, and body.  I believe you have conflated the ontological, absolutes in the world like rocks and trees and trucks and fire and starvation, with the epistemological.  At birth, epistemologically, human beings begin at zero.  Logic and reasoning are learned because we are minds and bodies with right and left hands (feet, knees, elbows, and buttocks), that fall down and get up, move objects and are moved as objects.  The learning that is made possible by these things can in the future, through practiced, make possible the act of reasoning.  This all happens at the point of intersection of the all of these factors.  Even the instrument that we learn reasoning through itself is an unknown entity without the accumulation of experiences.  We can acquire the skill of reasoning because we have bodies that cannot stop acting in the world.  Not only is this knowledge learned it must forever be updated, a continuation of examining past experience with present predicament as best we can.  The problem of the necessity to re-update knowledge faces difficulties from every direction, whether from confusions, distortions, complexity, injury, etc. The further difficulty is knowing how to apply previous skills to unknowable future incidences in the world (as within the self) of greater and greater complexity.  Philosophy, generally, has based its reasoning on knowledge that it does not have because it is "run" by adults (who have already learned to crawl, walk, which holes to feed and which holes to evacuate, learned how to speak, read and write, all of which are huge tasks at the time when we are all mired in ignorance).  All knowledge has an objective and a subjective component.   It is education (such as training, among the many different things) that differentiates between fighter pilots, neurosurgeons, and professional baseball pitchers as compared with the everyone else.  It is also education (personal experiences) that allow us have the "maturity" to deal with failure, suffering and loss without falling to alcohol, drugs or suicide.  Reasoning without experience is no better than experience without reasoning.  Even then it all this starts at zero.

(This is an edited version)

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Murphy's Law is one reason not to give up any weapon or capacity.