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quarta-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2012

On Reason

"Reason means different things to different people. To some people - a lot of them, a hundred years ago - it has meant thought purged of metaphysics and dogma: in practice, this is equivalent to saying that the thoughts of liberals and anticlericals are always right. In the powerful tradition known as 'pure rationalism' it means thought opposed to other kinds of experience. In that known as empiricism, it means the opposite: thought disciplined by the evidence of sense. In a weak sense, it can mean proceeding by way of dialogue and compromise: 'Be reasonable,' we say when we want someone to sacrifice an opinion in the interests of consensus. One way or another, 'thought' comes into every definition, with the implication that thought is something apart from the feelings, intimations, passions, promptings and sensings that form the subjects of other chapters in this book. Thought convinces some of us that it needs no objects outside itself: it can make up its own; it is 'pure', creating by a sort of parthenogenesis. Reason, to some practitioners, is therefore chaste rationalism, unravished by experience."
FERNÁDEZ-ARMESTO, Felipe. Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. p. 85-6.
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