Saturday, 26 January 2019

On The Philosophy of Reason

Those who contend that their philosophy is the philosophy of reason have a poor understanding of philosophy and reason. The evolutionary way has firmly placed mankind in the province of reason, and for a creature of reason there is no alternative to philosophizing. Therefore, every philosophy, whether rational or irrational, is a philosophy of reason.

You can’t conceive of a philosophy without using reason. Even if you want to undercut reason, you need to philosophize using reason.

F. H. Bradley hit the nail on the head in his 1893 book Appearance and Reality: “The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is wholly impossible has no right here to any answer. He must be referred for conviction to the body of this treatise. And he can hardly refuse to go there, since he himself has, perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena. He is a brother metaphysician with a rival theory of first principles… To say the reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is a claim to know reality; to urge that our knowledge is of a kind which must fail to transcend appearance, itself implies that transcendence.”

One can abandon philosophy, one can abandon reason, but one cannot make a case for the abandonment of philosophy and reason without arguments, and when you are arguing, you are philosophizing, you are using reason, and you are proving the efficacy of reason.

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