Tuesday, 7 October 2008


I have a new idea, and I came up with it while sauntering across a rather deserted patch of grass in the cold, also thinking about the intellectual busy-ness with which I mounted my cycle with little sleep and little food, rode at full speed for 15 minutes, then dismounted and ran for 10 minutes to make sure that I got to tutorial on time. Mostly it was because I didn't want to upset my tutor, but partly also because I wanted to learn. It was a great time. 

Rationality - My opinion is that rationality is a social construction. Reason is simply one of many methods by which to analyze the world around us and to undertake decisions. Because rationality is constructed, I believe that in its use as a method of analysis, it is fundamentally subordinate to emotion, which is innate (to human beings and perhaps to all living things). The philosophical greats, from Socrates to Locke and their drinking buddies, overemphasized the use of reason. Locke even went so far as to say that human beings are born with some concept of rationality. That is simply not true. We are born with emotion, raw and unbridled. It is this emotion, this gut instinct, this intuition, by which we should analyze and come to decisions. I think that society ought to stop wondering what the most 'reasonable' action is, but should rather do what feels 'right'. 

There may be some questions to what I have said:
-How do you define reason / rationality, and what are their differences?
-Why do you seem to be using reason to make a rational argument against the supremacy of rationality?
-By 'right' do you imply that human beings have fully inherent and fully developed emotional mechanisms for analyzing the world and coming to decisions?

To these questions, I respond: read that paragraph, understand the idea, and think about how you feel about that idea.