Wednesday, 11 April 2018


19 March 2015 ·
What is "rationality" ? I have never understood . There are a thousand "rationalities" , economic, strategic, moral , national , geo-political . We humans have thousands of satellites of which 80% are for war . A resource "rational" humanity could do with one-fifth of most resources used now .
If we were "rational" we would fulfill basic human needs of food , clothing, shelter not make billion dollar homes or have wines that cost a million dollars .
There is nothing "rational" . The religious have their own rationalities, just as the capitalists or communists have . The vegans and Jains have their own food rationalities just as coastal communities or Tibetans have .
So-called sciences have their own assumptions just like anyone else . Its what works that rules . Technology or Tools . Jhad-Phook , Psycho-therapists or Nerve-Calmers .
All that matters is "kaam ki cheez hai ya nahin " ( Does it work for me/us or not) .
Simply .
From an American professor who believes homeopathic “remedies” are "irrational" instead of "proven medical procedures" , but otherwise makes a sound argument . This blog itself proves to me that the best have clear ideas of their , even "Practical Rationality" . So lets be clear , only subjectivity , Glorious Subjectivity exists in the Knowledge World . Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York.
"The ancient Greeks had already made a distinction between “theoria” (theoretical reason) and “praxis” (practical reason), the first one being the sort of reasoning that is supposed to reflect a point of view from nowhere, as the phrase goes, while the second one is a type of instrumental rationality deployed in the pursuit of specific ends. (Yes, modern philosophy and cognitive science have respectively argued and shown convincingly that human beings can hardly access a view from nowhere, but it is an ideal, meaning that in some cases we want to transcend as much as possible our foibles and specific issues to look at the world as broadly as is feasible for us.)
While all systems of logic do need starting assumptions (or axioms, as they are called in math), and no interestingly complex individual system can be completely justified from within itself, the aims and assumptions of theoretical and practical reason are nonetheless clearly distinct. Theoretical reason is what we deploy when we wish to arrive at general principles of logic that apply regardless of the circumstances (e.g., the principle of non-contradiction), while the practical reason tells us what we need to do in order to maximize a specified utility function.
I think of economics as a type of (soft) social science, not as quackery, despite the fact that much nonsense is being sold to us all in its name by a variety of pundits and experts. I mean that there are facts about economies that we can’t (or shouldn’t, at any rate) ignore, regardless of our values about fairness, distribution of wealth, etc. But it is also obvious that what is “rational” in economics does not depend only on those facts, it greatly depends on one’s values and how the latter determine one’s priorities. So, for instance, it may very well be that laissez-faire capitalism is the best way to maximize distribution of goods (I am not conceding the point, I am assuming it for the sake of argument), but even so we could (should, really) decide that other criteria need to be counted into the equation too, and sometimes may even override the goal of maximization of distribution (or even, gulp!, of maximization of shareholders’ profits). Criteria such as fair access to resources (like education and health care), safety, environmental impact, and so forth are among those that might be considered.
So, the next time you are about to hurl the “that’s irrational” judgment at someone, stop and think in what sense you mean it, and consider whether it actually applies to the situation at hand. It may save you some grief and frustration, and who knows, you may even get your point of view across in a less threatening manner. Assuming that’s of concern to you, of course."

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