Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reason Within and Reason Without

I am, of course, not the first to suggest the necessity of a relationship between the reason within human beings and the "reason" that inhabits the "external" world.

For example, Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel both asserted an intimate relationship between internal and external reason. However, in various very important particulars, I view that connection -- the connection between the logics that operate in the human brain (a/k/a human organism) and the logics that pervade the "external" world --, I view that relationship very differently than either Kant or Hegel did.

I suspect it is necessary (and appropriate) to speak of logics that are immanent in the human organism. These are logics that become apparent mainly as a result of encounters between the human organism and the external world, i.e., through experience. These encounters serve, eventually, to reveal some of the properties of the external world -- and also some of the properties of the human organism and of the logics or processes by which the human organism grapples with the external world and tries to comprehend it.

The vision hinted at above is more Aristotelian than Kantian.

My speculative vision of things -- such as it is -- is for various reasons not a Hegelian vision -- even though Hegel talks far more than Kant does about an immanent reason that becomes explicit and "real" over time. But I do not want to become mired in a discussion of what was wrong with Hegel's vision or in a discussion of what his vision really was. The amount of intellectual labor necessary to dispel the murk around such questions about Hegel's philosophy is excessive.

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