The question of the relationship between native or inherited reasoning, on the one hand, and artificial or new forms of reasoning, on the other hand, is central. It certainly is the case that in some domains (e.g., the realm of chemistry) we have improved our reason. It is also the case in other domains (such as law) that we hope to improve on our prior and inherited reasoning. It is rare that we can entirely escape from inherited (and often tacit) reasoning. But we can improve or we hope to improve how well our inherited conceptual, reasoning, sensory etc. equipment works. I see the human animal as in part a self-organizing creature. But the human creature must work with [the equipment] it has at any given moment. There is a mystery here: The human creature has the power to use what it has to become more than it was. This applies to reasoning and inferential ability. But history proves that this can happen. Else how does one explain the existence and power of calculus?
Monday, September 13, 2010
A Thought about Human Rationality, Immanence, Improvement, and Transcendence
Very recently I sent a good friend the following thought: