structure for 'Reason'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason

[extent to which our reason can reveal truth]

23 ideas
A very hungry man cannot choose between equidistant piles of food [Aristotle]
Sceptics say reason is only an instrument, because reason can only be attacked with reason [Diog. Laertius on Pyrrho]
All discussion is full of uncertainty and contradiction (Mode 11) [Diog. Laertius on Agrippa]
All reasoning endlessly leads to further reasoning (Mode 12) [Diog. Laertius on Agrippa]
Reasoning needs arbitrary faith in preliminary hypotheses (Mode 14) [Diog. Laertius on Agrippa]
Proofs often presuppose the thing to be proved (Mode 15) [Diog. Laertius on Agrippa]
A rational donkey would starve to death between two totally identical piles of hay [PG on Buridan]
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing [Pascal]
The universe is infinitely varied, so the Buridan's Ass dilemma could never happen [Leibniz]
The truths of reason instruct, but they do not illuminate [Joubert]
Truth does not come from giving reasons for and against propositions [Hegel]
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds [Emerson]
What can be 'demonstrated' is of little worth [Nietzsche]
People have had good reasons for thinking that the circle has been squared [Shoemaker]
If you believe that some of your beliefs are false, then at least one of your beliefs IS false [Harman]
Drunken boat pilots are less likely to collide than clearly focused ones [Baudrillard]
Proof is a barren idea in philosophy, and the best philosophy never involves proof [MacIntyre]
Rationality requires the assumption that things are either for better or worse [Dennett]
Unfortunately for reason, argument can't be used to establish the value of argument [Roochnik]
Attempts to suspend all presuppositions are hopeless, because a common ground must be agreed for the process [Roochnik]
Inconsistency doesn't prevent us reasoning about some system [Mares]
Humans may never be able to attain a world view which is both rich and consistent [Fogelin]
A game can be played, despite having inconsistent rules [Fogelin]