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Author Topic: Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth
Stephen
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Post Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth
on: June 14, 2011, 11:59
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Here is an interesting take on reason from some evolutionary psychologists. Reason is not about logic, they say, it is about winning arguments.

Check it out in today's New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/arts/people-argue-just-to-win-scholars-assert.html?hp

A short comment: A lot of the evolutionary psychology stuff is interesting, but you can't help but wondering about the lack of self-referentiality in all of this.

When folks come up with this or that aspect of life rooted in our evolutionary path to being human, they never admit to having any of the unfortunate aspects that such a rootedness generates. If my brain is just an adaptation to better survive, doesn't that mean that said thinker is just publishing so that he or she doesn't lose their academic job? If so, why should we trust their work?

The serious point is that there is something going on in addition to whatever heritage we bring to the plate from our ancestors evolutionary adventures - Baha'is call it spirituality and emphasize the role of education in training minds. These things loosen out evolutionary moorings "in the clay of evolutionary struggles" and allow us to realize our potential for something greater.

No?

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