Friday, July 08, 2005

Practical Reason Override

Should practical reason sometimes override theoretical rationality? When my daughter is reaching for the hot stove, I could pause to contemplate the warrant that I would need for imposing my views on her which would thereby limit her full autonomy to explore the world and perhaps lead to a debilitating sense of unfreedom as the world suddenly offers apparently irrational commands without warning, or I could stop thinking theoretically and yell, "No!" In the latter case, practical reason guides my action by overriding the theoretical reason which is trained on my beliefs.

In response to this question about overriding theoretical reason, the British philosopher William K. Clifford writes, "No, it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." Is there sufficient evidence for this belief, Professor Clifford?


Post a Comment

<< Home