The Real is Rational

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Metaphysics
  3. » The Real is Rational

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 08:36 pm
I struggled with this line at first. How is the real rational, when we are always still figuring out what reality is?

It now makes perfect sense to me, so I'm sharing my view on it, and encouraging a friendly discussion on the matter. Here's my view on it.

The world as we know it is structured by human concept. Even if there is a structure beneath or above our human concept, this itself is still just a human concept. Human concept is all the structure we have and are ever going to have, it seems to me.
We cook up gods and theories and philosophies, and this is the intelligable structure of the world. And we cannot speak or think outside of structure, also known as ratio, also known as rationality.
I just got David Foster Wallace's book on infinity. It's good stuff. And it's a good example. We can cook up a concept like infinity only by negating our concept of the finite. We can't think infinity and we can't think the unthinkable. But we can put a minus sign in front of anything.
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 09:49 pm
@Reconstructo,
In the begining was the word (logos).
Logos the rational order of the universe from the Greeks.
Personally, of course, I think the universe is inherently rational and ordered.
That human conceptions did not impose order and reason on the world but discovered the reason and order on which the universe is based (transcendent truth). We discover truth we do not invent it.
 
Humanity
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 10:44 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;142396 wrote:
I struggled with this line at first. How is the real rational, when we are always still figuring out what reality is?

It now makes perfect sense to me, so I'm sharing my view on it, and encouraging a friendly discussion on the matter. Here's my view on it.

The world as we know it is structured by human concept. Even if there is a structure beneath or above our human concept, this itself is still just a human concept. Human concept is all the structure we have and are ever going to have, it seems to me.
We cook up gods and theories and philosophies, and this is the intelligable structure of the world. And we cannot speak or think outside of structure, also known as ratio, also known as rationality.
I just got David Foster Wallace's book on infinity. It's good stuff. And it's a good example. We can cook up a concept like infinity only by negating our concept of the finite. We can't think infinity and we can't think the unthinkable. But we can put a minus sign in front of anything.
I agree that the world (reality) as we know it is influenced by human concepts.
Rationality and irrationality are human concepts.
Therefore reality can both be rational an irrational.

---------- Post added 03-22-2010 at 11:50 PM ----------

prothero;142423 wrote:
In the begining was the word (logos).
Logos the rational order of the universe from the Greeks.
Personally, of course, I think the universe is inherently rational and ordered.
That human conceptions did not impose order and reason on the world but discovered the reason and order on which the universe is based (transcendent truth). We discover truth we do not invent it.
I would say we discover truth within the reality framework that is 'invented' by us, i.e. humanity.

Truth is conformance to reality or fact.
What is reality or fact emerges from a framework 'invented' (not consciously) by humanity over billion of years of experience since our ancestors were single cell living entities.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 10:59 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;142396 wrote:
I struggled with this line at first. How is the real rational, when we are always still figuring out what reality is?

.


I thought that Hegel wrote not only that the Real is the Rational, but also, that the Rational is the Real. So, whatever it was that he meant (if anything at all) wouldn't that have meant that the World is not only understood as rational, but really is rational?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 03:39 am
@Reconstructo,
I can see where you're coming from, and after everything I have said on the forum, can't possibly disagree with it. But there is something to be considered, which is that reality itself, as in stuff that actually happens, is often irrational, unexpected, inexplicable, and downright confounding. So that needs to be remembered as a counterbalance to the beautiful idea of the True the Beautiful and the Good. Actually I was reading earlier this week - it might have even been here on the Forum - that some prominent disciple of Pythagoras came up with a proof of an irrational number ( the root of the length of something) and this was such a scandal that he was murdered. The whole idea of irrational numbers was a real problem. This says something important about the Greek model.

Nevertheless, this realisation of the rational as the beautiful, and all its implications, is great and something which I am sure many have lost sight of. Even though it is an ideal, and as such, is unnattainable, its place needs to be respected and restored in Western culture.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 04:22 am
@Reconstructo,
I'm not sure if you mean that we actually structure the universe through our concept. While this is true with the disclaimer "as we know it" I find that my concept of the world-universe is structured by my perceptions of the world-universe. Maybe I mis understand, but I think I am on the other side of the fence on this one.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 10:02 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;142396 wrote:
I struggled with this line at first. How is the real rational, when we are always still figuring out what reality is?

It now makes perfect sense to me, so I'm sharing my view on it, and encouraging a friendly discussion on the matter. Here's my view on it.

The world as we know it is structured by human concept. Even if there is a structure beneath or above our human concept, this itself is still just a human concept. Human concept is all the structure we have and are ever going to have, it seems to me.
We cook up gods and theories and philosophies, and this is the intelligable structure of the world. And we cannot speak or think outside of structure, also known as ratio, also known as rationality.
I just got David Foster Wallace's book on infinity. It's good stuff. And it's a good example. We can cook up a concept like infinity only by negating our concept of the finite. We can't think infinity and we can't think the unthinkable. But we can put a minus sign in front of anything.
What does ablation shield, cavitation, lower boiling point and ultra sound cleaning have in common?

To put "The Real is Rational" is imo a over simplification of things.

..or this 1, is at any point that rubber tiers have better traction without pattern?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:08 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;142495 wrote:
I can see where you're coming from, and after everything I have said on the forum, can't possibly disagree with it. But there is something to be considered, which is that reality itself, as in stuff that actually happens, is often irrational, unexpected, inexplicable, and downright confounding. So that needs to be remembered as a counterbalance to the beautiful idea of the True the Beautiful and the Good. Actually I was reading earlier this week - it might have even been here on the Forum - that some prominent disciple of Pythagoras came up with a proof of an irrational number ( the root of the length of something) and this was such a scandal that he was murdered. The whole idea of irrational numbers was a real problem. This says something important about the Greek model.

Nevertheless, this realisation of the rational as the beautiful, and all its implications, is great and something which I am sure many have lost sight of. Even though it is an ideal, and as such, is unnattainable, its place needs to be respected and restored in Western culture.


Thanks for your reply. Allow me to be more precise. When I say the "real is rational," I mean rational not in the mathematical sense, which is probably the source of the word, but the logos-sense or logical sense.

To say the world is irrational is an act of irrationality. Just as infinity is actually itself a finite concept. I don't think irrationality exists. I would say that we have a rational set of the not-otherwise-rational. But that we still have a set for it, else we could not think it. It seems to me that the irrational cannot exists. Of course in the ordinary use of the term, the irrational is all around us. "Irrational" is used as a term of censor for certain kinds of behavior, or as a description of that which is intelligible as otherwise non-intelligible. Still, to think of something as irrational is already to put a negative sign on a rational concept.

From my angle, the real cannot help being rational, as the "real" is already a concept. And to organized qualia at all is to be rational. For what is order?

For me, to say the real is rational is not to say that I or anyone can know the cause of everything, for instance. Rather I am only saying that the intelligible structure of experience is exactly thought, exactly rationality. An error counts, with me, as rationality. But this is to use rationality is a particular sense. Rational as thoughtful. We evolve our system of concepts in accordance with experience.

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 12:12 AM ----------

wayne;142497 wrote:
I'm not sure if you mean that we actually structure the universe through our concept. While this is true with the disclaimer "as we know it" I find that my concept of the world-universe is structured by my perceptions of the world-universe. Maybe I mis understand, but I think I am on the other side of the fence on this one.



But what are "we" and what is the "universe"? From my point of view, the distinction of man/universe is contingent. You might just as well say that the universe structures its perception of itself.

To say "as we know it" would actually be redundant. For to add this disclaimer is just to manifest a rational qualification. It's like Kant's thing-in-itself, which is a tricky and ultimately flawed concept, in my opinion.

To think of the universe as it is in-itself, is still just to think of it in "human" terms. The concept of the universe-in-itself is arguable absurd, although it makes sense on the surface. What can we mean by it? For this concept is still just the universe-for-humanity-but-paradoxically-simulataneously-in-itself..?

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 12:17 AM ----------

HexHammer;143052 wrote:


To put "The Real is Rational" is imo a over simplification of things.


Well, in a practical sense, you're right. But I must stress that this is philosophical and not a natural science assertion.

Let me put it another way.

To the degree that experience is thinkable, it is also rational. To call something real, one must have thought it, conceptualized it. For language, in my opinion, is thought, and thought is language.

A person can be in error and yet this error is still the intelligible structure of their experience. And this is why error is bad. Of course error is relative. And the individual is an abstraction, as we all have parents and a society that influences the intelligible structure of our experience.

For me, the point of the quote is self-consciousness.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:25 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;149102 wrote:
I don't think irrationality exists.


Doesn't it? People are frequently irrational and do the most confounding things for no good reason. Hazards, accidents, and chaos exist and regularly erupt. There are things about life that are completely absurd, and things happen that should never happen. I think this too has to be accomomodated doesn't it? How do you accommodate that?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 12:17 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;149112 wrote:
Doesn't it? People are frequently irrational and do the most confounding things for no good reason. Hazards, accidents, and chaos exist and regularly erupt. There are things about life that are completely absurd, and things happen that should never happen. I think this too has to be accomomodated doesn't it? How do you accommodate that?


It's a matter of terminology. Yes, irrationality exists in the practical sense of the word. But I'm coming from a different angle.

Let's think of thinking as set theory. We place events, objects, etc., in categories. The more categories we can fit something in, the more rational it is for us. Some experiences fit in almost no categories. They don't make sense to us. But we can still put them in our outermost category. If we think of our categories as concentric circles, then the doesn't-make-sense category would be the outermost circle. (I'm coming from a logical angle on this one.) To say that something does not make sense, is to make sense of it, precisely as something that does not make sense. All we can say about it is that we cannot say anything about it, except that we cannot say anything about it. But this is still to incorporate it into an intelligible structure. In my mind, all thinking is the imposition of structure.

It should be stressed that I'm not talking about any pragmatic or ethical uses of the word "irrational" but only the logical sense. We cannot think about what we cannot think about. A truism, yes, but it seems important.
Quote:

The book deals with the problems of philosophy, and shows, I believe,
that the reason why these problems are posed is that the logic of our
language is misunderstood. The whole sense of the book might be summed
up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and
what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.


Thus the aim of the book is to draw a limit to thought, or rather--not
to thought, but to the expression of thoughts: for in order to be able
to draw a limit to thought, we should have to find both sides of the
limit thinkable (i.e. we should have to be able to think what cannot be
thought).



I think he means we MUST pass over in silence.
NOT that we SHOULD. We can't think what cannot be thought. Period.
For me, the thinkable is the rational. And all that we call real, we are thinking about. THe real is necessarily rational as only the thinkable can be thought on, discussed.
There is no outside to rationality, not any intelligible outside.
Of course qualia are a complicated issue, but so far as they are intelligible they are rational.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 02:09 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;149139 wrote:

I think he means we MUST pass over in silence.
NOT that we SHOULD. We can't think what cannot be thought. Period.
For me, the thinkable is the rational. And all that we call real, we are thinking about. THe real is necessarily rational as only the thinkable can be thought on, discussed.
There is no outside to rationality, not any intelligible outside.
Of course qualia are a complicated issue, but so far as they are intelligible they are rational.


As F.P. Ramsey said about Wittgenstein's aphorism, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.", "And you can't whistle it either".

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 04:15 AM ----------

Reconstructo;149102 wrote:
. It seems to me that the irrational cannot exists.
---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 12:12 AM ----------




.


It is nice to know that you have such a powerful sense of irony.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 02:53 am
@Reconstructo,
I am sure the intuition that 'the real is rational' is very true in some respects. But even so, the way in which it is interpreted is important, considering what a large general statement it is, so I don't know if I can simply agree with it.

As I have said, I think there are things which are irrational, and also things which are supra-rational. Isn't it possible that reality is supra-rational, that is, far exceeds our rational ability? I mean, science entertains the idea of an infinity of universes nowadays. I would say that is supra-rational.

Actually I remember another statement of Wittgenstein in this regard. He said something like 'to discover the limits of thinking, we would have to think on both sides of the limit'. But I don't know if this is strictly correct. If it is possible to be completely attentive to the nature of thinking, totally aware of it, then one might discover its limits, or its limitations.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:32 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;149102 wrote:
Thanks for your reply. Allow me to be more precise. When I say the "real is rational," I mean rational not in the mathematical sense, which is probably the source of the word, but the logos-sense or logical sense.

To say the world is irrational is an act of irrationality. Just as infinity is actually itself a finite concept. I don't think irrationality exists. I would say that we have a rational set of the not-otherwise-rational. But that we still have a set for it, else we could not think it. It seems to me that the irrational cannot exists. Of course in the ordinary use of the term, the irrational is all around us. "Irrational" is used as a term of censor for certain kinds of behavior, or as a description of that which is intelligible as otherwise non-intelligible. Still, to think of something as irrational is already to put a negative sign on a rational concept.

From my angle, the real cannot help being rational, as the "real" is already a concept. And to organized qualia at all is to be rational. For what is order?

For me, to say the real is rational is not to say that I or anyone can know the cause of everything, for instance. Rather I am only saying that the intelligible structure of experience is exactly thought, exactly rationality. An error counts, with me, as rationality. But this is to use rationality is a particular sense. Rational as thoughtful. We evolve our system of concepts in accordance with experience.

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 12:12 AM ----------




But what are "we" and what is the "universe"? From my point of view, the distinction of man/universe is contingent. You might just as well say that the universe structures its perception of itself.

To say "as we know it" would actually be redundant. For to add this disclaimer is just to manifest a rational qualification. It's like Kant's thing-in-itself, which is a tricky and ultimately flawed concept, in my opinion.

To think of the universe as it is in-itself, is still just to think of it in "human" terms. The concept of the universe-in-itself is arguable absurd, although it makes sense on the surface. What can we mean by it? For this concept is still just the universe-for-humanity-but-paradoxically-simulataneously-in-itself..?

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 12:17 AM ----------



Well, in a practical sense, you're right. But I must stress that this is philosophical and not a natural science assertion.

Let me put it another way.

To the degree that experience is thinkable, it is also rational. To call something real, one must have thought it, conceptualized it. For language, in my opinion, is thought, and thought is language.

A person can be in error and yet this error is still the intelligible structure of their experience. And this is why error is bad. Of course error is relative. And the individual is an abstraction, as we all have parents and a society that influences the intelligible structure of our experience.

For me, the point of the quote is self-consciousness.
Mental mastrubation as usual.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:46 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;149175 wrote:
Mental mastrubation as usual.

Why worry about it if you don't have to cleam up the gooo???
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:58 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;149171 wrote:

As I have said, I think there are things which are irrational, and also things which are supra-rational. Isn't it possible that reality is supra-rational, that is, far exceeds our rational ability? I mean, science entertains the idea of an infinity of universes nowadays. I would say that is supra-rational.


I respect what you are saying. It depends on how we use our terms. For me, all that can be thought is logical/rational. A word like supra-rational would function like infinity in math. It would point beyond our standard notation, but still as a pointer be useful and rational. To say that something is immeasurable is to have measured it enough to discover its immeasurability.

An infinity of universes would indeed transcend ratio, but not, in my opinion, logic. And the Hegel quote, despite its grounding mathematical metaphor, actually concerns the same logic that Wittgenstein saw as transcendental. We can't say what it is that we cannot say, nor think what it is that we cannot think. I don't think we are really opposed in spirit, and I feel I understand what you are saying. I just find the Hegel notion beautiful and significant, and I enjoy writing on it. :bigsmile:

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 05:02 PM ----------

HexHammer;149175 wrote:
Mental mastrubation as usual.


When negative numbers were invented, a lot of folks felt the same. Or worse, they thought that negative numbers were evil. And also the number zero was a suspicious import once. The "real is rational" is for me a significant philosophical point. But maybe you have more of an engineers attitude. An engineer is never going to use a transcendental number in its transcendental form. He's going to round it off.

Quote:

A youth who had begun to read geometry with Euclid, when he had learnt the first proposition, inquired, "What do I get by learning these things?" So Euclid called a slave and said "Give him three pence, since he must make a gain out of what he learns." - Stobaeus, Extracts
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:19 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;149373 wrote:
When negative numbers were invented, a lot of folks felt the same. Or worse, they thought that negative numbers were evil. And also the number zero was a suspicious import once. The "real is rational" is for me a significant philosophical point. But maybe you have more of an engineers attitude. An engineer is never going to use a transcendental number in its transcendental form. He's going to round it off.
Yes indeed, there are many stories to usefulness in scorned things, when Marco Polo introduced the money bill, everybody laughed at it, and only saw the negative side of it, as I do with this kind of philosophy.

Ofcause there's a slim chance that your kind of philosophy some day will gain useage, but I doubt it.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:44 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;149555 wrote:
Yes indeed, there are many stories to usefulness in scorned things, when Marco Polo introduced the money bill, everybody laughed at it, and only saw the negative side of it, as I do with this kind of philosophy.

Ofcause there's a slim chance that your kind of philosophy some day will gain useage, but I doubt it.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:07 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;149559 wrote:
The thing is, I see great potential in Reconstructo, so when he spends time with navel gazing philosophy I get sad and my world crumbles inside.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 07:18 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;149562 wrote:
The thing is, I see great potential in Reconstructo, so when he spends time with navel gazing philosophy I get sad and my world crumbles inside.


---------- Post added 04-08-2010 at 08:22 AM ----------

Reconstructo is one of the most creative folks in this forum, with an open attitude, and willing to change is mind as often as necessary to achieve an higher degree of knowledge, more then I can say on almost everybody else...
 
William
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 08:11 am
@Reconstructo,
prothero;142423 wrote:
In the begining


Hello prothero, be careful here, ha! Do we know when that was if for that matter there is such a thing as "the beginning". I don't think we will ever conceive that. We can perceive it, but we can conceive it. Because we can't know what that beginning is, is why we rationalize it.

prothero;142423 wrote:
Personally, of course, I think the universe is inherently rational and ordered.


Because we have to be rational you assume that the universe is? Rationalization is our problem; not a solution. It will keep us alive until we run out of excuses. Yes, the universe is definitely ordered, we rationalize be cause we do not recognize, and in that ignore that order for our own reasons. Because of that we are not so ordered ourselves. Those who think they know all that order do so order others around. We have all seen what that can lead to. That is our confliction that mars our complexion from the complications that arise from our rationalizations we impose that keeps us alive until we fight no more.

prothero;142423 wrote:
We discover truth we do not invent it.


Absolutely and we will do that forever.

William
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Metaphysics
  3. » The Real is Rational
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/22/2020 at 09:56:58