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Is rationalism superior to empiricism?

Benshapiro
Posts: 3,928
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11/8/2015 10:41:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think so. Many great philosophers have thought so as well. Rationalism is a way of learning about reality by utilizing innate logical truths. Empiricism is also a way of learning about reality but it utilizes our sense-perceptions to do so. The truth of the matter of what something smells, feels, tastes, looks, or sounds like (empirical reality) is contingent upon whatever neorological framework you employ. For some, a dress looks black and blue and for others it's white and gold. The truth of the matter of logical absolutes is non-contingent and exists independent of any sensory experience.

Since our awareness of empirical reality is contingent upon our neurological framework (which is itself variable), then the only reliable way of ascertaining truth about reality is rationalism. I think the biggest hurdle to get over is the counter-intuitive belief that reality as we're aware of it is not reality as its real self.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/8/2015 11:47:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/8/2015 10:41:44 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I think so.

At least you got something right.

Many great philosophers have thought so as well. Rationalism is a way of learning about reality by utilizing innate logical truths. Empiricism is also a way of learning about reality but it utilizes our sense-perceptions to do so.

No rationalist claims that the only way to learn about reality is logical truths. Actually, no thinking about logic alone is going to result in ANY knowledge of the world outside your head
The question of rationalism vs. empiricism is whether some knowledge can be gained by reason alone.

The truth of the matter of what something smells, feels, tastes, looks, or sounds like (empirical reality) is contingent upon whatever neorological framework you employ.

Your neurology is not a matter of some kind of framework you may or may not pick. You are born with it.
Further, that is not what is proposed by rationalism. Sense experience is sense experience, no matter how it feels.

For some, a dress looks black and blue and for others it's white and gold.

I get the feeling you want to conflate rationalism with your idealism.

The truth of the matter of logical absolutes is non-contingent and exists independent of any sensory experience.

Since our awareness of empirical reality is contingent upon our neurological framework (which is itself variable), then the only reliable way of ascertaining truth about reality is rationalism.

You are throwing in idealism as if it was uncontroversial. It is not. And none of this is related to rationalism.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,928
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11/9/2015 2:15:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/8/2015 11:47:11 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/8/2015 10:41:44 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I think so.

At least you got something right.

You think that rationalism is superior to empiricism as a means of gaining knowledge as well?

Many great philosophers have thought so as well. Rationalism is a way of learning about reality by utilizing innate logical truths. Empiricism is also a way of learning about reality but it utilizes our sense-perceptions to do so.

No rationalist claims that the only way to learn about reality is logical truths. Actually, no thinking about logic alone is going to result in ANY knowledge of the world outside your head

Descartes? And we can know that a four-sided triangle doesn't exist, married bachelors don't exist, or anything logically contadictory doesn't exist. All of that is knowledge about the world outside my head.

The question of rationalism vs. empiricism is whether some knowledge can be gained by reason alone.

It's hard for me to see how anyone would contest that.

The truth of the matter of what something smells, feels, tastes, looks, or sounds like (empirical reality) is contingent upon whatever neorological framework you employ.

Your neurology is not a matter of some kind of framework you may or may not pick. You are born with it.
Further, that is not what is proposed by rationalism. Sense experience is sense experience, no matter how it feels.

I think you're missing the point. The point was that empirical reality is modelled according to our sense-perceptions but our sense-perceptions of reality would be different if our neurology was different. Sense experience would still be sense experience but it would no longer be a reliable method of ascertaining truth about reality.


For some, a dress looks black and blue and for others it's white and gold.

I get the feeling you want to conflate rationalism with your idealism.

I'm giving an example of the weaknesses of empiricism.

The truth of the matter of logical absolutes is non-contingent and exists independent of any sensory experience.

Since our awareness of empirical reality is contingent upon our neurological framework (which is itself variable), then the only reliable way of ascertaining truth about reality is rationalism.

You are throwing in idealism as if it was uncontroversial. It is not. And none of this is related to rationalism.

The best way of ascertaining truths about reality is to use the most reliable method possible. We know that our sense-perceptions of reality would change if our neurology changed. You can call that idealism if you want. Rationalism offers sense-independent knowledge so I see it as a more reliable means than empiricism to know reality.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/9/2015 7:16:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/9/2015 2:15:49 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/8/2015 11:47:11 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/8/2015 10:41:44 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I think so.

At least you got something right.

You think that rationalism is superior to empiricism as a means of gaining knowledge as well?

Yes


Many great philosophers have thought so as well. Rationalism is a way of learning about reality by utilizing innate logical truths. Empiricism is also a way of learning about reality but it utilizes our sense-perceptions to do so.

No rationalist claims that the only way to learn about reality is logical truths. Actually, no thinking about logic alone is going to result in ANY knowledge of the world outside your head

Descartes?

...believed that we can trust our senses, because God exists and he is no deceiver.

And we can know that a four-sided triangle doesn't exist, married bachelors don't exist, or anything logically contadictory doesn't exist.

Tell me, then, how you know what a bachelor is and what he is not, without having had, say, your parents explain it to you?
I do agree that logical inference is an instance of a non-empirical way to acertain knowledge, but if your senses are defective, you would not have the concepts in your mind you need to see that the predicate concepts of these statements are contianed in the subject concept, i.e., that these propositions are analytic.


The truth of the matter of what something smells, feels, tastes, looks, or sounds like (empirical reality) is contingent upon whatever neorological framework you employ.

Your neurology is not a matter of some kind of framework you may or may not pick. You are born with it.
Further, that is not what is proposed by rationalism. Sense experience is sense experience, no matter how it feels.

I think you're missing the point. The point was that empirical reality is modelled according to our sense-perceptions but our sense-perceptions of reality would be different if our neurology was different.

I got that.

Sense experience would still be sense experience but it would no longer be a reliable method of ascertaining truth about reality.

Well if sense perception was horribly unreliable, then the question of rationalism/empiricism would be unnecessary. Skepticism would then be the way to go.

For some, a dress looks black and blue and for others it's white and gold.

I get the feeling you want to conflate rationalism with your idealism.

I'm giving an example of the weaknesses of empiricism.

Again, no rationalist believes sense experience is unnecessary or even that the majority of our knowledge is not empirical. If sense eperience was as bad as you try to make it, both would lead to skepticism.


The truth of the matter of logical absolutes is non-contingent and exists independent of any sensory experience.

Since our awareness of empirical reality is contingent upon our neurological framework (which is itself variable), then the only reliable way of ascertaining truth about reality is rationalism.

You are throwing in idealism as if it was uncontroversial. It is not. And none of this is related to rationalism.

The best way of ascertaining truths about reality is to use the most reliable method possible.

Now you are throwing in reliabilism as if it was uncontroversial lol

We know that our sense-perceptions of reality would change if our neurology changed.

Sure, but that is not really relevant to the veracity of my current perception.

You can call that idealism if you want. Rationalism offers sense-independent knowledge so I see it as a more reliable means than empiricism to know reality.

Rationalism is not a method.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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11/9/2015 9:55:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/9/2015 2:15:49 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/8/2015 11:47:11 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/8/2015 10:41:44 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I think so.

At least you got something right.

You think that rationalism is superior to empiricism as a means of gaining knowledge as well?

Many great philosophers have thought so as well. Rationalism is a way of learning about reality by utilizing innate logical truths. Empiricism is also a way of learning about reality but it utilizes our sense-perceptions to do so.

No rationalist claims that the only way to learn about reality is logical truths. Actually, no thinking about logic alone is going to result in ANY knowledge of the world outside your head

Descartes? And we can know that a four-sided triangle doesn't exist, married bachelors don't exist, or anything logically contadictory doesn't exist. All of that is knowledge about the world outside my head.

I doubt if you were just a mind that you would even know what a triangle is in the first place.

First you need to have a concept of a shape with 3 and only 3 sides.......

But wait are you even going to know what a "side" is in the first place to build up your what is a triangle criteria to then claim there are no such things as a 4 sided triangle.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
kp98
Posts: 729
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11/9/2015 10:27:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Would it help to use some specific example and ask how it is we know it? For instance how do we know there can't be a four-sided triangle? Actually I think that is not such a good case, because its a semantic contradiction rather than a logical one.

A better example would be how do we know a triangle is rigid but squares can be deformed (into parallelograms)? i.e. Do I know that triangles are rigid but squares are deformable because I have reasoned it or because I have played with physical instances of triangular and squares objects?

I think it is reasonable to suppose that some items of knowledge are acquired rationally and others empirically. For example I know Pythagoras' theorem is true because I understand the proof. On the other hand I know what red looks like (at least to me) because I have experienced it - although I am sure a less subjective example of empirical knowledge would be better if I could think of one right now!