The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Objective rationality is a myth

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 586 times Debate No: 115660
Debate Rounds (3)
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Rationality def:
the quality of being based on or in accordance with reason or logic.

My argument is based on the fact that humans behave according to perceptions, with perceptions being the information and senses that are available to a person.

Premise 1: Perceptions can never be objective or factual. No one is capable of omnipotence.
Premise 2: Human behaviours and decision-making is based off of perceptions.

Inference 1: Human decision making can never be rational or logical in an objective sense.
Inference 2: Human decision making and behaviour can only be rational and logical in a subjective sense.

Inference 3: Thus, if human decision making must be subjective, then the very idea of logic and rationality itself, which must be interpreted through a human, is a subjective method of reasoning, as is this current argument.

Inference 4: If logic and rationale itself is a subjective method of reasoning, then those who do not subscribe to its conclusions are only subjectively incorrect and cannot be objectively incorrect.

Inference 5: If people can only be subjectively incorrect or correct, then it is not possible to arrive at an objective conclusion. Thus, rationale itself, which aims to reach an objective conclusion, is not possible and thus a contradiction.


I'm afraid that's not an argument; that's two premises with a set of inferences which do not logically follow from them. But, indeed I agree, humans are not objects. Well observed.

You, as a subject, are using both logic and reason to make a truth-claim about human knowledge: that it is not objective. However, this also means that you are claiming that there is something more true than other claims which can be expressed through your own individual perspective. "There is no objective truth to anything", you say, whilst claiming that something is more true than something else. This is called a performative contradiction. On what grounds can you claim your perspective true or right without predicating it on some notion of objective truth? You need to define the term "objective truth". For just because nothing can be known transcendent of the human perspective, this does not mean that everything is equally false. For instance......

If we described all our human experiences into words and compared them, our words would converge on general characteristics and descriptions which could be used to tell truths about the human condition in general (e.g. feelings of hunger or how we all perceive things in a certain way, etc.).

Equally, by using scientific instruments to test the behaviours of substances and processes under certain given conditions, we can predictably arrive at the same results. This data exists independently to interpretations of it. By focusing only on types of a priori knowledge (logic and reasoning) you have excluded empirical evidence as a means to objectively true knowledge. Why? Do you seriously believe that the law of gravitation is only subjectively true? And, yet it can be made into a premise in an argument -- "The law of gravitation, that two physical bodies will be attracted to one another given the distance between their centres of mass, is true under certain types of systems." -- is this too a subjective premise?

These types of knowledge transcend the individual and therefore do not supervene on any one individual's subjective perspective to exist and still be true. And therefore, though knowledge cannot transcend the human perspective (for how else are we to know anything except by our biological substrates enabling us to know certain propositional truths?), it surely can transcend individual subjectivity.
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Can a computer have objective rationality ? From its "own perspective" it would have nothing else. Our perspective would be irrelevant.
Posted by Surgeon 3 years ago
I find attacks on reason, rationality and objective existence like this to be just a set of stolen concept fallacies. In order to attack reason, rationality and objective existence, you must borrow concepts formed directly from them, rendering the whole argument redundant.
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