The trouble with reason

Posted on July 25, 2008


The New Scientist has a special issue on the kinds of objections many people are currently raising to rationality. If this were done by New Age magazine it would have turned into a rather silly parade of vague or ludicrously overblown claims. However, this is a bit different:

From religious fundamentalism to pseudoscience, it seems that forces are attacking the Enlightenment world view – characterised by rational, scientific thinking – from all sides. The debate seems black and white: you’re either with reason, or you’re against it. But is it so simple? In a series of special essays, our contributors look more carefully at some of the most provocative charges against reason. The results suggest that for all the Enlightenment has achieved, we still have a lot of work to do.

A work in progress, indeed. I have only had a chance to read a few of the articles thus far but the basic points seem to be the very ones I tried to deal with in “Reason, red in tooth and claw“. Many of the responses appear to take much the same tack as I did, as well. I may well have more to blog about the individual articles once I actually read the whole thing.