This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Anonymous 2 years, 10 months ago.
January 16, 2018 at 8:33 pm #2752
I would like to re-up an old thread (De Principiis Decernendi), because it has become relevant again in a recent discussion. However I thought, I create a new thread and just quote the relevant part from the old one.
It is about the question: Can humans be reasonable at all? Or are we not just kept on the leash of our passions? Do we simply make up "rational arguments" after we have decided based on our passions?
So does it make sense at all to argue rational with others? Would it not be better to incite their emotions in order to sway their opinions?
Here is my post from the other thread:quote :
So yes, if we do not make an effort for ourselves, we will be on the leash of our passions.
But it does not need to be like that. There is a way out.
We have to become detached from the issue in question. We have to learn equanimity as a way of life. It is the Stoic practice that can help us (not so much the Stoic theory though). The Stoics called it Apatheia (ἀπάθεια).
It is possible to become fully rational, even if we will still commit occasional errors. And we can try to spread this idea. This is the task of us as philosophers.
We should remind our opponents in discussions, when they becomes emotional. And when we ourselves get driven away by our passions, then there is hopefully somebody who admonishes us to find our way back to rationality.
C. Florius LupusJanuary 16, 2018 at 11:26 pm #12473
I believe in general the greatest reason debates tend to become circular is three reasons:
I) People limit themselves to debating terms instead of ideas. One person says "this means this", the other "this means that". It ends up not being a debate at all, but just two people going back and forth saying what they think something means. A remedy for that: Both sides previously agree in the exact meaning of each used term Before the discussions begins.
II) People tend to talk through faith instead of reason. As in, people talk of "I believe"s. They just have emotional ties to their ideas. The remedy: People need to take deep breaths and search peace in their minds. They need to ask themselves Why are they so tied to this idea and if it is truly more important than finding the Truth. They must try with all their might to see their discussion buddy as a comrade in arms. As a fellow searcher of truth. As someone who has absolutely nothing to gain from them being wrong and who just wants to, together with you, explore the great mysteries of Creaton.
III) People at times have different Objectives from one another in the debate. This may happen at times, when people are debating, that they actually do not have the same goal in mind when debating something. One person may value Freedom over all else. The other may value Equality. The Remedy: In here there still can be a valid debate, but both sides must be aware of the others goals and they must take that into account whenever the person uses a term relevant to said goals (like the word "good" or "efficient"). People can agree that a given thing is "good" for something and still be completely opposed to it.
That’s my contribution.January 17, 2018 at 9:55 am #12476
You brought up a very important issue, the debates about words and their meaning.
At the beginning of every philosophical debate the proponent of an idea should define exactly the essential terms, so that everybody debates about the same thing. He is hereby not bound by the common use of the term, but can establish his own meaning of it for use in this particular debate.
Formally this has to do with avoiding an ambiguous middle term (equivocation), i.e. a word used in two meanings, because it would lead to a quaternium terminorum fallacy, an invalid syllogism with four terms.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.