Rationality and Reason (RE: MD Irrationality)

From: Jonathan B. Marder (jonathan.marder@newmail.net)
Date: Thu Sep 19 2002 - 07:50:08 BST

Hi Kevin, Platt, Wim, Matt, Eric, Squonk, Jhmau, Maggie and all,

Though the two words Rationality and Reason share the same root, in
modern usage they do not quite mean the same thing.

Rationality is codified and logical; it lies at the heart of SOM.
But rationality is reason's poor cousin. It is what we use to argue the
case of what already seems to be reasonable.
Rationality is reason stripped of value.

Reason is simpler and bigger - you don't need training in logic to have
a sense of reason.
Sometimes, a "rational" analysis leads to an unreasonable conclusion. An
example is eugenics - entirely rational, but IMO unreasonable and

In ZAMM, Phaedrus's dedication to the Church of Reason was shattered
when he discovered academia to be a pagan temple to rationality.


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