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truth_slides - Truth and Rationality Are they subjective...

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Truth and Rationality Are they subjective?
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Rorty “Science and Solidarity” Hard, objective truth = correspondence to reality “the only sort of truth worthy of the name” (p. 154) Seeking objective truth = using reason
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What is rationality? ‘We think of rationality as a matter of following procedures laid down in advance, of being “methodical”.’ *N.B. Some ‘ frequentist ’ statistical methods commonly used by scientists are criticized by ‘Bayesian’ statisticians and philosophers as being irrational, or lacking a rational basis. What can we make of this dispute?]
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In our secularized (post-religious) society, the scientist has replaced the priest. “The scientist is now seen as the person who keeps humanity in touch with something beyond itself” We might also add that scientists are the new epistemic authorities, and that we rely on them to orient us, i.e. tell us who we are and what our place is in the world. The priests used to have this function. (The black robes have been replaced by the white labcoats.)
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Are beauty and goodness subjective? As the scientists replaced the priests, as tellers of the ultimate truths, “the universe was depersonalized” (p. 154). The theistic universe consisted fundamentally of a person or persons (i.e. God) together with the things that God has made. This allowed such personal qualities as beauty and goodness to be objective, and fundamental. God created a good and beautiful world, for his pleasure, and for his creatures’ enjoyment as well. In his own character, and in designing human nature, God established objective standards for moral goodness and well being. Today, by contrast, these properties are usually considered subjective, i.e. “in the eye of the beholder”.
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Interestingly, most analytic philosophers believe that there are objective moral truths, and perhaps even objective aesthetic truths. This is due to the fact that it seems rather incoherent to deny their existence (especially moral truths). Yet an understanding of the nature of such truths remains elusive. Many argue, for example, that they cannot be natural facts, such as biological and psychological facts. For such facts describe what is , not what ought to be . How, for example, are we to define a crucial moral notion like “flourishing”, “doing well”, ( eudaimonia)?
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Truth, unlike beauty and goodness, is still seen as objective and scientific. “So truth is now thought of as the only point at which humans are responsible to something non- human.” This notion of our being responsible to something outside of ourselves is crucial. Here, Rorty is highlighting the fact that truth is a normative notion, i.e. a notion concerned with what is good and bad, and which generates duties and responsibilities. A true belief is after all a
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truth_slides - Truth and Rationality Are they subjective...

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