Physics relies on the fundamental postulate that the universe follows certain laws which, because they are laws, are rational. It remains to find out exactly what those laws are. If one could find out what those laws were, the universe would be rationally explicable.

But human beings are also in the universe. That is, they are not apart from it. And we know that human beings have irrational impulses, both emotional and intellectual.

Because of that, can we say that the universe can not be (wholly) rationally explicable since human beings are not.

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    I think if you would examine the two different uses of "rational" here you'd find out that there's no question left. – iphigenie Dec 2 '12 at 11:19
  • There's a big difference between "being rational" and "being rationally explicable"! Why should "irrational impulses, emotional and intellectual" not be rationally explicable? – DBK Dec 2 '12 at 19:46
  • @DBK: ask Hume, he said reason was a slave to the passions. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 2 '12 at 20:30
  • @MoziburUllah: What has Hume to do with anything? Also, Hume was talking about practical reason, not theoretical reason, i.e. reason concerned with knowledge. – DBK Dec 2 '12 at 21:09
  • This is a good and interesting problem (whether reality is rational) but the question as currently formulated doesn't really get to the core of the issue. Let's try to find some way to express the concern a bit more directly. Closing for the time being pending some reformulation. – Joseph Weissman Dec 3 '12 at 19:16

The fact that humans can act "irrational" doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't rationally explicable. In fact neuroscience is trying to do exactly that. I think if you'd distinguish between "rationally explicable" and "acting rational", your question would dissolve.

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    I agree that the question does dissolve if the irrational behaviour of humans can be rationally explicable, but I'm not sure that this is always possible or even fundamentally true, but it doesn't make the attempt worth trying. – Mozibur Ullah Dec 2 '12 at 15:23
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    Don't see such a simple solution if we assume panpsychism. – rus9384 Aug 21 '18 at 11:12

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