26 votes
Accepted

Is immorality just irrationality?

What you are describing is the Platonic view of good and evil, that no one does wrong willingly, but only out of ignorance. An unusually clear and explicit statement of this concept is found in Plato'...
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22 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

The second premise is false unless "heinous crime" and "insane" are defined to make it true by definition, in which case the definitions are question begging. But because people committing heinous ...
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17 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

I think the fallacy is something along the lines of: Because we cannot provably apply rational thought to what motivates every insane person, every time, we can never apply rational thought to the ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Is atheism or agnosticism more rational?

If one is both attentive to empirical scientific studies and to philosophical investigations of the limits of knowledge, then the only rational position is philosophical agnosticism plus pragmatic ...
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10 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

There are multiple problems with these statements. First, insane is not a boolean state. Sanity is a spectrum. Second, I don't know of anything that says that everyone who commits a heinous crime is ...
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8 votes

Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

From a purely epistemological point of view, no, philosophy is not really helpful. If anything, philosophy makes things worse. See this post and this post and the responses to it. From a social point ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Can it be rational to have beliefs one knows to be inconsistent?

It can. Ramsey put it nicely in his "last papers" written around 1929 under the influence of Peirce's pragmatism (quoted from Marion, Wittgenstein, Ramsey and British Pragmatism): "We want our ...
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8 votes
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Can animals follow logical rules of inference?

The thought experiment is known as Chrysippus’s Dog and goes back to the named ancient Stoic. It was discussed by many modern philosophers, including Dennett, see Chrysippus’s Dog as a Case Study in ...
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6 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

I believe that would just be petitio principii, mistranslated as "begging the question." And doing it twice. First, you assume the insanity after the fact, based on the evidence of the act, which is ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Are there any aspects of science which do not change over time?

Like many other professional philosophers of science these days, I'm highly influenced by the contemporary disunity of science movement. So I would say that there aren't any general aspects of ...
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6 votes

Is immorality just irrationality?

Doesn't this then give the idea of a 'bad' person a different implication - we wouldn't say the same to someone if they made a mistake in math or in their finances yet people who are simply in ...
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  • 1,875
5 votes

Is immorality just irrationality?

In English we often use the terms good and bad relative to an ideal. (In Spanish it is the same). So we call a person a good person when some portion (Surly a majority but what percent I don't ...
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5 votes

Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

Here are the questions regarding the extreme partisanship of politics today: Is there any philosophical thinking which might help resolve these disputes and allow the political discussion to move ...
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5 votes

Does determinism prevent rationality?

John Lennox's idea is that we would have no reason to believe our own logical conclusions if nature, and therefore the brain itself, was deterministic. He says (40:15 - 40:48) that there would be no ...
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  • 3,759
4 votes

Free Will and Rational Thought - Kant

The quote you've got there is basically wrong. A more correct thing to say would be that Kant believes the physical world is determined, but that rationally we are free. Or to put it another way, on ...
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4 votes

Is there any prospect for a unified account of rationality?

Since this is multiple choice, I'll choose (b) and (c), with misgivings. It is not hard to locate paradigms of what is meant by "rationality." At the etymological and stripped-down, Hobbesian level, ...
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4 votes

Is immorality just irrationality?

Morality doesn't have anything to do with rationality. I'm going to be Nietzsche's advocate and say that "good" and "bad" are just labels on what a given society wants. This is by no means absolute ...
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4 votes

Is immorality just irrationality?

I've given this a lot of thought as a Christian who has studied the Bible a lot and generally agrees with your reasoning here, having found overlap between the two that seems accurate to me. Here is ...
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  • 143
4 votes

Why does Newcomb's paradox seem to have different solutions depending on when the choice is made despite determinism?

Newcomb's paradox was discussed at length by philosophers, with the issues of determinism, free will, time travel, etc., brought in. What it turned out to be, however, is an analog of Bertrand paradox ...
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4 votes

Two Solutions to the Problem of Death

I think one has to analyse a person's exact state of mind who fears their eventual demise. Rationality I take in the sense of instrumental rationality - taking efficient means to clearly conceived ...
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4 votes

Why should we treat others as *always* rational when they are not?

Kantian autonomy is determined by the faculty of reason, not by rational acts In a strictly Kantian setting, the person is autonomous. Full stop. That is because there are two aspects in the will ...
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4 votes

Does determinism prevent rationality?

"If hard determinism is true, and our thoughts are merely the results of a causal chain of atomic interactions, are reason and logic illusory?" Lennox is not speaking about "hard ...
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3 votes

Do human beings always act rationally (i.e. in an internally consistent manner)?

No. Humans do not act in an internally logically consistent way. In psychology and neuroscience, the phenomenon is called cognitive dissonance. People often find themselves wanting contradictory ...
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3 votes

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

I will take your question, and answer in-line where I can: A common argument in today's news is that: 1 Someone commits a heinous crime by shooting a bunch of people. Only possibly heinous, ...
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  • 131
3 votes

Are aesthetic judgments rational?

Taking Kant's Critique of Judgement, there is a neat table at the end of the introduction (Ak. 5:198). The faculty of judgement is one faculty of knowledge there, as different from reason and mind [...
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3 votes

Why does Kierkegaard's pseudonym Johannes De Silentio believe Abraham exemplifies faith?

I don't know much about Kierkegaard, but this summary from Wikipedia seems to explain the issue you're running into: The leap of faith is his conception of how an individual would believe in God or ...
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3 votes

Why does Kierkegaard's pseudonym Johannes De Silentio believe Abraham exemplifies faith?

Kierkegaard is not using "faith" to mean belief in God, but rather trust in God. From Kierkegaard's point of view, the big question is not whether or not you believe God exists, but whether or not ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Is it legitimate to win a moral debate with logic?

Reading your question, my top concern would relate to some odd constellations of terms: Is it (a) hypocritical, false, deceitful, or in bad faith to try to win (b) a moral, political or ethical ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What arguments support the idea that rational thinking requires language use?

The topic is somewhat vast due to the vagueness of "language" and "language use", so the claim can be construed to implicate most of the analytic philosophy. As Dummet writes in The Logical Basis of ...
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