Hyper-Rationalism – I think I’ve found the right word for what’s been bugging me.
I’ve been struggling for over two years in this blog and for half a lifetime before that, to avoid being perceived as a mystic, an unscientific woolly thinker, when I warn against the dangers of scientific rationale in decision making. In a scientific situation, I’m happy with science as the arbiter of truth – scientific truth. In complex situations – scientific truth may be largely intractable for practical everyday purposes, though it still clearly exists, and the scientists retain every right to rail against unfounded prejudice in such situations. Where that multi-layered complex situation involves a sentient being or beings in individual and/or social decisions and behaviours, then the scale of the intractabilty is so enormous, that scientific truth brings little except a few, albeit essential, identifiable “physical” boundary conditions.
In such complex situations, so many premises and causal metaphors, turn out to be founded on “emergent” conditions, that applying only scientific rationale and dialectic is not only not the most useful way of establishing the facts, it is positively inappropriate and can lead to disastrously “wrong” outcomes. Remember I still believe that the whole world, even the messy, living, human part of it, is founded ultimately on underlying physical science – it’s just that for all “intents and purposes”, science (as currently understood – dare I say) addresses only a small percentage of the problem.
Hyper-Rationalism – the mis-application of scientific rationale and dialectics to situations whose outcomes are goverened predominantly by premises and causal metaphors which are emergent from human understanding, communication, intent and behaviour ?