A report on Reason and Truth

Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797
An angel carrying the banner of "Truth", Roslin, Midlothian
René Descartes
Walter Seymour Allward's Veritas (Truth) outside Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Dan Sperber believes that reasoning in groups is more effective and promotes their evolutionary fitness.
'"What is Truth?" by Nikolai Ge, depicting John 18:38 in which Pilate asks Christ "What is truth?"

Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic by drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth.

- Reason

Logic is concerned with the patterns in reason that can help tell if a proposition is true or not.

- Truth
Francisco de Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El sueño de la razón produce monstruos), c. 1797

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Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC

Plato

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Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC
Diogenes Laertius is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy.
Through his mother, Plato was related to Solon.
Speusippus was Plato's nephew.
Plato was a wrestler
Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom
Bust of Pythagoras in Rome.
A detail of Spinoza monument in Amsterdam.
Bust of Socrates at the Louvre.
The "windmill proof" of the Pythagorean theorem found in Euclid's Elements.
What is justice?
A Venn diagram illustrating the classical theory of knowledge.
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, with fragment of Plato's Republic
Bust excavated at the Villa of the Papyri, possibly of Dionysus, Plato or Poseidon.
The Death of Socrates (1787), by Jacques-Louis David
Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna
Painting of a scene from Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)
Volume 3, pp. 32–33, of the 1578 Stephanus edition of Plato, showing a passage of Timaeus with the Latin translation and notes of Jean de Serres
First page of the Euthyphro, from the Clarke Plato (Codex Oxoniensis Clarkianus 39), 895 AD. The text is Greek minuscule.
Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens.
"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929).

Just as individual tables, chairs, and cars refer to objects in this world, 'tableness', 'chairness', and 'carness', as well as e. g. justice, truth, and beauty refer to objects in another world.

In addition, the ideal city is used as an image to illuminate the state of one's soul, or the will, reason, and desires combined in the human body.

René Descartes, who is often credited as the father of modern philosophy, was often preoccupied with epistemological questions in his work.

Epistemology

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Branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge.

Branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge.

René Descartes, who is often credited as the father of modern philosophy, was often preoccupied with epistemological questions in his work.
Bertrand Russell famously brought attention to the distinction between propositional knowledge and knowledge by acquaintance.
An Euler diagram representing a version of the traditional definition of knowledge that is adapted to the Gettier problem. This problem gives us reason to think that not all justified true beliefs constitute knowledge.
The analytic–synthetic distinction was first proposed by Immanuel Kant.
David Hume, one of the most staunch defenders of empiricism.

Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues.

1) The philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and the conditions required for a belief to constitute knowledge, such as truth and justification

Los portadores de la antorcha (The Torch-Bearers) – Sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington symbolizing the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next (Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain)

Knowledge

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Familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts , skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge), often contributing to understanding.

Familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts , skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge), often contributing to understanding.

Los portadores de la antorcha (The Torch-Bearers) – Sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington symbolizing the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next (Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain)
Sir Francis Bacon, "Knowledge is Power"
The parable of the blind men and the elephant suggests that people tend to project their partial experiences as the whole truth
The owl of Athena is a symbol of knowledge.

Knowledge of facts, also referred to as propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distinct from opinion or guesswork by virtue of justification.

Specifically, this covers cases of superstition, lucky guesses, or erroneous reasoning.

Detail of Pythagoras with a tablet of ratios, numbers sacred to the Pythagoreans, from The School of Athens by Raphael. Vatican Palace, Vatican City.

Rationalism

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Detail of Pythagoras with a tablet of ratios, numbers sacred to the Pythagoreans, from The School of Athens by Raphael. Vatican Palace, Vatican City.
Plato in The School of Athens, by Raphael
Ibn Sina Portrait on Silver Vase.
In spite of his early death, Spinoza exerted a profound influence on philosophy in the Age of Reason. He is often considered one of three most remarkable rationalists of modern Western thought, along with Descartes and Leibniz.

In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".

Much of the debate in these fields are focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

Nietzsche in Basel, Switzerland, c. undefined 1875

Friedrich Nietzsche

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German philosopher, cultural critic and philologist whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history.

German philosopher, cultural critic and philologist whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history.

Nietzsche in Basel, Switzerland, c. undefined 1875
Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche
Young Nietzsche, 1861
Young Nietzsche
Arthur Schopenhauer strongly influenced Nietzsche's philosophical thought.
The University of Basel, where Friedrich Nietzsche became a professor in 1869
Left to right: Erwin Rohde, Karl von Gersdorff and Nietzsche, October 1871
Nietzsche, c. 1872
Lou Salomé, Paul Rée and Nietzsche traveled through Italy in 1882, planning to establish an educational commune together, but the friendship disintegrated in late 1882 due to complications from Rée's and Nietzsche's mutual romantic interest in Lou Andreas-Salomé.
Photo of Nietzsche by Gustav-Adolf Schultze, 1882
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After the breakdown, Peter Gast "corrected" Nietzsche's writings without his approval.
Nietzsche's grave at Röcken with the sculpture Das Röckener Bacchanal by Klaus Friedrich Messerschmidt (2000)
Nietzsche, 1869
Wochenspruch der NSDAP 9 April 1939: "What does not kill me makes me stronger."
The residence of Nietzsche's last three years along with archive in Weimar, Germany, which holds many of Nietzsche's papers
Portrait of Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906
Statue of Nietzsche in Naumburg
The Nietzsche Stone, near Surlej, the inspiration for Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; a genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and a related theory of master–slave morality; the aesthetic affirmation of life in response to both the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism; the notion of Apollonian and Dionysian forces; and a characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power.

Nietzsche objects to Euripides' use of Socratic rationalism and morality in his tragedies, claiming that the infusion of ethics and reason robs tragedy of its foundation, namely the fragile balance of the Dionysian and Apollonian.

Portrait of Avicenna on an Iranian postage stamp

Avicenna

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His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650.

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650.

Portrait of Avicenna on an Iranian postage stamp
Map of Khurasan and Transoxiana
Coin of Majd al-Dawla ((r. 997 – 1029)), the amir (ruler) of the Buyid branch of Ray
Coin of Ala al-Dawla Muhammad ((r. 1008 – 1041)), the Kakuyid ruler of Isfahan
The Mausoleum of Avicenna, Hamadan, Iran
Canons of medicine book from Avicenna, Latin translation located at UT Health of San Antonio
Skull of Avicenna, found in 1950 during construction of the new mausoleum
Inside view of the Avicenna Mausoleum, designed by Hooshang Seyhoun in 1945–1950
A monument to Avicenna in Qakh (city), Azerbaijan
Image of Avicenna on the Tajikistani somoni
The statue of Avicenna in United Nations Office in Vienna as a part of the Persian Scholars Pavilion donated by Iran

His aim was to prove the existence of God and His creation of the world scientifically and through reason and logic.

Avicenna referred to the living human intelligence, particularly the active intellect, which he believed to be the hypostasis by which God communicates truth to the human mind and imparts order and intelligibility to nature.

Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, in the Farnese collection, Naples – Photo by Paolo Monti, 1969

Stoicism

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School of Hellenistic religion founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal eudaemonic virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asserting that the practice of virtue is both necessary and sufficient to achieve eudaimonia—flourishing by means of living an ethical life.

School of Hellenistic religion founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal eudaemonic virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asserting that the practice of virtue is both necessary and sufficient to achieve eudaimonia—flourishing by means of living an ethical life.

Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, in the Farnese collection, Naples – Photo by Paolo Monti, 1969
Antisthenes, founder of the Cynic school of philosophy
Bust of Seneca
Chrysippus
Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic Roman emperor
Justus Lipsius, founder of Neostoicism

The Stoics propounded that knowledge can be attained through the use of reason.

Truth can be distinguished from fallacy—even if, in practice, only an approximation can be made.