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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Not Reason Alone


I feel a bit more grounded today.

So… Those of you that endure this Blog know that I consider myself a “Randian”, or “Ann Randian”. Her words formed my core business philosophy; set the stage for my Jeffersonian ideals; and, enables me to pursue my journey through Heterodoxy (you probably better look that up – or, read this Blog history thoroughly).

At any rate, I felt like “Randing” a bit today.

“I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.” – Ayn Rand

If I correctly understand her, Rand is mistaken in assuming reason is by itself sufficient. Even when consistently applied, reason alone usually doesn’t do us much good in establishing truths. At least not outside of pure logic and mathematics. One reason that’s the case is because reason so often leads us to two, three, four, or even more options — each one reasonable. If science relied on reason alone, nothing would ever be settled by science.

Reason needs observation to discipline it. Reason should always be checked against observation — otherwise reason too often leads to even the wildest sort of speculations. One of the reasons science has made so much progress in our understanding of the universe is because science combines reason and observation — rather than relying on reason alone. Science constantly tests reason against observation. In science, when observation disagrees with reason, observation triumphs.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

3 Comments to

“Not Reason Alone”

  1. Avatar August 28th, 2008 at 6:07 pm richardcorke Says:

    You are right to advocate a balance between reason and observation. In philosophy, methods correspond to rationalism and empiricism, respectively. The United States succeeded in part because of its pragmatism, which is, of course, fully explicated by William James. This American pragmatism used reason and observation together to get things done. The Soviet Union, in contrast, failed due to it’s slavish adherence to Marxist-Leninist ideology despite observable evidence that it was not working.

  2. Avatar August 28th, 2008 at 6:13 pm Reason and Observation « Richard Corke’s Weblog Says:

    […] 28 08 2008 Brian Cork is right to advocate a balance between reason and observation. ( ) In philosophy, methods correspond to rationalism and empiricism, respectively.  The United […]

  3. Avatar December 24th, 2008 at 8:50 pm Question everything and accept nothing « The Unsinkable Brian Cork Says:

    […] […]

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