Reverse detail from Kakelbont MS 1, a fifteenth-century French Psalter. This image is in the public domain. Daniel Paul O'Donnell

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Best register-change I've seen in an academic book in a while: Hayot, Humanist reason

Posted: Sep 20, 2021 16:09;
Last Modified: Sep 20, 2021 16:09


From Hayot, Eric. 2021. Humanist Reason: A History. an Argument. a Plan. New York: Columbia University Press. 9.

One could well begin a critique of the current state of reason by remarking on the genuine epistemological weirdness of scientific reason’s dominance, which in some respects seems to fail the test of reason itself. Is it not a bit strange, after all, that the culturally dominant idea of reason and truth with which we live stems from the steps forward made by a set of institutionalized practices that focused, as they developed this theory of reason, almost entirely on inanimate, nonconscious objects, or on non-conscious parts of animate objects? bq. What would make an entire society think of “reason” — the process whereby one thinks through things and comes to conclusions that can be shared with and criticized by others — as being primarily theoretically derived from such an unusual subset of the available evidence? If I told you this story about another society, or made it a feature of some alien civilization in a work of science fiction, you would see right away how fucked up it is.

Only criticism (other than all the commas): I’d have broken a new paragraph at the last sentence.

But well done!





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