A Short Piece
An Addition from “The True Isn’t the Rational” by O.G. Rose
It could be said that every truth and its corresponding rationality compose “a rational set,” of which there are potentially many. In one set (say Set A), “wants” might be a valid variable by which to orientate rationality (“I want ice cream; therefore, it is rational to go buy it”); in another, “wants” might be considered a non-variable and too subjective (Set B). In another set, “emotional intelligence” might be considered a variable that rationality should take into account (Set C); in another, “beauty” might be considered valuable but unintelligible (Set D). Which set is the most rational? A, B, C, or D? Why? Keep in mind that there are potentially infinite sets, one in which both “wants” and “beauty” are considered variables of rationality, one in which neither are considered, another in which both variables are present but “beauty” considered more important than “wants” — new sets will arise based on the order in which variables are stressed — and so on.
If I decide to live according to Set A, am I more rational than the person who lives according to Set B? How do I determine this, one way or the other? Whatever way I do so, the process will arguably be a new set itself (say Set Aa). If I use Aa to choose A over B, by what structure of logic did I decide to use Aa and not Ab, Ac, Ad, etc.? It would seem a new set would be created Aaa, then Aaaa, then Aaaaa — ad infinitum.
In other words, it would seem I would need rationality to determine which “set of rationality” to ascribe to, the act itself of which would generate another “set of rationality,” and so on. To avoid this regression, it would seem I would have to use something other than rationality, but what else could I use that itself I wouldn’t decide to use thanks to rationality (which leads to another ad infinitum problem)? Perhaps nonrationality…?
All that said, who sits down one day and “decides” to live according to Set A as opposed to Set B, C, D, etc. (which is impossible unless someone knows all possible sets, which no one does)? It would seem rather we just “find ourselves living” according to Set Q versus Set Y (“thrown” into it, to allude to Heidegger), and only retrospectively do we then convince ourselves that we “chose” A as opposed to B, especially when faced with social pressures to act like we have reasons to live like we do. The problem we face before “sets of rationality” seems to be a problem we all overlook. Rationality is not what we think, and I find of great interest that field of battle where rationality is at war with itself…