E l’ illuminista si scoprì evangelizzatore

Il lume della ragione, a volte, sembra più una decorazione che uno strumento utile a snidare la verità.


April Mercier e Daniel Sperber sostengono che la ragione serva a convincere gli altri più che a cercare la verità:

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. … Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. … A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. …

Several commentators, while agreeing that argumentation may be an important function of reasoning, suggest that it may serve other functions, as well. … Our claim is that argumentation is the main function of reasoning. …

Dessalles and Frankish suggest that argumentation could have evolved as a means to display one’s intellectual skills. Indeed, argumentation can be put to such a use. However, … reasoning is more like a crow’s than a peacock’s tail: It may be a bit drab, but it serves its main function well. Its occasional use, for instance, in academic milieus, to display one’s intellectual skills is unlikely to contribute to fitness to the point of having become a biological function, let alone the main function of reasoning. …

Pietraszewski … draws attention to a … class of cases … [where] who is arguing should be just as important as what they are saying when considering the ‘goodness’ of an argument” … The main relevance of a communicative act may be … in the very fact that it took place at all; it may have to do with … signaling agreement and disagreement. This can be done in particular by using arguments not so much to convince but to polarize. …

Frankish points out that reasoning can be used to strengthen our resolve by buttressing our decisions with supporting arguments… (leggi; versione integrale)

C’ è una cosa che non convince: perché le due parti (parlatore/ascoltatore) scelgono come ring (o come punto d’ incontro) il terreno della ragione?



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