By John Kekes
Publication by means of Kekes, John
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Extra info for A Justification of Rationality
Is, it seems to me, a profoundly difficult question. But to hold that we do not know what ... is the analysis of what we understand by such an expression, is an entirely different thing from holding that we do not understand the expression. 5 Understanding the meaning of the expression is to know how to use it; being able to give the correct analysis is to know the true philosophical account of the expression. So one may know perfectly well when to say "the table is brown," without knowing whether idealism, naive realism, or phenomenalism gives the proper analysis of the statement.
Carnap's rejoinder would be that there is no way to settle external questions, unless they are interpreted as practical questions. For the discussion about an entity can proceed only within the framework designed for conducting that discussion. The point of using a framework is precisely that no other framework is suitable for discussing the relevant kind of entity. So Carnap poses a problem: external questions are either pseudoquestions or practical questions. 2011 00:08:42] Document Previous Released By -TSJ5J- Next Page 29 case, they need not and cannot be answered.
Why should it be one's goal to cope with the environment? Perhaps that is a trivial activity distracting attention from the really important purpose of life, which is, say, worship of God, the appreciation of beauty, or the achievement of a mystical union with nature. The sceptic's point is not that these goal are more worthy than the one scientific theories help to achieve, but that these are alternative goals and the scientific ideal needs to be justified vis-a-vis its rivals. The justification cannot be pragmatic because that rests upon having already accepted certain goals.