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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Philosophie

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Philosophie | Studium | Fachschaftsinitiative | SVR18-19 | SVR: Timon Kunze: Rationality in the Face of Contradictions

SVR: Timon Kunze: Rationality in the Face of Contradictions

Students’ Lecture Series
Wann 16.11.2018 von 18:15 bis 19:45 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100) iCal
Wo Dorotheenstraße 24, room 1.406

Attention please: Unlike most SVR talks this one is on a Friday evening. And we are at another location too.



"Contradictions must be avoided" is one of the highest commands for our rational thinking. However, there are cases in social-ritual or theoretic contexts where we explicitly accept contradictions. This is the exact opposite of an avoidance strategy. But can it be rational to accept a contradiction?
What makes contradictions such a no-go, is the Law of Non-Contradiction, which renders contradiction as immediately false. Indeed I’m holding the Law of Non-Contradiction true as cognitive and apparently even ontological principle. First, we can’t cognitively believe contradictions, and second, no existing thing may instantiate contradictory properties at the same time.
Nevertheless the concept of acceptance might give us a workaround at hand. It works in a two fold way. On the one hand we can (sincerely) accept things only when we truly believe them. Let’s call this account epistemic acceptance. On the other hand we can accept things 'as true', which we believe to be false. Let’s call this account instrumental acceptance. 
Now, both accounts can be applied in a rational way if we follow the conditions of a specific kind of rationality, calling it analogously epistemic and instrumental rationality. This permits us to reject contradictions epistemically, but to accept them, in cases where we recognize their instrumental value.



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