# What do you Believe to be an axiom for rationality?

Posted on: February 5, 2007 - 7:18pm

What do you Believe to be an axiom for rationality?

"I think therefore I am"

Do think otherwise is inherently irrational.

#1I'm not sure i got your question but the cogito ergo sum from Descartes has be laughted of for 400 years now (check Leibniz anti-cartesian works). I don't know if that will make you happy or unhappy cuz i'm not sure i got your question

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,

then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

#2Assumptions are never rational.

#3Axioms are rational.

#4I said. "Necessary assumption" "to hold" "to be" "rational."

I said "I think therefore I am"

It is an axiom by the definition of "self-evident."

If it were not "self-evident" then either it's rational to think one can think without existing; or, that existence is not rational to begin with. I think both these things are strange.. and end the purpose of using reason or defining rational in the first place.

As for the early comment: Because it's been laughed at for 400 years does not mean it is invalid.. or possibly more invalid in any absolute sense.

The world is spherical was laughed at for thousands of years..

I'd like to clarify and thank someone for bring up the word axiom. I did not know what it mean.. which is why I said "necessary assumption."

#5I believe that any axiom which is self-consistent and does not produce an inconsistency with any other axioms you are simultaneously using can be treated as rational, provided you recognize that it is an axiom and its truth is granted only by assumption (i.e. that this axiom might be false).

#6Yiab wrote:i'm confused here but it may just be that i getting used to learning to use this kind of terminonlogy; which other axioms? how are you defining the set of axioms?

also, what does it mean to say an axiom is self-consistent?

Ethics and aesthetics are one

-Wittgenstein

#7I am speaking from a mathematical perspective here, so I apologise if I'm using these terms in an unusual way.

It is very rare to get anywhere with only a single axiom, typically there are a handful in a given theory (Euclid's geometry used 5, for example, but he called them "postulates". In a mathematical discipline, axioms are agreed upon and clearly stated before constructing the rest of the formal theory, though sometimes there can be changes in those axioms later.

In life, everyone uses their own assumptions, usually many of them and usually unstated and unconscious. Many of these assumptions are very simple and don't even need to be stated as they are virtually universal (things like "there is a reality outside me" or "my perceptions have some relevance". The assumptions a person uses may change over the course of their life (for example, children eventually learn that their parents aren't all-powerful).

Treating these assumptions as the axioms with which a person constructs their thoughts and their interaction with reality, we can pick one of these axioms and treat it as the one in question (or pick a potential axiom to put under consideration), with the remaining axioms being "the others".

"Self-consistent" simply means that if you were to only use that axiom you would not have an inconsistent world-view. This condition is largely already covered by the condition of consistency between axioms and is stated for simplicity and to exclude the trivial case of a single inconsistent axiom without others.

#8i'm going to try a few?

1. the 'world' exists as belief state(s?)

2. perceptions shape belief state(s?)

3. perceptions have some relevance in shaping belief state(s?).

Ethics and aesthetics are one

-Wittgenstein