Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams

Brand Blanshard Quote

Reason is the yardstick of reality.  That the world is rational is a philosophic postulate, for philosophy is the attempt to understand, and why set out on the enterprise of finding intelligibility in the world unless you believe it is there to be found?  For the present, the world has a recalictrant way of rebuffing our attempts to find in it a rational order (we do not know what the reason is to roses being red and the sky blue).  Hume believed we did not know why one billiard ball rolls away when another strikes it.  Hume was right about what we did know and wrong about what we might know.  Within every unvarying sequence, there is a reason, and, with time, reason may isolate that.  Nothing in this world is single: every thing, event, and quality stands in relation to others, and is what it is because of those others.  Hence we shall not fully understand it unles we see it in the context of those relations that determine it, and ultimately in the context of the universe as a whole.  Whether any bit of knowledge is true will depend, in the first instance, on whether it coheres with our system of knowledge as a whole, and the degree of truth possessed by the system will depend, in turn, on its coherence with that all-inclusive system which is at once the goal of our knowledge and the constitution of the real.

Note the lack of a cybernetic understanding of feedback and feedforward, which limits this definition in a direction he did not anticipate.   Still, quite a start.

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