A Justification of Rationality by John Kekes

By John Kekes

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Second, even if we disregard Carnap's own examples, this criterion-candidate would not do, for there are alternative, equally fundamental, ways of talking about a kind of entity. For instance, material objects can be discussed either in the material-object framework or in the framework for physics; the same is true of properties of material objects. The problem is not just that we do not have the necessary procedure for settling which of these alternative frameworks is fundamental, but it is also that a question external to one of these frameworks can always be treated as an internal question within the other framework.

For it may well be that the human physiological apparatus consistently misinforms, and, so, while our experiences are physiologically determined, they are misleading. And it is also possible that an animal or an extraterrestrial being would perceive the same stimulus and interpret it differently from the way we do. The point of arguing for common sense being physiologically basic is not to attempt to render it immune to criticism or falsehood, but to establish it as the base from which any human being must start.

But, of course, if by "proof'' is meant "giving good reasons to believe and removing grounds for doubt," then there is a proof of common sense. Furthermore, if "to know" is used to mean "to have a right to believe and it being unreasonable to doubt," then we do know that common sense is true. And this leaves very little scope for scepticism. 2011 00:08:45] Document Previous Released By -TSJ5J- Next Page 44 mon sense is false, logical possibility is not a proper ground for doubt. If all that scepticism amounts to is a reminder that it is not self-contradictory to deny common sense, then it has been rendered harmless.

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