The Foundations Of Rationalism By Plato

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Faith, like prejudice, is an enemy of reason, yet if the power of reason to enquire important answers to fundamental questions has been demonstrated in the western tradition since Plato, faith, which remains today a prominent global force manifested in religion, too, holds a function in logical enquiry. Faith is to hold a conviction void of actual evidence, yet Reason needs faith in order to function, it is faith that is linked to the imagination and hypothesis for enquiry. Humans are not machines, which can function on reason alone, and thus, to eradicate faith would be to eradicate a evolutionary flaw in the human makeup. Faith, akin to love in this way, makes individuals happy. In Plato’s dialogues, the foundations of rationalism are…show more content…
Plato’s dualism is articulated Plato’s Republic (trans Lee 1974 IV,436a-442d) to account for inner conflicts in decision making. An individual can be thirsty yet not quench his thirst (Republic, 437b), and “anger at times goes to war with desire, as if they were two distinct things”(Republic, 440a-b). Reason is like the driver of a chariot, steering the two horses of spirit and desire in the correct direction. The chariot is able to function as “the one ruling principle of reason, and the two subject ones of spirit and desire are equally agreed that reason ought to rule” (Republic, 442c). Such a struggle articulates the struggle that Dawkins un-impartially describes, between faith and reason, where reason ought to be the driving force.

Aristotle states that man is distinct from animals as he has the capacity to reason as a “rational animal” (Marc 2014, web). For Aristotle, the goal of science is to know why things necessarily are as they are (Shields 2014, 129). Dawkins’ statement infers this goal is hindered through faith, “one of the world’s greatest evils”. In Plato’s dialogue Memo, Socrates refers to the theory of the forms, where people have eternal immortal souls, the world is particulars of pure forms. The theory of the forms expresses the power of reason (81d), as feeling like something pure, perfect, and other worldly. Socrates demonstrates to Memo that, by asking a
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