gongsunlongzi_mingjia_ithinksearchIn ancient China there was a philosopher named Kung-sun Lung who argued that “a white horse is not a horse.” His argument was a logical word game, and there was an entire school of philosophers in ancient China known as the logicians who specialized in such argument. These philosophers are comparable to the Sophists of ancient Greece (such as Thrasymachus who argued that justice was a vice and injustice a virtue), who also specialized in logical word games, and some would say that modern analytical philosophers essentially do the same thing. However, such arguments are generally contrary to common sense. While they may be logically valid, arguments that a white horse is not a horse, or that mountains come out of mouths are obviously fallacious, and on top of this they teach us improper uses of logic. However, this does raise an interesting and important point: what are the limits of logic and reason? In the west we tend to put more faith in logic and reason than, perhaps, we should, and this may lead us to fall pray to obviously fallacious arguments, such as the argument that morality is simply a matter of preference. So, this is what I want you to write on today: how much faith should we put in logic and reason? In evidence? Should we all be skeptics, rationalists, empiricists, or somewhere in between?

As always, write me a story of 1000 words or more that presents and defends your answer to this question.


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