Friday, 29 June 2007
Pure Reason as a Means to Truth
An awareness that subordinates itself to pure reason must end in absolute nihilism, ie total scepticism about language itself. This is because if one managed to follow reason through to its end, which is to say to its root, one would arrive at the inescapable point where the first step of reason is itself a leap of faith; a leap of faith in which one decides to accept language as inherently corresponding to truth or meaning, and hence a means of divining truth. In fact, there are two main leaps of faith being made here; that truth exists, and that the symbolic world of language corresponds to it. The slave to reason would be forced into the mentioned position of absolute nihilism, as by their own terms of strict rationalism, the entire edifice of their thought depends on an impermissible starting point. They would have nothing to base a faith in language's being imbued with a meaning with which life is also imbued, and so language would have to be abandoned before it begins.