By John Kekes
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Additional resources for A Justification of Rationality
A sceptic may grant this and go on to question the rationality of the goals. The usefulness of a theory does not guarantee its rationality, for a useful theory may serve an irrational goal. How is one to decide whether or not a goal is rational? How can goals be rationally chosen, especially given the multiplicity of frequently conflicting goals? Consider, for instance, how the sceptic might attack the pragmatic justification of scientific theories. He starts by asking: what is the goal that scientific theories help to achieve?
The truth is, however, that the responses are not always successful. Furthermore, there are situations in which common sense prompts no response at all, or even worse, in which it prompts a harmful one. Because common sense is occasionally inadequate, it has to be improved, and various theories aim at improving it. Such theories, be they scientific, religious, political, or philosophical, may solve the problems that common sense cannot. But no matter how sophisticated the human theoretical approach becomes, the primacy of common sense remains indisputable.
Perhaps external questions about metaphysical theories are practical questions, but it does not follow that external questions about existential presuppositions must also be treated in the same way. "; it is about the analysis of the causes of perception. The analysis, given in terms of a metaphysical theory, requires the acceptance of the existential presupposition that perception has an external cause. The external questions whose existence Carnap failed to recognize are about presuppositions to which metaphysical theories are inevitably committed.