Philosophy - Reason

Aristotle - Man's possession of reason shows itself not only in his ability to think, but also in his ability to control by thought and principle his desires and conduct; so the virtues of the good man will be not only intellectual but also moral or ethical.Tolstoy - According to faith it follows that in order to comprehend the meaning of life I must renounce my reason, the very thing for which meaning was necessary.

Space and its Properties (Wave-Medium) as Necessary Foundation for Reason, Logic and Truth. Logic requires Necessary Connection thus One thing (Space) to Connect the Many Things (Matter) as Spherical Wave Motions of Space

Quotes on Reason, Logic, Truth & Reality


Hi Everyone,

When we look at the dismal state of our world, its conflicts, the destruction of Nature, one must seriously question whether reason plays much part in human actions. What is clear is that without true knowledge of reality it is impossible to have any certainty in reason. The purpose of this website is to show you how we can use reason to deduce reality and then show that it is true.

Rather than writing on reason, I think it is best to just list the most important pages on this site that relate to reason, logic, truth and reality. (They have all been recently re-written and are good concise essays.)
This is followed by a nice collection of famous philosophy / metaphysics quotes on the importance of reason / truth and a short essay on Frege's foundations of logic / reason.

Geoff Haselhurst

Metaphysics - Main page. Definition of metaphysics, short essay / summary and collection of metaphysical quotes. On the metaphysics of one substance, space, existing with the properties of a wave medium, for spherical standing waves that form matter. Uniting space, time, matter and motion (the dynamic unity of reality).

Metaphysics: Most Simple Scientific Theory of Reality - What is the most Simple Science Theory for describing Reality? The most simple theory must be founded on One thing. Given that there are many minds and material things, but they are all experienced in one common space, we can deduce that space is the most simple foundation. The error is to then add the concepts of Time, Matter and Forces to Space, rather than considering the Properties of Space as a Wave Medium for Spherical Standing Waves which cause Matter, Time and Forces.

Metaphysics: Principles Reality - On Metaphysics, Reality, Logical Truths / Principles of Physics, and Empirical Truths and the Mind's Representation of our Senses. Important Quotes on Metaphysics from Aristotle, Gottfried Leibniz, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Albert Einstein.

Metaphysics: Problem of One and the Many - By describing Reality as One thing existing (Space with Properties of a Wave Medium for Spherical Standing Waves that form Many things / Matter) we finally solve this most profound problem of Metaphysics. Uniting the One and the Many, Infinite and the Finite, Eternal and the Temporal, Absolute and Relative, Continuous and Discrete, Simple and Complex, Matter and Universe.

Philosophy - On Philosophy as Love (Philo) of Wisdom (Sophy), and that we must know the Truth to be Wise. Most importantly, all Truth comes from Reality thus we must know Reality to be Wise. Quotes on Philosophy, Truth, Reality by Famous Philosophers Plato, Aristotle, Montaigne, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Einstein, et al. 'Philosophy being nothing else but the study of wisdom and truth ..' (Berkeley)

Postmodernism - On Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Popper Kuhn. The End of Postmodernism Relativism & the Rise of Realism.


Quotes on Reason Logic and Truth

All reasonings concerning matter of fact seem to be founded on the relation of cause and effect. (David Hume, 1737)

If I ask you why you believe any particular matter of fact, which you relate, you must tell me some reason; and this reason will be some other fact, connected with it. But as you cannot proceed after this manner, in infinitum, you must at last terminate in some fact, which is present to your memory or senses; or must allow that your belief is entirely without foundation.
.. the senses alone are not implicitly to be depended on; we must correct their evidence by reason, and by considerations, derived from the nature of the medium, the distance of the object, and the disposition of the organ, in order to render them, within their sphere, the proper criteria of truth and falsehood. (David Hume, 1737)

From the first appearance of an object, we never can conjecture what effect will result from it. But were the power or energy of any cause discoverable by the mind, we could foresee the effect, even without experience; and might, at first, pronounce with certainty concerning it, by mere dint of thought and reasoning. (David Hume, 1737)

Now it seems evident that, if this conclusion were formed by reason, it would be as perfect at first, and upon one instance, as after ever so long a course of experience. (David Hume, 1737)

This question I propose as much for the sake of information, as with an intention of raising difficulties. I cannot find, I cannot imagine any such reasoning. But I keep my mind still open to instruction, if any one will vouchsafe to bestow it upon me. (David Hume, 1737)

The solution to Hume's Problem of Causation is realised by understanding how Matter exists in Space as a Spherical Standing Wave whose Wave-Center (Focal Point) creates the 'Particle' effect of Matter. By understanding the cause of the 'Particle' effect, the Wave Structure of Matter explains how these matter 'particles' are necessarily interconnected by their spherical waves in a continuously connected Space (existing as a wave medium). This gives certainty to our reason / knowledge.

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I hold that the mark of a genuine idea is that its possibility can be proved, either a priori by conceiving its cause or reason, or a posteriori when experience teaches us that it is in fact in nature. ... It is a good thing to proceed in order and to establish propositions. This is the way to gain ground and to progress with certainty. (Gottfried Leibniz, 1670)

I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. (Gottfried Leibniz, 1670)

Leibniz described Reality (the One thing which exists and connects the many things) as One Substance (which is active) and God;

.. the ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance, in which the differentiation of the changes only exists eminently as in their source; and this is what we call God. .. God alone is the primary Unity, or original simple substance, from which all monads, created and derived, are produced. (Leibniz, 1670)
I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general. (Gottfried Leibniz, 1670)

I agree with you that it is important to examine our presuppositions, thoroughly and once for all, in order to establish something solid. For I hold that it is only when we can prove all that we bring forward that we perfectly understand the thing under consideration. I know that the common herd takes little pleasure in these researches, but I know also that the common herd take little pains thoroughly to understand things. (Leibniz, 1670)

... a distinction must be made between true and false ideas, and that too much rein must not be given to a man's imagination under pretext of its being a clear and distinct intellection. (Leibniz, 1670)

But it is the knowledge of necessary and eternal truths which distinguishes us from mere animals, and gives us reason and the sciences, raising us to knowledge of ourselves and God. It is this in us which we call the rational soul or mind. (Leibniz, 1670)

Read more: Gottfried Leibniz

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We should be similarly wary of accepting common opinions; we should judge them by the ways of Reason not by popular vote. (de Montaigne)

Man's possession of reason shows itself not only in his ability to think, but also in his ability to control by thought and principle his desires and conduct; so the virtues of the good man will be not only intellectual but also moral or ethical. (Aristotle)

True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions. (Tolstoy)

While in faith I found nothing other than a negation of reason, which was even more impossible than denial of life. According to rational knowledge life is an evil and people know it. They have the choice of ending their lives and yet they have always carried on living, just as I myself have done, despite having known for a long time that life is meaningless and evil. According to faith it follows that in order to comprehend the meaning of life I must renounce my reason, the very thing for which meaning was necessary. (Tolstoy)

All the concepts we use to compare the finite to the infinite, and to arrive at an understanding of life, of the concepts of God, freedom and goodness, are put to the test of logic. But they fail to stand up to the critique of reason. (Tolstoy)

The difference between man and the animals is that an animal’s cognitive faculties are restricted to what we call instinct, while man’s basic cognitive faculty is his reason.The bee gathering his food can have no doubt as to whether or not he is doing something good or bad. But a man reaping the harvest, or gathering the fruit, cannot help wondering whether he is undermining the growth of future crops, or whether he is depriving his neighbours of food. Nor can he help thinking about what will happen to the children he is feeding, and much else besides. The most important questions of conduct in life cannot be conclusively resolved by a rational person precisely because there is an abundance of consequences of which he is inevitably aware. Rational man, even if he does not know, then feels that in the more important questions of life he cannot be guided by personal impulses, nor by a consideration of the immediate consequences of his actions. He can see that they are too diverse and often contradictory, as, for instance, those that are just as likely to be harmful as to be beneficial to himself and others. (Tolstoy)


Frege on Reason / Logic

Frege, Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob (Logicist, analytic philosopher) 1848-1925
influenced by the technical development of number theory in the nineteenth century combined with, as it seemed to him, the 'scandalous' state of its foundations. He set himself the task of giving epistemologically secure foundations for number theory and a proper delineation of its subject matter.

..he rejected attempts to portray mathematics as a subject without a subject matter: that is, as the formal manipulation of empty signs with no intrinsic meaning.
He took number theory to be the study of necessary relations between numbers, and he took numbers to be mind-independent abstract objects. This view is known as Platonism after Plato's own similar view. Frege conceived of his task as one of setting out precise and self-evident truths of pure logic in terms of which numerical concepts could be defined, and from which the accepted theorems of number theory could be rigorously deduced. This programme is known as logicism, the grounding of number theory in pure logic.

First, he developed a radically new way of treating quantifiers in logic. Quantifiers are expressions like 'something', 'all', 'everything' which can fill the gap in predicates like '-- is red' to form sentences which are true or false, for example, 'Something is red', 'Everything is red'. Frege's technique enables us to see a complex expression like ' -- is red and -- is round' as a unitary predicate, from a logical point of view if not from a grammatical point of view. There is no limit to the complexity of predicates which quantifiers can turn into sentences, 'if -- is red then all bulls hate --' is a predicate in Frege's logic, and one which embeds the quantifier 'all'. Frege deployed his quantifiers in a novel formal language of his own, the first semantically precise language in which logic and set theory could be rigorously formulated.
Frege's discovery was the most important breakthrough in logic since Aristotle had founded the subject some two millennia before. It provided the first successful treatment of relations, and made possible the explosive development of logic in this century.

Second, Frege used his formal language to present, in his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik Band 1, the first system of axioms and definitions of what we would now call logic and set theory, and he commenced the rigorous deduction of the accepted truths of number theory from those axioms and definitions.

But it was a spectacular failure, since, while the second volume was in the press, Bertrand Russell showed that Frege's axioms allowed the rigorous deduction of a contradiction, known to subsequent generations as Russell's Paradox.

The trouble lay not in Frege's logical axioms but in his axioms of set theory. Those axioms combine the view that every predicate can be used to define a set, viz. the set of objects of which that predicate is true, and the view that every predicate must be true or false of every object there is. So Russell took the predicate '-- is not a member of itself' and defined the set of things which are not members of themselves, and he then asked whether the predicate is true or false of that very set. It's easy to see that if it is then it isn't, and if it isn't then it is, which is paradoxical.

Frege's Platonism has fared better. His basic idea is generally accepted , that once a theory is adequately formulated in Frege's formal language, and supposing the theory is true, then its ontological commitment, whether Platonic or not, can be read off from its syntax.

Frege's third great contribution was his theory of meaning. Frege needed a theory of meaning to show that his novel formal language, unlike our natural languages, is ontologically perspicuous. The key notions he used were sense and reference. Roughly, the sense of an expression is what a mind grasps, and sense mediates the connection between mind and the worldly entity (the referent) which the expression is about. More precisely, the sense of an expression (i) is grasped by a mind, but (ii) is not a psychological entity, since two minds may grasp the very same sense. Further, (iii) sense connects an expression with its referent in the world- Frege calls sense 'the mode of presentation of the reverant'. Finally, (iv) the sense of an expression contributes to the truth-conditions of sentences in which that expression occurs. To grasp the sense of a sentence involves knowing its truth-conditions.

On the other hand, the referent of an expression is (i) its semantic role: that is, what that expression contributes to determining the truth-values of sentences in which it occurs. It follows that all categories of expression have referents- predicates, logical constants, whole clauses, as well as noun phrases. But (ii) Frege also thinks of reference as analogous to the relation between a name and its bearer. So the world contains, he thinks, entities corresponding to predicates, logical constants and whole clauses, as it contains objects corresponding to noun phrases. These additional entities are concepts, truth-functions and truth-values, respectively.

Peano, Husserl, Russell, Wittgenstein and Carnap all studied Frege.

(Quotations from One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers - Stewart Brown, Diane Collinson, Robert Wilkinson)




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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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