Archive for June 27th, 2013

June 27, 2013


Pseudorationalism [soo-doh-rash-uh-nl-iz-uhm] was the label given by economist and philosopher Otto Neurath to a school of thought that he was heavily critical of, throughout many of his writings but primarily in his 1913 paper ‘The lost wanderers of Descartes and the auxiliary motive’ and later to a lesser extent in his 1935 ‘Pseudorationalismus der Falsifikation,’ a review of and attack on philosopher of science Karl Popper’s first book, ‘Logik der Forschung’ (‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’), contrasting this approach with his own view of what rationalism should properly be.

Neurath aimed his criticism at a Cartesian belief that all actions can be subject to rational analysis, saying that: ‘Once reason has gained a certain influence, people generally show a tendency to regard all their actions as reasonable. Ways of action which depend on dark instincts receive reinterpretation or obfuscation.’

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