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An Age of Unreason?

Julian Baggini and James Garvey

FoI at Waterstones/
Mon 07 November 2016

An Age of Unreason?

Julian Baggini and James Garvey

IMG_0013
Mon 07 November 2016,

In our ‘post-truth society’, can and should rational argument still carry any weight? Reason has been undermined by advertisers and political campaigners seeking to persuade us by manipulation rather than argument. Misinformation and emotive pleas often seem to be more powerful than firm evidence and calm argument, gut feeling more trustworthy than expert advice. Citing evidence from psychology and history, many argue that rationality is in any case an illusion and that what we call reason is a mere rationalisation of irrational impulses. At the same time champions of reason often promote a scientific worldview that leaves many cold. Does being rational require us to drain life of intuition, imagination and emotion?

Julian Baggini (The Edge of Reason) and James Garvey (The Persuaders), the first and current editors of The Philosophers’ Magazine, discuss whether reason has had its day, what it means to argue rationally and whether it is still possible to do so.

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