Lukes—Some Problems about Rationality

Some Problems about Rationality

by Steven Lukes

[Lukes, Steven. 1967. “Some Problems about Rationality.” European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie / Europäisches Archiv Für Soziologie 8 (2): 247–64.]

Points

Intro

  • A discussion of the question: “when I come across a set of beliefs which appear prima facie irrational, what should be my attitude towards them?
    • Should I adopt a critical attitude, taking it as a fact about the beliefs that they are irrational, and seek to explain how they came to be held, how they manage to survive unprofaned by rational criticism, what their consequences are, etc?
    • Or should I treat such beliefs charitably: should I begin from the assumption that what appears to me to be irrational may be inter­ preted as rational when fully understood in its context?
    • More briefly, the problem comes down to whether or not there are alternative standards of rationality” (247, bullet points added).
  • To answer the question, Lukes;
    1. distinguishes the different reasons something can be called irrational—”There are, for example, important differences and asymmetries between falsehood, inconsistency and nonsense” (247).
    2. separates out different criteria of rationality that have become confused by theorists
    3. attempts to determine which of these criteria are context-dependent and which are universal

Section I

  • compares five different answers to the initial question (of how to deal with the seemingly irrational).
    1. when involved in primitive religion and magic, there is no problem, because these beliefs can be seen as purely symbolic.
      • “Thus the first answer to our problem amounts to the refusal to answer it, on the grounds that it is nonsensical (Leach), or irrelevant (Firth), or misdirected (Beattie)” (250).
    2. the rationality of the belief is completely incomprehensible to modern thought. Understanding it would mean “tracing our steps, for many centuries, back into the dim past, far back to the time when we also possessed the mind of primitive man. And the gates have long closed on that hidden road” (Eldon Best qtd, 250).
    3. Primitive belief systems are an attempt at explaining phenomena, which in itself is a totally rational act that requires rational thought processes.
      • This is how Tylor, Frazer, and Evans-Pritchard see things
        • Evans-Pritchard breaks it down: “They considered that primitive man had reached his conclusions about the efficacy of magic from rational observation and deduction in much the same way as men ofscience reach their conclusions about natural laws. Underlying all magical ritual is a rational process of thought. The ritual of magic follows from its ideology. It is true that the deductions of a magician are false-had they been true they would have been scientific and not magical-but they are nevertheless based on genuine observation. For classification of phenomena by the similarities which exist between them is theprocedure of science as well as of magic and is the first essential process of human knowledge. Where the magician goes wrong is in inferring that because things arealike in one or more respects they have a mystical link between them whereas in fact the link is not a real link but an ideal connexion in the mind of the magician. [ … ] A causal relationship exists in his mind but not in nature. It is a subjective and not anobjective connexion. Hence the savage mistakes an ideal analogy for a real connexion” (251).
        • Durkheim also breaks it down: tis through [primitive religion] that a first explanation of the world has been made possible. [ … ] When I learn that A regularly precedes B, my knowledge is enriched by a new item, but my understanding is not at all satisfied with a statement which does not appear rationally justified. I commence to understand only when it is possible for me to conceive B in a perspective that makes it appear to me as something that is not foreign to A, as united to A by some intelligible relationship. The great service that the religions have rendered to thought is that they have constructed a first representation of what these intelligible relationships between things might be. In the circumstances under which it was attempted, the enterprise could obviously attain only precarious results. But then, does it ever attain any that are definitive, and is it not necessary ceaselessly to reconsider them ? And also, it is less important to succeed than to try. [ … ] The explanations of contemporary science are surer of being objective because they are more methodical and because they rest on more rigorously controlled observations, but they do not differ in nature from those which satisfy primitive thought” (253).
    4. Emphasize how magical and scientific thinking are fundamentally different,
      • magic is prelogical, meaning “not constrained above all else, as ours is, to avoid contradictions. The same logical exigencies are not in its case always present. What to our eyes is impossible or absurd, it sometimes will admit without seeing any difficulty” (254, quoting Lévi-Bruhl).
    5. The seemingly irrational in primitive societies should simply be seen as rational to those societies
      • “According to Winch’s view, when an observer is faced with seemingly irrational beliefs in a primitive society, he should seek contextually given criteria according to which they may appear rational” (255).
      • to Evans-Pritchard, in Witchcraft and Oracle Among the Azande, “It is an inevitable conclusion from Zande descriptions of witchcraft that it is not an objective reality. The physiological condition which is said to be the seat of witch­ craft, and which I believe to be nothing more than food passing through the small intestine, is an objective condition, but the qualities they attribute to it and the rest of their beliefs about it are mystical. Witches, as Azande conceive them, cannot exist” (256).
        • Winch has a problem with this because it relies on “objective reality”

Section II

  • “Beliefs, or sets of beliefs, are said to be irrational if they are inadequate in certain ways:
    1.  if they are illogical, e.g. inconsistent or (self-) contradictory, consisting of or relying on invalid inferences, etc.;
    2. if they are, partially or wholly, false;
    3. if they are nonsensical (though it may be questioned whether they would then qualify as propositions and thus as beliefs);
    4. if they are situationally specific or ad hoc, i.e. : not uni­versalised because bound to particular occasions;
    5. if the ways in which they come to be held or the manner in which they are held are seen as deficient in some respect” (259, bullet points added).

Section III

  • (Lukes asserts) some a criteria of rationality are universal, “i.e. relevantly applicable to all beliefs, in any context, while others are context-dependent, i.e. are to be discovered by inves­ tigating the context and are only relevantly applicable to beliefs in that context” (260).
    • for instance if a society “has a language, it must, minimally, possess criteria of truth (as correspondence to reality) and logic, which we share with it and which simply are criteria of rationality” (262).
  • He explicitly argues (against Winch): “that beliefs are not only to be evaluated by the criteria that are to be discovered in the context in which they are held; they must also be evaluated by criteria of rationality that simply are criteria of rationality, as opposed to criteria of rationality in context [c]” (260).
  • Lukes the goes into a incredibly convoluted process through which he vindicates earlier assertions referring to them as rational (1) [universal] and rational (2) [context-dependent] and confusing everyone.
  • In the end, he finds that:
  • “One may conclude that all beliefs are to be evaluated by both rational (1) and rational (2) criteria. Sometimes, as in the case of religious beliefs, rational (1) truth criteria will not take the analysis very far. Often rational (1) criteria of logic do not reveal anything positive about relations between beliefs that are to be explicated in terms of “provides a reason for”. Sometimes rational (1) criteria appear less important than “what the situation demands”. In all these cases, rational (2) criteria are illuminating. But they do not make rational (1) criteria dispensable” (264).
  • So: “If both sorts of criteria are required for the understanding of beliefs (for they enable us to grasp their truth-conditions and their inter-relations), they are equally necessary to the explanation of why they are held, how they operate and what their social consequences are. Thus only by the application of rational (1) criteria is it possible to see how beliefs which fail to satisfy them can come to be rationally criticised, or fail to be. On the other hand, it is usually only by the application of rational (2) criteria that the point and significance that beliefs have for those that hold them can be grasped. Rational (1) and rational (2) criteria are necessary both to understand and to explain” (264).

Annotation Summary for: Lukes – Some Problems about Rationality

Page 2, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “STEVEN LUKES Some problems about rationality”

Page 2, Typewriter (Red): Comment: 1967

Page 2, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “I N what follows I shall discuss a philosophical problem arising out of the practice of anthropologists and sociologists which may be stated, in a general and unanalysed form, as follows: when I come across a set of beliefs which appear prima f acie irrational, what should be my attitude towards them ? Should I adopt a critical attitude, taking it as a fact about the beliefs that they are irrational, and seek to explain how they came to be held, how they manage to survive unprofaned by rational criticism, what their consequences are, etc ?Or should I treat such beliefs charitably: should I begin from the assumption that what appears to me to be irrational may be inter­ preted as rational when fully understood in its context? More briefly, the problem comes down to whether or not there are alternative standards of rationality. ”

Page 2, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “it will be necessary to distinguish between the different ways in which beliefs may be said to be irrational. There are, for example, important differences and asymmetries between falsehood, inconsistency and nonsense.”

Page 2, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “First, I shall set out a number of different answers to it that have been offered by anthropologists and philosophers with respect to primitive magical and religious beliefs.”

Page 3, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Second, I shall try to separate out a number of distinct criteriaof rationality which almost all discussions of these issues have confus­ed. ”

Page 3, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Finally, I shall make some attempt at showing which of these criteria are context-dependent and which are universal, and why.”

Page 3, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “five different answers to the problem.”

Page 3, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “I. First, there is the view that the seeming irrationality of the beliefs involved in primitive religion and magic constitutes no prob­ lem, for those beliefs are to be interpreted as symbolic.”

Page 3, Underline (Red): Content: “(2) E. LEACH, Political Systems of High­ land Burma (London 1954), pp. 13-14.”

Page 4, Underline (Red): Content: “Other Cultures BEATTIE, ]. (London 1964), chs. V and XII, and ID.,”

Page 4, Underline (Red): Content: “T. PARSONS, The Structure of Social Action”

Page 4, Underline (Red): Content: “V. TURNER, “Symbols in Ndembu Ritual””

Page 5, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Thus the first answer to our problem amounts to the refusal toanswer it, on the grounds that it is nonsensical (Leach), or irrelevant(Firth), or misdirected (Beattie) ”

Page 5, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “The second answer to the problem comes down to the claim 2. that there are certain criteria which we can apply both to modern and to primitive beliefs which show the latter to be quite incomprehensible.”

Page 5, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “3. The third answer amounts to the hypothesis that primitive magical and religious beliefs are attempted explanations of phenom­ ena. This involves the claim that they satisfy certain given criteria of rationality by virtue of certain rational procedures of thought and observation being followed;”

Page 6, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “The classical exponents of this position were Tylor and Frazer, especially in their celebrated “intellectualist” theory of magic.”

Page 6, Highlight (Cyan): Content: ” Pro­fessor Evans-Pritchard has succinctly summarized their standpoint as follows: They considered that primitive man had reached his conclusions about the efficacy of magic from rational observation and deduction in much the same way as men ofscience reach their conclusions about natural laws. Underlying all magical ritual is a rational process of thought. The ritual of magic follows from its ideology. It is true that the deductions of a magician are false-had they been true they would have been scientific and not magical-but they are nevertheless based on genuine observation. For classification of phenomena by the similarities which exist between them is theprocedure of science as well as of magic and is the first essential process of human knowledge. Where the magician goes wrong is in inferring that because things arealike in one or more respects they have a mystical link between them whereas in fact the link is not a real link but an ideal connexion in the mind of the magician. [ … ] A causal relationship exists in his mind but not in nature. It is a subjective and not anobjective connexion. Hence the savage mistakes an ideal analogy for a realconnexion (12). ”

Page 6, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 6, Underline (Red): Content: “E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD, The Intel­ lectualist (English) Interpretation of Magic, Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, I (1933), LEACH, Fra2er and Mali­nowski, Encounter, XXV (1965), 24-36: “For Frazer, all ritual is based in fallacy”

Page 8, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “the third answer to our problem involves the application of given rational criteria to prima facie irrational beliefs which shows them to be largely rational in method, purpose and form, though unscientific, and more or less (for Tylor and Frazer, entirely; for Horton, less than we thought) irrational in content.”

Page 8, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Durkheim put this case, with customary clarity, as follows: tis through [primitive religion] that a first explanation of the world has been made possible. [ … ] When I learn that A regularly precedes B, my knowledge is enriched by a new item, but my understanding is not at all satisfied with a statement which does not appear rationally justified. I commence to understand only when it is possible for me to conceive B in a perspective that makes it appear to me as something that is not foreign to A, as united to A by some intelligible relationship. The great service that the religions have rendered to thought is that they have constructed a first representation of what these intelligible relationships between things might be. In the circumstances under which it was attempted, the enterprise could obviously attain only precarious results. But then, does it ever attain any that are definitive, and is it not necessary ceaselessly to reconsider them ? And also, it is less important to succeed than to try. [ … ] The explanations of contemporary science are surer of being objective because they are more methodical and because they rest on more rigorously controlled observations, but they do not differ in nature from those which satisfy primitive thought (20).”

Page 8, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 8, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “4. The fourth position we are to consider is that of Lucien Levy­ Bruhl”

Page 8, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Levy-Bruhl’s central theme was to emphasise the differences between the content of two types of beliefs (seen as Durkheimianrepresentations collectives) ( 22) : those characteristic of primitive societies and those characteristic of ‘scientific’ thinking. He tried to bring outthose aspects in which these two types of belief differed : as he wrote”I intended to bring fully to light the mystical aspect of primitive men­tality in contrast with the rational aspect of the mentality of our socie-”

Page 8, Underline (Red): Content: “0) E. DURKHEIM, Les formes elimen­taires de la vie pp. 339-341. religieuse (Paris 1912),”

Page 9, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “ties” (23). Thus primitive beliefs were characteristically mystical, inthe sense of being committed to “forces, influences, powers impercep­tible to the senses, and never the less real””

Page 9, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Furthermore, their thought is (in his confusing but revealing term) ‘prelogical’ (26): that is [it] is not constrained above all else, as ours is, to avoid contradictions. The same logical exigencies are not in its case always present. What to our eyes is impossible or absurd, it sometimes will admit without seeing any difficulty (27).”

Page 9, Highlight (Yellow): Content: “‘prelogical”

Page 9, Underline (Red): Content: “LiVY-BRUHL, A Letter to E. E. Evans-Pritchard, British Journal ofSociology, III (1952), 117-123”

Page 10, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Thus Levy-Bruhl’s position is an uneasy compromise, maintaining that primitive ‘mystical’ and ‘prelogical’ beliefs are on our standards irrational, but that on other (unspecified) standards they are about ‘real’ phenomena and ‘logical’ (39).”

Page 10, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “5. The fifth answer to our problem asserts that there is a strong case for assuming that, in principle, seemingly irrational belief-sys­ tems in primitive societies are to be interpreted as rational.”

Page 10, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “According to Winch’s view, when an observer is faced with seemingly irrational beliefs in a primitive society, he should seek contextuallygiven criteria according to which they may appear rational. ”

Page 10, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Winch objects to Evans-Pritchard’s approach in Witchcraft,”

Page 10, Underline (Red): Content: “P. WINCH, Understanding a Primi­ tive Society, American Philosophical Quar­ terly, I (1964), 307-324.”

Page 11, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Oracles and Magic among the Azande on the grounds that the criteria of rationality which he applies there are alien to the context. Accord­ ing to Evans-Pritchard, It is an inevitable conclusion from Zande descriptions of witchcraft that it is not an objective reality. The physiological condition which is said to be the seat of witch­ craft, and which I believe to be nothing more than food passing through the small intestine, is an objective condition, but the qualities they attribute to it and the rest of their beliefs about it are mystical. Witches, as Azande conceive them, cannot exist (42).”

Page 11, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 11, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Winch objects to this position on the ground that it relies upon a notion of ‘objective reality’ provided by science:”

Page 11, Highlight (Cyan): Content: ” for Evans-Pritchard”the scientific conception agrees with what reality actually is like, whereas the magical conception does not” (43), but, Winch maintains, it is a mistake to appeal to any such independent or objective reality. What counts as real depends on the context and the language used”

Page 11, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Evans-Pritchard writes: To our minds it appears evident that if a man is proven a witch the whole of his clan are ipso facto witches, since the Zande clan is a group of persons related biologically to one another through the male line. Azande see the sense of this argument but they do not accept its conclusions, and it would involve the whole notion of witchcraft in contradiction were they to do so. [ … ] Azande do not perceive the contradiction as we perceive it because they have no theoretical interest in the subject, and those situations in which they express their belief in witchcraft do not force the problem upon them (46). Winch’s comment on this passage is that the context from which the suggestion about the contradiction is made, the context of our scientific culture, is not on the same level as the context in which the beliefs about witchcraft operate. Zande notions of witchcraft do not constitute a theoretical”

Page 11, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 11, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 12, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “system in terms of which Azande try to gain a quasi-scientific understanding of the world. This in its turn suggests that it is the European, obsessed with pressing Zande thought where it would not naturally go-to a contradiction-who is guilty of mis­ understanding, not the Zande. The European is in fact committing a category­ mistake (47).”

Page 12, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Thus Winch’s complaint against Evans-Pritchard’s treatment ofthe Azande is “that he did not take seriously enough the idea that the concepts used by primitive peoples can only be interpreted in the context of the way of life of these peoples” (48) : thus we cannot legislate about what is real for them or what counts as a contradiction in their beliefs (49″

Page 12, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Winch’s case against this is that rationality in the end comes down to “conformity to norms”; how this notion is t:) be applied to a given society “will depend on our reading of their conformity to norms-what counts for them as conformity and what does not” (52).”

Page 12, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “(48) Ibid. (49) The philosophical basis for this position is to be found in P. WINCH, The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy (London 1958). Cf. in particular the following passage : “[ … ] criteria oflogic are not a direct gift of God, but arise out of, and are only intelligible in the context of, ways of living and modes ofsocial life. It follows that one cannot apply criteria of logic to modes of social life as such. For instance, science is one such mode and religion is another; and each has criteria of intelligibility peculiar to itself. So within science or religion, actions can be logical or illogical: in science, for exam- pie, it would be illogical to refuse to bebound by the results of a properly carried­out experiment; in religion it would beillogical to suppose that one could pitone’s own strength against God’s, and soon[ … ]” (pp. 100-101). ”

Page 13, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “It seems odd, if not absurd, to a European when he is told that a twin is a bird as though it were an obvious fact, for Nuer are not saying that a twin is like a bird, but that he is a bird. There seems to be a complete contradiction in the statement; and it was precisely on statements of this kind recorded by observers of primitive peoples that Levy-Bruh! based his theory of the prelogical mentality of these peoples, its chief characteristic being, in his view, that it permits such evident contradictions­ that a thing can be what it is and at the same time something altogether different (53). However, no contradiction is involved in the statement which, on the contrary, appears quite sensible and even true, to one who presents the idea to himself in the Nuer language and within their system of religious thought (54). According to Evans-Pritchard, [ … ]the Nuer do not make, or take, the statement that twins are birds in any ordinary sense. [ … ] in addition to being men and women they are of a twin-birth, and a twin­ birth is a special revelation of Spirit; and N uer express this special character of twins in the ‘twins are birds’ formula because twins and birds, though for different reasons, are both associated with Spirit and this makes twins, like birds, ‘people of the above’ and ‘children of God’, and hence a bird is a suitable symbol in which to express the special relationship in which a twin stands to God (55).”

Page 13, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 13, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 13, Stamp (Quote!)

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “II”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “The use of the word ‘rational’ and its cognates has caused untold confusion and obscurity, especially in the writings of sociological theorists (57).”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Beliefs, orsets of beliefs, are said to be irrational if they are inadequate in certain ways: (z) if they are illogical, e.g. inconsistent or (self-) contradictory, consisting of or relying on invalid inferences, etc.; (2) if they are, partially or wholly, false; (3) if they are nonsensical (though it may bequestioned whether they would then qualify as propositions and thus as beliefs); (4) if they are situationally specific or ad hoc, i.e. : not uni­versalised because bound to particular occasions (59); (5) if the ways in which they come to be held or the manner in which they are held are seen as deficient in some respect. ”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “(57) I think Max Weber is largelyresponsible for this. His use of these termsis irredeemably opaque and shifting. ”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “III”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “In this section I shall suggest that some criteria of rationality (64) are universal, i.e. relevantly applicable to all beliefs, in any context, while others are context-dependent, i.e. are to be discovered by inves­ tigating the context and are only relevantly applicable to beliefs in that context. I shall argue (as against Winch) that beliefs are not only to be evaluated by the criteria that are to be discovered in the context in which they are held; they must also be evaluated by criteria of rationality that simply are criteria of rationality, as opposed to criteria of rationality in context [c]. In what follows universal criteria will be called ‘rational (I) criteria’ and context-dependent criteria ‘rational(2) criteria’. ”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “One can ask, in the first place: (i) what for society S are the criteria of rational­ ity in general? And, second, one can ask: (ii) what are the appropriate criteria to apply to a given class of beliefs within that society?”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “i) In so far as Winch seems to be saying that the answer to thefirst question is culture-dependent, he must be wrong, or at least we could never know if he were right; indeed we cannot even conceive what it could be for him to be right. ”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “In the first place, the existence of a common reality is a necessary precondition of our understanding”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “S’s language.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “any given true statement in S’s language may be untrans­ latable into ours and vice versa.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Winch may write that “[o]ur idea of what belongs to the realm of reality is given for us in the language that we use ” (66) and he may castigate Evans-Pritchard as “wrong, and crucially wrong, in his attempt to characterise the scientific in terms of that which is ‘in accord with objective reality'” (67).”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “But, it is, so to speak, no accident that the predictions of both primitive and modern common sense and of science come off. Prediction would be absurd unless there were events to predict (68). Both primitive and modern men predict in roughly the same ways; also they can learn each other’s languages. Thus they each assume an independent reality, which they share.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “In the second place, S’s language must have operable logical rules and not all of these can be pure matters of convention.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Does this imply that the concept ofnegation and the laws of identity and non-contradiction need notoperate in S’s language? If so, then it must be mistaken, for if themembers of S do not possess even these, how could we ever under­stand their thought, their inferences and arguments ?”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “If, for example, they were unable to see that the truth of p excludesthe truth of its denial, how could they ever communicate truths toone another and reason from them to other truths ?”

Page 17, Stamp (Star (Frame, Red))

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “It follows that if S has a language, it must, minimally, possess criteria of truth (as correspondence to reality) and logic, which we share with it and which simply are criteria of rationality.”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “But if the members of S really did not have our criteria of truth and logic, we would have no grounds for attributing to them language, thought or beliefs and would a fortiori be unable to make any statements about these. Thus the first two ways that beliefs may be irrational that are specified in section II are fundamental and result from the application of rational (1) criteria.”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Thus the general standpoint of position (3) in section I is vindi­ cated.”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Also part of Levy-Bruhl’s position is vindicated. Insofar as ‘mystical’ and ‘prelogical’ can be interpreted as false and invalid, primitive (and analogous modern) beliefs are irrational (1).”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “ii) What, now, about the question of whether there are any criteria”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “which it is appropriate to apply to a given class of beliefs within S?”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “There are (obviously) contextually-provided criteria of meaning. Again, there are contextually-provided criteria which make partic­ ular beliefs appropriate in particular circumstances.”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “Thus, it will be seen that, for any or all of a particular class of beliefs in a society, there may be contextually-provided criteria accord­ ing to which they are ‘consistent’ or ‘inconsistent’, ‘true’ or ‘false’, meaningful or nonsensical, appropriate or inappropriate in the cir­ cumstances, soundly or unsoundly reached, properly or improperly held, and in general based on good or bad reasons.”

Page 19, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “One may conclude that all beliefs are to be evaluated by both rational (I) and rational (2) criteria. Sometimes, as in the case ofreligious beliefs, rational (I) truth criteria will not take the analysis very far. Often rational (I) criteria of logic do not reveal anything positive about relations between beliefs that are to be explicated in terms of “provides a reason for”. Sometimes rational (I) criteria appear less important than “what the situation demands”. In all these cases, rational (2) criteria are illuminating. But they do not make rational (I) criteria dispensable. ”

Page 19, Highlight (Cyan): Content: “If both sorts of criteria are required for the understanding ofbeliefs (for they enable us to grasp their truth-conditions and their inter-relations), they are equally neccessary to the explanation ofwhy they are held, how they operate and what their social consequences are. Thus only by the application of rational (I) criteria is it possible to see how beliefs which fail to satisfy them can come to be rationally criticised, or fail to be (76). On the other hand, it is usually only by the application of rational (2) criteria that the point and significance thatbeliefs have for those that hold them can be grasped. Rational (I) and rational (2) criteria are necessary both to understand and to explain”””

Page 19, Underline (Red): Content: “Witchcraft, EVANS-PRITCHARD, and Magic among the Azande (Oxford 1937), pp. 475-478, where twenty­”

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