And now, back to our first definitions,
|Cartoon Source; XKCD|
Fine, the real world is far more complex and interactive than bits but what does it have to "nature" of things and why fundamentalism in reductionism is destined to failure?
Just as mentioned earlier, Descartes reductionist exercise was to show that, "Man is a rational animal" as it is ascribed to Aristotle. Although Men have tendency to be rational but, are they really rational by their own standards of rationality? Basically rationality falls to serve two basic human needs; (1) to make one's world view based on evidences (epistemic rationalism) and (2) to help one makes right choices and function in best ways to optimize one's abilities/talents/safety (functional/instrumental rationalism).
It is not going to take time in finding countless examples and ways that, we (humans) tend to bypass rationality. Some big ones are culture, situations, costs, time, laziness, unfamiliarity (poor information) and pleasure/pain. If you are an optimist person, you may conclude; Yes, humans have the rational competence but may act or do bad reasoning due to performance errors based on some of the mentioned conditions. But, if you are a little bit skeptic, you may conclude; humans are not good at reasoning and the chances of errors are high due to different rational competences and conditioning and it is why, cross-questioning are needed to reduce the errors and a rational conclusion is an open ended inference.
Back to our Aristotelian definition of humans as, "rational animal"; Why he had used the term "rational animal"? Why he had compared humans with animals to define the rationalism? An unequivocal explanation comes from observations that, animal behave under obligatory natural laws. Animals never had to devise laws, set standards of morality or claims of divine laws. It is only humans, who have the ability to understand natural laws by their observations, communicate to their consciences to set up the standards for nobility and morality and obligate themselves to things, that are not obligated by nature, e.g, to help people in need that are genetically and culturally distant. Despite a common characteristics of humans in understanding and making higher standards than natural laws based on their rationality, the standards of rationalism greatly vary and naturally the standards of morality and that is something, I like to discuss in the next knol.