Enlightenment Defended
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Culture
Enlightenment Defended will repel the dark nihilism of “post-truth”, woke culture, identity politics, and political correctness. It will catalyse the bright flame of the enlightenment —liberty, reason and progress.

Enlightenment Defended will create an open realm of vigorous philosophical debate through animation, documentaries, poetry, humour, music and myth. People are many-sided in both apprehension and enjoyment.
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The Logic of Persuasion: Part 6. The BadAss of Biases—Emotion.

(Talk at Oxford Karl Popper and Hayek Society.)

Emotion is often taken to be a source of bias that is devoid of thought and is therefore irrational and closed to reason and argument. However, the Stoics, the ancient Greek philosophers who developed propositional logic, argued that emotion and reason are entwined. The Stoics maintained that emotions are a product of the way we think about the world and our place in it. We have the emotions we have because of what we think is the case.

And so reason and emotions are not separate realms but are congruent. I like to put it this way: all thought is emotional and all emotion is thoughtful. It follows that if one changes the thought, one can change the emotion. Suitably targetted refutations of inaccurate beliefs or re-framing of our thoughts can disarm troublesome emotions.

Strong emotion may cloud our judgment and slow our appreciation of an argument’s ramifications, but as Shakespeare said, we work by wit and not witchcraft and wit takes dilatory time.

An immediate corollary is that emotion is no insuperable barrier to arguments for liberty and enlightenment.

(Talk hosted by the Oxford University Popper and Hayek Societies.)

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