On the question of universal rationality in the face of relativism

Ivan S. Kurilovich
Russ­ian State Uni­ver­si­ty for the Human­i­ties (RSUH)

On the ques­tion of uni­ver­sal ratio­nal­i­ty in the face of rel­a­tivism

Abstract. The arti­cle shows that the debat­able­ness of the inter­nal­ist reg­u­la­tive idea of the uni­ver­sal ratio­nal­i­ty leads to its under­stand­ing as a dog­ma, which can be a fic­tion or a polem­i­cal posi­tion, but with­out evi­dence based on extreme evi­dence or prin­ci­ples, which are prob­lem­at­ic them­selves, any claim to the uni­ver­sal­i­ty of ratio­nal­i­ty is destroyed even with­out the use of rel­a­tivized exter­nal­is­tic argu­ments. Unob­vi­ous per se uni­ver­sal ratio­nal­i­ty has to jus­ti­fy itself, which leads to the regres­sive argu­ment, the axiomat­ic argu­ment, and the cir­cu­lar argu­ment. Regres­sion is infi­nite, and there­fore unfea­si­ble, where­as the cir­cu­lar and axiomat­ic argu­ments are based on the uncon­di­tion­al begin­ning, which is obvi­ous in itself, whether it is an obvi­ous object, a log­i­cal con­nec­tion, or their iden­ti­ty. The prob­lem of the begin-ning makes a cog­nizant per­son ques­tion­able.
It also reveals the ques­tions of imi­ta­tion, self-decep­tion, dis­clo­sure, and self-dis­clo­sure, ide­ol­o­gy, the sta­tus of the author, and the sub­jec­tiv­i­ty of thought. The lat­ter issue is, in its extreme form, exis­ten­tial. How­ev­er, the prac­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the prob­lem remains – the need for a plat­form for under­stand­ing. Yet, even in the process of under­stand­ing the sup­posed uni­ver­sal ratio­nal­i­ty acts as one of the sides of this process, which can be under­stood as a con­flict, that is, does not ful­fill its role of the basis or the uni­ver­sal medi­a­tor at least.

Key­words: uni­ver­sal ratio­nal­i­ty, rel­a­tivism, method­olog­i­cal skep­ti­cism, the first begin­ning prob­lem, imi­ta­tion of ratio­nal­i­ty, epis­te­mol­o­gy, inter­nal­ism, exter­nal­ism

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192334


This work was sup­port­ed by the Russ­ian Foun­da­tion for Basic Re-search, project «Ratio­nal­i­ty in the human­i­ties: the­o­ret­i­cal con­tra­dic­tions and dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice», no. 18–311-00282.


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