Rationality and the Search for Empowerment

  • Laura Janara Dalhousie University


Modern rationality, despite its treatment as an atemporal category that universalizes the human experience and that orients us collectively toward the discovery of "the truth," is an historic human construct that begs critical assessment. Of primary interest here is the fact that modernity's tendency toward dichotomous interpretations of the world conflates rationality with certain human traits and absolutely opposes it to others. The result is not only a bifurcated human experience but also an epistemology that arbitrarily grants knowing authority to some while denying others this privileged status. For these reasons, modem rationality must be understood for its philosophical and political implications.
1992 National Student Competition