Fibonacci series -- and Culture

ScottH9999 at ScottH9999 at
Mon Feb 19 16:06:55 MST 2001


'Rational' is by no means a "tricky word". It is a very straight-forward
word. You are simply pointing out that what is rational in one way may not be
rational in another way (or from another point of view). But this is true of
virtually every adjective. Consider the word 'big'. Is a mountain big?
Compared to a human being, yes. Compared to the earth, no. And note that
these are NOT difference "senses" of the word 'big'--they are simply
different comparisons. The word 'big' itself means the same thing in both

As far as I can see there are no great difficulties in the semantic analysis
or use of the word 'rational'. The only real "difficulties" come from people
(usually those trying to cover up explitative class interests and the like)
using the word in objectionable ways.

--Scott Harrison

In a message dated 2/19/01 2:50:55 PM Pacific Standard Time,
snedeker at writes:

> > >>> ScottH9999 at 02/17/01 01:57PM >>>
>  > It is a fact of history that at various times some cultures are more
>  > technologically, scientifically, and socially advanced than others. And
>  we
>  > are going to talk about the "rationality" of cultures at all, it would
>  seem
>  > quite reasonable to say that some cultures are therefore more rational
>  than
>  > others. Doing so should only mean that the prevailing world views,
>  > understanding of the world, and such, which typify a culture, are more
>  > rational than those which typify another culture.
>  >
>  > ))))))))))))))
>  >
>  > CB: Nuclear weapons are "more" technologically and scientifically
>  "advanced", but are they more rational ?
>  GS:
>  "as I tried to suggest earlier, "rational" is a trickey word. clearly in
>  sense, they are more rational, in their efficiency. they kill more people.
>  however, in a second meaning of "rational," one that implies human
>  betterment, they are clearly not more rational. oh yes, "advanced" is also
>  not the cleareist of terms. in one sense, they are clearly an advance over
>  earilier weapons. you know: they kill more people. my point here? it is
>  to get away from our moral concerns. why try?
>  >

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