Scott Adams, Philosophical Nitwit
Boberooni has implied that I got a man crush on Scott Adams. I will admit that I have learned a lot from Adams about persuasion.
But I'm not in love, no no! Adams, is, for instance, a terrible philosopher. Consider this gem: "As a companion to what I said on the Rubin Report, here is more scientific evidence that we are not rational beings. We are beings who rationalize after the fact."
The problem with this position ought to be obvious... but it isn't, I guess, if you are a terrible philosopher. If "we," taken as a blanket statement, are not rational beings, then who cares what the "scientific evidence" says: it is just more rationalization after the fact done by a bunch of irrational beings who happen to (irrationally) have gained the title of scientist.
Or are scientists magical aliens who are somehow immune to the laws that rule the rest of our "dumb human brains" for which "data and logic just don't exist"? (Adams phrases from the interview linked to in the post linked to above.) And is Adams himself the one other human being somehow blessed with the gift of rationally evaluating our irrationality?
Could it be that it is perhaps better to introduce a little nuance: maybe we all have our rational and our irrational aspects. Maybe we are like a struggling charioteer, constantly fighting to keep our irrational impulses at bay, and to pay heed to the dictates of reason? And perhaps many charioteers lose this battle, and might be called "slaves [to their passions] by nature"?
Plato and Aristotle are not the last word in philosophy. But at least we should strive to go further than they did, and not regress to a childish level of analysis of the human psyche which they surpassed 2400 years ago.
UPDATE: I watched a little further in the video, and it gets even worse; Adams says, "Let me prove [rational thinking and logic] don't exist: if they did, there would be only one religion."
It is hard to imagine how anyone could adopt a more more absurd position: Adams is going to "prove," "beyond any doubt," that rational thinking and logic don't exist! But for any such "proof" to exist, it must rely on... rational thinking and logic.