International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Emancipation through Reason?
Yahui Su

Reason, which plays a significant role in the unprecedented progress of human science and technology, is under attack. The criticism of reason includes the reification of reason and the universality of reason. Emancipation from the deformity of reason is usually towards a redirection of reason because it is believed that the fault is not reason itself. However, some critics, such as the postmodernists, reject the practicability of this approach. This essay argues that the culprit is “centralism” in the operation of reason. Reason that embraces egoistic, anthropocentric, and logocentric consciousness implies marginalisation in some way and ultimately must lead to totalitarianism which people fear. Given the operation of centralism, the emancipation process based on reason becomes a process towards human interests (the-wish-to-know) instead of the truth (what-to-know). Accordingly, the primacy of reason does not guarantee access to freedom, truth, or happiness that humans desire.

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