- Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think. [Widely attributed to Thomas A. Edison.]
Rationality is a predicate to reason, which is the level-two intellectual virtue in our relations to the material world. It is the rudimentary application of reason.
Technical and Analytical Readings
From the dark side:
- Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Harper Perennial, 2010).
- Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (Crown Business, 2008).
- Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do (Viking, 2019): “If our brains didn’t apply categorical knowledge, usually before we’ve had a chance to consciously reflect, we’d experience everything as if for the first time. . . . The problem is that when we live in a society divided by race, gender, class or some other category, our brains learn those social groupings, too, and apply them to order our perceptual field, even when they are more arbitrary than real, even when the “knowledge” attached is a pernicious stereotype and even if we’re committed to equality.”
Documentary and Educational Films
From the dark side:
- Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief: Prominent among the several themes in this film is the breathtaking irrationality of scientology, both in its founding ideas and in its practices.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Haydn was a composer of the Enlightenment, as reflected in his symphonies. Most of them are straightforward works with mundane themes, such as “Clock,” “Drumroll,” “Military” and “Surprise,” as well as representations of a “Bear” and and “Hen,” and homages to “Oxford” and “London.”
- Symphony 82 in C major, “The Bear”
- Symphony 83 in G minor, “The Hen”
- Symphony 92 in G major, “Oxford”
- Symphony 94 in G major, “Surprise”
- Symphony 100 in G major, “Military”
- Symphony 101 in D major, “Clock”
- Symphony 103 in E flat major, “Drumroll”
- Symphony 104 in D major, “London”