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Is reason the slave of the passions?

Two contributors debate David Hume's bold challenge to the primacy of pure logical thinking

Rodin's The Thinker. Is it possible to achieve a state of pure reason?

Yes – Julian Baggini

Yes, reason is ultimately subordinate to the passions. David Hume already knew in the 18th century that our thinking is less directed by logic and reason than most supposed. He would not have been shocked by psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s findings that the instinctive, emotional, fast thinking of the brain’s “system one” usually trumps the slow, logical cogitations of “system two.”

But Hume’s challenge to the power of reason is more…

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