Factual Relevence

At Cafe Hayek, on this post, a commenter made the following comment:

“Reasoning” does NOT trump reality.

The essential point he is making is that facts speak for themselves.  However, that is never the case.  Facts do not speak for themselves.  Facts just are.  Science is taking observations and facts and using reasoning to draw realistic conclusions.  Reasoning does, in fact, trump reality.  Take the following scenario (this is 100% accurate, I might add):

Ever since I upgraded by satellite TV package to include NESN, the Boston Bruins have won each game they played.  This is, indeed, fact.  This is reality.

But could the conclusion be drawn that I am responsible for the Bruins’ victories?  One surely could draw that conclusion and the facts would support it.  But is it reasonable?  No.  My TV package doesn’t have any effect on how the Bruins play.  No one is saying “hey, some kid in New Hampshire is now watching our games, so we need to step up our game!”  It would be unreasonable to conclude my TV habits have causal effect on the Bruins, so the conclusion that I am causing the Bruins’ victories could be dismissed pretty easily based upon reason alone.  Reason trumps reality.

Reasoning is an important part of the scientific method, but all too often, it is omitted from economic discussion.

5 thoughts on “Factual Relevence

  1. Reason is a process. Ideology is more appropriate for this because the word itself admits to a prejudice.
    But that doesn’t mean reality is truth; the only way we can understand reality is through the lens of an ideology.

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  2. Philosophically, “reality” is a matter of perspective based on available information, or a lack of perfect information.


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