Rationality Research example

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Rationality Research

I. Introduction
II. The definition of rationality
Rationality as the Process of Thinking
Rationality as the Product of Thinking
III. The sources of different rationalities
Geographical aspect of culture
Culture as the Determinant of Rationality
IV. The Rationalities in different cultures
The Meaning of Rationality in Western Civilization
Rationality in Native cultures
V. Conclusion

I. Introduction

The issue of the radical differences between the different cultures has an enormous impact on the contemporary world. Globalization, post-colonialism, the increasing connections between the cultures show that various civilizations tend to think differently. More specifically, this issue refers to the relationships between the Western civilization and the rest of the world, raising the problem of the mutual influence of the societies on each other. Without any doubt, the very perception of the world and set of values differs significantly. In this perspective, different cultures have different rationalities. Rationality can be defined as the way of thinking that characterizes the specific culture. As the result, the meaning of rationality varies depending on the civilizations: what Europeans interpret as irrational can be treated as rational in terms of other culture. First of all, it means that different nationalities are able to perceive the same situation differently, which makes this problem relate to the phenomenological study. This statement has serious implications for the historical and cultural anthropology: it is impossible to reproduce the social order or cultural traditions without changing them. Moreover, every culture has to be analyzed objectively, without applying Western or any other approach. In this perspective, the reasons of different rationalities seem to be obvious: various community has various material conditions that cause various perceptions of the same phenomena. Therefore, different civilizations have different rationalities (the way of thinking and perception), caused by the different material conditions, cultural features, and ethical considerations, which means that there are no any intercultural standards of rationality.

II. The definition of rationality

It is necessary to define rationality in order to analyze the why it may differ among the different cultures. One of the general definitions is: “agreeable to reason; of sound mind; sane.” (Shafir and LeBoeuf, 2002, p. 492). However, the meaning of rationality can be much broader. As an example, rationality can be defined as ' a relativistic conceptual framework of a very wide use, which in particular can be used for thinking about social and political issues.' (Rodin, n.d). This definition allows drawing a conclusion, that rationality is always relativistic, which means that it depends on the other frameworks (Hollis and Lukes, 1999). Despite a lot of various definitions and philosophical interpretations, rationality can be understood as the process of thought (Simon 1978). In this perspective, the assumption that different cultures have different rationalities means that different cultures have a …

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