I am going to jot these thoughts down so I don’t forget them, but I would like to return to them at some later time in a more defensible, rigorous form.
I’m thinking about the relationship of rationalism and the possibility of new modes of thought and new concepts. Rationalism in Aristotelian form says we should think something is true if it falls under a rule. We should think Socrates is mortal if we know that all men are mortal and Socrates is a man.
Irrationalists, or the foes of rationalists, raise the objection — what about those things that are true but that we don’t have a rule for? What about the hill that we need to venerate although we have no rule of the form all hills need to be venerated?
The rationalist seems like he always has the upper hand over the irrationalist because he can say: Fine. What about that hill? Why do you want to venerate it? And the irrationalist the moment he starts to answer the question — it is old, it is beautiful, it gives us a feeling of the numinous — seems to be supplying the rule. Venerate those hills that are old and beautiful and give us a feeling of the numinous.
The rationalist seems to win. Until we bring time into our calculations. Because go back to the very first person who ever experienced love — that ancient caveman who first fell in love, or perhaps loved his parents, and thought to respect them rather than put them out for the hyenas. This caveman had no concept to explain his response. He was essentially a prophet. He was irrational at the time. But he is rational now. Because time brings us more concepts. The human story continues and develops.
The irrationalist is the spokesperson for the as-yet-unconceptualized possibility.