Philosophers' talk about rationality is apt to soar into the stratosphere of abstractions so it must be stated that Bartley's approach has immediate and practical applications. Following his teacher, Karl Popper, the operating principle of Bartley's rationalism is the formula 'I may he wrong and you may be right, and by means of critical discussion we may get nearer to the truth of the matter'.
This simple principle of rationality requires philosophical defence in depth, backed up by a wide range of improved traditions and institutions to sustain the flow of ideas and critical discussion. These vehicles already exist of course, if only in rudimentary forms, among them talk-back radio, the range of serious 'little magazines' and programs on TV which allow opposing points of view to he explored and debated. These forums are vitally important despite all their imperfections and lapses into the trivial and the banal; the important thing is that they exist, not that they should be scrupulously fair and unbiased at all times nor that they confine themselves to matters of great moral and intellectual moment.
Bartley has provided philosophical air support for the footsoldiers of rationality. He offers a solution to the basic logical problem of rationality, namely how can we justify the basic premise of rationality, that is, the principle of rationality itself, the principle that we should engage in critical discussion to seek for rationally defensible beliefs?
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THE BOOK REASON AND IMAGINATION: Unpacking the Ideas of Popper and Bartley CAN BE SOURCED AT THIS LINK
Agreeing to Disagree: Bartley's Critique of Reason
A review essay of Bartley's The Retreat to Commitment