Words are thinking tools (as Daniel Dennett notes). New word-tools can sometimes avoid the baggage built into prior terms and thinking patterns.
“Reason is larger than science.” So Leon Wieseltier reminds us in his essay “Crimes Against Humanities,” his reply to Steven Pinker’s “Science Is Not Your Enemy.” If well practiced, science reduces errors, but it grants no immunity to nonsense.
“Darwin was no Darwinian.” Martin Luther King Jr said that before me. He was correct historically, scientifically, and morally. It’s a bad break for Darwin, and us, that his name is used to distort his ideas.
“Rational” is the secular holy. It is a sacred prestigious label in mind work. We look to the rational to save us. Yet some professors of a rational-is-holy faith aren’t being wholly rational.
Maxims matter more than maximization. Much in life isn’t quantifiable, much less numerically maximizable. Words, logic, images, and patterns all can express more than numbers can.