Benjamin Hale
  Associate Professor, Philosophy and Environmental Studies
Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Community
Office SEEC S238A
Campus Box 488
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0488


Reason is a potent tool.

It serves as the fundament of understanding, enabling communication between reasoning beings, making meaning possible, and alerting us to contradictions in our beliefs. We rely on it to learn about ourselves and others; and to learn about our moral obligations to ourselves and to others. It all at once distinguishes us from non-rational nature but at the same time obligates us to make special considerations for nature. It allows us to set new boundaries and to break down those that are falsely concrete.

Uncultivated, untrained, it is a wildcard used to manipulate and oppress people, overwhelm nature, and justify great malice. Fostered and honed, however, it can open worlds, invigorate ideas, and bring people together.

Philosophy offers its students a trail-map. The philosopher offers himself as a guide.