The following post is likely to be long, so I am going to try to sumarize both at the begining and at the end.
The main point I am making, is that:
Even though I acknowledge that the logic/rationality we humans use is inherently limited by our own human experiences and analogies we can draw from them, it is tapped into a "universal" rationality (the consistency of reality).
Other intelligent belings in the universe (if they exist) will necessarily tap in to the same "universal" rationality despite their own rationality being limited to their experiences and analogies drawn from them.
It is absolutely vital to use this rationality rather forcefully to gain understanding. It is not just a matter of "tempering" empericism. Rationality leads the emperical process (but can at no point let the emperical process go).
Archamedes and Euclid discovered many truths with little aid of empericsm (though certainly informed by experience).
Now, I agree that the rationality, was gained through experience/genetics...but I think there is something deeper.
IMO, something that forced the genetics to go a certain direction, and perhaps I am out of my depth taking that tac.
So, instead, I will take a more "experience-based" tac.
I will start with my own "inconsistent" experiences as child (and some as an adult), move on to my laboratory experiences and readings of philosophy of science, etc.
Perhaps, people who have never experience objects being near and far at the same time, big and small (along the same dimension) at the same time, etc. cannot appreatiate the "lack-of-reality-due-to-lack-of-rationality" to the smae level.
When I was very young perhaps 6-7 years old, I had a series of experiences over a week, that we very strange.
One day, I could, for the whole day "see" the backs of people who were sitting right in front of me. I believe I was halucinating.
I tried to take control of my "sight" because I wanted to see how accurate it way. I could move to look down on people who were much taller than me.
I actually asked my uncle once if I could see his bald spot, because I saw a mark on it from my "other sight."
I wanted to confirm/disprove if what I was seeing was indeed real.
I was roundly admonished for asking such a question.
Later, I went to visit a school that my aunt taught.
At this point, I was theorizing that I was able to have this "other sight" because I had spent so much time in the places where it happened that I simply constructed it from memories.
There was a small corner in the schoolroom where I was certain I had never seen, the top of a shelf at the side of a room. So I decided to start my "other sight" there since I was fairly familiar with the schoolroom as well.
It worked, and I decided to guide my other sight to the top of that bookshelf.
I was amazed! it worked! I was seeing the top of the bookshelf!! Then thud. I kind-of slipped, because the shelf was starting to buckle under my weight.
I was physically on top of the shelf, and my aunt ran over to pull me down before it broke completely.
She asked me how I had gotten there, and some of the students said I had just climbed up there. A very simple, rational explanation.
I had no recollection of climbing, I thought I was just guiding my "other sight," but what really happened is rather clear, and it was rationality that determined what it was.
As an adult, I have wierd episodes (thought very rarely) where I will percieve something as simultaneously being near and far, big and small, pulsating but static, followed often by nausea, vertigo, or a headache.
There was even one time in my early twenties when it happened while I was driving (very scary, but I knew it was a halucitionation that would pass). I was passing between two sets of traffic posts, and all of a sudden they became twenty feet tall to me (though somehow, I could still tell their actual heights too).
Luckily, the dimension between the posts was consistent.
If I trusted these experiences over my own rationality, I am not sure what the consequences would have been.
I think my own ability to block out consiously the things that didn't make sense is what eventually "fixed" my perceptions.
Here singular experiences did nothing but cause confussion. They certainly did not overturn rationality.
Before college, I had a couple of laboratory experiences where professional scientists did work.
I spent some time in a biomedical research lab as a tecnician.
The scientist I was producing cultures for was an immunotherapy reasearcher was researching the Efficacy of Locally Delivered Polyclonal Immunoglobulin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Peritonitis in a Murine Model.
I never actually injected rabbits, but produced plenty of cultures in Trypticase Soy Agar.
I screwed-up in so many ways in producing the broth and applying it to Petri Dishes alone (that is before I did anything with the Pseudomonas itself), that I wonder if any of what I did was usable.
The scientist threw out a lot of data/experiences simply by looking at cultures, based both on his prior experience and his rationality.
These new experiences were really "non-results" and I have found since that these "non-results", i.e. ignored experiences make up the brunt of the scientific endevour.
That is why it takes so long for scientists to produce results; the majority of experiences are non-results, experimental screw-ups.
I also spent a good summer at the U.S. Geological Survey seperating Conodonts (a microscopic index fossil) used to date soil/dirt samples.
Here again, I made many mistakes, and the scientist was able to tell I was completely off in my classification, based only on a cursory look at the number of fossils in each ctoegory because he had aready determined a rough range based on other soil indeces.
I had to redo the classification based on re-examining how I evaluated the shapes and features. Once again, "non-results".
Then there was college, which was comprised largely of lab-experiences. Again, many students came up with "non-results" when they did experiments.
In our modern physics class, we did the Milikan Oil drop experiment Almost all the students found the charge of an electron to be less than the expected quantized value.
Does that mean, that we disproves quantization of charge, and/or found that it is quantized at a smaller value?
No. It turned out the TA used a make of voltmeter that wasn't very stable, so we were measuring a lot of "noise." Again, a "non-result."
I could go on...
But think about it. Why are lab practical exam grades in the hard science based on experimental error? Why doesn't the new expereince overturn the theoretical result.
Why do we hold deviation from the theoretical result as a negative for the student?
Since then I have had most of my professional lab experiences dealing with electircal phenomenon. Even among professionals, most experience/experimental-results that deviate significantly from what is expected rationally are "non-results."
It is fairly rare to overturn something long held to be true based on new experience. But if we can make it repeatable, that is another story.
We have large skews in sillicon wafers from time-to-time, but it doesn't invalidate our 6-sigma controls on our fab, because there is often systematic/operator error to account for this descrepency.
We have plenty of false failures when screening parts because the wrong screen was run, or a socket used in the test board came loose, and on and on...
I am hoping, at least, people don't place as high a value on empersicm, that the belief is that it only needs to be "tempered" by rationalism, instead of lead by it.
One of the learnings about "statistical noise" is that it should be eliminated, not enhanced because that is what the data said.
If people are willing to suffer through a discussion on statistics, I can also (attempt to) explain why I believe what is "rational" is best represented by the current estimator, and an experince is represented by a data point. How one choses the next esitmator is something I found very elucidating.
Anyway, as far as I can show based on my own experience, I believe a great deal of experiences are actually "non-results," and ought to be ignored.