Certainty, as we have seen throughout our tale, is a dangerous powerful force. If it proves true, then it can establish necessary limits on human action. But if it proves false, is it so often does, then it can create unnecessary barriers – imaginary cages in which we are needlessly trapped. The certainty which underlies the social sciences is, in my view, false, and thus the cages it has built around us through its rejection of human will and of deliberative politics, and at times its suffocation of liberty itself, form an unjustified despotism of illusory knowledge. This, in its various forms, is the tyranny of reason.
This way of approaching the social and political world from scientific certainty has had powerfully negative consequences for man. It has constrained our freedom of action and at times curtailed basic political liberty; it has stifled the human spirit by forcing it into an imaginary box; it has robbed us of a sense of control over our destiny; it has caused us to give over our fate to others who we wrongly believed to be experts, and even in the most free and vibrant societies it has in engendered a disrespect and contempt for the process of deliberative politics by which we decide what is important to us. Would it not be a cruel irony of history if all of this had been done for nothing? Have we impaled ourselves upon a false assumption? If nothing else, we have surely tied our fate to an unfounded certainty.
From Tyranny if Reason by Yuval Levin, 2001
Levin traces the history of reason through our evolution of philosophy to arrive at a point where we have applied the certainty of the scientific process in the natural world, which has yielded incredible progress, to the social and political world where it became an obstacle to freedom and social progress.