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Reason As A Way Of Knowing And Thinking

1336 words - 6 pages

Reason as a way of knowing denotes constructing meaning by modifying and justifying ideas and beliefs based on new or existing information. The term logic, meaning deriving from the use of valid information, is used synonymously with reason, and is recognized as a branch of reasoning. Reason is a way of thinking and the word logic describes the way reasoning follows certain rules and standards. When making a claim to knowledge, coherent reason and consistency are expected to support and provide stability to an argument. Reason plays the role of discovery, creation, and justification in knowledge claims. When a dispute or argument occurs, validity of logic and appropriateness of reason are ...view middle of the document...

An example of inductive reasoning is seen in a mathematical situation: You are given that you have five marbles in a jar. The next jar has ten marbles and the next jar fifteen. Based on the presented information, you induce that the fourth jar contains twenty marbles. By recognizing the pattern of how the marbles are increasing, you are able to deduce a logical conjecture as to what the fourth jar may contain. This simple example only scratches the surface on how inductive reasoning can be used in mathematics to form reasonable hypothesizes that can be tested to determine validity. Inductive reason includes a cognitive bias as it is dependent on how you perceive a pattern; it is often that the mind attempts to recognize patterns that do not really exist. Another method of reasoning called speculative, or pure reasoning, is theoretical, logical, and deductive. “Speculative reason is contemplative, detached, and certain… and provides necessary principles of logic, such as the principle of non-contradiction, which must apply everywhere, regardless of the situation” (“Speculative Reason”). Speculative reason decides between two possibilities and discards the lesser of the two in an effort to choose the ‘best’ method of going about a task. The skill of reasoning and the ability to use reason to determine the most efficient method or correct answer is a valuable skill in both problem solving and throughout one’s life because it allows us to improve our efficiency and effectiveness to overcome obstacles.
Another benefit derived from reason is the ability to identify and discriminate between ethical and moral values in society. Reason allows for one to choose from what is right and wrong and grants the ability of one to set boundaries on ethical matters. When distinguishing good from bad, valid and invalid arguments, and right from wrong, the individual gains a sense of righteousness and society derives a benefit from this also. The moral and ethical implications of reasoning for a society are illustrated in the justice system. With the improved ability of individuals to reason and outline ‘good’ choices, the number of individuals following the law and making choices beneficial to themselves and others would increase, theoretically reducing the occurrence of crime in a society. A study done by University of California, Berkeley shows a 14-20% reduction in crime rate among male high school graduates. Presumably, as an individual progresses and develops cognitive reasoning ability through continued education and interaction with one’s peers, he also gains the ability to distinguish between good and bad choices and therefore commits fewer crimes (Lochner and Moretti 1-3). Where reason is involved negatives may also result in miscalculation and incorrect use of the process of reasoning. It is here that logical fallacies occur. A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning due to a flaw in the logical structure of an argument or idea. Fallacies in the form of...

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