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Encyclopedia > Reason

In philosophy, reason is the ability to form and operate upon concepts in abstraction, in accordance with rationality and logic—terms with which reason shares heritage. Reason, like consciousness with which it is also intimately connected, has traditionally been claimed as distinctly human, and not to be found elsewhere in the animal world. However, recent studies in this area show that, in lower levels, animals are capable of some types of thinking similar to that of humans. Discussion and debate about the nature, limits and causes of reason have been important through the history of philosophy. Discussion about reason especially concerns: Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Look up reason in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... A concept is an abstract idea or a mental symbol, typically associated with a corresponding representation in language or symbology, that denotes all of the objects in a given category or class of entities, interactions, phenomena, or relationships between them. ... abstraction in general. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος logos (meaning word, account, reason or principle), is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The history of philosophy is the study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time. ...

  • (a) its relationship to several other related concepts: language, logic, consciousness etc,
  • (b) its ability to help people decide what is true, and
  • (c) its origin.

Also see practical reason and speculative reason. Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... -- Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut In philosophy, practical reason is the application of reason to real-world decision-making (ie. ... Speculative reason is theoretical (or logical, deductive) thought (sometimes called theoretical reason), as opposed to practical (active, willing) thought. ...


The concept of reason is connected to the concept of language, as reflected in the meanings of the Greek word "logos", later to be translated by Latin "ratio" and then French "raison", from which the English word derived. As reason, rationality, and logic are all associated with the ability of the human mind to predict effects as based upon presumed causes, the word "reason" also denotes a ground or basis for a particular argument, and hence is used synonymously with the word "cause". Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A prediction is a statement or claim that a particular event will occur in the future in more certain terms than a forecast. ...

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Reason and logic

While reason is a type of thought, logic is a field of study which categorizes ways of justifying conclusions that are in accordance with reason.


This contrast between reason and logic thus extends back to the writings of Aristotle. Although the Greeks had no separate word for logic as opposed to language and reason, Aristotle's neologism "syllogism" (syllogismos) identified logic clearly for the first time as a distinct field of study. (When Aristotle referred to "the logical" the source of our word "logic" he was referring more broadly to reason or the rational.) Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος logos (meaning word, account, reason or principle), is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... A syllogism (Greek: — conclusion, inference), usually the categorical syllogism, is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form. ...


Reason and logic can be thought to be distinct, although logic is one important aspect of reason. But the tendency to a preference for "hard logic," or "solid logic," in modern times has incorrectly led to the two terms occasionally being seen as essentially synonymous (see Reasoning) or perhaps more often logic is seen as the defining and pure form of reason. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into modernity. ... Synonyms can be nouns, adverbs or adjectives, as long as both members of the pair are the same part of speech. ... Reasoning is the act of using reason to derive a conclusion from certain premises. ...


However machines and animals can unconsciously perform logical operations, and many animals (including humans) can unconsciously associate different perceptions as causes and effects and then make decisions or even plans. Therefore, to have any distinct meaning at all, “reason” must be the type of thinking which links language, consciousness and logic, and at this time, only humans are known to combine these things. At a simple and informal level, the notion of an unconscious mind (or subconscious) would seem a usefully straightforward way of accounting for aspects of the mind of which we are not directly conscious or aware. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... Cause and Effect is considered by many fans to be one of the best episodes of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... This article or section should be merged with Decision_making. ...


Although this is an old discussion, the neurologist Terrence Deacon, following the tradition of Peirce, has recently given a useful new description in modern terms. Like many philosophers in the English traditions such as Hobbes, Locke and Hume, he starts by distinguishing the type of thinking which is most essential to human rational thinking as a type of associative thinking. Reason by his account therefore requires associating perceptions in a way which may be arbitrary (or nominal, conventional or "formal") - not just associating the image or "icon" of smoke and the image of fire, but, for example, the image of smoke and the English word "smoke", or indeed any made-up symbol (not necessarily a spoken word). What is essentially rational, or at least essentially human, is however not the arbitrariness of symbols, but how they are used. See below concerning Reason and Language. Terrence Deacon is an American anthropologist (Ph. ... Charles Sanders Peirce (IPA: /pɝs/), (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American polymath, physicist, and philosopher, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... This article is about the philosopher Thomas Hobbes. ... Locke is a common Western surname of English origin: John Locke, an English Enlightenment philosopher. ... Hume is the name of several people: Most likely it refers to: David Hume, (1711-76) 18th-century Scottish philosopher It can also refer to: Alexander Hamilton Hume (1797-1873) Australian explorer Allan Octavian Hume, English ornithologist Basil Cardinal Hume, former Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Brit Hume, journalist best known... In psychology and marketing, two concepts or stimuli are associated when the experience of one leads to the effects of another, due to repeated pairing. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... A nominal is a word or a group of words that functions as a noun, i. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Look up formal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into image (disambiguation). ... Look up icon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into image (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into image (disambiguation). ...


Reason, truth, and “first principles”

Already in classical times a conflict between the Platonists and the Aristotelians developed about reason's role in confirming truth. Both Aristotle and Plato were aware of this as a question all philosophy must consider. On the one hand people use logical syllogisms such as deduction and induction in order to come to conclusions they feel are more infallible than our basic sense perceptions. On the other hand, if such conclusions are only built upon sense perceptions, then our most logical conclusions can never be said to be certain because they are built upon fallible perceptions (or fallible interpretations of perceptions). So given the impression that we are sometimes certain, as well as the desire to be certain, the question arises as to the source of our first principles. Is it only experience as claimed in “empiricist” arguments (associated by some as being more Aristotelian, and more recently with British philosophers such as David Hume); or is there some other “faculty” from which we derive our consciousness of at least some “a priori” truths (a position called “idealist” and associated with Platonism); or are there certain undeniable axioms that form the base for all other faculties and experiences (a position supported by the Scottish School of Common Sense as exemplified by Thomas Reid, and more recently by Objectivism)? Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. ... A common dictionary definition of truth is agreement with fact or reality.[1] There is no single definition of truth about which the majority of philosophers agree. ... There are several meanings for the word deduction: Natural deduction Deductive reasoning Deductions in terms of taxation, such as Itemized deductions Standard deduction See also: Logic Venn diagram Inductive reasoning Both statistics and the scientific method rely on both induction and deduction. ... Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... see also: David Hume of Godscroft David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... In philosophy, idealism is any theory positing the primacy of spirit, mind, or language over matter. ... The Scottish School of Common Sense was a school of philosophy that flourished in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. ... Thomas Reid Thomas Reid (April 26, 1710 – October 7, 1796), Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. ... Objectivism is a philosophy[1] developed by Ayn Rand that encompasses positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. ...


In Greek, “first principles” are arkhai, starting points, and the faculty used to perceive them is sometimes referred to in Aristotle and Plato as “nous” which was close in meaning to “awareness” and therefore “consciousness”. This leaves open the question of whether we become aware by building up and comparing experiences, or some other way. In a formal logical system, that is, a set of propositions that are consistent with one another, it is probable that some of the statements can be deduced from one another. ... In the ancient Greek philosophy, arche (ἀρχή) is the beginning or the first principle of the world. ... Nous (Νους) is a Greek word (pronounced noose), that corresponds to the English words intelligence, intellect, or mind. ...


Modern proponents of a priori reasoning, at least with regards to language, are Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker, to whom Merlin Donald and Terrence Deacon can be very usefully contrasted. The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (Hebrew :אברם נועם חומסקי Yiddish: אברם נועם כאמסקי) , Ph. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... Merlin Wilfred Donald (born November 17, 1939) is a Canadian psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist, and a researcher, educator, and author in the corresponding fields. ... Terrence Deacon is an American anthropologist (Ph. ...


Reason, language and mimesis

The recent writings of Deacon and Donald fit into an older tradition which makes reason connected to language, and mimesis, but more specifically the ability to create language as part of an internal modelling of reality specific to humankind. Other results are consciousness, and imagination or fantasy. Mimesis (μίμησις from μιμεîσθαι) in its simplest context means imitation or representation in Greek. ... Reality in everyday usage means the state of things as they actually exist. ... Imagination is accepted as the innate ability and process to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world. ... Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ...


Thomas Hobbes describes the creation of “Markes, or Notes of remembrance” (Leviathan Ch.4) as “speech” (allowing by his definition that it is not necessarily a means of communication or speech in the normal sense; he was presumably thinking of "speech" as an English version of "logos" in this description). In the context of a language, these marks or notes are called "Signes" by Hobbes. Frontispiece of Leviathan, etching by Abraham Bosse, with input from Hobbes For other uses, see Leviathan (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up sign in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


David Hume, following John Locke (and Berkeley), who followed Hobbes, emphasized the importance of associative thinking. see also: David Hume of Godscroft David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... This article is about John Locke, the English philosopher. ... George Berkeley (IPA: , Bark-Lee) (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish philosopher whose primary philosophical achievement is the advancement of a theory he called immaterialism (later referred to as subjective idealism by others). ...


Concerning mimesis and fantasy being important in defining reason, see for example Aristotle's Poetics, De Anima, On Dreams, and On Memory and Recollection (and for example the Introduction by Michael Davis, printed with the 2002 translation by him and Seth Benardete of the Poetics), Jacob Klein’s A Commentary on the Meno Ch.5, and Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories". Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ... I like to eat your grandmother for breakfast,lunch,brunch,dinner, and desert all at the same time. ... On Dreams (or De Insomniis) is a text by Aristotle. ... On Memory (or De Memoria et Reminiscentia) is a text by Aristotle. ... Seth Benardete (April 4, 1930 - November 14, 2001) was an American classicist and philosopher, long a member of the faculties of New York University and The New School. ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ...


Reason, truth, and emotion or passion

In literature, reason is often opposed to emotions or feelings, and desires, drives or passions. Others see reason as the servant or tool of these things -- the means of sorting out our desires and then getting what we want. Some would say however that many of the key philosophers of history (e.g. Plato, Rousseau, Hume, Nietzsche) have combined both views - making rational thinking not only a tool of desires, but also something which is itself desired, not only because of its usefulness in satisfying other desires. Its over and done But the heartache lives on inside And who is the one your clinging to instead of me tonight And where are you now Now that I need you Tears on my pillow Wherever you go Cry me a river that leads to your oceans Youll never... Feelings are most generally INFORMATION that biological beings are capable of sensing in the situations they are in, exposed to or depending on. ... PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... Rousseau is a French surname. ... see also: David Hume of Godscroft David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...


At the same time, reason sometimes clearly seems to come into conflict with some desires (even while not being in conflict with others) giving us the impression that reason is separate from emotion. Only in humans, choices are sometimes made on the basis of an association of ideas which is an artificially constructed model, rather than an un-inspected association based on raw experience, and this “feels” different from when one is won over by a passion supported by raw “feeling”. The opposite is also unique – we sometimes feel that a passion has won over our decision-making “unjustly”, despite having lost its argument, or perhaps (in the case, for example, of a reflex action) not even having been a subject of argument before the action took place. Decision making is the cognitive process leading to the selection of a course of action among variations. ... A reflex action or reflex is a biological control system linking stimulus to response and mediated by a reflex arc. ...


The question of whether reason is in fact driven by emotions is important for philosophers because reason is seen by almost all philosophers as being the way that we come to know the truth, and we see the truth as something which exists outside of our own consciousness. If reason is driven by emotions, then how can we ever know that we are not deceiving ourselves about what is true by denying undesirable information in favor of a more pleasing construct of our world? A common dictionary definition of truth is agreement with fact or reality.[1] There is no single definition of truth about which the majority of philosophers agree. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ...


Reason and faith, especially in the “Greater West”

In theology, reason, as distinguished from faith, is the human critical faculty exercised upon religious truth whether by way of discovery or by way of explanation. Some commentators have claimed that Western civilization can be almost defined by its serious testing of the limits of tension between “unaided” reason and faith in "revealed" truths - figuratively summarised as Athens and Jerusalem, respectively. Leo Strauss spoke of a "Greater West" which included all areas under the influence of the tension between Greek rationalism and Abrahamic revelation, including the Muslim lands. He was particularly influenced by the great Muslim philosopher Al-Farabi. In order to consider to what extent Eastern philosophy might have partaken of these important tensions, it is perhaps best to consider whether dharma or tao may be equivalent to Nature (by which we mean physis in Greek). At Wikiversity you can learn more and teach others about Theology at: The School of Theology Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Faith has two general implications which can be implied either exclusively or mutually; To Trust: Believing a certain variable will act a specific way despite the potential influence of known or unknown change. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Faith has two general implications which can be implied either exclusively or mutually; To Trust: Believing a certain variable will act a specific way despite the potential influence of known or unknown change. ... Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown. ... Athens (Greek: Αθήνα - Athína) is the largest city and capital of Greece, located in the Attica periphery of central Greece. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Leo Strauss (September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973), was a German-born political philosopher who specialized in the study of classical political philosophy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An Abrahamic religion (also referred to as desert monotheism) is any religion derived from an ancient Semitic tradition attributed to Abraham, a great patriarch described in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... Islamic philosophy (الفلسفة الإسلامية) is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between philosophy (reason) and the religious teachings of Islam (faith). ... Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Uzalagh al-Farabi (870–950 A.D.), also known in the West as Alpharabus, Alfarabi, or Farabi, was a Persian-Turkish (Encyclopedia Britannica) philosopher and scientist and one of the greatest scientists and philosophers of his time. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...   (Sanskrit) (Devnagari: धर्म) or Dhamma (Pali) is the underlying order in nature and human life and behaviour considered to be in accord with that order. ... This article is about the Chinese character and the philosophy it represents. ... Galunggung in 1982, showing a combination of natural events. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary using the Transwiki process. ...


The limits within which reason may be used have been laid down differently in different churches and periods of thought: on the whole, modern religion tends to allow to reason a wide field, reserving, however, as the sphere of faith the ultimate (supernatural) truths of theology. Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Reason as an intrinsic part of nature

Wilhelm Reich, the controversial Austrian psychiatrist and naturalist, followed in Hegel's footsteps in perceiving reason not reduced to analytic deduction or mechanistic one-dimensional induction, but as being a primal part of the depth Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was an Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ...


References

See also

Look up reason in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1372 words)
Reason is a term used in philosophy and other human sciences to refer to the faculty of the human mind that creates and operates with abstract concepts.
The concept of reason is connected to the concept of language, as reflected in the meanings of the Greek word "logos", later to be translated by Latin "ratio" and then French "raison", from which the English word derived.
The limits within which reason may be used have been laid down differently in different churches and periods of thought: on the whole, modern religion tends to allow to reason a wide field, reserving, however, as the sphere of faith the ultimate (supernatural) truths of theology.
Encyclopedia4U - Reason - Encyclopedia Article (540 words)
Reason includes not only our capacity for logical inference, but also our ability to conduct inquiry, to solve problems, to evaluate, to criticize, to deliberate about how we should act, and to reach an understanding of ourselves, other people, and the world.
In theology, reason, as distinguished from faith, is the human intelligence exercised upon religious truth whether by way of discovery or by way of explanation.
The limits within which reason may be used have been laid down differently in different churches and periods of thought: on the whole, modern Christianity, especially in the Protestant churches, tends to allow to reason a wide field, reserving, however, as the sphere of faith the ultimate (supernatural) truths of theology.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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