Reason is the process of thinking. Its fundamental attribute is clarity.
This was originally not just a translation used for philosophy, but was also commonly a translation for logos in the sense of an account of money. The meaning of the word "reason" in senses such as "human reason" also overlaps to a large extent with " rationality " and the adjective of "reason" in philosophical contexts is normally " rational ", rather than "reasoned" or "reasonable".
Philosophy can be described as a way of life based upon reason, and in the other direction reason has been one of the major subjects of philosophical discussion since ancient times.
Reason is often said to be reflexiveor "self-correcting", and the critique of reason has been a persistent theme in philosophy. Classical philosophy[ edit ] For many classical philosophersnature was understood teleologicallymeaning that every type of thing had a definitive purpose which fit within a natural order that was itself understood to have aims.
Perhaps starting with Pythagoras or Heraclitusthe cosmos is even said to have reason. Reason was considered of higher stature than other characteristics of human nature, such as sociability, because it is something humans share with nature itself, linking an apparently immortal part of the human mind with the divine order of the cosmos itself.
Within the human mind or soul psychereason was described by Plato as being the natural monarch which should rule over the other parts, such as spiritedness thumos and the passions. He defined the highest human happiness or well being eudaimonia as a life which is lived consistently, excellently and completely in accordance with reason.
For example, in the neo-platonist account of Plotinusthe cosmos has one soul, which is the seat of all reason, and the souls of all individual humans are part of this soul.
Reason is for Plotinus both the provider of form to material things, and the light which brings individuals souls back into line with their source. One of the most important of these changes involved a change in the metaphysical understanding of human beings. Scientists and philosophers began to question the teleological understanding of the world.
This new understanding eventually displaced the previous world view that derived from a spiritual understanding of the universe. Any grounds of knowledge outside that understanding was, therefore, subject to doubt.
In his search for a foundation of all possible knowledge, Descartes deliberately decided to throw into doubt all knowledge — except that of the mind itself in the process of thinking: At this time I admit nothing that is not necessarily true.
I am therefore precisely nothing but a thinking thing; that is a mind, or intellect, or understanding, or reason — words of whose meanings I was previously ignorant. Breaking with tradition and many thinkers after him, Descartes explicitly did not divide the incorporeal soul into parts, such as reason and intellect, describing them as one indivisible incorporeal entity.
A contemporary of Descartes, Thomas Hobbes described reason as a broader version of "addition and subtraction" which is not limited to numbers. Similar to Descartes, Hobbes asserted that "No discourse whatsoever, can end in absolute knowledge of fact, past, or to come" but that "sense and memory" is absolute knowledge.
Hume took it in an especially skeptical direction, proposing that there could be no possibility of deducing relationships of cause and effect, and therefore no knowledge is based on reasoning alone, even if it seems otherwise.
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
In the 18th century, Immanuel Kant attempted to show that Hume was wrong by demonstrating that a " transcendental " self, or "I", was a necessary condition of all experience. Therefore, suggested Kant, on the basis of such a self, it is in fact possible to reason both about the conditions and limits of human knowledge.
And so long as these limits are respected, reason can be the vehicle of morality, justice, aesthetics, theories of knowledge epistemologyand understanding. Substantive and formal reason[ edit ] In the formulation of Kant, who wrote some of the most influential modern treatises on the subject, the great achievement of reason German: Vernunft is that it is able to exercise a kind of universal law-making.
Kant was able therefore to reformulate the basis of moral-practical, theoretical and aesthetic reasoning, on "universal" laws.
Here practical reasoning is the self-legislating or self-governing formulation of universal normsand theoretical reasoning the way humans posit universal laws of nature.
This contrasted with earlier forms of morality, which depended on religious understanding and interpretation, or nature for their substance. He formulated such a principle, called the " categorical imperative ", which would justify an action only if it could be universalized: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Kant claimed that this problem could be solved with his " transcendental logic " which unlike normal logic is not just an instrument, which can be used indifferently, as it was for Aristotle, but a theoretical science in its own right and the basis of all the others.
Cognitive—instrumental reason is the kind of reason employed by the sciences. For Habermas, these three spheres are the domain of experts, and therefore need to be mediated with the " lifeworld " by philosophers. Some, like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Rorty, are skeptical about subject-centred, universal, or instrumental reason, and even skeptical toward reason as a whole.
Others, including Hegel, believe that it has obscured the importance of intersubjectivityor "spirit" in human life, and attempt to reconstruct a model of what reason should be.RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.
Reason: Reason, in philosophy, the faculty or process of drawing logical inferences. The term “reason” is also used in several other, narrower senses.
Reason is in opposition to sensation, perception, feeling, desire, as the faculty (the existence of which is denied by empiricists) by which fundamental. Reason is an American libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation.
The magazine has a circulation of around 50, and was named one of the 50 best magazines in . Synonyms: reason, intuition, understanding, judgment These nouns refer to the intellectual faculty by which humans seek or attain knowledge or truth.
Reason is the power to think rationally and logically and to draw inferences: "Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its [the Christian religion's] veracity" (David Hume).
Intuition is perception or comprehension, as of truths or facts. I gave a reason for my absence.. Is there a reason for your strange behavior?.
There is a reason why they don't want to come..
I can't give you the report for the simple reason that it isn't yet finished.. She explained her reasons for deciding to change jobs.. He wanted to know the reason for their decision.. Give me one good reason why I should believe you.. For obvious reasons, we can't do.
Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, establishing and verifying facts, applying logic, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.