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Evaluate The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Reason As A Way Of Knowing

1486 words - 6 pages

Reason involves the ability to think, understand and draw conclusions in an abstract way. It is a way of knowing in which we construct meanings together through modifying and improving individual opinions and ideas, in order to reach a logical and plausible conclusion. In other words, it is the ability to help people decide what is true and what is not. Most of the time reason is more commonly related to math and science subjects, where logic is put into place in order to obtain logical validity and justified claims. But on the other hand reason can cloud knowledge to a certain extent, in the case of different cultural beliefs as well as more creative subjects such as music and art. This is ...view middle of the document...

But God left free the Will, for what obeyes
Reason, is free, and Reason he made right
But bid her well beware, and still erect,
Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd
She dictate false, and misinforme the Will.
Reason made man supreme but Will made man susceptible to temptation. The Danger lay inside man. Satan’s temptation worked and Eve was seduced, bringing woe and misery to mankind. Thus Reason can be seen as both an advantage as well as a disadvantage when gaining knowledge.
Emotion, not reason, is closely linked in the form of music and arts. Compositions are always based on the composer’s emotions in order to convey a message or a feeling to the audience. Emotion plays a vital role in composing music and paintings. Man can extravasate his spleen in the form of Music and Art solely by using his emotion and heart, and not reason.
But reason certainly is there as a way to extend our knowledge from known facts. If we embrace what is called the rationalist approach, we can ascertain truth by thinking and by the process of reflection alone. The meaning of the word Reason overlaps to a large extent with “rationality”, and in philosophical contexts, it means rational, not reasonable, which in turn means the use of logic.
William Drummond once said, “He that will not reason is a bigot; He that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave”. Rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive". Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the radical position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge".

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” And if man loses his reason, the world comes to a standstill, a doomsday, an apocalypse.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
    Are full of passionate intensity.

W.B.Yeats in his famous poem “The Second Coming” said that the world was coming to an end as man lost his reason.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The word Logic means "possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative", thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle" It allows us to construct a chain of reasoning that can extend our knowledge. In some cases, notably mathematics and science, logic allows us to construct incredibly long and complex...

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