Definition: philosophy the intellect regarded as a source of knowledge, as contrasted with experience Strengths 1. Reason leads to objective knowledge, that is, it reaches conclusions based on observations and fact and not based on emotional or personal bias Example: For example, if all of the members of group A are in group B and all of the members of group B are in group C, then all of the members in group A must be in group C. 1. Reasoning can help make decisions and to some extent, help when problem solving. Example: For example, a math problem asks if, “All rectangles are squares. Why or why not?

” You could say that rectangles that are not squares exist, and that the rules that define a square (four 90 degree angles, two pairs of parallel lines, equal sides) are stricter than the rules that define a rectangle (four 90 degree angles, two pairs of parallel lines), thus allowing for non-square rectangles. 1. Reason helps to assess what is true Example: For instance, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes (which are natural phenomenons) were once believed to have formed because of the expansion of the earth. Scientists later discovered plate tectonics and proved that the earth is not in fact expanding.

Weaknesses 1. Reasoning allows one to make claims with prior knowledge and can be misleading because it is conditional on whether the supporting information is true or not. Example: “All boys I know love football. I am a boy. Therefore, I love football. ” But although the process makes sense, since the first piece of information that “all boys I know love football” may not be an accurate statement (as not all boys love football), then the statement cannot be correct. 1. Even the most bizarre ideas could be reasoned Example: 911 was a set-up by George Bush’s administration.

The current theory states that the 911 attack was solely performed by the al-queda lead by Osama-Bin Laden. The conspiracy theories claim that there are inconsistencies in the official conclusions or evidence which was overlooked and that the set up was the justification for invading Afghanistan and Iraq. 1. Not everything can be reasoned. Some beliefs and knowledge are solely based on intuition and emotions – ethics Example: For example, one of the French tests wrote last year contained true and false questions; for some of these questions, I had to rely on intuition to decide between the two choices due to my limited knowledge.

Deciding between the two answers is like choosing between two identical objects. Middle-Ground 1. Reasoning can improve or get worse based on incoming knowledge. Example: If the bus is late, we can immediately induce that there might be traffic or the bus driver was late starting the route. After 10 minutes has passed, there are doubts about the assumptions we made. When the bus finally arrives but there is a new bus driver in a different school bus, we can think that maybe the bus driver is sick or the bus broke down, which are more likely situations based on the new information we have.

1. Making sense of things allows us to take action Example: In Act 2, Polonius feels like the cause of Hamlet’s madness is Ophelia because of the information she has relayed to him, such as the love letters and the previous mentions of his tender affections for her. It is quite logical, thus Polonius could feel like he knows exactly what is going on. This leads to him telling King Claudius. 1. Both logic and emotions can lead to a correct solution Example: if you decide to go out clubbing in university (when you are of legal drinking age! ).

It is logical to not drink too much, as it can have severe short and long term health consequences and can hinder your perception and conscience that night, making you susceptible to irrational decisions. Emotionally, it is also a good idea to not drink too much, as it exaggerates certain emotions like anger and prevents you from being on top of your feelings. Furthermore, it renders you helpless in making choices you know that you do not want to invest time and effort into in the future (like getting involved with someone you had just met).