What is reason? The dictionary says, a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action. I say, reason can be used to uncover truth and validity so we do not make incorrect generalizations or false accusations. And people say a statement that has a proper logical explanation to justify something. Different people would have different opinion. But one thing would be common that is we rely on the logic of Math and Sciences to provide our reasoning, which requires proof and solidification of position in order to make a valid point. Whereas in the past reasoning was influenced by the Church, through Religion and Faith. So we can say that reason is influenced.
In maths whenever we are taught any new concept the first thing we ask after hearing that is how can we be so sure about that. And then we are told all the reasons and eventually believe it because reasons takes into account logic that most of us cannot deny in today’s world. As reason considers logic we are always certain that it is true. Reason allows believe that the knowledge passed onto us is true as it has conclusion. But how can we be so sure that what some person said is true. How can we believe that what he said is true? At start any new concept are full of flaws, but after some time we adapt to it not because we believe but because it’s in the syllabus. For everything in the world there is always a reason and in most facts we tend to disagree as logically sometimes it is not possible.
For example, the concept of parallel lines meeting at infinity. There isn’t any proper reason why people believe this concept is true but still people believe it. In new findings, stating a reason just makes the finding more acceptable as the reason has the most logical solution. And we conclude it’s the correct thing. But just because it’s the most reasonable way doesn’t mean that it’s always right. For example, the popular violent genre game GTA IV, scientist suggest that violent games like GTA IV affect a child brain, so we believe it, but many living example defeat this fact that games affect teenagers. The finding has a proper logical explanation but still it’s not right.
The good thing about reason is that it has provides answer to every question. Some answers are vague but still they help in satisfying the curiosity of knowing. For example, people ask questions about God, does he exist. And the answer is yes he is everywhere. But this has no logic behind it but still people believe it because this answer does not have a logical explanation instead the answer is influenced by emotions and religious beliefs. So we can say that for reason to be true a proper logical explanation is needed otherwise there is no point. Moreover reason is dependent on other ways of knowing. For example, if I want to share some fact or some concept, reason can help prove the fact or concept but in order to communicate I would need language.
We cannot use reason to process information if we cannot perceive it. Furthermore we cannot communicate our results computed with reason to others without language. So we need reason along with other ways of knowing. Reason many times involves emotions which show the wrong conclusion. For example if any old artifacts, first the researcher assume then only then only the researcher encourage himself to find out more about that thing. Even if the finding deny logic but still the researcher believe it, because emotion interfere with it as the pressure of failure overpowers the truth.
There are two types of reasoning one is inductive and the other is deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is the process of arriving at a conclusion based on a set of observations. The observation might have been the same by chance, but we cannot assume them to be true. So inductive reasoning is only useful for forming ideas about groups of things in real life and not provide proof. Deductive reasoning is the process by which a person makes conclusions based on previously known facts. For example, all eleven graders are clever. Sam’s dog is in class 11. According to deductive reasoning Sam’s dog is clever but in reality anything like this cannot be deduced. So deductive reasoning depends on the premises it is built on.
Both of reasoning are useful in some way or the other. Inductive provides us a hypothesis so that we can further continue with the observations and deductive allows us in forming conclusion. But neither of them works in real life. Reason can lead to knowledge, and it leads to certainty at that, but it only provide how you know it. After knowing it you cannot do anything about it. This were all the other ways of knowing come in, language helps in communicating the knowledge, perception helps in assuming, emotions encourages us to share. Reason alone only justifies but when combined other with other modes-of-knowing, it becomes very powerful.