Reason

Reason, is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to intuitive reason.

Reason or "reasoning" is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. For example, it is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about cause and effect, truth and falsehood, and what is good or bad.

In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some event, phenomenon or behaviour. The ways in which human beings reason through argument are the subject of inquiries in the field of logic.

Reason is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination.

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the controversial question of whether animals can reason.

Read more about Reason:  Etymology and Related Words, Philosophical History, Traditional Problems Raised Concerning Reason

Famous quotes containing the word reason:

    The educational system in large countries will always be utterly mediocre, for the same reason that the cooking in large kitchens is mediocre at best.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    Since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
    Let’s reason with the worst that may befall.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    ... the reason I keep doing it is for the tremendous rush I get at the end of any great swim.... there is ... nothing greater than touching the shore after crossing some great body of water knowing that I’ve done it with my own two arms and legs.... I’m overwhelmed by the strength of my body and the power of my mind. For one moment, just one second, I feel immortal.
    Diana Nyad (b. 1949)