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Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reasoning as a Way of Knowing.

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Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reasoning as a Way of Knowing. There are certain characteristics of the human mind that play different and vital roles in the acquisition of knowledge, the process of understanding and the analysis of this knowledge. In knowledge itself, the different Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing (emotion, language, perception and reason) present people with many opportunities for means of interpretation, understanding and also the communication of information. Reasoning as a Way of Knowing is a particularly interesting characteristic of the human intellect because people, by nature, are able to think intuitively, without restraint and in such a way that a primary piece of information can be processed through reasoning to gain further understanding. In this way, people are capable of acquiring knowledge by compiling a number of facts, interpreting them and by way of reasoning, 'finding them to be true'. In short, reasoning can be defined as any process which involves drawing a conclusion from a set of premises. In the different Areas of Knowledge, reasoning comes in different forms and plays a range of roles as a Way of Knowing, depending on the nature of the information. ...read more.


An interesting tool used in human reasoning is the ability of introspection where someone reasons their own reasoning as a cognitive process of searching for reasons for certain feelings, actions or beliefs. This process is given quite a substantial focus in psychology where research is often carried out on human reasoning and the motives behind it. It is also very important for people to be able to evaluate themselves and to try to understand their own beliefs and tendencies. The only way for this to be accomplished is through a thought process, dealing with introspection and reasoning with one's self. Moreover, as lawyers need good argumentative skills, reasoning is also a big player in the field of law, acting as a means by which legal decisions are made. And as another example of reasoning playing a part in the professional world, it is a crucial indicator in the scientific Area of Knowledge. For instance, in cognitive science and artificial intelligence "[the complexity and efficacy of reasoning] is the inevitable component of cognitive decision-making". Generally, the sciences, as an area of knowledge, depend on reasoning a great deal. In many processes and experiments carried out in this field, a scientist will discover or prove a hypothesis and then resort to reasoning to apply it in various circumstances to establish its validity. ...read more.


For example, "that the soul is immortal, and that it knows everything that exists because it is reborn from a previous life and because it knows everything that existed in a previous world". Socrates then went on to verify his claim by asking a young boy to solve a geometrical sum that the boy had never come across before. After leading the boy through a step by step reasoning process involving questioning by which the boy solved the problem, Socrates affirmed that the boy must have somehow remembered mathematical knowledge from a previous life and one way or another, used it to solve the sum. It is very likely that humans have availed themselves of reasoning as a means to sort out their thoughts and work out what they should believe and do since the beginning of time and despite its limitations and weaknesses, reasoning stands as a dominant Way of Knowing and plays an invaluable role in the workings of the human psyche. As a result, no matter what problems arise as a result of reasoning, may it be a conflict between reasoning and perception, emotion, language or even a faith of some sort, reasoning will always exist as a Way of Knowing because it represents the liberation of the human mind. ...read more.

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