• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of Reason as a Way of Knowing.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of Reason as a Way of Knowing. Reason is the most effective tool to use when trying to convince someone of an argument because a well-reasoned argument has no room for interpretation and is thus always true. Because every knower uses reason more than any other way of knowing, it should be seen as the most essential one, without which the knower's range of knowledge would be strictly limited. These statements lend themselves to a lot of scrutiny because of all the affirmations they make so boldly. Ironically enough, the statements were put together through the use of reason. This presents the following question: How accurate can an analysis be if the very thing we are trying to analyze is involved in the process? This question should not be undermined since the only way of knowing I will be using to form my arguments will be reason. I do not personally believe in these statements but I do think they present a series of knowledge issues that are fundamental in evaluating reason as a way of knowing. In the essay I will make a clear contrast between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge. Objective knowledge will simply be the raw data that has been reasoned with to become a statement. ...read more.

Middle

Now we understand that when we make an appeal to reason we are trying to go back to the basic statements which formed that argument. Then we try to guide the other person through our process of reasoning. Eventually the process will stop being objective and become more dependant on interpretation, but it is the debater's challenge to try to reason with the other person to get him as far through the process as possible in order to convince him. In a familiar context where one is debating with a person of the same beliefs it is easier to reason because his interpretations will be similar to ours. However, if we change the context dramatically, reasoning will become harder because now the bases of the argument will have a lot less in common. Therefore, the extent to which reason can be considered objective depends solely on the common ground that exists between the knowers. Consequently, reason becomes harder to use as a persuasive tool when there are less common grounds. In response to the title question, the usefulness of reason is neither a strength nor a weakness since it depends too much on the context and on how the knower uses it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The more we use reason here, the more we realize that we can only perceive of the atom as an abstract concept. Likewise, reason allows us to make the correct decision when emotions cloud our judgment. In contrast to the weakness, I believe this to be an extremely powerful application of reason. Hopefully if the reader now reads the first two sentences of the essay again he will be able to say, with a greater degree of certainty than before, what is wrong with them and why. In summary, reason has one major weakness; it cannot be used to obtain new types of knowledge. It also has one major strength though, and that is that it serves as a check for all the other ways of knowing. Its use in arguments can be considered a strong point if it is used properly and in the right context, but if not; it will not help at all. As a final remark I will declare that in my opinion reason is given too much credit as a way of knowing. It is blatantly placed above all the others and defended with petty arguments that attempt to credit it. If we applied reason to our reasoning process too we would learn how wrong we can sometimes be. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing.

    Such parties believe that we cannot reduce morals to deductive arguments or to merely access ethical arguments based on general principles due to their complexity. In fact, most of the principles that support the premises of ethical arguments are based on one's own moral beliefs of what is right or wrong.

  2. To what extent do you think reason is an objective, reliable way of knowing? ...

    However this doesn't always mean that it is true. An example of this is - "All boys love football, I am a boy, therefore I love football". Although this is a perfectly valid logical argument, the conclusion may not be true because one of the premises is not true.

  1. Socratic dialogueAre reason and logic purely objective and universal, or do they vary across ...

    For example, Chinese parents used to wrap up their daughter's feet so that it looks good for marriage and man like woman who couldn't run away from him. However in the 21st century, Chinese parents no longer wrap their daughter's feet with cloth or bandages, they even send their daughters to schools and get educated.

  2. Seek simplicity and distrust it. (Alfred North Whitehead). Is this always a good advice ...

    It can be said, that creating models in science to visualise abstract processes is important for the understanding of science and therefore of life itself. A scientist has to seek simplicity in order to find patterns within information and observations to eventually be able to draw conclusions and find explanations that will enhance our understanding.

  1. Intuition as a way of knowing

    next time when the person is by that same mall, he might have an intuition that they may hear the sound again. This instance may not be intuition, but quick reasoning that is done automatically by the person's brain. That reasoning may be: since every time he passed by the

  2. Some people say that religious beliefs can be neither justified nor refuted by reason. ...

    At the same time, the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy in a closed system constantly increases. Both claims are accepted as rightful knowledge but are mutually exclusive. The latter is a fact gained through experiment, while the former is only based on belief.

  1. Tok essay- context is all

    This criticism of the coherence theory seems to suggest that there is indeed no such thing as truth, if even in context we cannot determine whether something is true or not. It also goes against the opinion of Margaret Atwood, as she believes context is everything, and this criticism asserts that context has no bearing.

  2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing. ...

    In contrast, deductive reasoning is completely different with inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning begins with a general hypothesis in order to create a specific conclusion base on that generalization. The initial idea of deductive reasoning is that if the proposition is true of a class of things in general, this proposition might apply to all member of that class.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work