• 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...


Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing. When William Drummond said 'He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave', he aptly underlined the importance of reason in a person's life. Reason is the thinking, the justification or the explanation behind a thought or a belief in a person's mind. If the word "reason" is removed from the dictionary the very existence of facts will lose all its verifications. Behind every thought every action of a human there better be a reason or the person may be considered a mad man. Reason can help us in many ways to acquire new knowledge. As every action or important decision has pro and cons, strengths and weaknesses so does reason as a way of knowing. We can go very deep and consider different aspects of reason and their role in helping or complicating the way we acquire the new knowledge in hand. When a child goes to school and learns science he uses logic or reason to understand the different laws of physics and other sciences. ...read more.


Some types of reasoning such as deductive, inductive and informal help us to an extent in our day-to-day lives. Deductive reasoning helps us to think and figure out facts from general to particular. My neighbor insists that his cat Meg attacks only when she is scared because this is the general behavior of all cats. All kids of the block know that they needn't be scared of her, as long as they quietly pass by, without scaring her. Such deductive reasoning preserves truth but then it can gain strength only if the premises involved are true. Most cats behave in a certain manner but what if Meg is not like 'most cats'? Herein, lies the weakness. Then there is inductive reasoning which follows knowledge from particular to general. As I have tried and tested in the past that bananas are good for my health so I presume that bananas are good for all. This type of reasoning helps us to gain new knowledge in some other different ways. But inductive reasoning sometimes leads us to wrong generalizations as I realized after feeding my roommate with bananas regularly. ...read more.


So when the most prestigious debate contest was organized in the city it was the logical and universal decision to send him to participate. But quite inexplicably he panicked and bungled. The fact that so much faith was reposed in him should have given him confidence but it paradoxically caused a fall in confidence. One area of knowledge seems to be almost synonymous with reason and that is Mathematics which is often termed as "the science of rigorous proof". The terms like 'given', 'to prove' and 'hence proved'-all seem to indicate that logic and perception are the two indispensable ways of knowing in Math. According to G.K. Chesterton "Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." This indicates that intuitive feelings and reason cannot be segregated in our attempts to gain knowledge. In analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of reason as a way of knowing, we do not realize that its major strength is that even in this study we will present our views after we reason them out. So reason is after all very important. Due to emotions like ignorance or misguided pride, logic and reason sometimes may get clouded but reason ultimately prevails. ...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. Emotion Vs Reason

    The very translation of the title went as 'an alright start', which now made no sense to me. The singers relaxing tone, the beat and the melody of the song had all helped provoke such a calm emotion within me.

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

    is that it is made upon the basis of observation and experiences that the person making the generalization has had. Taking into consideration that the persons observation and experiences are confined to a specific area (or in this case a specific number of girls)

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

    On the other hand, inductive reasoning is the practice of drawing general conclusions from several specific observations. This is in accordance to the assumption that since something has happened often in the past, the likelihood of it happening again is high.

  2. TOK summer assignment - Art Questions. Experiencing art, artists reputations and "what is ...

    It started to change into a bluish colour which seemed like a flame. I was very taken back by this as it gave me a completely different reaction as I first had seen the art from far. b) If you did not, does that make the work of art less great?

  1. Discuss the strengths and limitations of perception, language and reason as ways of knowing.

    without language it is impossible to give the facts, views etc correctly and even harder to communicate the information in different ways; some people uses too many words to explain only a word(can be a different language). Also different people have different views and not all will agree on what one has said about the substance.

  2. Imagination as a Fifth Way of Knowing.

    I might have failed in Spanish or English HLs. Thus imagination helps us and at least prepares not to do the mistakes that we did in the past. It checks us! And when combined with experience it is certainly an efficient way of knowing.

  1. Evaluating Scientific Method as a Way of Knowing

    can cause the results to alter, the scientist may see what he wishes to see hence it depends on whether the person testing is a skeptic or a believer. Thus, proving that scientific methods cannot always be relied on and that the limitations of scientific methods are many times evident and cannot be overcome.

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

    An example for deductive reasoning would be, all oranges are fruits and fruits grow on trees. From a deductive reasoning point of view, they would claim that oranges grow on trees based on the previous statement. These proposition could be either true or false and that?s why it?s so hard

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