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To what extent do you think reason is an objective, reliable way of knowing? Do not list the problems, but evaluate their importance of reasoning overall.

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Introduction

TOK Essay: To what extent do you think reason is an objective, reliable way of knowing? Do not list the problems, but evaluate their importance of reasoning overall. According to my understanding, reasoning is ones ability to draw conclusions from observation, trend or simply logic. We all use reasoning on a daily basis to make decisions and arrive to conclusions on various matters. In some cases, reasoning may be proved to be unreliable and not objective as a way of knowing. Rationalism (the use of reasoning) may be influenced by various factors including: biases that are brought about by emotional influences, language barrier or personal experiences. The focus of this essay will be to evaluate to what extent reasoning could be an unreliable way of knowing and whether or not an objective way of knowing. Rationalism includes of two types of logic. One being deductive logic and the other being inductive logic. Deductive logic or reasoning is whereby a conclusion is reached upon by considering previous premises. An example of deductive logic could be: Humans grow hair, I am human, and therefore I grow hair. This means that the conclusion that "I grow hair" comes as a result of the first two premises, in this case the argument seems fairly logically valid and true. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, the 'induction problem' is one that occurs often due to people's careless assumption creating nature. Hence making it an increasingly unreliable way of knowing. But then again, inductive reasoning could also seem as a rather reliable way of knowing to some extent due to the evidence provided perhaps through extensive experience or observation on a specific topic and perhaps the conclusion seems to be inevitable. For example; since the longest time that I can remember, summer season has always been the hottest of all seasons, therefore I expect that this summer will also be hotter than the rest. Now this seems like a reasonable conclusion or assumption. Hence, inductive reasoning could also be a reliable way of knowing. One of the greatest barriers to reasoning as a way of knowing is the problem of language, particularly to the meaning and definition of words. Where the presence of an ambiguous word conceals the fact that there is no real disagreement. For example: the word 'band' has multiple meanings and therefore could be very controversial. Band can mean a group of musicians, and it could also mean a ring of elastic. In addition, phrases and comments in specific could sometimes be perceived in the wrong way and therefore influencing ones reasoning in the way that they perceived it rather than the way that the comments or phrases were intended to be perceived. ...read more.

Conclusion

Consequently emotion greatly influences reasoning in that it tends to take over ones logical way of thinking, and so could prove to be an unreliable way of knowing. However, personal experience could prove to be a reliable way of knowing because ones experience in a certain situation would allow that person to know how to go about that situation in the future for a better experience. I believe that it is human nature to simply make assumptions on a daily basis for the sake of arriving at conclusions and this certainly may make reasoning unreliable in some cases and reliable in others. Deductive reasoning could be quite a reliable and objective way of knowing in that if the premises are true then the conclusion is true, however in certain cases this could be problematic because of the trickiness of the premises itself. While language barrier and emotion plays a major part in ones reasoning, it may not be a reliable way of knowing, while personal experience could be a reliable way of knowing because ones experience would enable the person to reason in a different way to handle the situation better than someone who hasn't had experience in that specific field. Sohail Shariff DP1 TOK: Reasoning Essay Essay: Reasoning ...read more.

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