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

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.

Extracts from this document...

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.

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.

    At school we have an ace debater, who has set records in that he never ever comes back without the first prize.

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

    People all over the world are becoming more aware of the environment. It's not just a European thing that people recycle, but you'll be able to find recycling happening all over the world. The environment is becoming a global concern and the logical and rational reaction is to recycle used materials.

  1. In what way does the problem of evil lead to atheism?

    I will be looking at both the arguments for and against the fact that the problem of evil leads or does not lead to atheism. At the end I shall provide a conclusion based on analysing the outcome of my questionnaires; also giving my own point of view, by summing

  2. History is part myth, part hope and part reality. Discuss the validity of ...

    These ways of knowing are extremely personal, and they vary in each person, depending on different social, cultural, geographical and economic factors. This makes every person in the world to have an opinion, which is somewhat biased by the previous factors mentioned.

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

    Mysticism cannot do that and this is the biggest strength of reason. Reason attempts to discover what is true make that this way of thinking is characterized by logic and analysis that will deliver us almost undoubtful results. I argue that reason is the only form of knowledge that justifies it's own existence.

  2. TOK: What are the effects of biased language and unsound reasoning on history?

    Validity is very different from truth. Arguments can be fallacious. Reasoning is subject to variations and prejudice is what fools use for reason. It may vary from person to person. Our thinking our reasoning may be opposite to the others?. Reasoning is confined to a person?s cognition, maturity, and experiences.

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

    This progression follows the steps of inductive reasoning because an initial proposition was given and base on that true statement, we will have to assume or predict what might happen.

  2. The Usefulness and Limitations of Reasoning in Maths.

    The limited use of inductive reasoning in math is due to the idea that a mathematic answer is correct in all situations and there is no room for generalization, which would be possible in history for example. Despite this, if one would use inductive reasoning, one would most certainly end up with the correct result either way.

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