• 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. 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.

  2. 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

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

    we would suffer more from losing reason than from losing anything else. I think the idea that reason is the defining characteristic of humanity as opposed to animality is one of major advantages. What is more because of ability of logical thinking we are not animals, we can achieve more

  2. Evaluate the ways in which emotion might enhance and/or undermine reasoning as a way ...

    It is the crucial role of feeling, to navigate, which follows through the endless stream of life's personal decisions. While strong feelings can create certain kinds of havoc in reasoning the lack of awareness of feeling can also be ruinous, especially in weighing the decisions on which our destiny largely

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

    However, my classmate can interpret the statement differently and respond by saying "The First World War began in 1914 because the tangle of alliances forced a small conflict to explode into a World War." My classmate believes firmly in his interpretation so he tries to convince me of it.

  2. Science and Reasoning

    you have and then experimentation will come, along with observations and conclusions. When I was younger, I once thought science was an accumulation of facts. I knew all this information on Paleontology, the study of pre-historic organisms. I could spout information on the Jurassic period or the Cretaceous period, but

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

    Reason is a type of thought. The most celebrated argument is found in Descartes? First Meditation on doubt and certainty. He postulated that there is no way of knowing whether a thing is correct or not. He establishes that there is only one certainty-the certainty that he exists.

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

    Mathematics involves that processing of resolving question by providing mathematical proofs. Hence,reason plays a vital and curial role in affecting our logical thinking while we are solving mathematical questions. Mathematical induction is established while the first statement in the infinite sequences is true, then providing that if any one statement

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