Strengths & Weaknesses of Reason

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

There are four central ways of knowing in which we obtain our information from on a daily basis; Emotion, Perception (senses), Language, and Reason. Each of the four ways is used in different ways depending on the situation, and each is associated with its strengths and weaknesses, which makes it most appropriate in a specific situation. Although using reason is a way of obtaining information is frequently used and has many advantages, there are also a variety of disadvantages that make this way of knowing not as reliable as we may think it is.

Logic is defined as synthesizing knowledge from existing knowledge and is a syllogism, consisting of three sections, two premises and a conclusion based on those premises. As reason is most frequently associated with logic, there are two different ways in which we base our logic on. Deductive knowledge is going from the general to the specific while inductive knowledge is going from the specific to the general. The biggest problem with logic is that your conclusion can be valid but not true. For example, your syllogism could be: Socrates is a man- all men are mortal- therefore, Socrates is mortal. The conclusion "Socrates is mortal" is true and valid in this case. However, something like: When Paul plays football he is happy- Paul is happy- Paul is always playing football, is invalid as it is a poor conclusion. This is a weakness with reason as logic isn't always reliable. Also, you can never be 100% sure about anything. Even though every extra example that you find that supports your theory makes you more certain that it's correct, you can never hit 100% because you can't try out an infinite number of possibilities that tests your theory.

Another weakness that is associated with reason is that it is often associated with ideas and opinions that you have that you base on your environment and what influences you. An example is when you base a...
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