Thursday, 28 July 2011


The faculty of reason, also known as rationality or the faculty of discursive reason, in opposition to "intuitive reason," is a virtue that governs the exploratory interactions of humans with the universe - such as those employed in our practice of the natural sciences. It is a mental ability found in human beings and normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.It is closely associated with such human activities as language, science, art, mathematics and philosophy.

Reason, like habit or intuition, is a means by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. But more specifically, it is the way rational beings propose and consider explanations concerning cause and effect, true and false, and what is good or bad. In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some event, phenomenon or behavior. The ways in which human beings reason through an argument are the subject of inquiries in the field of logic.

Reason is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for Freedom and self-determination.

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the controversial question of whether animals can reason.