Thursday, 9 August 2012


Reason is the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to intuitive reason.

Reason or "reasoning" is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. For example, it is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about cause and effect, truth and falsehood, 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 behaviour. The ways in which human beings reason through 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