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What is Reason?

 
Jamie
 
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Jamie
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28 October 2016 03:22
 
Mark Gleason - 26 October 2016 03:24 PM

Reason is not a nebulous concept like God.  Reason is the means by which one has identified a concept such as God to begin with. 

If one grants that we live in an objective universe that exists independent of oneself (i.e. reality sets the terms independent of our observation of it):

• Perception provides input as to the reality in which we all live.
• Reason is what allows us to turn perception into conception.  (Ala conceptual ideas.) 
• Concepts are a level of abstraction on perceptual input and we begin to piece together relationships using a process of reason

The main tool of reason is logic in its various forms (deductive, inductive, abductive, fallacious), and the law of identity. 

In the above scenario, reason would be man’s epistemology, or his valid means to knowledge. 

NOTE: One can choose to ignore the primacy of reason and believe that the perceptual input itself is a valid means (in and of itself) for gaining knowledge of reality but that would be a form of mysticism.  In this case one’s epistemology might be… divine revelation.  In this case (and in similar cases) Reason is NOT being used as the means to knowledge itself but is instead called upon to rationalize what one already “knows” to be true via other means.

Cheers
Mark

Thanks for this explanation.

By perception do you mean sensory input without any formation of concept?
Your use of the term reason for the movement of perception into conception is interesting. Reason then can be largely and unconscious act. For example I will stop in my tracks if I see a snake before I even have the thought “shit there’s a snake” Unconsciously I have turned the shapes of objects in my vision (and perhaps movement) into an idea of “snake”, which entails the idea of “dangerous if you step on one”

Yes, I think that logic is the main tool of reason. I am not yet entirely convinced that human thought can be as meticulously clean as mathematical logic.  Also, how can we be sure that the logic we use, even if it is mathematically perfect, pertains to the true nature of reality.

For example, Godel’s proof of God is, I believe, mathematically perfect, yet I still intuitively doubt the existence of God.  Also, I understand that in maths, you can have forms of logic that are mathematically consistent but clearly couldn’t transfer to the real world.  For example, logic that do not have the law of the excluded middle.

 
Jamie
 
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Jamie
Total Posts:  23
Joined  17-10-2016
 
 
 
28 October 2016 03:22
 
Mark Gleason - 26 October 2016 03:24 PM

Reason is not a nebulous concept like God.  Reason is the means by which one has identified a concept such as God to begin with. 

If one grants that we live in an objective universe that exists independent of oneself (i.e. reality sets the terms independent of our observation of it):

• Perception provides input as to the reality in which we all live.
• Reason is what allows us to turn perception into conception.  (Ala conceptual ideas.) 
• Concepts are a level of abstraction on perceptual input and we begin to piece together relationships using a process of reason

The main tool of reason is logic in its various forms (deductive, inductive, abductive, fallacious), and the law of identity. 

In the above scenario, reason would be man’s epistemology, or his valid means to knowledge. 

NOTE: One can choose to ignore the primacy of reason and believe that the perceptual input itself is a valid means (in and of itself) for gaining knowledge of reality but that would be a form of mysticism.  In this case one’s epistemology might be… divine revelation.  In this case (and in similar cases) Reason is NOT being used as the means to knowledge itself but is instead called upon to rationalize what one already “knows” to be true via other means.

Cheers
Mark

Thanks for this explanation.

By perception do you mean sensory input without any formation of concept?
Your use of the term reason for the movement of perception into conception is interesting. Reason then can be largely and unconscious act. For example I will stop in my tracks if I see a snake before I even have the thought “shit there’s a snake” Unconsciously I have turned the shapes of objects in my vision (and perhaps movement) into an idea of “snake”, which entails the idea of “dangerous if you step on one”

Yes, I think that logic is the main tool of reason. I am not yet entirely convinced that human thought can be as meticulously clean as mathematical logic.  Also, how can we be sure that the logic we use, even if it is mathematically perfect, pertains to the true nature of reality.

For example, Godel’s proof of God is, I believe, mathematically perfect, yet I still intuitively doubt the existence of God.  Also, I understand that in maths, you can have forms of logic that are mathematically consistent but clearly couldn’t transfer to the real world.  For example, logic that do not have the law of the excluded middle.

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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28 October 2016 04:55
 

Reason is how we make our thinking conform to the way reality works.

 
 
Mark Gleason
 
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Mark Gleason
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Joined  12-10-2016
 
 
 
28 October 2016 08:57
 

Thanks for this explanation.

By perception do you mean sensory input without any formation of concept?
Your use of the term reason for the movement of perception into conception is interesting. Reason then can be largely and unconscious act. For example I will stop in my tracks if I see a snake before I even have the thought “shit there’s a snake” Unconsciously I have turned the shapes of objects in my vision (and perhaps movement) into an idea of “snake”, which entails the idea of “dangerous if you step on one”

Yes, I think that logic is the main tool of reason. I am not yet entirely convinced that human thought can be as meticulously clean as mathematical logic.  Also, how can we be sure that the logic we use, even if it is mathematically perfect, pertains to the true nature of reality.

For example, Godel’s proof of God is, I believe, mathematically perfect, yet I still intuitively doubt the existence of God.  Also, I understand that in maths, you can have forms of logic that are mathematically consistent but clearly couldn’t transfer to the real world.  For example, logic that do not have the law of the excluded middle.

I’d consider Sensation to be the lowest level.  Sensational – Perceptual – Conceptual. 

Animals have the ability to save the occurrence of Sensations.  Accumulated Sensations are thus aggregated into Perceptions.  It is abstraction from concrete Perceptions which constitutes Conception. 

Percepts are automatic and self-evident.  The classic example is that an animal can have the perception of 5 trees but to understand the number “5” is a conception. 

To have a concept requires an application of reason which includes the Law of Identity and oft times the use of logic.
 
One can perceive a snake.  To identify the concept of snake… everything it is and everything it is not…  that is an application of The Law of Identity.   

All logical laws come from The Law of Identity.  All logical thinking is really just a method of processing concepts in ways that do not violate the Law of Identity.  In this way, human thinking is only as “clean” (without contradiction) to the degree of its adherence to reality via the Law of Identity. 

ATB

Mark

 
 
Mark Gleason
 
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Mark Gleason
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Joined  12-10-2016
 
 
 
28 October 2016 15:04
 
SkepticX - 28 October 2016 04:55 AM

Reason is how we make our thinking conform to the way reality works.

Brevity is the soul of wit.  This statement by SkepticX is 100% accurate; that is precisely the way to view Reason. 

M

 

 
 
Jamie
 
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Jamie
Total Posts:  23
Joined  17-10-2016
 
 
 
09 November 2016 19:22
 
Mark Gleason - 28 October 2016 08:57 AM

Thanks for this explanation.

By perception do you mean sensory input without any formation of concept?
Your use of the term reason for the movement of perception into conception is interesting. Reason then can be largely and unconscious act. For example I will stop in my tracks if I see a snake before I even have the thought “shit there’s a snake” Unconsciously I have turned the shapes of objects in my vision (and perhaps movement) into an idea of “snake”, which entails the idea of “dangerous if you step on one”

Yes, I think that logic is the main tool of reason. I am not yet entirely convinced that human thought can be as meticulously clean as mathematical logic.  Also, how can we be sure that the logic we use, even if it is mathematically perfect, pertains to the true nature of reality.

For example, Godel’s proof of God is, I believe, mathematically perfect, yet I still intuitively doubt the existence of God.  Also, I understand that in maths, you can have forms of logic that are mathematically consistent but clearly couldn’t transfer to the real world.  For example, logic that do not have the law of the excluded middle.

I’d consider Sensation to be the lowest level.  Sensational – Perceptual – Conceptual. 

Animals have the ability to save the occurrence of Sensations.  Accumulated Sensations are thus aggregated into Perceptions.  It is abstraction from concrete Perceptions which constitutes Conception. 

Percepts are automatic and self-evident.  The classic example is that an animal can have the perception of 5 trees but to understand the number “5” is a conception. 

To have a concept requires an application of reason which includes the Law of Identity and oft times the use of logic.
 
One can perceive a snake.  To identify the concept of snake… everything it is and everything it is not…  that is an application of The Law of Identity.   

All logical laws come from The Law of Identity.  All logical thinking is really just a method of processing concepts in ways that do not violate the Law of Identity.  In this way, human thinking is only as “clean” (without contradiction) to the degree of its adherence to reality via the Law of Identity. 

ATB

Mark

Interesting. So it seems that logic operates like a binary computational system. The law of Identity connects concepts on a 0 “Is not” and a 1 “is” basis and all certainty follows from a correct use of this law.

 
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