Why care about Reason?

As you can see from the example from the previous page, the case was a significant example where society as a whole failed to reason properly. It indicated that we are not quite as clever as we think we are, and that seeing through faulty claims is often complex. Our capacity to reason can be hijacked by context, powerful rhetoric and biases. Disarming manipulators is a noble goal by itself, but you are not going to find reasoning useful only when the higher stakes are higher. Reasoning ability can help you in your day to day lives, improving your ability to make objectively better decisions, getting better at reading, or having constructive conflicts, to name a few. After reading this section, you will find you are using tools of reasoning in cases you may not be aware of right now. The primary tool of day to day reasoning is informal logic, which is exhaustively described in this section.

“We often hear questions such as: “Who decides reason, why should we trust reason?” These questions are, in reality, but claims in disguise. The confusion about reason stems from our misunderstanding on the nature of rational thinking. The division between reason and emotion is a false dichotomy. As the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio aptly put it: “We are not necessarily thinking machines, we are feeling machines that think”. Or to reverse Descartes: we are, therefore, we think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *