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Use Of Reason In The Areas Of Knowledge

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From the beginning of man's existence, actions have been determined, whether consciously or unconsciously, by reason. However, in today's world, where propagation and survival of the human species is not a pressing concern, reason has come into a new type of importance as a means by which insight can be gained into a subject. This new use of reason induces many questions, one of which is whether every claim must be supported by reason. Knowledge claims must be supported by reason, or the knowledge claim does not have a basis to be truly considered knowledge. It can be regarded as a number of other things, such as a feeling. The dependence on reason is varied between areas of knowledge, as reason is much more important in the natural sciences and mathematics than in history and the arts. Reason can be effectively used in some of these areas, but it can often be harmful in gaining insight into some others.

Mathematics is one area where reason plays an integral part. Reason is the basis on which mathematics is founded. Before any mathematical theorem can be taken as true, it must be backed by a reasonable mathematical proof that shows, beyond a doubt, that the answer arrived at is correct. This type of empirical, reasonable proof shows that of all the areas of knowledge, Mathematics uses reason the most. In mathematics, an answer is either right or wrong. There is no middle ground in mathematics. This type of environment causes reasoning to be effectively used. Without reason, all mathematical arguments would inevitably fail, and so if a mathematical assertion cannot be reinforced with reason, the assertion should be renounced. Mathematics is the only area of knowledge where every assertion must be backed by reason.

Reason is also a part of the natural sciences, although less vital to this area of knowledge than mathematics. In the natural sciences, experimentation is the main guide for developing reasonable models for natural phenomena. While developing these models requires reason, the natural phenomena themselves sometimes have no rational explanation. However, even in the natural sciences, if a theory has no basis in reason, it is rejected out of hand. Another aspect that theories have to adhere to is that in order to be considered reasonable, theories must be considered coherent with all other existing theories regarding that subject. As Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants," meaning that all scientific work is done by building on existing theories and postulates. Because of this, the definition of "reasonable" changes as improvements and changes occur in the other areas of knowledge. For example, the geocentric and Ptolemaic systems of the universe were considered very reasonable in their time, but later, with changes in culture and technology, especially with the invention of the telescope, these theories were proved false. Human sciences require that reason be applied in the explanation of phenomena, but since it is subject to the limitations of existing theories and the flexible definition of being "reasonable," what is reasonable today may not be tomorrow. Thus, no explanation in the natural sciences that does not have a basis in reason should not be dismissed altogether, as it may have an explanation that simply is not understood yet.

The human sciences are an area in which it cannot be said whether or not a theory should be dismissed because it has no basis in reason. It has not been rationally shown that the human mind is either irrational or rational, and any theory on the behavior of humans is dependent

on this conclusion. In the example of the Oedipus and Elektra complex, the son or daughter develops a sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. This does not apply the rules of reason because



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