Talk:Reason (philosophy)

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Adopted and extended from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica®.

Like man reasons so much. Yeah right. Lust, fear, etc.

This article is a mess. I've tried to clean it up through reordering and through deletion of the more unhelpful text. Still, someone knowledgeable about the history of philosophy really needs to go through this article, making the positions more clear, and better attributing them to particular people or schools.

Here are the chunks I've deleted, and why:

In formal logic the drawing of inference, or using the reasoning faculty, is called called ratiocination, or, more simply, "reasoning".

Removed. The article already mentions that "reason" may be regarded as the inference-making faculty. I get the impression this perspective is not limited to "formal logic".

It is, however, exceedingly difficult in this respect to draw an absolute distinction between humans and other animals, observation of which undoubtedly suggests that the latter have a certain power of making inferences. Compare instinct.

Removed. Animals will make inferences or not depending on how you define "making inferences". Since the article doesn't seem to adopt a unified perspective on this issue, this passage doesn't seem particularly useful.

It is usually agreed, however, that inference by humans differs from that of animals in self-consciousness

Removed. What does this mean? That animals don't explicitly, consciously, methodically reason through their choices? That's a fair enough point, but it should be clarified.

and, though there can be no doubt that some animals dream

Removed. There can be no doubt? I'd say there certainly can be some doubt, unless a reference a link to an article about animal dreams is provided.

it is difficult to find evidence for the presence of ideal images in the minds of any but the most closely related animals.

Removed. "Ideal images"? Does this mean that animals can't grasp Platonic forms? (Many would argue that Platonic forms is a crazy idea, and that people don't grasp them either.) Does it mean animals don't have goals? That they don't dream of a "better life"? What kind of evidence *does* exist for the "most closely related animals"?

--Ryguasu 08:39 Dec 25, 2002 (UTC)