Reason: a cognitive faculty, it is not the only useful one but is supremely useful.
In modern English usage reason is often equated as the sum total of our cognitive abilities and intelligence. it is not, it is part of a subset and a highly useful, and highly under-developed, faculty of the intellect.
The raw ability to reason, calculate, and comprehend can be refined into sets of formal systems of reasoning. These systems of reasoning can be modeled, and defined with rigor.
The Intellect: is the power and ability to know and to think. The faculty of understanding, knowing, and intelligence. That in humans which is capable of knowing.
Logic: a formal methodology, or set of methods, rigorously providing rules and steps to reason from.
Intellection: a very old fashioned word now restricted to hoary old perennialist philosophers in ivory towers – it means “to intellect” once upon a time intellect was a verb meaning, roughly, to think. More exactly intellection is the process of understanding through the powers of the intellect. It is distinct from reason in that it includes the use of reason, and logic, but is a process encompassing all of the powers, all of the faculties, of the intellect.
Reason works well in billiards, you can calculate the angles quite well. the hand and arm, however, “knows” the weight of the cue stick and has a “feeling” that’s uncanny. If you try to formally reason and derive certain things you are only using part of your mind. Intellection is a total process and its a word i really wish people would use more often, nowadays…
We want a system of reasoning inside our head that allows us to learn about the world through reason.
To have a system of reasoning we need: a Set of Axioms, and a Set of Inference rules.
Axioms: Our assumptions. These are the things we know to be true, or assume to be true. They form the foundation of our reasoning. Example, two parallel lines never meet. Example, the sun always rises from the east.
Rules of Inference: Procedural steps that allow us to derive a statement from another statement. Most important to us, to derive a truth from a set of other truths. Example. The sun has always risen from the East every 24 hours. An hour is 60 minutes. Therefore the sun will rise tomorrow 24 hours after yesterday’s sunrise. We inferred the statement “the sun will rise tomorrow” from the previous statements that the sun has always risen from the East, etc.
We already seem to have many inference rules in our heads, we seem to “know” them and simply exercise them. In reality we have a primitive set but through our lives we build our mental toolset by interacting with the environment.
The more axioms our system of reasoning has the more we can infer from it, thus the more truths we can derive.
The more new rules of inference that we add to our system that can’t already be derived from existing Axioms in our system then the more capable our system of reasoning is of understanding and comprehending the world around us.
In effect, the more intelligent we are because of our increased capacity to know, derive more facts, more true statements….
This is why the more we learn, the more in turn we can learn. The more we already know the more we have as a basis to compare, and contrast.
Analogy is a powerful tool and method of reasoning.
In order to reason about a system of reason the system of reason we use must contain axioms in common with the system we want to reason about, dig it?
The system we reason from must be a more comprehensive system, a meta system if you will.
Reason is a faculty of the Intellect, but the intellect has may other faculties, many other ways of knowing, of cognition, of deriving truth or falsehood from the environment we’re in.
Systems of reason can be taught: axioms are taught and the rules to infer truth from these axioms seem to be based on underlying natural aptitudes we have, but can be and are powerfully taught on a formal level. Many people develop these rules on their own, inferring them from the world around them based on a primitive level of rules and axioms they innately have. the ability to do this is VERY powerful. some people are just too lazy to bother with this, however.
Liberation lies in being given greater tools to reason with, and from.
Enslavement lies in being denied the same.
Restricting our intellect to reason prevents us from understanding the world and nature in broader degrees. Rigorously exercising all of our faculties of knowing helps us.
The ability to explore our dreams and the “fuzzy” “intuitive” side of ourselves and marry this to our less fuzzy rational selves is powerful.
You’ve gotta be able to feel as well as think.