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CHAPTER XVI.

REASON.

By this is meant our power to reach conclusions. As all intentional violation of law is sin, and as fraud is intentional violation of law, we reach the conclusion that fraud is sin. You reason when you use intelligently such terms as "hence," "therefore," "because," etc. You arrive at conclusions through judgments. You so combine two propositions as to discern, or infer, or draw, or reach a conclusion. Your capability to do this is called reason.

Acts of Reason analyzed.-Self, as reason, infers conclusions from premises, and hence is sometimes called the power of inference. Let us examine some easy acts of reason.

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We accept the first and second judgments as true, and through these judgments discern the conclusion.

Self, as reason, discerns conclusions. Change one term,

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Since doves are birds, and birds are vertebrates, we discern the conclusion, doves are vertebrates. So, since z is included in y, and y in x, we discern that ≈ is included in x. We call the act reasoning when we discern conclusions, and we call the power to discern conclusions reason.

Cause-Relations.-Self, as reason, discerns cause-relations. The relations of causes and effects, means and ends, conditions and interdependencies, antecedents and consequents, wholes and parts, proportions and analogies, etc., are discerned through the medium of interlocked judgments. Cause-relations are all-pervading. From the atom to the Infinite First Cause, cause-relations bind together all things. The universe is a causeunit. Reason is our capability to discern cause-relations and cause-unity.

Office of Reason.-Self, as reason, discerns cause-relations. When we discern class-relations, we conceive; when we discern truth-relations, we judge; but, when we discern cause-relations, we reason.

1. Self, as reason, infers particulars from generals. All things are so related that these inferences

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Granted that all minerals are valuable, we may safely infer value of any mineral, however unfamiliar.

2. Self, as reason, infers generals from particulars. Since the universe is a cause-unit, and since laws are ever the same, we may safely infer general truths from particular truths. In this case, and this, and this, light diminishes as the square of the distance increases, and we safely infer this as a general law. The sum of the three angles of this triangle is equal to two right angles; but this triangle represents all triangles; therefore we infer the general truth—the sum of the three angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles.

3. Self, as reason, verifies his conclusions. By analysis we reduce our arguments to judgments, our judgments to concepts, and our concepts to percepts. By synthesis we reconstruct our arguments. By these processes we subject our conclusions to the tests of law and reality.

Characteristics of Reason.-The soul, as reason, so combines two propositions as to reach a more remote truth:

1. Reason is the power of inference. As all men are fallible, we infer that kings are fallible. A being without reason is unable to derive truths from other truths. Only rational beings draw conclusions.

2. Reason is the science-making power. In discerning truths in their causal relations, we discover laws and systematize knowledge. Man is a sciencemaker.

3. Reason is the power to accept conclusions. Self, as reason, accepts his inferences as true. This is called intellectual assent or belief. Through the medium of the proofs we discern the conclusions that Washington was President; that the earth revolves around the sun; that the square described on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares described on the other two sides of a right-angled triangle; and we accept these conclusions as true. We assent to these conclusions; we believe these truths.

Definitions of Reason.-Self, as reason, discerns new truths by comparing other truths. Truths are so related that we can infer conclusions from premises.

1. Reason is the capability to discern conclusions. Reason is the power to discern cause-relations. Reasoning is inferring conclusions from premises. A reason is the expression of an act of reasoning.

2. Original definition. Write out and illustrate your definition. What do you do when you reason? What relation do you discover between the proof and the conclusion?

3. Various Definitions.-1. SULLY: Reason is the power to derive conclusions from premises. 2. PORTER: Reason is the power to discern the agreement or disagreement of judgments. 3. McCoSH: Reason is the power to compare two notions by means of a third. 4. BASCOM: Reason is the capability to reach conclusions by means of related judgments. 5. EVEREST: Reason is the capability to combine two propositions, and thus reach a proposition more remote. 6. WUNDT: Reason is the power to unite two judgments in a new judgment. 7. DUNTON: Reason is the faculty to gain new truth through truths already known.

Logic is the science of the laws of thought. Just now you are struggling to understand the thinking powers. Later you will study the laws of thought and their applications. That we may better understand the reasoning process, we will briefly examine the products of reasoning:

1. Names. A product of reason is termed a reason, an argument, or a syllogism. An argument stated in regular logical form is called a syllogism.

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