reason

reason
   Within philosophy 'reason' refers to (1) a faculty or ability in virtue of which one makes appropriate doxastic judgements that have a high likelihood of approximating to truth; (2) a rational ground for a belief (that is, 'I believe p for the following reason'). While reasonable doxastic judgements ideally find the golden mean between excessive credulity and scepticism, the Enlightenment conception of reason tended to place an inordinate emphasis upon scepticism as the preeminent reasonable virtue. Enlightenment reason also was conceived as monolithic, with the assumption that all rational individuals would share the same first principles of reason, rules of inference and weighing of evidence leading to doxastic judgements. If this were true, however, one would expect to find much more agreement among the experts in various fields of enquiry than is actually the case. Even so, this does not necessarily warrant the conclusion that there are no universal principles of reason, Aristotle's or Frege's laws of thought being excellent candidates. Indeed, Christians can point out that Jesus is identified as the logos (reason, logic, word) of God (John 1: 1), a fact that points to reason as an important, indeed essential, aspect of existence. It should not be surprising then that a dominant tradition in Christian anthropology has viewed the ability to reason as of the essence of the image of God.
   Further reading: Audi 2003; Bennett 1967; Helm 1999 and 2000; Plantinga and Wolterstorff 1983; Swinburne 2005

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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