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    TOk essay may 2009 topic 3 (638 words)

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    We do not practically assess a situation and think over it but we are just swayed by our senses. This is the drawback of reasoning based on perception. I would like to provide a hypothetical example to illustrate this point. An instance of the drawback of perceptive reasoning – An attractive looking mushroom is growing on a tree. It is actually venomous in nature. A poor farmer walking by the tree spots the mushroom and is enchanted by its beauty as a result of which he takes it home and decides to cook it so that he can consume it.

    The reason this farmer picked up this mushroom is because it looked great and based on his intuition the farmer felt that it would by delicious. But after consuming the mushroom the farmer fell terribly ill and suffered. This instance clearly reveals the ill effects of perceptive reasoning. The proverb “All that glisters is not gold” means that reasoning based on perception are not necessarily an effective way of reasoning or judging. This proverb clearly indicates the implications of perceptive reasoning. Reason can also be linked ineffectively with emotion.

    Emotion refers to the sentiments which humans experience; emotions enable humans to express their feelings. An epitome of emotion would be the joy and ecstasy experienced by a child when he receives many gifts on his birthday, whereas a contrasting emotion of melancholy would be when a person very dear to someone passes away. Behind every emotion which we experience there is a reason. For instance a child experiences joy while receiving presents on his birthday. But more often than not humans are swayed by emotions.

    Extremely strong and passionate emotions like love are extremely intricate and complex, making it very difficult to reason. When a person falls in love with another individual he cannot explain the reason for experiencing such sentiments. Thus the power of reason does not play a role in the justification of all types of emotions. Reason mainly plays a pivotal role in interpreting facts, justifying a fact using logical and ethical steps. We can conclude that reason has a limited role in describing our emotions.

    Sometimes people do crazy things while in love because they are swayed excessively by their emotions of love and they lose all their power of reasoning and common sense. Lucid explanations and deciphering of facts form the way of expressing reason. A person’s ability to prove a point by means of clear speeches or correct interpretations ideas will decide whether he is right or wrong. If somebody can prove his point clearly and correctly nobody will contradict him. But language can also form a barrier to reason. If someone has a point to prove but cannot explain his ideas clearly nobody will understand his process or reasoning.

    Thus one has to realize how to present his ideas and subsequently reason in the correct manner. Reason, thereby serves as an efficient way of knowing as it enables us to think of a situation as a neutral and assess the situation without being swayed by our perceptions and emotion. It enables to us comprehend information and summarize the meaning of the information given to us. But emotion and perception do not generally rely on the power of reason -thereby giving reason a limited role in context with these ways of knowing.

    Language can serve as a barrier to effective reasoning if one cannot express his ideas properly. But on the whole, I conclude by saying that reason is perhaps the most important way of knowing as it enables us to think logically and rationally before we choose to do something. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

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