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I am writing an essay for TOK on this question:

"Does reason have to play a part in all 'good explanations'?"

I am planning to write an essay saying that reason does NOT have to play a part in good explanations, and I have thought of a few examples: religion/the creation of man, the existence of souls, etc. However, I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Do you think that reason has to play a part in all good explanations? Why?

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We've been studying logic for a couple of weeks, and we're about to get into reason, so I'm not exactly the most informed person right now. However, from what I understand about reason, it's when humans take logic and try to apply it. I think reason can also be based off of emotion. It can be based off the other ways of knowing, so looking at it from this perspective, I think it can be argued that there is reason behind all of our actions. Good reasoning? Not often, but reasoning nonetheless. And rationalization. Lots of rationalization. So if I were writing that essay, I'd argue that reason is ubiquitous. It's everywhere. We can't escape reason. All of our actions are based upon reason. This is actually close to the essay that I'm writing right now--just substitute order for reason :)

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I am writing an essay for TOK on this question:

"Does reason have to play a part in all 'good explanations'?"

I am planning to write an essay saying that reason does NOT have to play a part in good explanations, and I have thought of a few examples: religion/the creation of man, the existence of souls, etc. However, I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Do you think that reason has to play a part in all good explanations? Why?

Well the key word here is 'good' which is fairly subjective. I don't believe religion offers 'good' explanations -- just comforting explanations. Reason MEANS a rational explanation/motive for a belief. Rational. There is no rationalization involved in things like religion - it is an instinctive, intuitive, perhaps indoctrinated belief. In a good explanation there has to be logic, there has to be rationalization. Otherwise it's not an explanation, it's a fairy tale. x)

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I agree about 'good' being the key word. Make sure you spend time defining it because it could really make or break your argument. Remember that knowledge is belief justified by language/perception/reason/emotion. Reason is but one of the Ways of Knowing and you should explore the others in your essay to create a complete argument.

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I am writing an essay for TOK on this question:

"Does reason have to play a part in all 'good explanations'?"

I am planning to write an essay saying that reason does NOT have to play a part in good explanations, and I have thought of a few examples: religion/the creation of man, the existence of souls, etc. However, I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Do you think that reason has to play a part in all good explanations? Why?

I would argue that reason has a part to play in every single one of those things you mentioned :) The thing which is not required is not reason itself, but it's the explanation part which is lacking. The existence of souls, gods and so on relies entirely on the inexplicable, so the reason why reason doesn't have to play a part in them is because no explanation is required. Things are simply "as they are".

A lot of it depends on how you define explanations. And good too, of course. What determines the quality of an explanation? How cohesive it is, how many pieces of evidence supports it, who gives the explanation? I think the majority of any essay response to this should be concentrating on what a good explanation actually is. Then having identified it, seeing whether it is possible without reason.

Reason = logic, usually. I've never heard of a scenario which divides them into two different things.

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I would argue against reason having a part in all good explanations, because:

Premise: Explanations are ways of justifying beliefs.

Premise: The Ways of Knowing (aka the ways to justify beliefs) are language, perception, reason and emotion.

Conclusion: Explanations aren't limited to reason.

And unless you define a "good" explanation as "one that uses reason", it can be argued that explanations pertaining one of the other Ways of Knowing can also be "good".

What determines the quality of an explanation? How cohesive it is, how many pieces of evidence supports it, who gives the explanation?

I think that determines how reasonable an explanation is, not necessarily how 'good' it is.

After all, it is arguable that one can 'know' that God exists due to emotion, and this explanation can very well be 'good' for that individual.

:) It really comes down to how you'd define 'good'.

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I am writing an essay for TOK on this question:

"Does reason have to play a part in all 'good explanations'?"

I am planning to write an essay saying that reason does NOT have to play a part in good explanations, and I have thought of a few examples: religion/the creation of man, the existence of souls, etc. However, I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Do you think that reason has to play a part in all good explanations? Why?

I would argue that reason has a part to play in every single one of those things you mentioned :) The thing which is not required is not reason itself, but it's the explanation part which is lacking. The existence of souls, gods and so on relies entirely on the inexplicable, so the reason why reason doesn't have to play a part in them is because no explanation is required. Things are simply "as they are".

A lot of it depends on how you define explanations. And good too, of course. What determines the quality of an explanation? How cohesive it is, how many pieces of evidence supports it, who gives the explanation? I think the majority of any essay response to this should be concentrating on what a good explanation actually is. Then having identified it, seeing whether it is possible without reason.

Reason = logic, usually. I've never heard of a scenario which divides them into two different things.

Very true!!! I never thought of it that way...

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I would argue against reason having a part in all good explanations, because:

Premise: Explanations are ways of justifying beliefs.

Premise: The Ways of Knowing (aka the ways to justify beliefs) are language, perception, reason and emotion.

Conclusion: Explanations aren't limited to reason.

And unless you define a "good" explanation as "one that uses reason", it can be argued that explanations pertaining one of the other Ways of Knowing can also be "good".

What determines the quality of an explanation? How cohesive it is, how many pieces of evidence supports it, who gives the explanation?

I think that determines how reasonable an explanation is, not necessarily how 'good' it is.

After all, it is arguable that one can 'know' that God exists due to emotion, and this explanation can very well be 'good' for that individual.

:) It really comes down to how you'd define 'good'.

Thanks for your opinion, I was actually able to work some of your reasoning into my essay! :)

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