short version

I clocked his name badge,
throughts, excuses, reasons raced through my mind to broach the subject of his name,
"Hey man is that your name? Reason?"
I stumbled awkwardly into as he filled my bag of medium popcorn.
A nervous smile and nod confirmed my suspicions.
"That is such a cool name man!"
Again that "nervous regard of a wildebeast as it is being approached by an overly friendly lion" look comes over his face.
That or he's wondering why the customer is talking to him.
I mean that's not in the manual, well except when they're placing their order.
Other than that customers don't talk to you.
Well I have Darren to blame for that; talking to people over the counter.
You know, like as if they're people at the end of the day.
So as I took my cinematic consumables with me to the theatre,
it dawns on me.
Did I pronounce his name right? i.e. Vincent becomes Van-Cent in Francais.
It was then that I realised I had contracted cultura ineptitus.

«::Click here to go back to my poetry node::»

The latest version of Propellerhead Software's synth/sequencer package is Reason 2.0. This release adds several things to the original Reason, most notably an enhanced sampler (the NN-XT Advanced Sampler) and a totally new synth - the Mälstrom Graintable Synthesizer.

It also fixes possibly one of the most annoying things about the original Reason - it only used one single window to display both the sequencer and the rack, and the window could not be resized from its default width of roughly 800px. Reason 2.0's sequencer in now a separate window that can be moved, resized or (if you have a multiple monitor setup) shifted onto another monitor so you can monitor both rack and sequencer at the same time.

Finally, Reason 2.0 comes with two CD-ROMs full of samples and presets, in two packs: the Reason Factory ReFill, which contains hundreds of patches for each of the synths, and samples for the ReDrum drum machine and NN-19/NN-XT samplers; and the Orkester ReFill, which contains high-quality orchestral instrument samples designed for the NN-XT.

Reason's interface is designed to emulate a real-life rack of hardware. To create a song, you first set up your equipment. Unlike in real life, where you are limited to a certain number of components by space and cost issues, in Reason you can create an almost unlimited number of instances of each synth, sequencer or effects processor.

If you press the tab key, Reason flips the rack around to allow you to see the back of each of the components, and the cables that connect them. Each component has audio inputs and outputs, as well as control voltage inputs/outputs. All components have an audio output (apart from the Hardware Interface, which functions solely as the interface to the audio outputs of your sound card) and many also have audio inputs to allow their effects sections to be used on external signals.

The control voltage inputs hark back to when MIDI did not yet exist, and the only relatively standard way to control synths was to use analog voltage control, transmitting a variable voltage to control the pitch of the note, and a fixed voltage pulse as a trigger to actually play the note.

Reason uses CV control as a convenient metaphor to allow component parameters to be controlled from other components in the rack, like the Matrix pattern sequencer. Filter frequency, resonance, and various other parameters can be controlled by back-panel CV inputs, and it is also possible to use the CV inputs to trigger notes on most of the synths and sampler modules.

Connecting components is as easy as dragging a cable from the output of one to the input of another. To make your life even easier, when you create a new component, Reason automatically routes it depending on how you created it - if you right-clicked on a mixer and created an effects unit, it will automatically be patched into the first available auxiliary bus send and return on the mixer, whereas if you inserted the unit by right-clicking on a synth, the unit would be patched in between the synth and the mixer it was connected to.

Reason features the following components:

reMix 14 channel mixer
The mixer is the first thing you need to create when setting up the rack. The reMix is a 14-channel mixer, featuring four auxilary buses, and EQ, panning and volume controls for each channel. Fourteen channels may seem a bit restrictive, but if you run out of space, each mixer has a pair of inputs designed for daisy-chaining another mixer.

Synths and samplers:

SubTractor Analog Synthesizer
Not your average subtractive synth, the SubTractor features twin oscillators with 32 different waveforms ranging from plain vanilla sine wave to strange metallic drones. Each oscillator can also be doubled and subtracted or multiplied by itself for interesting effects. Frequency or ring modulation between the two oscillators is also possible. A noise source with independent delay and tone controls complements the twin oscillators.

The combination of a pair of LFOs, mod wheel, pitch bend, three ADSR envelopes, velocity sensitivity and external input from aftertouch, expression or breath controllers allows virtually every parameter of the synth to be dynamically altered.

The SubTractor may look somewhat intimidating the first time you load one up, but for sheer 'huh?!' factor it's hard to top the Mälstrom...

Mälstrom Graintable Synthesizer
The Mälstrom is large, green and - at least at first glance - very complicated. A lot of the Mälstrom's features are similar to the SubTractor, with two big differences - first, the oscillators, and secondly the 'Shaper' module.

Instead of generating simple waveforms that don't change over time like the SubTractor, the Mälstrom uses a unique technique called 'Graintable synthesis', a combination of two existing synthesis methods - granular synthesis and wavetable synthesis. Instead of the SubTractor's 32 waveforms, subtraction/multiplication modes and frequency modulation, the Mälstrom's oscillators use a bank of sampled waves ranging from simple waveforms to robotic voices to strange ambient noises that can be pitch-shifted, sped up, slowed down (with the possibility of slowing to a stop and just playing one period of the wave repeatedly) or reversed.

The output from the oscillators is processed through two filter modules and the Shaper module, which alters the waveform using digital clipping, saturation, bit reduction and waveshaping.

Of course, the Mälstrom boasts the usual complement of modulation sources, including a couple of enhanced LFOs which can operate in one-shot mode (like a complex envelope) as well as periodic mode. One of the reasons that the front panel looks so different from the rest of the Reason components is that the Mälstrom allows one to route modulation inputs and oscillator outputs to different places in the signal chain, depending on what type of effect you're trying to achieve. It's not a modular synth, but it comes a lot closer than the SubTractor.

All this flexibility means that it's very, very easy to make utterly strange-sounding patches with the Mälstrom - as can be witnessed by most of the patches in the Factory ReFill (incidentally, the patch names live up to the strangeness of the patches themselves: Retaligator, Trevlig Padson or Cyber Yawn anyone?)

NN-19 Digital Sampler
The NN-19 is a basic sampler. You load a sample into its memory, then press a key on the keyboard and it plays back the sample, pitch-shifted to the correct pitch. It can be configured so that different ranges of keys play different samples, and includes a single LFO, filter and amplitude envelope as well as mod-wheel and pitch bend controllers.

The NN-19 is fine for most of the things you'll need a sampler for. If you need more power, or you want to use the Orkester sampler patches, you need the NN-XT...

NN-XT Advanced Sampler
In sharp contrast with the NN-19's beige, somewhat plasticky interface and minimal blue screen, the NN-XT is sleek, charcoal gray and very professional-looking. It's divided into two parts: the minimalistic main interface, and the Remote Editor, with a huge light-blue screen and over sixty separate rotary controllers. The Remote Editor is designed to be slid away during normal song editing, and only brought out when you need to edit parameters for individual samples.

The XT is intimidating at first, but quite simple once you get the hang of it. The main reason it's better than the NN-19 is that unlike the 19, every single sample can have its own individual amp/filter envelope, filter settings, polyphony setting, mod envelope and modulation settings.

As well as configuring different ranges of keys to play different samples, you can also configure the XT to play different samples depending on how hard the key is hit - ideal for acoustic instrument patches.

Dr.REX loop player
The Dr.REX is a sampler designed to play back files created by ReCycle. Its main use is for sampled beats or grooves that have been sliced up into many slices, each one usually containing a single drum hit. The slices can be played back at any speed and in any order.

Apart from replacing sample playback with slice-playback functionality, the Dr.REX is very similar to the NN-19, with a single LFO, filter/amp envelopes, mod wheel and pitch bend.

ReDrum drum machine
The ReDrum, along with the Dr.REX, forms Reason's rhythm section. If you're familiar with Roland's TR-909 drum machine, the ReDrum might seem strangely familiar.

The machine has ten drum channels, each of which holds one sample. Samples can be loaded individually, or all ten channels can be set up at once using a drum-kit patch. All the channels share a set of common features - volume, pitch, panning, a simple amplitude envelope, and two effects sends. Some channels also have additional features - for instance, channels 8 and 9 are gated together, to allow a closed hi-hat sample to cut off an open hi-hat, and channels 6 and 7 have a pitch envelope instead of a simple pitch control.

The bottom of the ReDrum's interface is taken up by the pattern section. Like the TR-909, this allows you to program drum patterns up to 64 steps long. The ReDrum can store up to 32 patterns in four banks of eight patterns each. Each pattern has individual settings for pattern length and step speed.

As well as being controlled by its own built-in pattern generator, the ReDrum can also be controlled from Reason's sequencer, allowing it to be used as a simple sound module.

Effects modules:

Matrix Pattern Sequencer
The Matrix is one of the few Reason components that is not based on real-world hardware. It has two modes - Curve and Key. In Curve mode, the user draws an envelope on the Matrix's red LED screen, and the Matrix outputs a control voltage proportional to the height of the envelope curve at that point in time. In Key mode the Matrix outputs control and gate voltages designed to trigger notes on Reason's synth and sample modules.

The Matrix is perfectly suited to 303-style basslines as well as automatic parameter control, but for anything that requires more than one note to be played at a time, the sequencer must be used.

ReBirth Input Machine
The ReBirth Input Machine is designed to receive audio from the Propellerheads' ReBirth RB-338, which emulates a pair of 303s, an 808 and a 909, via the proprietary ReWire inter-application audio transfer system.

The Sequencer
Although it's possible to construct a song just using Matrix sequencers and the built-in sequencer of the ReDrum, the Sequencer is what gives Reason its flexibility.

The Sequencer has two views - Edit view, which displays one track, and Arrange view which displays an overview of all the tracks in the song. Depending on which device the track is controlling, Edit view can be used to place notes on a piano roll, sequence drum events, alter various controls on the device in realtime, change patterns on the sequencers of the Matrix and ReDrum, or play slices in the Dr.REX.

Events can be entered into the Sequencer either by hand, using a mouse, or by using a MIDI keyboard or controller. While it's not too painful creating a song without a MIDI keyboard, it's nice to have one - and you can play Reason as if it were a normal sound module, for live use (or if you're just bored.)

Reason isn't exactly cheap, but its cost is pocket money compared to the cost of purchasing hardware that could fulfil the same function. Combined with a multitrack recording application, such as Cakewalk Audio's Sonar or Syntrillium's excellent Cool Edit Pro, plus a reasonable sound card and computer, and you have the elements of a very well-equipped bedroom studio.

Reason is available for both Mac OS (including a native OS X version) and Windows.

Propellerhead Software:

Reason is the name of a monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. The front cover of every issue claims it to be the magazine of Free Minds and Free Markets. Though not officially affiliated with the Libertarian Party, articles in Reason typically cater to a Libertarian world view and frequently concern Libertarian issues such as drug legalization, abortion, gay marriage, and laissez faire economics.

The first issue was as a student publication at Boston University by Lanny Friedlander in 1968. In 1971, contributors Bob Poole, Tibor Machan, and Manny Klausner bought the magazine and moved operations to Santa Barbara, California. In 1978, the Reason Foundation formed to publish the magazine and to serve as a think tank focused on privatization and deregulatory economic principles. In 1986, the Reason Foundation moved its offices to Los Angeles.

Reason has been endorsed by such varied individuals as Rush Limbaugh and Milton Friedman. The magazine has a self-estimated circulation of 60,000 issues per month with an average of 2.44 readers per issue. In addition, Reason has won several awards including being named as one of the "50 best magazines" by the Chicago Tribune.


Reason is a complete, self-contained application by Propellerhead Software used to compose and produce popular electronic music. It emulates the look and feel, as well as the sound, of a whole music studio filled with synthesisers. Its two main parts are a sequencer and a large virtual rack filled with various synthesisers, samplers, effects and mixing desks.

I've been using it for the last few years to produce all my music and songs. In that time, I've learnt a few things about it.

What Reason is bad for

If you use acoustic or electric instruments - say you write rock music, for example - then you can pretty much forget about using Reason. Although it's pretty easy to get the occasional snippet of sound into it from elsewhere, it's about as far removed from a multitrack recorder as you can get while still being able to bear the label of sequencer.

Reason's sequencer has nothing to do with audio, and its samplers will only play sounds from the beginning. You can't just lay down a lead vocal, then some backing vocals, then some guitar riffs and drums. You can painstakingly import all of these into Reason's samplers, but that would be missing the point. There are several good pieces of modern software that act like multitrack recorders, and Reason is not one of them.

Propellerheads have since released another application, Record, that can work well with long recordings of tangible instruments, so for guitars and vocals, it may yet be possible to integrate studio style recording with Reason. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced about the usefulness of Record, as there are plenty of well established sequencers out there that accomplish the same task. Reason, on the other hand, is unique.

Reason is self-contained. This means that it can't use any plug-ins. In other words, you can't control software synthesisers or effects units made by other companies from within Reason. It doesn't work with hardware synthesisers either, so you have to fully embrace all of Reason, or leave it entirely.

If you want to use it alongside plug-ins, then you can run both from within another sequencer. I've never tried this myself because I value Reason for its ease of use, and I imagine that using it with another sequencer gets rather complicated rather quickly and again arguably misses the point of using such an easy piece of software in the first place.

What Reason is good for

Where Reason really shines is in making electronic music with few, if any, imported sounds. As long as you're content to use its built-in synthesisers -- and believe me, you should be now that it sports rackmounts like Thor -- then you'll find the developers' stance on making it a stand-alone application has some distinct advantages. Arguably the most important one is that, because their software isn't talking to anyone else's, it's very stable. I've been using Reason for many years, and it hasn't crashed on me once.

Like all purely software based studios, Reason also has the advantage over hardware that it supports total recall. This means that when you save your song, then open it again several days later, it remembers the exact position of every knob and slider on every synthesiser. Hopefully anyone new to making electronic music will just take this for granted, but compared to a studio full of tangible synthesisers, it's a phenomenal step forward in convenience.

Getting more sounds into Reason: ReFills

Reason has its own proprietary format for importing and exporting patches and samples, called ReFills, which at first glance seems like a disadvantage if you already have a bunch of seemingly incompatible sample CDs lying around. However, a feature of Reason that seems to get little press is an inconspicuous application that comes with it, called Reload.

The Akai S1000 sample CD format is probably the most popular one there is, and Reload lets you import any Akai S1000 sample CDs into the ReFill format that Reason can use. You can get tons of sample CDs very cheaply now because musicians are all moving to software and abandoning their Akai samplers, so this gives you access to some of the best sample libraries at very reasonable prices.

Unlike the original Akai compatible discs you import them from, the ReFills that pop out of this program also have the advantage of being plain old computer files that can be easily backed up for safekeeping.

Reason can also import SoundFonts. While this isn't a particularly popular format, Digital Sound Factory offer a lot of the E-mu range of romplers in SoundFont form, meaning you can buy the preset sounds from these popular rackmount instruments and compose with them using an interface that's simpler and easier than their original hardware was, at a fraction of the tangible machines' cost.

Unlike sample CDs, ReFills can also contain patches for Reason's synthesisers. These take up less space than samples, and are much more useful. You can sync them to the music's tempo, and you can dissect them to work out how their sounds are made and to make subtle changes to taste.

You really shouldn't need tons of ReFills, however, if you want to make electronic music. As with everything else, knowledge and practice are the most important tools you'll need. Uniphonic's Phat Math ReFill alone is ample proof that even the lowly SubTractor synthesiser that was included in the very first version of Reason can sound just as good and versatile as its more popular hardware rivals, providing it's in the right hands.

Naturally, you also have the option of just buying this ReFill and others like it instead of learning to make your own patches, giving you instant access to hundreds more sounds to play with.

The rack

Each device in the rack is such a realistic and versatile piece of equipment that each one really deserves its own review. Suffice it to say that Thor alone is quite possibly the best synthesiser I've used, beating even tangible devices I've owned hands down. (Admittedly, this is partly because I have neither the money nor space for a modular synthesiser, but even if I did, it wouldn't have total recall, so I'd probably only end up sampling it and using the samples in Reason anyway.)

Note that none of Reason's devices is multitimbral, for a very good reason: if you want to play more than one sound at a time, the simplest way to do it is to just create another instrument. With such an intuitive solution available, it would have been silly for Propellerheads' programmers to have wasted their time putting in a slavish emulation of multitimbral functionality. Instead, you're encouraged to take advantage of the virtual nature of Reason.

The NN-XT sampler has more features than the older but still iconic Akai S1000, and its interface takes at least some advantage of the screen and mouse, making it much easier to use. This is more a sign of how much technology is progressing in general, rather than this product in particular, but a whole virtual rack filled with dozens of NN-XTs loaded with, say, Peter Siedlaczek's Advanced Orchestra would have made any Hollywood composer in the early nineteen nineties seriously jealous.

Professional reverb, compression and parametric equalising are all covered by the various effects units, so you can make your mixes sound professional if you can invest the time and effort to learn how to use them properly. The vocoder is a nice touch, and there's a wealth of synthesisers and effects units that I won't bore you with the details of now. You could spend a very content lifetime mastering Reason's devices. Some people, such as Peff, seem to have done just this, and have written useful books on the subject.

The sequencer

Although it's not as glamorous as the synthesisers themselves, the sequencer is where you'll actually do most of your work composing. Aside from its complete lack of audio, Reason's sequencer has come a long way since its first version. Each instrument can have several note lanes for you to try out various takes, and you can change the tempo and time signature mid-song. Admittedly, these are things that other sequencers have been able to do for a long time, but it's nice to know that Reason's sequencer has now pretty much caught up with the rest.

It's a breeze to record a few bars of music played on a controller keyboard, touch up the notes on screen, then tweak pretty much any setting of any device while the song's playing. I have little frame of reference when it comes to sequencers, but I found Reason's fairly intuitive and convenient.


Reason is a fantastic tool for making electronic music, and quite frankly, given its price, it's a bargain. Some people may quite rightly avoid it because it doesn't play well with others, but if you're content to use it and nothing else, it's probably the most practical, inspiring way there is to write music. I wholeheartedly recommend it (plus a controller keyboard) to anyone who's serious about making purely electronic music.

It's also a good scratchpad to jot down ideas on, even if you rework the song in something else later on. With such first class mastering effects, however, I'd have to wonder why anyone would want to export their creations into anything else in the first place, unless they already used a specific synthesiser or plug-in that they just couldn't give up.

In short, if you can bear to use Reason and nothing else to make music with, you probably should.

Reason as Intelligibility
A Response to Phyllis Rooney's (Oakland University), "Gendered Reason", from Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Summer 1991.

In her essay “Gendered Reason: Sex Metaphor and Conceptions of Reason”, Phyllis Rooney calls the meaning and usage of ‘reason’ into question. She shows that it has no perennial definition, and that its main characteristic across history and culture has been its association with masculinity, in opposition to traits traditionally considered feminine such as emotionality. But I would like to propose that ‘reason’ has never been defined as a set of specifically masculine traits, but to the contrary that concepts of masculinity have conformed to accommodate ‘reason’ – which is in fact strictly a matter of the social roles that men have traditionally assumed.

Feminist philosophers including Rooney have argued that there are cultural biases which inform scientific hypotheses, and can predispose methods to certain results. This argument is crucial to assessing the degree of relevancy of sex to the historical conception of reason; so the discussion of an illustrative example of this point will serve as the beginning of my argument. Many experiments have been conducted on the relative performance of boys to girls on mathematics and verbal skills tests, and they tend to show that boys are the superior mathematicians, while girls are the superior linguists. The cultural bias in these experiments lies in the fact that their resultant data are taken to show that boys and girls have different scholastic strengths because of the physiological features that distinguish one group from the other – that is, strictly because of their sex. Feminist philosophers suggest that many other features of the experiment subjects have to be correlated to scores in order to isolate the features of the subjects that actually make them stronger mathematicians or linguists. They go as far as to claim that even if boy-girl test score correlations are highly consistent, that it may be the regularity of operative social factors that is responsible rather than physiology. Clearly the feminist suggestion is valid, but determining exactly which features need to be correlated is difficult; every even potentially relevant feature seems to deserve correlation (and of course to generate an exhaustive list of every relevant feature would be very difficult, if not impossible), and it seems profoundly problematic that cultural biases will more than likely inform which features are ultimately considered relevant. So the question is raised as to whether it is even possible to truly isolate the features that make people better at mathematics or linguistics, and whether physiological sex plays any role in this whatever.

In the grand scheme of things, whether boys are inherently better at math than girls is probably fairly unimportant. But the fact that it may not be possible to confirm whether sex relates to specific scholastic aptitudes introduces new difficulty for all of science, as it simultaneously makes the complexity of every similarly-oriented scientific pursuit more obvious and more puzzling. In a very direct way, it evidences the difficulty of making statements about either sex specifically – beyond, of course, “males have penises, females have vaginas” (and some feminist philosophers would surely take issue with even this).

This difficulty is important because it affects how I formulate my meaning for ‘reason’ in the light of these pertinent feminist considerations. I am certainly not capable of making any categorical statements about males or females, but I am still interested in what it means that reason has always been associated with masculinity, and how I am to interpret this historical connection. And most philosophers are probably in the same boat; I imagine that we would all still like to talk about reason, or at least use the word, and that most of us have not – and probably cannot – come to any hard-and-fast philosophical conclusions about the particular roles of sex and external factors in cognition, or how to scientifically investigate them. So it appears that to talk about reason will require some presumption. The question is, which presumption to make? It seems that to presume that the scientific method has proved that there are inherent differences in the male and female brains that regulate cognitive abilities and tendencies entirely would be absurd. This presumption would direct me to investigate all of the fundamental differences between the male and female brains, in order to identify which features are ‘masculine’ and therefore determine a conclusive meaning for reason. The obvious alternative to this presumption is equally extreme, but slightly less absurd: that one’s sex has no role in determining cognitive abilities, and therefore that if boys and girls perform differently on standardized tests that this is totally a result of distinct social conditionings. To reiterate one of my central points, the truth of how sex affects cognitive abilities and tendencies is somewhere in between these extremes – but precisely where in between is not a matter accessible to me.

So I will make the slightly less absurd presumption. And as this presumption is to be the ground for my understanding of reason, the hazards of adopting it directly imply the potential aspects of reason that my meaning will ignore. So what are these hazards? I can only think of one. The main hazard is that my meaning for reason might be too general; the cognitive tendencies that are fundamentally reasonable might be more specific than my meaning will propose. This is because there may be distinct features of male cognition that can more aptly be called ‘reasonable’ than those for which strictly social roles and other external factors can account. This possibility does not seem terribly dangerous; of course historical users of the term ‘reason’ did not know which of these features might be distinctly masculine, if they were even aware of them. It is certain that most of them believed that these inherent features exist, and furthermore that the vast majority of the features that distinguish men from women, males from females, are inherent; Rooney sufficiently demonstrated this in “Gendered Reason” with citations of Aristotle, Philo, and Locke. And these facts only buttress the defense for my approach to the problem of what reason is, and how to think of it. Because if the historical user based his understanding of reason on what he observed in his environment, without the science and technology to thoroughly investigate sex differences (hence his belief in inherent differences), then it seems probable that these observed differences were significantly – if not primarily – the products of social roles and other external factors.

I will try to explain how this is true without employing any misleading details. In most historically patriarchal Western societies, the role of the female had been fairly limited until more recent times. The good wife was subjugated to the almost entirely domestic existence revolving around tending her children, her husband, and her physical home. Her matters were her business exclusively, and only affected the people who lived under her roof. To her husband, a social entity and an agent of history, the good wife had many of the same traits as every other good wife, and assumed an almost identical social role; so it seemed only natural to identify women by this role, and therefore to (generally) indentify archetypically-female traits and characteristics as inherently-female traits and characteristics. But what about these apparently inherent female traits have to do with reason? I return to the point that the good wife’s matters were her business. A dualistic characterization of the traditional patriarchal Western social scheme realizes the inherently feminine to be strictly private, from which if follows that what is masculine, opposing feminine privacy, is ‘publicity’ – a better word for which might be ‘commonness’. Whereas a woman’s interests were all exclusively hers, a man’s interests were also the interests of other people – mostly his business associates and peers, but also just socially-concerned members of his patriarchal society. If it is indeed the case that historically there has been this dualistic characterization of the differences between men and women (which, again, Rooney suggests with textual evidence, as do many other feminist philosophers), then it becomes clear that what has traditionally been demanded of men, based on the feature of their social role that there is public interest in their affairs, is intelligibility. Unlike the women of their times, these men had to think such that the products of their thought made sense to other people; so this intelligibility that was inherent to the traditionally masculine social role became identified as an inherently masculine trait.

It seems reasonable to conclude from these considerations that it was the public character of the male social role in the historical Western patriarchal tradition that realized reason as a male trait. This would mean that ‘reason’ is not an inherently sexist concept, mobilized for the oppression of women, but rather a concept essential to discourse that has been polarized by sexist societies. If it is agreeable to roughly equate ‘reasonability’ with ‘intelligibility’, then it should be very clear that the contemporary philosopher’s relationship to reason is basic; Rooney’s concern about how to think about reason as something distinct from masculine tendency should be, for the most part, resolved.

I hope that this essay is fairly clear, I figured that you wouldn't have to have read Rooney's essay to understand where I am coming from. If you need any clarification on it (or on my essay, for that matter), feel free to contact me! I appreciate all constructive commentary and criticism!

Rea"son (?), n. [OE. resoun, F. raison, fr. L. ratio (akin to Goth. rapj number, account, garapjan to count, G. rede speech, reden to speak), fr. reri, ratus, to reckon, believe, think. Cf. Arraign, Rate, Ratio, Ration.]


A thought or a consideration offered in support of a determination or an opinion; a just ground for a conclusion or an action; that which is offered or accepted as an explanation; the efficient cause of an occurrence or a phenomenon; a motive for an action or a determination; proof, more or less decisive, for an opinion or a conclusion; principle; efficient cause; final cause; ground of argument.

I'll give him reasons for it. Shak.

The reason of the motion of the balance in a wheel watch is by the motion of the next wheel. Sir M. Hale.

This reason did the ancient fathers render, why the church was called "catholic." Bp. Pearson.

Virtue and vice are not arbitrary things; but there is a natural and eternal reason for that goodness and virtue, and against vice and wickedness. Tillotson.


The faculty of capacity of the human mind by which it is distinguished from the intelligence of the inferior animals; the higher as distinguished from the lower cognitive faculties, sense, imagination, and memory, and in contrast to the feelings and desires. Reason comprises conception, judgment, reasoning, and the intuitional faculty. Specifically, it is the intuitional faculty, or the faculty of first truths, as distinguished from the understanding, which is called the discursive or ratiocinative faculty.

We have no other faculties of perceiving or knowing anything divine or human, but by our five senses and our reason. P. Browne.

In common and popular discourse, reason denotes that power by which we distinguish truth from falsehood, and right from wrong, and by which we are enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends. Stewart.

Reason is used sometimes to express the whole of those powers which elevate man above the brutes, and constitute his rational nature, more especially, perhaps, his intellectual powers; sometimes to express the power of deduction or argumentation. Stewart.

By the pure reason I mean the power by which we become possessed of principles. Coleridge.

The sense perceives; the understanding, in its own peculiar operation, conceives; the reason, or rationalized understanding, comprehends. Coleridge.


Due exercise of the reasoning faculty; accordance with, or that which is accordant with and ratified by, the mind rightly exercised; right intellectual judgment; clear and fair deductions from true principles; that which is dictated or supported by the common sense of mankind; right conduct; right; propriety; justice.

I was promised, on a time, To have reason for my rhyme. Spenser.

But law in a free nation hath been ever public reason; the enacted reason of a parliament, which he denying to enact, denies to govern us by that which ought to be our law; interposing his own private reason, which to us is no law. Milton.

The most probable way of bringing France to reason would be by the making an attempt on the Spanish West Indies. Addison.

4. Math.

Ratio; proportion.



By reason of, by means of; on account of; because of. "Spain is thin sown of people, partly by reason of the sterility of the soil." Bacon. In reason, In all reason, in justice; with rational ground; in a right view.

When anything is proved by as good arguments as a thing of that kind is capable of, we ought not, in reason, to doubt of its existence. Tillotson.

-- It is reason, it is reasonable; it is right. [Obs.]

Yet it were great reason, that those that have children should have greatest care of future times. Bacon.

Syn. -- Motive; argument; ground; consideration; principle; sake; account; object; purpose; design. See Motive, Sense.


© Webster 1913.

Rea"son (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Reasoned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Reasoning.] [Cf. F. raisonner. See Reason, n.]


To exercise the rational faculty; to deduce inferences from premises; to perform the process of deduction or of induction; to ratiocinate; to reach conclusions by a systematic comparison of facts.


Hence: To carry on a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to formulate and set forth propositions and the inferences from them; to argue.

Stand still, that I may reason with you, before the Lord, of all the righteous acts of the Lord. 1 Sam. xii. 7.


To converse; to compare opinions.



© Webster 1913.

Rea"son, v. t.


To arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss; as, I reasoned the matter with my friend.

When they are clearly discovered, well digested, and well reasoned in every part, there is beauty in such a theory. T. Burnet.


To support with reasons, as a request.




To persuade by reasoning or argument; as, to reason one into a belief; to reason one out of his plan.

Men that will not be reasoned into their senses. L'Estrange.


To overcome or conquer by adducing reasons; -- with down; as, to reason down a passion.


To find by logical process; to explain or justify by reason or argument; -- usually with out; as, to reason out the causes of the librations of the moon.


© Webster 1913.

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