It is not universally realized that reasoning comprises a great deal of what philosophy is about. Many people have the idea that philosophy
is essentially about ideas or theories about the nature of the world and our place in it. Philosophers do indeed advance such ideas and
theories, but in most cases their power and scope stems from their having been derived through rational argument from acceptable
premises. Of course, many other regions of human life also commonly involve reasoning, and it may sometimes be impossible to draw
clean lines distinguishing philosophy from them. (In fact, whether or not it is possible to do so is itself a matter of heated philosophical
The natural and social sciences are, for example, fields of rational inquiry that often bump up against the borders of philosophy (especially
in inquiries into the mind and brain, theoretical physics and anthropology). But theories composing these sciences are generally
determined through certain formal procedures of experimentation and reflection to which philosophy has little to add. Religious thinking
sometimes also enlists rationality and shares an often-disputed border with philosophy. But while religious thought is intrinsically related to
the divine, sacred or transcendent - perhaps through some kind of revelation, article of faith or religious practice - philosophy, by contrast,
in general is not.
Of course, the work of certain prominent figures in the Western philosophical tradition presents decidedly non-rational and even antirational
dimensions (for example, that of Heraclitus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida). Furthermore, many include the work
of Asian (Confucian, Taoist, Shinto), African, Aboriginal and Native American thinkers under the rubric of philosophy, even though they
seem to make little use of argument.
But, perhaps despite the intentions of its authors, even the work of nonstandard thinkers involves rationally justified claims and subtle
forms of argumentation. And in many cases, reasoning remains on the scene at least as a force to be reckoned with.
Philosophy, then, is not the only field of thought for which rationality is important. And not all that goes by the name of philosophy is
argumentative. But it is certainly safe to say that one cannot even begin to master the expanse of philosophical thought without learning
how to use the tools of reason.
Which of the following is not true about philosophy, as per this passage?
1) The line between philosophy and religious thought is not always clear.
Historically, Western philosophical tradition has tended to emphasize the non-rational or anti-rational aspects of
3) The question of what is the appropriate subject matter of philosophy is a topic of philosophical debate.
4) Philosophy is not always rational, and nor is it the only area of study that uses rational thought.
This passage is most likely an extract from:
1) an article called 'The Importance of Rational Thought'.
2) a book called The Story of Philosophy.
3) a book called Tools and Methods for Philosophy.
4) an article called 'Rationality in Philosophy and Religion'.