Cognitive Science: An Introduction/The General Function of Reasoning

"Reasoning" is not well-defined, but in this book we'll use it to refer to deliberative, mostly conscious processing. It can be distinguished from faster, more old brain processing such as emotional processing. One way to look at the function of reasoning is to allow us to override our emotional impulses for longer-term goals. For example, your old brain might want you to eat the chocolate cake, but your reasoning system puts the brakes on that out of a longer-term desire to lose weight (Greene, 2013, 137).


Greene, J. (2013). Moral tribes: Emotion, reason, and the gap between us and them. The Penguin Press, HC.