Being Reasonable

“In everyday life, we ask each other to be reasonable, and we fault unreasonable behavior in ourselves and others. Moreover, the Anglo-American legal system makes extensive use of the “reasonable person standard” in everything from negligence to administrative law. What is it to be a reasonable person? What do we mean by “reasonable”?”

. . .

The above is a brief course description of the class, “Being Reasonable.” I have always wanted to take classes in Philosophy to satisfy my learning curiosity/developments. I came across the course description while researching colleges. It’s being taught at one of America’s top colleges. I would love to take the class at the college, but I thought to share the course title and description which I think are interesting.

Philosophy is deep and involves lots of independence of the mind. Just look at the list of philosophical schools of thoughts. I do not need a degree in Philosophy so I will not avail myself of all the schools of thoughts. However, I think it interesting to know that tons of our rationales and beliefs are philosophically-based.

What does “Reasonable” Mean?

We start with the Dictionary’s definition:

Next, according to Vocabulary.com, “If you’re reasonable, you have good sense and judgment. A reasonable decision is rational and thought out, like your mom’s reasonable rule about not eating crumbly foods in her car. When you describe a store’s prices as reasonable, you mean they’re fair — not too high. And if you are given a reasonable amount of time to do a project for school, you have no excuse for it being late.”

As the course description stated, there’s the “reasonable person standard,” in law. According to Cornell University’s Department of Law, it means:

“Just, rational, appropriate, ordinary, or usual in the circumstances. It may refer to care, cause, compensation, doubt (in a criminal trial), and a host of other actions or activities. In the law of negligence, for example, the reasonable person standard is the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would observe under a given set of circumstances. An individual who subscribes to such standards can avoid liability for negligence.”

I have provided two links for your reading pleasure; one from a philosophical view and the other from an actuarial view.

Conclusion

There is actually no conclusion to reasonability or being reasonable. As you can see, being reasonable depends on the hat one is wearing at the point the statement is made. Since each industry views “reasonable” from its own perspective, is it safe to say that we all will have varied thoughts and views for what we consider as Being Reasonable?

What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below. Thanks.

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