Excuse vs. Reason

By Jaxson

  • Excuse

    In jurisprudence, an excuse is a defense to criminal charges that is distinct from an exculpation. Justification and excuse are different defenses in a criminal case (See Justification and excuse). Exculpation is a related concept which reduces or extinguishes a person’s culpability and therefore a person’s liability to pay compensation to the victim of a tort in the civil law.

    The “excuse” provides a mitigating factor for a group of persons sharing a common characteristic. Justification, as in justifiable homicide, vindicates or shows the justice. Thus, society approves of the purpose or motives underpinning some actions or the consequences flowing from them (see Robinson), and distinguishes those where the behavior cannot be approved but some excuse may be found in the characteristics of the defendant, e.g. that the accused was a serving police officer or suffering from a mental illness. Thus, a justification describes the quality of the act, whereas an excuse relates to the status or capacity (or lack of it) in the accused. These factors can affect the resulting judgment which may be an acquittal, or in the case of a conviction may mitigate sentencing. An excuse may also be something that a person or persons use to explain any criticism or comments based on the outcome of any specific event.

  • Reason

    Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, establishing and verifying facts, applying logic, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art and is normally considered to be a distinguishing ability possessed by humans. Reason, or an aspect of it, is sometimes referred to as rationality.

    Reasoning is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. The philosophical field of logic studies ways in which humans reason formally through argument. Reasoning may be subdivided into forms of logical reasoning (forms associated with the strict sense): deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning; and other modes of reasoning considered more informal, such as intuitive reasoning and verbal reasoning. Along these lines, a distinction is often drawn between logical, discursive reasoning (reason proper), and intuitive reasoning, in which the reasoning process through intuition—however valid—may tend toward the personal and the subjectively opaque. In some social and political settings logical and intuitive modes of reasoning may clash, while in other contexts intuition and formal reason are seen as complementary rather than adversarial. For example, in mathematics, intuition is often necessary for the creative processes involved with arriving at a formal proof, arguably the most difficult of formal reasoning tasks.

    Reasoning, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. For example, reasoning is the means by which rational individuals understand sensory information from their environments, or conceptualize abstract dichotomies such as cause and effect, truth and falsehood, or ideas regarding notions of good or bad. Reasoning, as a part of executive decision making, is also closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change, in terms of goals, beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination.

    In contrast to the use of “reason” as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration given which either explains or justifies events, phenomena, or behavior. Reasons justify decisions, reasons support explanations of natural phenomena; reasons can be given to explain the actions (conduct) of individuals.

    Using reason, or reasoning, can also be described more plainly as providing good, or the best, reasons. For example, when evaluating a moral decision, “morality is, at the very least, the effort to guide one’s conduct by reason–that is, doing what there are the best reasons for doing–while giving equal [and impartial] weight to the interests of all those affected by what one does.”

    Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the question of whether animals other than humans can reason.

  • Excuse (verb)

    To forgive; to pardon.

    “I excused him his transgressions.”

  • Excuse (verb)

    To allow to leave, or release from any obligation.

    “May I be excused from the table?”

    “I excused myself from the proceedings to think over what I’d heard.”

  • Excuse (verb)

    To provide an excuse for; to explain, with the aim of alleviating guilt or negative judgement.

    “You know he shouldn’t have done it, so don’t try to excuse his behavior!”

  • Excuse (verb)

    To relieve of an imputation by apology or defense; to make apology for as not seriously evil; to ask pardon or indulgence for.

  • Excuse (noun)

    Explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault.

    “Tell me why you were late – and I don’t want to hear any excuses!”

  • Excuse (noun)

    A defense to a criminal or civil charge wherein the accused party admits to doing acts for which legal consequences would normally be appropriate, but asserts that special circumstances relieve that party of culpability for having done those acts.

  • Excuse (noun)

    , poor or lame}} An example of something that is substandard or of inferior quality.

    “That thing is a poor excuse for a gingerbread man. Hasn’t anyone taught you how to bake?”

    “He’s a sorry excuse of a doctor.”

  • Reason (noun)

    A cause:

  • Reason (noun)

    That which causes something: an efficient cause, a proximate cause.

    “The reason this tree fell is that it had rotted.”

  • Reason (noun)

    A motive for an action or a determination.

    “The reason I robbed the bank was that I needed the money.”

    “If you don’t give me a reason to go with you, I won’t.”

  • Reason (noun)

    Rational faculties, collectively, of conception, judgment, deduction and intuition.

    “Mankind should develop reason above all other virtues.”

  • Reason (noun)

    Something reasonable, in accordance with thought; justice.

  • Reason (noun)

    Ratio; proportion.

  • Reason (verb)

    To deduce or come to a conclusion by being rational

  • Reason (verb)

    To perform a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to argue.

  • Reason (verb)

    To converse; to compare opinions.

  • Reason (verb)

    To arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss.

    “I reasoned the matter with my friend.”

  • Reason (verb)

    To support with reasons, as a request.

  • Reason (verb)

    To persuade by reasoning or argument.

    “to reason one into a belief; to reason one out of his plan”

  • Reason (verb)

    To adducing reasons.

    “to reason down a passion”

  • Reason (verb)

    To find by logical process; to explain or justify by reason or argument.

    “to reason out the causes of the librations of the moon”'”


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