As humans, we are given the capacity for rational thought. It is one of three significant distinctions between man and other forms of life. The second is volition, the ability to choose from among alternative actions that flow from thinking. The third difference, the capacity for speech, is merely a different manifestation of the same activity; one silent, the other
Reason is the primary output of consciousness; the result of our innate ability to observe and categorize. Observing distinctions and their patterns of occurrence leads to the ability to classify things; to determine that a certain pattern of association gives likelihood to one thing being like another, and also gives rise to the possibility of naming a thing.
Observing things, labeling them and identifying patterns between and among them is what leads us to comprehend a thing's function. It's also what determines its usefulness with respect to its function . In other words, a thing that has certain features, and functions as a thing of its kind should, ought to achieve a purpose. Understanding the association between
features , functions and purpose permits its the evaluation of a thing. The manner and extent to which it achieves its purpose determines how good it is for that purpose.
Seeing the patterns allows us to have both a future and a past rather than merely living in the moment and observing what takes place. Patterns of association are what creates a sense of history, tying together what happened, with what, and to what. Being able to recall those facts and their patterns of association then, becomes the bridge between what happened
and what may happen, also called the future.
Making choices, especially those related to action, flows from our capacity to envision the future as a combination of possible outcomes based on our experience from the past. We deliberate about choices in light of their capacity to enable a thing to be good and achieve its purpose. We are naturally drawn to those things most likely, based on our knowledge
and experience, to achieve their purpose, since a thing demonstrates its greatest value in doing so. Choosing_from between options is what places us in control of our lives and gives us a measure of control over the world around us.
Helping others to know labels, categories, function s, qualities and associations is what leads to common understanding. Sharing through speech lets us explain our thoughts and convince others to support our choices; necessary in a complex and intertwined world where cooperation can make a difference between survival and extinction.