Fundamental Aspects of Rational Thought & Rational Reasoning
One problem here is that there have been many philosophical arguments in favor of reality existing merely as a personal construct and therefore not being a phenomenon that is external at all. Nonetheless, the standard definition of rational thinking typically contains this element or aspect.
There can be many barriers to rational thought. Harrison (1999) discusses several of these. First, the knowledge required to reason rationally about a given topic or subject may simply not be available to a given individual or, for that matter, to any individuals. Second, while the knowledge may be available, the individual may have some disorder or damage that compromises his ability to think at a rational level (e.g., brain damage, a psychosis, etc.).
A second obstacle to rational thought is the difficulty involved in attaining it. In this regard Harrison (1999) states that not only is there difficulty involved in rational thinking but it is conceivable that there are some situations to which rationality does not apply. For example, a person may experience a problem in which no single best or rational solution exists. However, commonly, because of the difficulty entailed in attaining a truly rational perspective, people will often use heuristics rather than rational thought which is to say that they will utilize simple rules of thumb derived from experience, to exploit consistent information patterns in their surroundings. This, clearly, can obstruct rationality.
Harrison (1999) states that bias is another barrier to rational thought. This means that people have an inclination to a particular perspective or viewpoint and avoid looking at a given matter in a rational manner because it would not allow them to maintain this perspective. A good example of this is