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Reasoning is the [cognitive] process of looking for [reason] s, [belief] s, [conclusion] s, [actions] or [feeling] s.

Different forms of such reflection on reasoning occur in different fields. In [philosophy] , the study of reasoning typically focuses on what makes reasoning efficient or inefficient, appropriate or inappropriate, good or bad. Philosophers do this by either examining the form or structure of the reasoning within arguments, or by considering the broader methods used to reach particular goals of reasoning. [Psychologists] and [cognitive scientists] , in contrast, tend to study [how people reason] , which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, how cultural factors affect the inferences people draw. The properties of [logic] s which may be used to reason are studied in [mathematical logic] . The field of [automated reasoning] studies how reasoning may be modelled computationally. Lawyers also study reasoning.

History of reasoning
It is likely that humans have used reasoning to work out what they should believe or do for a very long time. However, some researchers have tried to determine when, in the history of human development, humans began using formal techniques of reasoning.

Babylonian reasoning
In [Mesopotamia] , Esagil-kin-apli's medical Diagnostic Handbook written in the 11th century BC was based on a logical set of [axiom] s and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient's disease, its aetiology and future development, and the chances of the patient's recovery.H. F. J. Horstmanshoff, Marten Stol, Cornelis Tilburg (2004), Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine , p. 99, [Brill Publishers] , ISBN 9004136665.

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