The New York Times:
For centuries thinkers have assumed that the uniquely human capacity for reasoning has existed to let people reach beyond mere perception and reflex in the search for truth. Rationality allowed a solitary thinker to blaze a path to philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment.
Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments.
Even if reason didn’t evolve for the purpose of “philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment,” is there any reason why we can’t choose to use it for that purpose?
Or, to look at it in another way, perhaps reason is one of those fortuitous evolutionary accidents – an ability developed for mundane reasons which turned out to have much grander uses.