REASONLegal Dictionary -> REASON
REASON. By reason is usually understood that power by which we distinguish
truth from falsehood, and right from wrong; and by which we are enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends. Encyclopedie, h.t.; Shef. on Lun. Introd. xxvi. Ratio in jure aequitas integra. 2. A man deprived of reason is not criminally responsible for his acts, nor can he enter into any contract. 3. Reason is called the soul of the law; for when the reason ceases, the law itself ceases. Co. Litt. 97, 183; 1 Bl. Com. 70; 7 Toull. n. 566. 4. In Pennsylvania, the judges are required in giving their opinions, to give the reasons upon which they are founded. A similar law exists in France, which Toullier says is one of profound wisdom, because, he says, les arrets ne sont plus comme autre fois des oracles muets qui commandent une obeissance passive; leur autorite irrefragable pour ou contre ceux qui les ont obtenus, devient soumise a la censure de la raison, quand on pretend les eriger en regles a suivre en d'autres cas semblables, vol. 6, n. 301; judgments are not as formerly silent oracles which require a passive obedience; their irrefragable authority, for or against those who have obtained them, is submitted to the censure of reason, when it is pretended to set them up as rules to be observed in other similar cases. But see what Duncan J. says in 14 S. & R. 240.