(1) The activity of finding ideas. (2) The
inferring of conclusions from
The first sense of
reasoning is the wider one.
Note that in that sense nothing is said what these ideas must be, nor by
what process one arrives at these, whether
abductive or otherwise. It is not even said
whether reasoning is conscious or not.
And indeed, it makes sound sense to insist that writing a piece of fiction,
deducing a theorem, thinking of what to eat for dinner, and falling in love
all involve some sort of reasoning.
The second sense of reasoning is a bit more restricted in that it
explicitly refers to inferences,
In the second sense there still is no notion that the reasoning is
conscious or involves languages, or explicit
premisses, since the assumptions
one uses may well be unconscious, imprecize or unverbalized.