Logic is overrated | INFJ Forum

Logic is overrated

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by wolly.green, Aug 9, 2020.

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  1. wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    I posted this on another forum, but hopefully it makes sense here as well.

    Most people seem to confuse ‘logic’ with ‘reason’, like somehow they're the same thing. But in realty, they're not. Logic is to reason as Newtonian Physics is to Relativity. Logic is limited in scope while reason is limitless. Let me explain.

    I want you to join in a game with me: its a language game called MUI. The objective is to get from an initial word to a goal word. Here, we will start with the word MI. Your task is to manipulate 'MI', using the rules outlined below, until you get to the goal word MUIU. This might be a little confusing, so I will work through another example first. Read through the rules, and my example proof, and then give it a shot yourself.

    RULE I: If you possess a string who’s last letter is ‘I’, you can add on a U at the end.

    RULE II: Suppose you have Mx. then you may add Mxx to your collection.
    Examples: 'MII' ->'MIIII'
    'MUI' -> 'MUIUI'

    RULE III: If III occurs in one of the strings in your collection, you may make a new string with U in place of III.
    Examples: 'MIIIU' -> 'MUU'
    'MIII' -> 'MU'

    RULE IV: If UU occurs inside one of your strings, you can drop it.
    Examples: 'MUU' -> 'M'
    'MUUI' -> 'MI'

    As promised, I will work through an example problem first so you get an idea of how the game works. I will transform 'MI' into 'MUI'. Here goes:
    By RULE II, you can transform 'MI' into 'MII'. By RULE II again, you can transform 'MII' into 'MIIII'. By RULE III, you can transform 'MIIII' into 'MUI'. Therefore 'MI' - > 'MUI'

    Now that you have an idea of how the game works, I want you to try it yourself. Try transforming 'MI' into 'MIU' using the rules outlined above, and put your SENTENCE into the format I provided above. If 'MIU' is unreachable, I want you to spend a minute trying to figure out why. If it IS reachable however, try coming up with your own word that you know cannot be reached using the rules above.

    You may not realize it, but the game you've just played has another name. It has another more well respected label called mathematics. For those of you that are not familiar with the more abstract, esoteric branches of mathematics, this might sound a little strange. But I promise, its true. The only difference between this, and the stuff real mathematicians do is that the 'words' mathematicians use have real meaning while the words in this game do not. In fact, if you actually did the exercise, you might have realized something. You might have realized the SENTENCE you wrote isn't just any ordinary sentence. It has a technical term in math called a 'proof'. And the goal word is called a theorem. That's right, if you did the exercise, you successfully proved a mathematical theorem: albeit a completely and utterly useless one.

    But why did I get you to play this game? What was the point? Well, I didn't just get you to prove a mathematical theorem. I also made you use logic. That's right, the process of writing out your proof is called 'logic'. Logic, generally speaking, is the application of a set of rules to a set of premises to derive conclusions or theorems. In this game, logic is the application of a set of rules to an initial word to derive a goal word. Are you seeing the symmetry? If you've been following up until this point, hopefully you can see what logic really is. Its a formal process used to derive theorems from premises, or conclusions from axioms. But what you may not have realized yet is why reason and logic are not the same thing.

    'MUI' is a game with an alphabet, words and a limited set of rules. It has an alphabet with the letters 'M', 'U' and 'I'. You can construct any word you want, so long as they start with 'M', and you have a set of rules that you can use to manipulate them. If you want to reach a theorem word from some initial word, you must use MUI's laws of logic to get there. This whole game is a 'logical system' with its own alphabet, premises, rules and theorems. But there are more 'logical systems'. In fact, the entirety of mathematics is nothing more than a giant cornucopia of 'logical systems'. It is a conglomeration of richly abstracted 'logical systems' that can be used to prove all sorts of wonderful things about mathematical objects. Mathematics is so brilliantly exciting, but there is a question looming here. One that that will provide you with the key for what distinguishes 'logic' from 'reason'. If mathematics is nothing more than a collection of 'logical systems', then how were those systems discovered?

    This seems like an innocuous question, but it has some very serious implications. Think about it for a moment, how were these 'logical systems' discovered? They can't have been discovered using logic, because they ARE the logics themselves. Thus, strictly speaking, unless there is some yet unspecified 'super system' that we use to derive all these other systems, there has to be an explanation. And the explanation, I believe, is called reason. Reason is how mathematicians can devise all of these unique 'logical systems' that are so useful. I know this is quite a jump, but lets take a look at a real world example.

    Euclidean geometry is a system we are all familiar with. Euclidean geometry, sometimes called parabolic geometry, is a geometry that follows a set of propositions that are based on Euclid's five premises. If you don't understand what this means, do not fret, I will explain. Here are the 5 definitions or postulates.

    Collinear points: points that lie on the same straight line or line segment. Points A, B, and C are collinear.

    Line Segment: a straight line with two endpoints. Lines AC, EF, and GH are line segments

    Ray: a part of a straight line that contains a specific point. Any of the below line segments could be considered a ray

    Intersection point: the point where two straight lines intersect, or cross. The point I is the intersection point for lines EF and GH.

    Midpoint: a point in the exact middle of a given straight line segment. Point B is the midpoint of line AC

    Euclid came up with a whole book full of definitions that are used to derive all known shapes in 2d space. But more amazingly, he managed to give us a way of understanding the relationship between two sides of a triangle, for example. Or two points on a circle. The important question to ask here, however, is how did he discover these postulates? He could not have derived them from some 'logical system' because geometry constitutes a logical system in its own right. In my opinion, what he did, was work through multiple different sets of postulates, test them by deriving theorems, and them carefully decide which ones made sense, and which ones did not. As Einstein put it, he used reason and creativity to devise his postulates.

    This is essentially what distinguishes logic from reason. As Einstein put it, logic can get you from A to B, but imagination will take you everywhere. Logical will get you from one point in a logical system to another. But reason and creativity will get you everywhere. Hopefully this makes sense to you.
     
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  2. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    This is a nice illustration of the difference between logic and 'reason'. However, it does not in the least prove the below:

    This analogy makes no sense. Both Newtonian Physics and Relativity are products of reason and logic in equal measure. Also, the value of logic is in its formalising the preservation of inferential truth, whereas the value of reason is to discover new truths as well as interesting and fruitful falsities. So they cannot be compared at all.

    A better analogy would be e.g. modern modal logic stands in the same relation to Aristotelian logic as Relativity stands to Newtonian physics.
     
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  3. Roses In The Vineyard

    Roses In The Vineyard Community Member

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    The western mode of thinking in general is deeply flawed due to issues like this especially when emotions are written off as weakness and intuition as irrational or worse. Logic is good for technology, business, and systems building provided it is done correctly where there is efficiency however one must not forget that we are humans not machines for better and worse. As for reason I agree that it is not the same as logic as it accounts for the natural and allows for intuition.
     
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  4. Sorn

    Sorn Regular Poster

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    Maybe we should just say it's the difference between how and why.
    We can't follow the why to its source.
    But we can try to explain how the world is like right now.
     
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  5. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    To back up RITV, and touch on @wolly.green's point, I'm reposting this quote I saw while reading through recently declassified CIA documents yesterday.

    CIA.png


    The research in those documents was esoteric, but I liked this quote because it mentioned both Bohr and using intuition in the thought process. Niels Bohr made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he won a Nobel Prize in Physics. One of his most famous quotes was, "You are not thinking, you are merely being logical."
     
  6. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    I'm not an idiot
     
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  7. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    Logic is for people with sticks up their butt

    No but really, you have to have a good foundation of logical thinking to navigate properly.
    But every smart person ever agrees, logic is not without limits.
     
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  8. dragulagu

    dragulagu Galactic Explorer

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    http://hoaxes.org/weblog/comments/fake_einstein_quotation_paperweight
    Knowledge does seem to be a necessity in this discussion...and the whole argumentation seems to be pointless...
     
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  9. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    :m170:
     
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  10. Sorn

    Sorn Regular Poster

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    Another thought I'd like to offer regarding logic:
    Pure logic is intended only for abstract questions.
    As soon as you take the step to reality, you realize that logic does not exist in the way you still understood it in mathematics.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic
    You only have to ask your partner once if it's too warm in the room... I'm freezing, that's why it's cold. That's logic, right?
     
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  11. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    Not necessarily abstract questions, but questions which presuppose a conceptual common ground between the speakers.

    I'm not sure it is obvious what 'taking the step to reality' would involve.
     
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  12. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    I think another way to think about this is to consider that logic has nothing constructive to say about truth.

    It only really serves to distinguish between sound inference and dubious inference.
     
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  13. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    I only meant that logic is a subset of reason. Also, hi Ren. :blush:
     
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  14. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    Yes, exactly!
     
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  15. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    Yes you are :nomouth:

    Anyway, yes I agree. Pure logic really is for people with sticks up their butt. Actually, I was on a date with an INTP. He (yes I'm gay) tried steam rolling me with his Ti 'logic'. I just remember laughing and thinking 'Mate, I can do that too, but I don't because its boring'.
     
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  16. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    Hi wolly! :grinning:

    Yes, I know what you mean. I think you used a metaphor which I took a little too literally.

    I guess an interesting and related question would be: does the creative principle at the heart of reason involve induction or not? Seeing that logic has nothing to say about induction, etc. Or can we give an account of reason/creativity with no reference to induction and the familiar problems associated with it?
     
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  17. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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  18. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    Hahahaha. OMG, you went there. :tearsofjoy:

    Anyway, if Popper is correct, induction is completely redundant. Creativity can do what induction can, but more. Way more. With regard to Euclidian geometry, the process of testing and hypothesizing is, generally speaking, what constitutes creativity. You could label this process 'induction', but that would be quite perverse. In its original and typical use, Induction is supposed to explain how we derive 'predictions' from experience, not knowledge from experience.
     
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  19. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    @Ren By the way, is that Near?
     
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  20. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    It is indeed!

    I know I know, L is the best, but I still think Near is underrated. Also, I really like that pic.
     
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