Logic is overrated | Page 2 | INFJ Forum

Logic is overrated

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

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  1. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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  2. noisebloom

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    Logic is a heavily overloaded umbrella term for a number of things.. >90% of people most likely use "reason" and "logic" interchangeably.

    Sure, you can say logic != reason and reason > logic when referring to something like mathematical logic, but enough people equate reason to logic that you're arguing semantics at that point. So I think your premise is maybe problematic when it comes to average people:

    Most people seem to confuse ‘logic’ with ‘reason’, like somehow they're the same thing.

    Dictionaries seem to have accepted (as is common) the colloquial equivalence of the two terms (in addition to the more formal definition of "logic").
     
  3. OP
    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    I have another agenda here. One that I haven't explicitly pushed yet. An one that @Ren picked up on it, to my delight.

    In the past, I've written extensively on why I think "induction" is a fantasy. More specifically, I've rallied against the idea that we use logic to derive predictions from observations. When I say that logic and reason are not the same thing, I'm speaking specifically to that particular school of philosophical thought, not to laymen.
     
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    wolly.green

    wolly.green Permanent Fixture

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    I really like that quote. Its so succinct.....
     
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  5. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    I am not familiar with formal philosophical definitions of logic and reason, but for me "logic" is just something I use when deconstructing arguments or nitpicking. I don't enjoy that process, It's quite boring and futile. You can get lost in some useless rabbit holes and completely ignore the big picture.

    I don't even like INTP description as "logicians". I much prefer to see Ti as "accuracy".

    So "logic" in itself is nothing special. It has to be complemented by common sense, induction, knowledge of the context etc. Still, it's a useful tool to have in your toolbox. I think lawyers for example rely on it a lot.
     
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  6. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    Why would the (true) point that most people equate reason to logic entail that the difference between the two is a matter of semantics? I don't understand this. Most people probably have a wrong understanding of gravitation, i.e. a 'common sense understanding', that certainly doesn't mean that the difference between the theory of gravitation and its common-sense version is a matter of semantics only!

    I think what's true is simply that people can cope with the world without bothering about the fine (yet real) distinctions between logic and reason, in the same way that they can cope with making choices without bothering about the (real) distinction between Aristotle's virtue ethics and Kant's ethics of duty.

    I'll trust you on this, though I think it is regrettable.
     
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  7. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    If this is any help, my sense is that at this stage the philosophical definition of logic is clear and largely accepted, whereas the equivalent definition of reason is anything but clear or largely accepted.

    Logic is the study of valid inference. Some philosophers want to go further and say that logic has metaphysical implications, some don't, but they at least agree on this minimal definition. With regard to reason, there is no definition I can think about for which there is any like degree of consensus. I think most philosophers (and most people) would agree, though, that there is such a thing as reason, with the help of which we can make scientific discoveries, engage in critical debate, and so on.

    The 'stuff' that reason works with is all sorts of content, including empirical content. Logic doesn't really have any content. This is why Wittgenstein says famously that 'there can never be surprises in logic'. What is logical truth? Tautology, i.e. a proposition without content. Reason is exploratory, logic isn't.
     
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  8. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    I could see this coming from a mile away mate :p

    I'll come back to your points and reference to Popper when I've gathered my thoughts a little more.
     
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  9. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    Wow ok, thanks. That's helpful. Interesting topic.

    Could we say that we apply reason when dealing with problems of incomplete information? So basically making decisions in real life, assessing risk properly etc.

    Whereas logical problems always have a solution, at least in theory (like in chess where it's always possible to calculate the best move)?
     
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  10. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / The Maker / ≅ INFP

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    Yes, I think this is a great example. When dealing with problems of incomplete information, logic can be helpful in eliminating certain options for what can be missing, but it cannot identify exactly what is missing. Something like 'reason' or the reasoning faculties will take care of that.

    I'm hesitant to go so far as to say that all logical problems have a solution, but certainly the vast majority of them do. (And when the solution is reached in the form of a proof, in a sense it can no longer be discussed.) There are a number of logical paradoxes that resist a straightforward solution, but the way in which they resist it is different from a situation of incomplete information.
     
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  11. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    Yes, that makes sense. And we can also try constructing a logical model for dealing with imperfect games, like in Game Theory (field of study that's very close to my heart), where you can in fact logically solve imperfect and open games.

    I think Economics especially is a field where there's a lot of logically coherent arguments and formulas, but the context can be way off. So you solve the model mathematically, but the assumptions of the model were wrong to begin with. So it's logic without reason.

    So you have Alan Greenspan (INTP?) admitting post 2008 that his model of the world was flawed.

     
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  12. noisebloom

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    After wolly replied to my post, I realized what subforum this was in, which added some context to the discourse. Before, I read the original post without any context, so I most definitely thought the premise was problematic, because society does often equate the two terms and this has been accepted into modern English, so I thought a statement asserting that most people are confused was incorrect. With the context that this is in the philosophy subforum, it is clear that "formal logic" is what should be considered... As for it being regrettable that other definitions of logic are acceptable, probably... There is so much in modern language that is overloaded and in conflict; at times, this can be confusing.
     
  13. Sorn

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    A thought that had just occurred to me is this:
    Logic seems to assemble mostly parameters in the present. At least that's how it's usually applied.
    While reason is also capable of including temporal progressions in the calculation.
    I know, the boundaries are not clearly defined here either. For example, in my opinion,
    mathematics also has time parameters, which often only become apparent in recursive calculations.
    You could probably pack an entire chess game into one big formula with many brackets.
    The result would be logical and timeless. But when solving this equation you would have to start
    with the innermost bracket and work your way out. This takes time and memory.
    Human reason works differently.
    I hope you understand a little of what I mean.
     
  14. John K

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    Not only am I unsure if the sun will rise tomorrow, but I defy anyone to logically demonstrate to me that there was / is a yesterday lol.

    I think I'll stick to mathematical induction which is far less problematic, though I have no doubt that even that could be challenged by a Russell or a Whitehead:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_induction

    We live in a chaotic sea of possibilities, not certainties I guess.
     
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  15. Misty

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  16. Reason

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  17. Misty

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    Is a big butt stick sized especially for people with big butts? Is there small & medium, as well? 0.0
     
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    Intuition is important in addition to logic, but shouldn't be a substitute for logic generally.

    That said, there are situations (usually social) where you'll have a really hard time getting all the facts because people obfuscate. Logic can usually break these also, but sometimes you need to be able to conceive of what else someone might be trying to pull.
     
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  19. Sorn

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    I can agree with you there.
    Interpersonal life is far too complex to be described with logical formulas. I could imagine that it would be possible in principle, but no human would bother.
    I have here a complicated book on the subject of logic.
    Mostly it is about examples of statements, which are either about absolute liars or absolute truthtellers.
    For example: What if God said to you: "You will never believe in me!"
    God would never say such a thing, of course. And neither there are people who always lie or always tell the truth.
    That's one reason why logic between people can't really work. Logic, or what people understand by it,
    is only gladly applied in discussions to accuse the opponent of his lack of common sense.
    In technical problems or when programming, logic is of course absolutely necessary.
    Which areas are left where logic is needed and really applied?
     
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  20. Misty

    Misty Spidey Sense Wielder

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    God is not a man that He should lie. So actually, he is consistent truth. Humans? Not one.
     
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