Rationality

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Rationality

Post by Pattern-chaser » December 5th, 2019, 9:59 am

Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 3rd, 2019, 10:28 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
December 3rd, 2019, 9:28 am


Just as interesting is the thought that our 'unconscious mind' is a misleading term. Conscious mind refers to a particular 'part' of our minds; our unconscious minds are what is left after the conscious mind is removed. So the unconscious is responsible for instinctive behaviour ... and a lot of other stuff too; anything that isn't 'conscious'. So the inspiration that lead Coleridge to Kublai Khan came from the unconscious. Our hearts are kept beating by our unconscious minds. And so on. The human mind is a many-faceted thing, and instinctive behaviour is just one of the things it provides.

And it also occurs to me that instinctive behaviour is likely not rational. I think its development is based on evolution, not rationality. Our instinctive responses are built-in, and therefore inherited in some way. They're simply part of being a human being, yes? πŸ€”
Yes, but..

No.
I mean every word I am typing comes through the unconscious. It's far more than instinct.
If you had to stop and think about every word, every letter, how to find the key on the key board, all the while managing to keep an eye on your fingers and the screen, life would be painfully slow.
Oh yes, the unconscious does a great deal, but instinctive behaviour is part of its remit. And that instinctive behaviour takes place far too quickly for reason or logic to play a part. The rest of it is probably more interesting, as it begins to enter the space you have been referring to. Perception is entirely unconscious, and takes place chronologically prior to consciousness. And that's a whole load of fun in itself. But it's not on-topic here, where rationality holds sway. πŸ˜‰
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Re: Rationality

Post by Sculptor1 » December 5th, 2019, 4:22 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
December 5th, 2019, 9:59 am
Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 3rd, 2019, 10:28 am

Yes, but..

No.
I mean every word I am typing comes through the unconscious. It's far more than instinct.
If you had to stop and think about every word, every letter, how to find the key on the key board, all the while managing to keep an eye on your fingers and the screen, life would be painfully slow.
Oh yes, the unconscious does a great deal, but instinctive behaviour is part of its remit. And that instinctive behaviour takes place far too quickly for reason or logic to play a part.
That is simply not possible.
There is clearly no obvious and clear demonstration of formal logic, but it would be foolish to claim that reason and logic play no part. More than foolish, just in comprehensible, since we automatically do very rational and logical things all the time. And even when we perform formal logic the answers come from the unconscious too.
The rest of it is probably more interesting, as it begins to enter the space you have been referring to. Perception is entirely unconscious, and takes place chronologically prior to consciousness. And that's a whole load of fun in itself. But it's not on-topic here, where rationality holds sway. πŸ˜‰

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Re: Rationality

Post by Pattern-chaser » December 6th, 2019, 10:55 am

Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 5th, 2019, 4:22 pm

That is simply not possible.
There is clearly no obvious and clear demonstration of formal logic, but it would be foolish to claim that reason and logic play no part. More than foolish, just in comprehensible, since we automatically do very rational and logical things all the time. And even when we perform formal logic the answers come from the unconscious too.
You do realise that when I refer to "instinctive behaviour", I mean things like fight or flight, and similar behaviours? πŸ€” We both know the unconscious does a great deal more than this, and that some/much of that great deal may involve rationality. But instinctive reactions happen too fast; rationality belongs with any considered decision, and fight or flight is no such thing. There is no time for consideration, no reason and no logic. Just (possibly life-saving) action.
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Re: Rationality

Post by Sculptor1 » December 6th, 2019, 6:56 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
December 6th, 2019, 10:55 am
Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 5th, 2019, 4:22 pm

That is simply not possible.
There is clearly no obvious and clear demonstration of formal logic, but it would be foolish to claim that reason and logic play no part. More than foolish, just in comprehensible, since we automatically do very rational and logical things all the time. And even when we perform formal logic the answers come from the unconscious too.
You do realise that when I refer to "instinctive behaviour", I mean things like fight or flight, and similar behaviours? πŸ€” We both know the unconscious does a great deal more than this, and that some/much of that great deal may involve rationality. But instinctive reactions happen too fast; rationality belongs with any considered decision, and fight or flight is no such thing. There is no time for consideration, no reason and no logic. Just (possibly life-saving) action.
Instinct is one thing
unconscious brain activity another.

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Re: Rationality

Post by Pattern-chaser » December 7th, 2019, 8:34 am

Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 6th, 2019, 6:56 pm
Instinct is one thing
unconscious brain activity another.
Quite so. πŸ‘
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Re: Rationality

Post by Karpel Tunnel » December 24th, 2019, 6:05 am

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
December 6th, 2019, 10:55 am
Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
December 5th, 2019, 4:22 pm

That is simply not possible.
There is clearly no obvious and clear demonstration of formal logic, but it would be foolish to claim that reason and logic play no part. More than foolish, just in comprehensible, since we automatically do very rational and logical things all the time. And even when we perform formal logic the answers come from the unconscious too.
You do realise that when I refer to "instinctive behaviour", I mean things like fight or flight, and similar behaviours? πŸ€” We both know the unconscious does a great deal more than this, and that some/much of that great deal may involve rationality. But instinctive reactions happen too fast; rationality belongs with any considered decision, and fight or flight is no such thing. There is no time for consideration, no reason and no logic. Just (possibly life-saving) action.
I would call fight or flight reactions non-rational. Usually we are presented with a binary set of options. Rational and irrational, the former tends to be viewed as positive, the latter as negative. But the fact is that there are many instances where it is stupid to use rational thinking. And further there are all sorts of use non-rational processes and in fact these are necessary even for rational thinking, though most people think, for example, that you don't need intuition when being rational.

I think a great deal of problems arise when instead of seeing different types of processes we think of one as good and one as bad. One can rationalize and reach dumb conclusions. It is a type of thinking. It can also be an inappropriate choice of process. Using non-rational processes can be good or bad and


people can be good at either one (in specific areas or in general) and bad at either one.

One can have a good intuition or a bad one (about anything from reading other poker players to medical diagnosis) and one can use rational thinking well or poorly.

They are types of processes.

I think irrational is a problematic term.

If we are going to be binary, we should have rational and non-rational as the categories, and not assume that either is good or bad per se, but it depends on the context, the skill of the person involved, how much information is present, how much time one has and so on.

I actually think this binary rational/irrational framing has caused untold damage.

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Re: Rationality

Post by Karpel Tunnel » December 24th, 2019, 6:06 am

If you are trying to connect word-based sentences and ideas in logical fashion, you are using a rational process.
If some other black boxed, less verbal process leads to choices or conclusions, then you are using non-rational processes.

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Re: Rationality

Post by Pattern-chaser » December 24th, 2019, 11:56 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote: ↑
December 24th, 2019, 6:05 am
I actually think this binary rational/irrational framing has caused untold damage.
I agree. I suspect it's down to sciencists, objectivists, and the like, who seem to insist that logic and rationality are the only possible ways to think and live, even though they practice the same sort of irrational cultural stuff that we all do in their everyday lives. Santa Claus is a timely example. :wink: Thinking should be applied according to context, as you observe, and sometimes the context will demand something other than the logical or rational.
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Re: Rationality

Post by SubatomicAl1en » January 9th, 2020, 8:29 am

If you had to make a decision between two things, and you analyze them rationally and find out they have the exact same benefits and value, you would have to use "irrationality" or "randomness" to choose one right? Otherwise you'll just be choosing forever. For example, there are two benches in the middle of the cafeteria, and they are both empty and clean, if you used pure logic you would never be able to choose. So is being "irrational" bad? Are emotions or random choice choosing really irrational?

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Re: Rationality

Post by LuckyR » January 9th, 2020, 5:30 pm

SubatomicAl1en wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2020, 8:29 am
If you had to make a decision between two things, and you analyze them rationally and find out they have the exact same benefits and value, you would have to use "irrationality" or "randomness" to choose one right? Otherwise you'll just be choosing forever. For example, there are two benches in the middle of the cafeteria, and they are both empty and clean, if you used pure logic you would never be able to choose. So is being "irrational" bad? Are emotions or random choice choosing really irrational?
Your example seems to confound the theoretical "rational" or "logical" mind, yet is easily dealt with by actual human minds. Likely this is because of what the computer folks used to call fuzzy logic, where calculations are rounded off rather than carried out with extreme accuracy. Thus while the two benches are identical to five decimal places (50.00000 vs 50.00000), they might appear to a human mind as 50 minus something vs 50 plus something, such that the second one is chosen.
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Re: Rationality

Post by chewybrian » January 10th, 2020, 7:07 am

SubatomicAl1en wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2020, 8:29 am
If you had to make a decision between two things, and you analyze them rationally and find out they have the exact same benefits and value, you would have to use "irrationality" or "randomness" to choose one right? Otherwise you'll just be choosing forever. For example, there are two benches in the middle of the cafeteria, and they are both empty and clean, if you used pure logic you would never be able to choose. So is being "irrational" bad? Are emotions or random choice choosing really irrational?
It seems nearly impossible for the human to find themselves in such a spot for such a trivial matter, as so many priorities can compete. The situation can always be viewed with a new priority until one choice takes precedent. Within a second or two, I can see that either bench offers the same evident sturdiness, cleanliness, room to spread out and such. I can also see that the left bench offers a better view of the cute girl in the corner, or that the sun is shining on the right bench, and it's a bit chilly. I can hear that the table over to the right is rather loud, so I might want to go toward the left. I may unconsciously prefer one side because I am right or left handed, so my preferred hand is not close to the person beside me, or the wall.

But, if the tie is still not broken by the elements in the room in a second or two, then other tasks quickly jump to mind and force action. I may wish to avoid looking foolish, and reason that the cost of looking foolish is greater than any possible benefit of one bench over the other. Based on this new priority, choosing randomly becomes 'rational'. I may see that I have other things I need to get done today, so soon enough, the time lost in contemplation is more valuable to me that any tiny advantage that could be found when the two choices are so close.

It seems the process of choosing still remains rational in every case. It is the setting of the priority that might be considered irrational, as in the idea that looking foolish or not is important. That's what I was getting at with the 'levels' of rationality. Based on the priority we pick, we can make a rational choice. Yet, we can always step back and wonder whether our choice of priority was rational.
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Re: Rationality

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 10th, 2020, 7:08 am

LuckyR wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2020, 5:30 pm
SubatomicAl1en wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2020, 8:29 am
If you had to make a decision between two things, and you analyze them rationally and find out they have the exact same benefits and value, you would have to use "irrationality" or "randomness" to choose one right? Otherwise you'll just be choosing forever. For example, there are two benches in the middle of the cafeteria, and they are both empty and clean, if you used pure logic you would never be able to choose. So is being "irrational" bad? Are emotions or random choice choosing really irrational?
Your example seems to confound the theoretical "rational" or "logical" mind, yet is easily dealt with by actual human minds. Likely this is because of what the computer folks used to call fuzzy logic, where calculations are rounded off rather than carried out with extreme accuracy. Thus while the two benches are identical to five decimal places (50.00000 vs 50.00000), they might appear to a human mind as 50 minus something vs 50 plus something, such that the second one is chosen.
Yes, or a real-world human mind might just think that, because both seem the same, either one will do. Such a mind - and its body - might just pick the one closest to the door, to minimise the work of putting it into the waiting van? Or this same mind might choose on the basis of a quality that wasn't really important in the initial evaluation. So perhaps choose the greener one, not the more red-tinged version? As you say, @LuckyR, there are many ways - all of them simple - that a real human mind might select a bench.
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Re: Rationality

Post by Karpel Tunnel » Today, 11:07 am

SubatomicAl1en wrote: ↑
January 9th, 2020, 8:29 am
If you had to make a decision between two things, and you analyze them rationally and find out they have the exact same benefits and value, you would have to use "irrationality" or "randomness" to choose one right? Otherwise you'll just be choosing forever. For example, there are two benches in the middle of the cafeteria, and they are both empty and clean, if you used pure logic you would never be able to choose. So is being "irrational" bad? Are emotions or random choice choosing really irrational?
I think a better term is non-rational. And obviously emotions are very effective motivators in many cases. Intuition is something we all depend on.

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