## Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

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Fellowmater
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

The distinction between inductive logic and deductive logic. Syllogisms. Conditional reasoning. The distinction between truth of an argument and validity of an argument. The concepts of necessity and sufficiency. Venn diagrams. Common logical errors. When to avoid contradiction and when to embrace it, how to avoid undue certainty about judgments and decisions, and why attention to context rather than form is crucial for analysis of most real-world problems.

Sculptor1
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:01 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 6:25 pm
There is no such thing as X in the same place at the same time. That is impossible. Simultanouse co-location is not something anything has managed to achieve.

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 6:28 pm
No two quantities an ever be exactly the same, except theoretically.
X is vauge and is used for many things. Unless you want to keep maths and logic purely int eh abstract and theoretical - fine. However it all a but esoteric and the only time that maths and logic have any value is when they are applies to real life situations.
That is exactly why X=X can only be an approximation.

I think you're misunderstanding what's being said here. X = X does not compare two things, both referred to as "X". It says that X is identically equal to itself, not to something else. No simultaneous co-location. No approximation.
No I am not misunderstanding at all.
Since no two things are can be same X=X cannot compare two things that are the same.
What is does is compare two similar things which share in common characteristics which are considered significant, ignoring differences which are thought unimportant.

chewybrian
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Steve3007 wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:56 am
I think "logic" suffers from the problem that its colloquial use is often completely different from its standard definition, as do some other words. People often use the term "logical", colloquially, to mean something related to empirical evidence. So they claim that some proposition is illogical when they really mean that the proposition makes an empirical claim which is inconsistent with patterns established by observation.
chewybrian wrote:But, I think we lean too hard on logic and suffer greatly and needlessly as a result. I think many of us would benefit by 'unlocking' our brains a bit.
Could you give an example of an instance of something that you see as leaning too hard on logic?
I guess politics stands out as one example. We might begin with assumptions about reality or human nature:

People are naturally greedy vs. people are naturally lazy

Some people are wealthy because they (or their ancestors) exploited others vs. some people are wealthy because they worked hard

You could take the left or right side and then stack logic upon it. We should redistribute wealth if we believe the left side, and maybe we should do something different, like cutting taxes for the wealthy, if we believe the right side. But, we get so caught up in the logic that follows that we lose sight of the fact that it is built upon an assumption or unproven understanding of a very messy reality. That's what I mean. It's not that the logic is wrong, but we often forget that the proposition upon which we build the logic is imperfect, if not incorrect. We've reached a point where rational discussion is often impossible because each 'side' often takes the assumptions as givens, and then the logic tells them that their answers could not possibly be wrong, and the other side could not be right. We have mostly abandoned the middle ground which is arguably a more reasonable course, if you accept the messy and complex nature of reality. (I am talking about America; YMMV)
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

Sculptor1
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

chewybrian wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:18 am
Steve3007 wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:56 am
I think "logic" suffers from the problem that its colloquial use is often completely different from its standard definition, as do some other words. People often use the term "logical", colloquially, to mean something related to empirical evidence. So they claim that some proposition is illogical when they really mean that the proposition makes an empirical claim which is inconsistent with patterns established by observation.

Could you give an example of an instance of something that you see as leaning too hard on logic?
I guess politics stands out as one example. We might begin with assumptions about reality or human nature:

People are naturally greedy vs. people are naturally lazy

Some people are wealthy because they (or their ancestors) exploited others vs. some people are wealthy because they worked hard

You could take the left or right side and then stack logic upon it. We should redistribute wealth if we believe the left side, and maybe we should do something different, like cutting taxes for the wealthy, if we believe the right side. But, we get so caught up in the logic that follows that we lose sight of the fact that it is built upon an assumption or unproven understanding of a very messy reality. That's what I mean. It's not that the logic is wrong, but we often forget that the proposition upon which we build the logic is imperfect, if not incorrect. We've reached a point where rational discussion is often impossible because each 'side' often takes the assumptions as givens, and then the logic tells them that their answers could not possibly be wrong, and the other side could not be right. We have mostly abandoned the middle ground which is arguably a more reasonable course, if you accept the messy and complex nature of reality. (I am talking about America; YMMV)
People are naturally generous, people are naturally energetic and like work.
People are not naturally lazy, nor are they naturally lazy.

These statements have exactly the same empirical value as the ones you give above.

Sculptor1
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Oppss.. Error
People are naturally generous, people are naturally energetic and like work.
People are not naturally greedy, nor are they naturally lazy.

These statements have exactly the same empirical value as the ones you give above.

Steve3007
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

chewybrian wrote:...You could take the left or right side and then stack logic upon it...
This seems to me a bit of a "a bad workman always blames his tools" kind of thing.

Making an argument without sufficient understanding of messy reality is a mistake. Making an argument based on false premises can lead to false conclusions. Failing to properly examine the assumptions on which we base our arguments is a mistake. The polarization of politics and the abandonment of compromise between political opponents is a pity. But none of this, to my mind, has anything to do with leaning too hard on logic. I don't think leaning too hard on logic is the reason for the existence of populist politicians who tell the voters that the problems are simple, with simple solutions.

chewybrian
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:26 am
Oppss.. Error
People are naturally generous, people are naturally energetic and like work.
People are not naturally greedy, nor are they naturally lazy.

These statements have exactly the same empirical value as the ones you give above.
But, I made no effort to assert that any of those statements were true. I only gave them as examples of the types of things people often *think* are true, while clearly saying that I think the truth is more complex and difficult to understand.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

Steve3007
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

chewybrian wrote:...I think the truth is more complex and difficult to understand.
I don't think believing the world to be messy and complex or believing that the problems of the world are hard to solve has much to do with your attitude to logic. I think I understand the point you're trying to make. In the context of this forum it brings to my mind a poster like GE Morton (when he talks about politics) who gives the impression that he believes himself to have conclusively rationally demonstrated his brand of libertarianism to be the best form of government. But, in my view, his mistake is not leaning too hard on logic. It is failing to account for some of the variables in a problem. Not the same thing.

Pattern-chaser
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

chewybrian wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:40 am
I'm not really that interested in pursuing logic further, but in looking behind or beyond it. I'm curious in what situations and on what basis you might see that logic fails or has no standing. I want to know what precedes logic and what rises above it. I was married to logic for a long time, as I think many people are. It is very easy to think that you are fair-minded when you stack logic upon all sorts of preconceptions and prejudices. I've concluded that focusing on the logic and being proud of my devotion to logic led me to a very bad place. Setting it aside and seeing that my perspective was not necessarily correct led me to feel better (a lot better!) and to be better (a little bit, at least).

So, I am not against logic, and I don't embrace illogical thinking. But, I think we lean too hard on logic and suffer greatly and needlessly as a result. I think many of us would benefit by 'unlocking' our brains a bit.
I wonder if, in practice, and for reasons that are purely pragmatic, we should embrace "illogical thinking"? Such 'thinking' plays an enormous part in human social culture, and without it, we cannot understand it or participate in it. Just a thought....
Pattern-chaser

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Pattern-chaser
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:05 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:01 am
I think you're misunderstanding what's being said here. X = X does not compare two things, both referred to as "X". It says that X is identically equal to itself, not to something else. No simultaneous co-location. No approximation.
No I am not misunderstanding at all.
Since no two things are can be same X=X cannot compare two things that are the same.
What is does is compare two similar things which share in common characteristics which are considered significant, ignoring differences which are thought unimportant.
Mathematicians sometimes start off by stating the obvious, so that it's there to be seen and read. "X = X" simply says that X is identical to itself; it is equal to itself; and this is always the case. This is a precursor to, for example, saying that X is (or is not) equal to some other quantity, distinct from itself.
Pattern-chaser

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Steve3007
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Pattern-chaser wrote:I wonder if, in practice, and for reasons that are purely pragmatic, we should embrace "illogical thinking"? Such 'thinking' plays an enormous part in human social culture, and without it, we cannot understand it or participate in it. Just a thought....
What kind of thinking do you have in mind? I'd guess you're probably thinking of things like immediate emotional reactions. If so, I 'd say "alogical" is probably more appropriate a term than "illogical". i.e. mental phenomena which don't involve reasoning.

Pattern-chaser
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Steve3007 wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:58 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:I wonder if, in practice, and for reasons that are purely pragmatic, we should embrace "illogical thinking"? Such 'thinking' plays an enormous part in human social culture, and without it, we cannot understand it or participate in it. Just a thought....
What kind of thinking do you have in mind? I'd guess you're probably thinking of things like immediate emotional reactions. If so, I 'd say "alogical" is probably more appropriate a term than "illogical". i.e. mental phenomena which don't involve reasoning.
OK, agreed. I was simply using the words that @chewybrian used.
Pattern-chaser

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Arjen
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:29 am
"Recognise" seems like too strong a term. What you have written seems to resemble an unexpected and inappropriate straw man attempt to excuse or justify racism, worthy of the current POTUS. Is this intended as some kind of refutation of "dialectical reasoning"? If so, please tell us how your words achieve this. I can't see it. No, I don't "recognise this" at all.
No, it was a means to point to the communist aim with BLM. And to show the pathological use of Hegel's dialectic in it's most insidious form.
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

chewybrian
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:54 am
I wonder if, in practice, and for reasons that are purely pragmatic, we should embrace "illogical thinking"? Such 'thinking' plays an enormous part in human social culture, and without it, we cannot understand it or participate in it. Just a thought....
I think you are on to something not only in terms of understanding others and the reasons things might be happening around you, but also as a way to understand yourself. The highest goal of existential therapy is "self-actualization", and creativity is a large component of this. There is a risk in being creative that can give us anxiety, as we wonder if our creations are good enough, even as there is no sure standard by which to judge them. We can create some perfect forms in our minds, and the real creations suffer by comparison.

As we get older, we might, if we are lucky, lose some of our fears of fitting in and trying to see the world as a place that does or should make sense. We might chuck some of that stuff and focus on being creative and discovering our true selves, rather than trying to form ourselves into what we think others might expect us to be. As a result, we might end up happier than if we only focus on pure logic.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

Pattern-chaser
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### Re: Logic and Dialectical Reasoning

chewybrian wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 11:22 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 9:54 am
I wonder if, in practice, and for reasons that are purely pragmatic, we should embrace "illogical thinking"? Such 'thinking' plays an enormous part in human social culture, and without it, we cannot understand it or participate in it. Just a thought....
I think you are on to something not only in terms of understanding others and the reasons things might be happening around you, but also as a way to understand yourself. The highest goal of existential therapy is "self-actualization", and creativity is a large component of this. There is a risk in being creative that can give us anxiety, as we wonder if our creations are good enough, even as there is no sure standard by which to judge them. We can create some perfect forms in our minds, and the real creations suffer by comparison.

As we get older, we might, if we are lucky, lose some of our fears of fitting in and trying to see the world as a place that does or should make sense. We might chuck some of that stuff and focus on being creative and discovering our true selves, rather than trying to form ourselves into what we think others might expect us to be. As a result, we might end up happier than if we only focus on pure logic.
You consider creativity to be illogical, then? I would tend to use @Steve3007's suggestion, alogical, for this purpose. Also, I'm unsure whether creativity contributes to "discovering our true selves". I consider myself creative - I earned my living for 40 years in hardware and software design (not what Tracey Emin does, but highly creative nonetheless) - and I value flexibility of thinking highly. But I'm not sure of the direction we're following here. Where is it you want to go with this?
Pattern-chaser

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