What is it for something to be logical?

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Zetetic11235
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 12:53 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;110655 wrote:
Something that scientists often fail to realise, in my view, and more so in the current 'scientific age', is exactly that logic and mathematical reasoning don't go 'all the way down'. They rest on assumptions and axioms at some point, beyond which they cannot be applied. As for the logical foundations of math, isn't this what Russell and Whitehead tried to establish, and Godel showed couldn't be done? I think logic is very much a tautological system. But skepticism is something that needs to be understood and applied correctly. In my view, scientific skepticism is pseudo-skeptical, because it is all predicated on the type of naive realism which is the first thing that the real skeptic calls into question.


They rest on assumptions, but the assumptions are made very pragmatically and there is little intellectual dispute over them. Otherwise you would see a huge revolution in the somewhat stagnant field of philosophy of science and eventually there would be some major changes because someone would test the newly proposed paradigm and find that it works better than the current one. If a better paradigm were found, it would necessarily be demonstrably better i.e. it would give us more predictive ability, give simpler explanations etc. The effects would be measurable. That is why science is only tentatively subject to new philosophy. If the new philosophy would make no noticable difference in scientific practice, it is essentially usless until shown otherwise; to quote William James: "A difference that makes no difference is no difference".

Really, attacking scientist for being psuedo-skeptical because they don't delve as deeply as a professional philosopher (though they probably have though about it more than you, considering they are usually highly intelligent people who do science all day), is akin to attacking the mechanic for not casting all the pieces and tools he uses to make sure they were made right. If there is a design flaw, he will recognize it in his work, someone will see it as a good problem to solve and the flaw will be resolved. It may be a while before the mechanic gets the better tool set, but it will happen eventually.


I think that a very important realization in philosophy in the latter part of the last century is that you must justify doubt.


kennethamy;110573 wrote:
Yes, I know about intuitionism, and not much about the rest. And it may be that (as I said) the scope of the LEM needs to be restricted. But such restriction is not something isolated. It will have implications for all we know. An important contemporary development in philosophy is the notion of anti-realism, which also restricts the use of the LEM and claims, and hold that that propositions that are unverifiable in principle are neither true nor false.


That seems like a reasonable standpoint. It just reiterates the perspective of the empiricists such as Ayer that have been around for almost a century. It is certainly a pragmatic approach. If I cannot verify a claim even in theory, there isn't really anthing being claimed therefore there is nothing to ascribe a truth value to, therefore the claim is not true nor is it false.

Anything that has no measurable affect is outside of the realm of consideration. Many people misunderstand this because they don't know what measurable means, they think it restricts us to things that we can measure now or that it restricts us to matter, that is just a problem of ignorance. What this says is that anything that is not measurable in principle/theory is not something that can be considered. That means metaphysical claims in totum. Most of these claims are actually either tautology or the result of some kind of confusion, either the subject is nonsensical but seems to be reasonable, or it is a tautology and therefore internally consistent and externally insignificant.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 01:02 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;110961 wrote:

I think that a very important realization in philosophy in the latter part of the last century is that you must justify doubt.




.


Yes. You have to have a reason for doubting. Otherwise, it is what Peirce called, "paper doubt" or "fake doubt". "Some people think that doubting is as easy as lying".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 02:49 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;110907 wrote:
The quest for foundations and certainty. The heavy hand of Plato. That is why we have to recognize a coherence theory of justification (not of truth) and a correspondence theory of truth.



The correspondence theory of truth is great. It's done humanity great service. But it has its limits. If reality is not completely knowable, then there are truths it is not available to correspond with.

For instance, to what does the correspondence theory itself correspond? What reality anchors the correspondence theory of truth? It's a prejudice of ours. Its prestige is based on its results. I'm OK with that.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 06:09 pm
@kennethamy,
Logic is founded on faith in its basic laws. The correspondence theory of truth does not correspond with reality, cannot justify itself. Ultimately man picks certain methods to believe in. Faith/persuasion/rhetoric is at the heart of it all. But we pretend to transcend this, to increase our sense of power, safety, and prestige. And some of these lies are good for us. They help us build machines and constitutions.

The role of belief in representing reality is widely debated in pragmatism. Is a belief valid when it represents reality? Copying is one (and only one) genuine mode of knowing, (James 1907, p. 91). Are beliefs dispositions which qualify as true or false depending on how helpful they prove in inquiry and in action? Is it only in the struggle of intelligent organisms with the surrounding environment that beliefs acquire meaning? Does a belief only become true when it succeeds in this struggle? In Pragmatism nothing practical or useful is held to be necessarily true, nor is anything which helps to survive merely in the short term. For example, to believe my cheating spouse is faithful may help me feel better now, but it is certainly not useful from a more long-term perspective because it doesn't accord with the facts (and is therefore not true).

Pragmatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 07:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110988 wrote:
The correspondence theory of truth is great. It's done humanity great service. But it has its limits. If reality is not completely knowable, then there are truths it is not available to correspond with.

For instance, to what does the correspondence theory itself correspond? What reality anchors the correspondence theory of truth? It's a prejudice of ours. Its prestige is based on its results. I'm OK with that.


It correspond to the facts about what truth is, of course. The question, what reality anchors the correspondence theory supposes there is more than one reality. But that is false. So the answer is, of course, reality.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 14 Dec, 2009 08:31 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;110961 wrote:
They rest on assumptions, but the assumptions are made very pragmatically and there is little intellectual dispute over them. Otherwise you would see a huge revolution in the somewhat stagnant field of philosophy of science and eventually there would be some major changes because someone would test the newly proposed paradigm and find that it works better than the current one. If a better paradigm were found, it would necessarily be demonstrably better i.e. it would give us more predictive ability, give simpler explanations etc. The effects would be measurable. That is why science is only tentatively subject to new philosophy. If the new philosophy would make no noticable difference in scientific practice, it is essentially usless until shown otherwise; to quote William James: "A difference that makes no difference is no difference".

Really, attacking scientist for being psuedo-skeptical because they don't delve as deeply as a professional philosopher (though they probably have though about it more than you, considering they are usually highly intelligent people who do science all day), is akin to attacking the mechanic for not casting all the pieces and tools he uses to make sure they were made right. If there is a design flaw, he will recognize it in his work, someone will see it as a good problem to solve and the flaw will be resolved. It may be a while before the mechanic gets the better tool set, but it will happen eventually.


I didn't see it as an attack. It is a matter of drawing attention to the nature and limitations of science. Of course scientists will know more than me about any number of matters (but thanks for reminding me, I was about to become incredibly arrogant). However in a scientfic age scientists often overstep the bounds and begin to pontificate on many issues which are completely outside the realm of their professional expertise. This includes social darwinism, pseudo-sciences such as evolutionary psychology, and materialist critiques of traditional philosophy and spirituality.

And besides that, science is undoubtedly in the midst of the greatest paradigm shift since the Copernican revolution, right at this minute. 95% of the universe is missing. But we'll save that for another thread.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 12:48 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111401 wrote:
It correspond to the facts about what truth is, of course. The question, what reality anchors the correspondence theory supposes there is more than one reality. But that is false. So the answer is, of course, reality.


Let me phrase it another way. How is the correspondence theory of truth justified? It's a theory. It's one way to define truth, and certainly not the only way. I say the correspondence theory is founded upon the prestige of technology, but this is hardly a logical grounding of the theory. It's a useful prejudice that at times leads to confusion and something like superstition.

Use your logic skills and ground the correspondence theory. Argue for it. If you think you can. :sarcastic:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 15 Dec, 2009 08:17 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111451 wrote:
Let me phrase it another way. How is the correspondence theory of truth justified? It's a theory. It's one way to define truth, and certainly not the only way. I say the correspondence theory is founded upon the prestige of technology, but this is hardly a logical grounding of the theory. It's a useful prejudice that at times leads to confusion and something like superstition.

Use your logic skills and ground the correspondence theory. Argue for it. If you think you can. :sarcastic:


It corresponds with how people use the term "true" when they are no confusing themselves by philosophizing. For instance, if someone states that the cat is on the mat, and if the cat is not on the mat, it is appropriate to reply, "It is not true that the cat is on the mat". That is why the sentence,' "the cat is on the mat" is true' It is because it is equivalent to the sentence, "the cat is on the mat". It is sufficient to show that the cat is not on the mat to show that it is false that the cat is on the mat.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:21 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;110961 wrote:
They rest on assumptions, but the assumptions are made very pragmatically and there is little intellectual dispute over them. Otherwise you would see a huge revolution in the somewhat stagnant field of philosophy of science and eventually there would be some major changes because someone would test the newly proposed paradigm and find that it works better than the current one. .


Actually I remember now the point I was trying to make in relationship to logic, mathematics and science.

Until quite recently, scientists or scientifically-inclined philosophers were not inclined to examine the basis of logic itself, or mathematics itself, or even science itself. Mathematical truisms and logical axioms were assumed. They were the tools that were used to uncover truth and make new discoveries.

I would argue that this attitude was in fact a hangover from scholasticism. In traditional times everyone assumed that the Universe was orderly, because 'God made it so'. The inherent intelligibility of the Universe was always understood in the Christian tradition which gave rise to the Universities and to science.

Now materialism actually challenges all of this. It is anathema to materialism to acknowledge that there really can be a pre-existing order, that logic itself, or maths itself, is somehow just a given. In the quest to explain human nature and human knowledge in 'natural' terms, it must be assumed that logic and mathematical ability simply evolved. So in the scheme of things, natural selection must be regarded as ontologically senior to logic.

Which is why the question 'why are things logical' is such a difficult question to answer - because the answer really is 'they just are'. The modern outlook has a big problem with this. Nothing 'just is'- everything is, for a reason, and if you can't find the reason, then you can't explain it, and so on. But I would argue that this is actually a debased understanding of the faculty of reason. In the Western tradition, the basis of reason was always ultimately understood to be the Divine intelligence. Remove it from the heirarchy, and reason has no ground to stand on, other than its own projections.

That is what I meant when I said 'science rests on axioms'. I am not attacking science, not in the least. I am attacking the 'scientific materialist worldview' which deserves to be attacked, and will perish.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:28 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111909 wrote:
In the quest to explain human nature and human knowledge in 'natural' terms, it must be assumed that logic and mathematical ability simply evolved. So in the scheme of things, natural selection must be regarded as ontologically senior to logic.

Exactly! I've always felt that a questioning of the foundations of logic is just a continuation of the Enlightenment's naturalism. Also, that a resistance to such questioning was equivalent to a theologian's resistance to Voltaire.
If Darwin is right, the entire edifice of knowledge is founded on hardwired "animal" "prejudices." I suspect that the foundations of logic and reason are axiomatic, "instinctual." Post-modernism is just the Enlightenment catching its own tail. But that last phrase might just be poetic indulgence.

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 07:30 PM ----------

jeeprs;111411 wrote:

And besides that, science is undoubtedly in the midst of the greatest paradigm shift since the Copernican revolution, right at this minute. 95% of the universe is missing. But we'll save that for another thread.


This is why the correspondence theory of truth strikes me as obsolete. How can truth be founded upon a reality not yet discovered? Correspondence truth is fine legally, of course. But in more theoretical sphere, it can serve as a limiting prejudice.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:59 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111913 wrote:

---------- Post added 12-16-2009 at 07:30 PM ----------



. How can truth be founded upon a reality not yet discovered?


What does that mean, I wonder?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:14 pm
@kennethamy,
Well it is a very good question. It makes you reflect on the role of the unknown in the process of discovery. The process of 'discovery' itself indicates that you are uncovering something concealed. So to start out with, you don't know what you're dealing with, what it is that is concealed. Then you build from what you have known previously, and what you observe. You make predictions based on an hypothesis, and see if they are confirmed or falsified. Presumably this is how a new hypothesis emerges. One pole in the dialectic is always 'the unknown'.

That's the theory. But in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn shows pretty convincingly that in addition to this 'method' there is also an underlying condition of the whole process, which is what the experimenter will or won't consider as a possible explanation. This is of course a function of the 'paradigm' within which the researcher is working. The current paradigm is still overwhelmingly defined by the newtonian-galilean assumptions of the primary reality of physical bodies obeying newtonian laws. It is that mindset that I believe is under threat, and will soon cease to be the 'dominant paradigm'.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:19 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111923 wrote:
The current paradigm is still overwhelmingly defined by the newtonian-galilean assumptions of the primary reality of physical bodies obeying newtonian laws. It is that mindset that I believe is under threat, and will soon cease to be the 'dominant paradigm'.


Hmmm. What happened to Einstein and relativity physics?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:25 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;111923 wrote:
. But in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn shows pretty convincingly that in addition to this 'method' there is also an underlying condition of the whole process, which is what the experimenter will or won't consider as a possible explanation.


Bingo, and this is the blind spot of objective science. The scientist is a biological entity. But even "biological" is a loaded word. Man's names for himself affect his behavior. Social Darwinism is an obvious example of science converted into ethics. It means something when man reduces himself to just another animal. It has its uses, of course, and objectivity has been a sword against a horde of idiosyncratic prejudices. The danger now is that the revolutionary will play the tyrant. Humans crave an authority to lean on. That we live in a post-superstitious age is this age's superstition.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:26 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;111927 wrote:
Hmmm. What happened to Einstein and relativity physics?

Well, nothing has 'happened' to them but I don't know if the rest of physical cosmology, physics, and other aspects of science has actually caught up with the implications of relativity yet
Even Einstein had severe conceptual difficulties with many of the implications of relativity ('God does not play dice', 'Spooky action at a distance' and so on)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 07:28 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;111929 wrote:
Bingo, and this is the blind spot of objective science. The scientist is a biological entity. But even "biological" is a loaded word. Man's names for himself affect his behavior. Social Darwinism is an obvious example of science converted into ethics. It means something when man reduces himself to just another animal. It has its uses, of course, and objectivity has been a sword against a horde of idiosyncratic prejudices. The danger now is that the revolutionary will play the tyrant. Humans crave an authority to lean on. That we live in a post-superstitious age is this age's superstition.


Genetic Fallacy.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 08:21 pm
@kennethamy,
"A right hand glove could be put on the left hand, if it could be turned round in 4-dimensional space." Wittgenstein.

Now that's imagination! We should study the structure of language and also consider the limits of this structure to represent reality. I find it convincing that the limits of language are the limits of thought, but only if thought is strictly associated with language, which is a matter of personal preference. I question whether we can ever be finished using language to describe the nature of language. I suggest that ironism is a salt that preserves us from dogmatism.

Meanwhile, back in the Garden of Eden: Adam had finished naming the other animals long ago. He was still struggling to name the namer. It wasn't that he couldn't think of any names for himself, but rather that he could not stop thinking of new names for himself. God is still waiting impatiently for his coffee break. Today's Revelation is that we are still in the book of Genesis.....
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 10:33 pm
@kennethamy,
Logic is to use your deductive reasoning to create inductive ideas. We gather information from our sense, piece it together in our brains, then based on that created reality we made assumptions using what we already know.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:02 pm
@kennethamy,
Logic is a tricorder that is quite useful when visiting unknown planets.
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 11:12 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;111986 wrote:
Logic is to use your deductive reasoning to create inductive ideas. We gather information from our sense, piece it together in our brains, then based on that created reality we made assumptions using what we already know.


Since there are inductive logics, this is false.
 
 

 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 12/03/2021 at 01:21:24