Does "illogical" exist?

Philosophical, mathematical and computational logic, linguistics, formal argument, game theory, fallacies, paradoxes, puzzles and other related issues.

Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on November 20th, 2012, 4:23 pm 

Many people believe that the distinction between "logical" and "illogical" is more than obvious. However what we call "logic" (even pure mathematical logic) is based on specific axioms. Change them, and you will have a different set of "truths". Not to mention that specific theories (e.g. Dialethism) say that there is no distinction between "right" and "wrong" either.

What do you think?
Is it radical to say that what is "logical" is purely a matter of choice?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on November 22nd, 2012, 5:30 pm 

As William James, said: Rational is the familiar...
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 23rd, 2012, 7:35 am 

My personal take on this is that they are the same thing essentially. The pursuit is to know what "logic" is not be it. Much like hot or cold, short or long, right or wrong ... it gets very interesting when we start to consider these similar aspects in every language spoken or otherwise.

I have said before that the illogical has to be essentially logical. No one seemed to agree or understand what I meant though :(

It appears to me the simplest concepts are the most difficult to communicate and often misinterpreted.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on November 24th, 2012, 1:16 pm 

Communicate it again then. :)
Do you mean that the illogical has a logic of its own?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 24th, 2012, 11:26 pm 

No I mean logic has to be illogical by definition. They are the same concept tied into different emotional responses. They have the appearance of being like "hot and cold" but they are loaded with emotion. If something is hot it is hot, if it is cold it is cold ... we feel this in a sensory manner. Logic is not sensory, it has no direct appreciation of reality and is merely a technique not an actual object or subject of viewing (basically meaning it has no "physical" substance and is therefore emotionally charged and incomprehensible).

Logic is a technique of comprehending. What cannot be currently comprehended is deemed illogical and chaotic.

The logical and illogical are not separate categories they are one concept with two words.

"Dialethism" ?? Use English please (not something some "philosopher" decided to invent 30 years ago). I am DEAD against over complicating matters to suit someones need. Explain in simple English what this term means to you.

I look at language as "art" not mathematics. Structure in language makes people want to disassemble the meaning and categorise it. Language itself is just an abstract expression of perceived reality.

"Logic" - Comprehension through use of prior experience.

With logic we pin our hopes on the belief that one thing is actually like another. Re cognition is in fact a forced comprehension not an "actual" comprehension. Actual comprehension is a fallacy unless we "know"; which we cannot.

Logic is pretension and therefore it is illogical by its own definition ... I guess this is, ironically, a good example of "dialetheism"!

I am not dismissing logic here just pointing out the ease of misuse. For me many people become pretentious because they see "logic" as infallible and "right".

Also when we use the term "exist" its a slippery slope. All words "exist" but none are comprehended identically by each individual ... so do they "exist" as one or as many? With most words these differences are so slight it matters little in communications ... when emotional content is added and ethics are involved we lack the ability to express individual meanings and become lost within the fallacy of our own "logic".

What do you think?
Is it radical to say that what is "logical" is purely a matter of choice?


HELL NO!! Its "obvious" and "logical"! :P
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Serpent on November 24th, 2012, 11:30 pm 

Physical people, places and things exist; they are denoted by nouns. Concepts are only in the mind, and have no material reality; therefore their existence may be unquestionable to one person and absurd to another; they, too, are represented by nouns. Adjectives describe things and ideas; descriptions have no independent existence. Therefore, No, "illogical" cannot exist.

Can an idea or concept be illogical? Sure, under the rules of a mode of thought called "Logic" - also described as "reasoning", "cogitation", "critical thinking", and sometimes just plain "thinking". An argument either conforms to those laws (in which case, it would be described as "logical") or it doesn't (in which case, it would be accurately described as "illogical").
It's possible to arrive at a true and/or accurate conclusion via illogical pathways, but these conclusions are so subjective that they are usually difficult to communicate (art would be an appropriate means of attempting to communicate them; jingo and preachment are other, less honest, methods) and impossible to prove. The logical pathway to a conclusion is easier to document, support and communicate.

I would definitely recommend looking for a logical route to, and logical proofs of, claims for a medication or mode of transport to which you entrust your life and body parts. Illogical routes are perfectly acceptable for personal goals like attaining spiritual enlightenment or identifying one's guardian angel.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 25th, 2012, 12:08 am 

Therefore, No, "illogical" cannot exist.


By your "reasoning" neither can "logic".

descriptions have no independent existence.


Not sure what you mean?

An "object" of discussion has existence but its interpretation does not? That makes little sense to me if that is what you are saying and counters your own statement.

We cannot perceive anything without interpretation. I am not trying to be pedantic here although it may come across that way.

Can an idea or concept be illogical? Sure, under the rules of a mode of thought called "Logic" - also described as "reasoning", "cogitation", "critical thinking", and sometimes just plain "thinking". An argument either conforms to those laws (in which case, it would be described as "logical") or it doesn't (in which case, it would be accurately described as "illogical").


How can a thought be "illogical"? It cannot. The set beliefs in place (axioms) can only give rise to logical thoughts. True we can all talk "nonsense" :



the logical pathway to a conclusion is easier to document, support and communicate.


I agree. It is mere ideology though not actual in any way we can be sure of. "Logic" is founded on axioms (belief systems). There is no conclusion only a technique of grappling for one by establishing set assumptions of perceived reality. As perceptions change so do the axioms and so does "logic" itself.

Illogical routes are perfectly acceptable for personal goals like attaining spiritual enlightenment or identifying one's guardian angel.


Magic > Psychology, Alchemy > Chemistry, Astrology > Astronomy ... How can the "illogical" become "logical"? Where is the line of distinction if there is one?

I consider myself a VERY logical person because I play with the illogical too ... to disregard the illogical and set rigid belief systems is very useful ... as is destroying rigid belief systems.

I have contradicted myself here to show the fallacy of the concept used by most.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Serpent on November 25th, 2012, 2:44 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:
By your "reasoning" neither can "logic".


Not as a physical thing in the world; only in the mind. I thought that was clear.

descriptions have no independent existence.

Not sure what you mean?


Descriptions can only belong to the thing or idea they describe. Hence, not independent. "Small" can't exist by itself; it must be attached to an object of which size is an attribute.

An "object" of discussion has existence

Subjective existence only: you can't capture it in a bottle, take a picture of it or prove it to anyone who doesn't see into your mind.
but its interpretation does not?

Description is not the same as interpretation, but you're right: neither has existence.

We cannot perceive anything without interpretation.


Says who? A slug can see the sunrise, even if he cannot explain it. Maybe he has a pre-verbal interpretation, but we'll never know, because he can't tell us.

How can a thought be "illogical"?

I said 'idea', not 'thought', but
True we can all talk "nonsense"
that will qualify.

There is no conclusion only a technique of grappling for one by establishing set assumptions of perceived reality.

This may be so in the esoteric realm of philosophy, but in real life, you have to come to conclusion about dozens of logical problems every day.
(eg: There is heavy vehicular traffic on the road. There is an intersection where cars stop periodically and pedestrians cross unharmed. How can i predict when it is safe to cross?)

As perceptions change so do the axioms and so does "logic" itself.


Why would perception change? Do you get different eyes and ears? Do the laws of physics get re-legislated? Do the synapses of the human brain get re-routed?

... How can the "illogical" become "logical"? Where is the line of distinction if there is one?


Magic/ line; Psychology/ line; Alchemy/ line; Chemistry/ line; Astrology/ line; Astronomy/ line. None of those disciplines are connected to one another. Each has its own internal logic, but only 1, 3 and 5 are demonstrably connected to physical reality.

I consider myself a VERY logical person because

That is certainly your prerogative.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 25th, 2012, 3:56 am 

There is heavy vehicular traffic on the road. There is an intersection where cars stop periodically and pedestrians cross unharmed. How can i predict when it is safe to cross?


It would depend completely on preconceived ideas, perceptions and perspectives. Also including the present idea, perspective and perception.

You assume it is logical to be "safe" I do not. Again sorry for being pedantic but I am trying to destroy the pedestal many have placed "logic" on in comparison to the "illogical".

Why would perception change? Do you get different eyes and ears? Do the laws of physics get re-legislated? Do the synapses of the human brain get re-routed?


Sorry I was not clear enough here. I mean that as our perspective changes so does our perception.

And yes they do its called plasticity. What may seem "logical" one minute may seem "illogical" the next. The said object/subject though may or may not alter ... cybernetics basically.

An "object" of discussion has existence


Subjective existence only: you can't capture it in a bottle, take a picture of it or prove it to anyone who doesn't see into your mind.

but its interpretation does not?


Description is not the same as interpretation, but you're right: neither has existence.


Why did you do this?

I wrote "An "object" of discussion has existence but its interpretation does not?"

All you have done is cut my sentence in half then disagree with it then agree with it!?!? ... and it was a QUESTION not a statement ...

We are "described" by the existence of a slug as much as a slug is "described" by our existence. It has nothing to do with intellect or sensory perception. Objects exist not through translation/interpretation/description but in actual reality NOT perceived reality. Objects are essentially no different from subjects other than through sensory dilution.

To put it another way a ball does not fall because I drop it. It does not think "I have been let go so now I will move towards the ground" ... although if you look at it like this you can see the confusion possible in our own sensory perception beyond our physical nature in/of existence.

The problem here is the language we are using. We are both correct.

That is certainly your prerogative.


Is it not every ones? If you act "illogically" can you call it illogical? An act physical or mental is from cognition of the instant. To label it logical or illogical seems illogical to me ... this is not a paradox just a misrepresentation of a concept that ties the hands of many people (in my experience). Then again maybe I am the one with my hands bound?

Assumption is essential yet often misleading. With axioms we neither comprehend nothing nor everything. Without axioms the very concept of comprehension disappears.

Physical people, places and things exist; they are denoted by nouns. Concepts are only in the mind, and have no material reality; therefore their existence may be unquestionable to one person and absurd to another


Doesn't every one think existence is absurd? :)

I am some what inclined towards an existentialist view when dealing with concepts such as "logic". Maybe that will help you see why I say what I do?

Not as a physical thing in the world; only in the mind. I thought that was clear.


You was. I just don't regard the "physical" as "physical". Meaning that "mass" is a scientific comprehension of an aspect in reality. The nature of reality seems more or less an interaction of fields, some with "physical" mass and other without. The field of Physics itself is kind of a stupid name for what it actually investigates. To say a magnetic field does not exist is exactly like saying a thought does not exist ... am happy with that if you are willing to then say that matter does not exist too otherwise its just ridiculous to me; although helpful in breaking information down into smaller more tangible categories.

Why are my simplest ideas the hardest to explain? In one sentence I can say it all > "Logic is illogical"

In this sense I look at anything and try to find "meaning" where there appears to be none. I do not expect the same from anyone else it is just the way I am and it gives me pleasure to try knowing towards nothing.

I am not playing with words exactly. I am trying to get beyond the need for them because they are a burden to understanding reality as much as they are a gift of understanding.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Serpent on November 25th, 2012, 10:00 am 

Language is obviously capable of much manipulation and interpretation. You have proved that it can mean everything, nothing, and its exact opposite, which will make communication .... interesting... to those who like that kind of thing. It will not be very useful to a team of engineers assembling a spaceship, and it will be only relatively, intermittently useful to people who alternatively wish to be hit by cars or wish not to be hit by cars, depending on their subjective perceptual perspective. Good luck.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 25th, 2012, 1:45 pm 

If you are not interested by language you've a long road to travel to understand not only yourself but anything and everyone else.

Deflection is what you choose I do not. I would wish you good luck but I'd have to believe in "luck". Instead I hope you read this back and oppose yourself.

For example :

You assume it is logical to be "safe" I do not. Again sorry for being pedantic but I am trying to destroy the pedestal many have placed "logic" on in comparison to the "illogical".


Why destroy what is essentially the only way of comprehending anything?

In this sense I look at anything and try to find "meaning" where there appears to be none. I do not expect the same from anyone else it is just the way I am and it gives me pleasure to try knowing towards nothing.


This is only of use if you regard the meaning that appears to be there (science). We are pattern seekers and everything we have is of recognition and construction of patterned systems in nature (perception). The motion of a ball falling into a pool of water and the effects of the ripples on the surface may give rise to comparisons and ideas related to any number of fields. Pattern found and formulas grasped at can give rise to new lines of inquiry not just in one particular field but in many.

An "object" of discussion has existence but its interpretation does not?


This is a contradiction. An object cannot be true to "total reality" but has a thread of reality running through it. All is real within and without the imagination and comprehension. I was merely referring to the beautiful ignorance we can have that leads to the deconstruction of preconceived "ideas" (which is the same as a thoughts. One term is Germanic in origin and the other is Greek/Latin in origin). English is a mongrel language.

Language is obviously capable of much manipulation and interpretation. You have proved that it can mean everything, nothing, and its exact opposite


I am actually trying to show that it is the emotionally charged content in language that really matters and that it is this emotional content that causes so much confusion and progress through misrepresentation and misinterpretation. It is a kind of tempered chaos that breeds both hideous and beautiful axioms. The axioms are tools of reality NOT comprehension of it directly.

Anyway thank you for your time. I am not the easiest person to understand (or the kind of person many people want to understand). It is frustrating knowing I sound either simplistic or convoluted ... one day I may find the right balance.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Serpent on November 25th, 2012, 2:17 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:For example :

You assume it is logical to be "safe" I do not. Again sorry for being pedantic but I am trying to destroy the pedestal many have placed "logic" on in comparison to the "illogical".


Why destroy what is essentially the only way of comprehending anything?

In this sense I look at anything and try to find "meaning" where there appears to be none. I do not expect the same from anyone else it is just the way I am and it gives me pleasure to try knowing towards nothing.


This is only of use if you regard the meaning that appears to be there (science). We are pattern seekers and everything we have is of recognition and construction of patterned systems in nature (perception). The motion of a ball falling into a pool of water and the effects of the ripples on the surface may give rise to comparisons and ideas related to any number of fields. Pattern found and formulas grasped at can give rise to new lines of inquiry not just in one particular field but in many.

An "object" of discussion has existence but its interpretation does not?


This is a contradiction. An object cannot be true to "total reality" but has a thread of reality running through it. All is real within and without the imagination and comprehension. I was merely referring to the beautiful ignorance we can have that leads to the deconstruction of preconceived "ideas" (which is the same as a thoughts. One term is Germanic in origin and the other is Greek/Latin in origin). English is a mongrel language.


For the benefit of (improbable) onlookers: the above is BadgerJelly's conversation with quotes of himself.

I am not only interested in language, but strive, where possible, to preserve it as medium of exchange. If everyone makes up their own paradoxical meanings for words, the medium may be enriched, but the exchange becomes impossible, much like trying to buy bread with currency that you've cut from paper napkins. Silver ostrich geriatric bedight.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Whut on November 26th, 2012, 7:56 am 

I have a jig-saw puzzle, and there is one logical way the pieces fit together. There are other puzzles though, with different ways of fitting together. This doesn't change the fact that there is only one way all the pieces of my puzzle will fit together, and that any other way is incorrect. So even if you don't like my puzzle, and prefer another, this has no affect on the logic of my puzzle whatsoever.

There needs to be a starting point, i.e. the axioms. And you seem to be confusing the process with what is processed. You can disagree with an axiom, for instance, yet still accept that IF x axiom is correct, THEN something else would be true.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 26th, 2012, 3:05 pm 

And you seem to be confusing the process with what is processed.


You've pretty much hit the nail on the head here I think? Only I am not "confused" merely investigating. The "conclusion" is where the confusion lies not the investigation.

I cannot "tell" what I am trying to say only skirt around it and hope someone sees what I see so they can tell me I err.

I am broken is the best way I can put it. I need to rest or I might accidently "fix" myself.

Goodbye for now. I have to write several "separate" pieces before I can even begin to contemplate communicating myself in a succinct manner. I am only wasting my time and putting people off what I am trying to get at.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby ALF on November 26th, 2012, 8:09 pm 

skakos wrote:Is it radical to say that what is "logical" is purely a matter of choice?


Premise 1: If you fall to the ground from a great height you will be killed.
Premise 2: My balcony on the 78th floor is at a great height.

Conclusion: If I fall off my balcony, I will be killed.

Why don't you try it and see if the outcome is purely a matter of choice?

Better yet, try it a hundred times and see how many times you survived?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on December 7th, 2012, 9:04 pm 

ALF wrote:
skakos wrote:Is it radical to say that what is "logical" is purely a matter of choice?


Premise 1: If you fall to the ground from a great height you will be killed.
Premise 2: My balcony on the 78th floor is at a great height.

Conclusion: If I fall off my balcony, I will be killed.

Why don't you try it and see if the outcome is purely a matter of choice?

Better yet, try it a hundred times and see how many times you survived?


You imply that you know what "Being" is, what "death" is, what "life" is... Correct?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby ALF on December 9th, 2012, 2:46 pm 

skakos, why don't you try the experiment I suggested and then we can talk.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on December 15th, 2012, 5:40 pm 

ALF wrote:skakos, why don't you try the experiment I suggested and then we can talk.


Maybe I try it with a parashute on my back. Or with something soft waiting for me down on the ground.

Again, you rely too much on your own defintions to claim something.

For example, what contitues a "great" height?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby ALF on December 16th, 2012, 11:14 am 

skakos wrote:For example, what contitues a "great" height?


The intellectual level of this discussion! :D
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on December 23rd, 2012, 1:35 pm 

ALF wrote:
skakos wrote:For example, what contitues a "great" height?


The intellectual level of this discussion! :D


Irony...

As in "rudeness"...
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Obvious Leo on December 23rd, 2012, 9:56 pm 

Nobody seems to be talking about logic except Whut. Logic has rules as rigid as those of mathematics but the breaches can be difficult to spot. There are two components to a logical statement, these being a premise and a conclusion. For example All dogs have two eyes. Rover is a dog. Therefore Rover has two eyes. This is a logical statement based on a false premise and is therefore false. Many issues in the public debate are infested with such statements and they can be difficult to spot. Now try this. All dogs have two eyes. Rover has two eyes. Therefore Rover is a dog. This is simply an illogical statement. Such statements are also commonplace in the public debate and are usually easy to spot.

But only if you're looking for them.

Regards Leo
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 24th, 2012, 2:12 am 

Exactly! So logic is illogical. It is presumptuous to consider there are ANY rigid rules.

Logic is a tool to express meaning from apparent chaos because we are pattern searchers. Logic is not absolute and many things that seem logical can quite easily be illusions of the senses.

We make the axioms so we are gods of an environment we have limited perceptual contact with. Logic is only correct if you are a god ... which may or may not be the case.

We are constantly trying to make firm ground to stand on without knowing whether it is moving or not. This is why it is a mistake to believe in Logic as an absolute. It is an absolute tool just as language is an absolute tool. Can we better understand these tools though by use of them or by use of other tools? To put it another way can we better understand what heat is through experience of cold or more heat? If you touch an ice cube is it cold or is there an energy transfer that makes the ice cube seem cold? Is heat motion and cold lack of motion?

What we feel is emotional and not always actually close to the truth of our perceptions. We all know that an ice cube feels cold but we also know why we have this perception. Do you know in the same respect why you consider something to be logical as opposed to logical and what this actually tells us about anything?

If a puzzle only has one way of fitting together how do we know this? Logic is a tool of mathematics and to relate it to language and actual reality has been very useful for our comprehension but it is not absolute in any way we can be sure of at all. Logic is an imagining and yet imagining are not always considered logical ... can you explain that?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Obvious Leo on December 24th, 2012, 7:19 am 

Badger we are not on common ground yet there is common ground between us. My contention is that all knowledge is accesible to reason. You may correct me if I'm wrong but my impression is that you seek mystery. When I see mystery I see a question to be answered so that the mystery can be dispelled.

I can never cast off all of the mysteries which my life's experiences have delivered to my senses but I have figured out a technique for making my confusion compatible with my sanity. I worked out that the best approach was to have a bit of a think about it. For this I need a clear mind. Clear thinking is impossible without some rules. The first rule is never believe what some other prick has told you if it doesn't make sense. It doesn't matter who he is or what credentials he can show you to attest to his scholarly worth. Stand him up and make him explain himself. If he can't do it then he's full of shit. This is what I mean by logic. It is not a game of mental wanking. It is the definition of understanding.

Do not underestimate common sense and do not overlook the bloody obvious. These are the criteria by which we live our life's journey so to leave them out of an explanation for it is simply fucking stupid.

Regards Leo

P.S My apologies for the coarse language but that's the way it came out. I actually do feel this stuff.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 24th, 2012, 11:25 am 

Badger we are not on common ground yet there is common ground between us.


Well put :)

Everything is a mystery. I seek to be enjoyed by the awe of existence and I "succeed" (so to speak) in enjoying myself. I am a happy soul and I want to share it. If people took me seriously I would be worried and shut my mouth because only folly follows followers in my experience.

I have found personally that if I want to understand something better its of great use to stop trying to understand and then understanding comes calling without asking.

Maybe many would class my approach as mystical/crazy. If that is the label people want to give then that is fine by me as long as they question what they personally class as crazy or mystical before dismissing what I see as an opportunity for expanding their imaginations.

20% of the time I feel like I am surrounded by witless chimps, 20% of the time I feel like a witless chimp and 60% of the time I just laugh at myself for thinking either of these things at all! XD

I am just happy to be blessed with ample curiosity. Sometimes it tiring but for the most part I cannot complain ONE LITTLE BIT.

Happy Mithras! ;)
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on December 24th, 2012, 5:30 pm 

Obvious Leo wrote:Nobody seems to be talking about logic except Whut. Logic has rules as rigid as those of mathematics but the breaches can be difficult to spot. There are two components to a logical statement, these being a premise and a conclusion. For example All dogs have two eyes. Rover is a dog. Therefore Rover has two eyes. This is a logical statement based on a false premise and is therefore false. Many issues in the public debate are infested with such statements and they can be difficult to spot. Now try this. All dogs have two eyes. Rover has two eyes. Therefore Rover is a dog. This is simply an illogical statement. Such statements are also commonplace in the public debate and are usually easy to spot.

But only if you're looking for them.

Regards Leo


Rule of inference are just a way of leading a syllogism to a conclusion. But if you do not have a safe way of choosing the "correct" premises, then this leads to nowhere.

And what is more, the very heart of this mechanism allows room for error: If all humans are mortal and Socrates is human, then Socrates is mortal. Right? Well, couldn't Socrates be the exception? Who is to say that "all" is indeed so general and true? Induction has problems. And even if you see all humans to be mortal, you can never be sure that they are ALL mortal until you meet them all...
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Keep_Relentless on December 27th, 2012, 4:38 am 

As far as logic is "what makes sense", I think it is a very subjective thing, and to have a constructive discussion we should recognise that people have the right to believe whatever is natural for them. For somebody to grow, then, requires only the elucidation of their logic, what they actually mean to say.
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby ALF on December 27th, 2012, 10:38 pm 

skakos wrote:
ALF wrote:
skakos wrote:For example, what contitues a "great" height?


The intellectual level of this discussion! :D


Irony...

As in "rudeness"...


skakos, this will probably (actually: for sure) go way over your head:

A quote from my favorite Utopia: "Kazohinia" by Sandor Szathmary:

I told him about Plato's state, Saint Thomas Aquinas's principles of the divine universality of the outcome of labour, the common work of the Cathari and the Hussites, Fourier's phalansteries, Thomas More's Utopia, Proudhon's people's bank, Louis Blanc's national workshops, Robert Owen's social manufacturing plants, the communal states of the Dominicans and Jesuits in South America, and finally I came to scientific socialism and the latest theories, to the plans of Marx, Lenin, Bakunin, Bernstein, Kropotkin, Kautsky and Plekhanov, and to technocracy and the democratic socialism of the Fabian Society, Wells and the Webbs. I spoke of the work theory of mercantilism and physiocracy, of the liberalism of Adam Smith, and of the trade unions; nor did I fail to mention the ideas that had not materialized, such as Georgism, syndicalism and anarchism.

For his life he could not understand how it was possible to imagine so many things concerning such a simple thing as life."
ALF
 


Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby skakos on January 27th, 2013, 1:19 pm 

ALF wrote:skakos, this will probably (actually: for sure) go way over your head:

A quote from my favorite Utopia: "Kazohinia" by Sandor Szathmary:

I told him about Plato's state, Saint Thomas Aquinas's principles of the divine universality of the outcome of labour, the common work of the Cathari and the Hussites, Fourier's phalansteries, Thomas More's Utopia, Proudhon's people's bank, Louis Blanc's national workshops, Robert Owen's social manufacturing plants, the communal states of the Dominicans and Jesuits in South America, and finally I came to scientific socialism and the latest theories, to the plans of Marx, Lenin, Bakunin, Bernstein, Kropotkin, Kautsky and Plekhanov, and to technocracy and the democratic socialism of the Fabian Society, Wells and the Webbs. I spoke of the work theory of mercantilism and physiocracy, of the liberalism of Adam Smith, and of the trade unions; nor did I fail to mention the ideas that had not materialized, such as Georgism, syndicalism and anarchism.

For his life he could not understand how it was possible to imagine so many things concerning such a simple thing as life."


Your point?
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Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby zoot on April 7th, 2013, 9:02 pm 

Dialetheism is not the view that "there is no distinction between "right" and "wrong"". Dialetheism is the view that there is at least one true contradiction. That's all. Most dialetheists believe that contradictions are very rare, that they only emerge in very special kinds of circumstances. And note that even in those circumstances in which contradictions do arise, it's not that there's no distinction between right and wrong. Suppose we accept that the Liar paradox ("this sentence is false") is both true and false, a contradiction. In that case: it's wrong, simply incorrect, to assert that it's not a contradiction.

You might be thinking of trivialism, which is the view that everything is true (and conversely, obviously, everything is false). All trivialists are dialetheists, but not all dialetheists are trivialists. Trivialism would destroy any distinction between right and wrong. But is there anybody who seriously claims to accept trivialism? (I know of at least one author who has explicitly defended it. I'm apt to consider his work, and any work like it, a purely technical exercise.)


Now that we've got that out of the way: it's certainly true that we can create different logical systems. The last century has seen an explosion of different logics. Is what is logical purely a matter of choice? Well, we have to distinguish between (1) pursuit of logic in a purely 'formal' or 'abstract' manner, and (2) the application of logic to particular problems. This distinction can be made clear with concrete examples. The idea behind (1) is that anybody can, just for the sake of it, simply stipulate a formal system. For example, I can take classical propositional logic, and simply add the axiom (p -> ~p). This would not be an especially interesting or useful system, but I could do it. The point is that anybody can construct logics 'out of thin air', and these logics might have no application to anything; they're simply formal systems that consist of particular strings of symbols and rules for manipulating those strings of symbols. If we're talking about (1), then yes, logic is just a matter of choice. You're free to explore whatever formal systems you want.

Regarding (2), logics can be applied to various kinds of problems. Speaking broadly, we can distinguish: (2a) logics applied as a purely 'practical' tool and (2b) logics applied as part of an explanation of/account of particular phenomena. Again, concrete examples will illuminate this distinction. As an example of (2a), consider paraconsistent logics in computer science. There are computers that contain inconsistent information, perhaps due to data corruption, programming mistakes, and so on. Yet we may still need to handle this information and perform operations on it. Clearly, a classical logic, incapable of tolerating contradictions, is inappropriate here; what we need is some sort of paraconsistent logic. Equally clearly, it's not really a matter of choice. You have to go with whatever works to solve the problem. (I'm not familiar with computer science - this is just an example I've heard, and it seems to be mentioned a lot in the paraconsistent literature. In any case, even if the example is faulty, I'm sure you see the point.)

An example of (2b) would be the use of paraconsistent logic as a foundation for dialetheism. Or think about intuitionist logic and its role in philosophy of mathematics. Etc. When we ask, e.g. "what is the correct logic?", we'd be thinking in terms of (2b). In this case, your logic will depend on your general beliefs - and, in my experience, people don't choose what to believe. Our beliefs are based on whatever seems to be the case to us. None of us has much control over that (which isn't to say that we have no control, but it's obvious that we can't 'choose' a belief in the same sense that we can get up in the morning and choose what breakfast to eat).


The simple fact that we can create alternative logics doesn't really tell us anything. After all, we can construct alternative theories in any field. Take physics: I could, for example, simply stipulate claims about mass, gravity, time, and so on, that have little relation to the consensus views in physics. What does this tell us? Indeed, there are plenty of physicists who have, in fact, developed nonstandard theories. What does this tell us? Should we conclude that our physics is just a matter of choice?
zoot
 


Re: Does "illogical" exist?

Postby Obvious Leo on April 7th, 2013, 10:31 pm 

Zoot. A thoughtful and well-crafted post. Would I be describing your position correctly if I said that different forms of logic must be applied in different conceptual frameworks in much the same way as different mathematical tools must be applied to different problems in physics?

Regards Leo
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