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Old November 30th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #1

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The importance of logic


Why is logic important to our thought process?

Without understanding the principles of logic, knowledge is only memorization, and lacks true understanding. It is logic that forms the foundation for true understanding, as it displays and unlocks the dynamical relationships between events in reality, and thus our understanding of truth.

Thus a sound understanding of the principles of logic is far more valuable to the development of an individual's mind than any amount of brute memorization, because what good is knowledge if we don't understand why it is true?

Agree? Disagree?

Discuss.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #2

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Originally Posted by Rasta View Post

Thus a sound understanding of the principles of logic is far more valuable to the development of an individual's mind than any amount of brute memorization, because what good is knowledge if we don't understand why it is true?
I agree with you on the inestimable importance of logic to the human mind. I disagree though about your suggestion here regarding the comparative lesser importance of learning facts. In my estimation the two are co-equal in importance; logic allows us to work our way to new facts and see the relationship between all ready known facts, but facts are what give us a basis to work with logic in the first place. This is why empirical observation is also a crucial aspect of learning about the world; without sufficient facts behind it, logic can lead to some really erroneous conclusions.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #3

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I agree in that I think logic is the best thing that we think we have that describes our world around us, but...
Do we really owe our understanding of why things are true to logic? If I were to throw a rubber ball against a hardwood floor, through logical reasoning we might be able to say:
"If I throw rubber ball at the floor, then it will bounce off of the floor into the air".
But isn't this just a description of events that we have seen that happen to repeat? What we think of as logical could very well be some sort of misconception based on the limitations of our own perceptions...
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Old November 30th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #4

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I agree with you on the inestimable importance of logic to the human mind. I disagree though about your suggestion here regarding the comparative lesser importance of learning facts. In my estimation the two are co-equal in importance; logic allows us to work our way to new facts and see the relationship between all ready known facts, but facts are what give us a basis to work with logic in the first place. This is why empirical observation is also a crucial aspect of learning about the world; without sufficient facts behind it, logic can lead to some really erroneous conclusions.
Excellent points. I wonder though, would empiricism exist without the foundation of logic?

I do agree that learning facts is important, on the other hand pseudo-scientists, pseudo-historians, and pseudo-intellectuals often memorize more facts about a particular topic than any layman ever does.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #5

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I agree in that I think logic is the best thing that we think we have that describes our world around us, but...
Do we really owe our understanding of why things are true to logic? If I were to throw a rubber ball against a hardwood floor, through logical reasoning we might be able to say:
"If I throw rubber ball at the floor, then it will bounce off of the floor into the air".
But isn't this just a description of events that we have seen that happen to repeat? What we think of as logical could very well be some sort of misconception based on the limitations of our own perceptions...
I think it's our faculty of reason that allowed us to develop logic in the first place by recognizing patterns. The problem was and is that we have all these emotional and psychological tendencies to conflate causal events.

Logic was developed as a systematic study of making true statements. I don't think it is logic that "makes" things true.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #6

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Excellent points. I wonder though, would empiricism exist without the foundation of logic?
I don't think so. Without a logical analysis of an experience there would be no way of deciding if that experience was a true indication of the nature of something or a random happening.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #7

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Excellent points. I wonder though, would empiricism exist without the foundation of logic?
I don't see how it could. As I said, I consider the two to be co-equal parts of a greater overall epistemic system. Either without the other goes no where.

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Originally Posted by Rasta View Post
I do agree that learning facts is important, on the other hand pseudo-scientists, pseudo-historians, and pseudo-intellectuals often memorize more facts about a particular topic than any layman ever does.
You're definitely describing a real phenomenon, though I think the reverse exists as well, with people who are inclined to rely more heavily on logic and less heavily on data or facts. If I'm being honest, I'd say I am guilty of that myself at times; if I don't watch myself carefully I rely far too heavily on data-weak logical argumentation.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #8

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I don't follow logic. I just do whatever I feel like.

Thinking logically is for losers.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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Just had a logic class last semester and I kind of enjoyed it. Its helps us to think critically and analytically.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #10

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I always wondered if philosophy was the anti-thesis of logic.

Logic probably isn't a requirement to be wise, we're all logical to a certain extent, whether it's deliberate or not

Anyone who isn't, is probably a schizophrenic.


Quote:
I think it's our faculty of reason that allowed us to develop logic in the first place by recognizing patterns. The problem was and is that we have all these emotional and psychological tendencies to conflate causal events.
It's possible. Although reasoning could be based on achieving an objective through random questions or answers.

Logic might be adding 1 and 2 together to arrive at a conclusion, while reason might be finding solace in the chaos.

For instance when were in an argument with each other, the objective is to get them to listen to your reason, not necessarily to get them to agree to your logic. We can understand logic.

"You're unreasonable" as opposed to "You're schizophrenic and make no sense"

Everybody can agree that 1+1 = 2, but not all of us can agree that blue is the best color due to our own perspective.

I am not really sure. It's drives me crazy thinking about it.


------

Okay.... so the only think that comes to mind is this quote...

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."


Let me try again...

Quote:
I think it's our faculty of reason that allowed us to develop logic in the first place by recognizing patterns. The problem was and is that we have all these emotional and psychological tendencies to conflate causal events.
Yes, I think maybe you're right. Learning and memory, or recalling facts in a logical manner allows us to reason. It's algebraic!


----

I guess what I mean by philosophy being the anti-thesis, of logic, is that philosophy seems to be designed to avoid any axiom which is fundamentally agreed upon to arrive at a logical conclusion (which is what the math/reality quote is in reference to)

For example, a rather confusing or illogical philosophy, jmo...

“You know, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, believed that morality is just a fiction
used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior men.”


Now, I don't know if that is his quote or not, but it seems to avoid all logic (almost like Confucianism), jmo...

The math/reality quote is from an Einstein lecture on geometry. The full passage,

Geometry and Experience

Quote:
ONE reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of all other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts. In spite of this, the investigator in another department of science would not need to envy the mathematician if the laws of mathematics referred to objects of our mere imagination, and not to objects of reality. For it cannot occasion surprise that different persons should arrive at the same logical conclusions when they have already agreed upon the fundamental laws (axioms), as well as the methods by which other laws are to be deduced therefrom. But there is another reason for the high repute of mathematics, in that it is mathematics which affords the exact natural sciences a certain measure of security, to which without mathematics they could not attain.
Logic and mathematics might not be the exact same thing, but in principal they are very similar, so the passage sort of explains where the dangers are when logic or axioms are not agreed upon, and left to reasoning, maybe?

History re-writes itself perhaps?

It is all extremely confusing material for me.

Last edited by MrKap; November 30th, 2011 at 10:24 PM.
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