Humans and logic

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by arfa brane, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah . . .

    Start with a true proposition: "Swans are white". It's true because, although not ALL swans are white, some of them are.
    The statement "All swans are white" is not true, and it's a different statement than the first.

    It's also true that "Swans are black". Ergo, "Swans are white OR black", is true too.
     
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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Denoument:

    So the statement "Humans are logical" is logically true, but historically true too. It will still be a true historical statement when humans no longer exist as a species; the logic kind of shrinks everything to a point, since it tells us it must have been true before the universe existed.

    We need to, or at least I do, for reasons of, well, reasoning, add extra terms to this bare statement, like: "In this universe, humans are a logical species", and perhaps mentally change "are" into "will be", "were", as we might. The logic says all these past or future contexts are equivalent--they imply each other, the definition of logical equivalence.

    However, finding a physical connection backwards through time quickly gets hard, then more or less impossible--the history of not just humans but the universe too is a fuzzy one, but they must exist, since a true (first order logic) statement says so.

    We good, hombres?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  5. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Why are you singling out humans specifically?

    Surely by your criteria all animals are logical?
     
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  7. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I think he's got it!

    If evolution is logical, all evolved species, not just animals, are too. They are because their existence is, and any form of metabolism is logical or a logical process; I know this because I once studied biochemistry and microbiology.
     
  8. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution being logical certainly seems to be a reasonable position.

    But what of consciousness?
     
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Human consciousness is one of those philosophical problems that hasn't been solved. The biological solution appears straightforward, what we call consciousness is a name for a logical process--neurons communicating in a synchronised way. The problem of consciousness is first of all, I think, the problem of explaining what consciousness is conscious of, and the observation that humans are conscious of themselves where other animals seem less so. Maybe it's the killer app (pun intended).
     
  10. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. I think I get what you're getting at.

    Computational processing units, whether biological or technological, operate on logical principles.

    However, I would put forward the idea that human behaviour, resulting from consciousness, is not necessarily a logical process.

    I think much of the confusion earlier in this thread was because when you were specifically referring to humans as logical, many of us were associating the idea of humans as conscious beings, as opposed to humans as ordinary biological organisms that evolved in accordance with natural laws.

    I think most of us were trying to think about the issue from the perspective of whatever characteristics distinguished humanity from all other known life, as opposed to humanity being just another life form. If that makes sense?
     
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    But what I'm saying is, it's logical enough over our history that this "not necessarily logical" behaviour is still around, and so are we.

    Let's look at superstitious beliefs, most likely one of the reasons religions appear in our history.
    Arguably superstition is not logical, and yet it's still around and so are we. Is there no connection between superstition and human survival? We could have done as well as we have without it?

    And I note you used the words: "logical process". Can you list some examples of processes which aren't logical?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  12. BrianHarwarespecialist We shall Ionize!i Registered Senior Member

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    So you see arfa now that you all have defined the proper context of how "logic" was bieng interpreted there is now cohesion in this discussion.
     
  13. BrianHarwarespecialist We shall Ionize!i Registered Senior Member

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    One thing you should think about consciousness which is really obvious is that, the most dominant framework of our awareness is transmitted via the electromagnetic
    field, that is not coincidence.
     
  14. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Are you trying to have a point?
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    The OP has three logical statements in it. They're all propositions.

    I struggle to understand how someone would struggle with the context.
    The word "logical" doesn't have alternative meanings, generally it means "having a logic (defined on it)". It's an adjective, so comparatives apply: more logical, most logical, unbelievably logical, damnably logical, . . .

    Any process is logical. There's another proposition for ya.
     
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I didn't claim it was a great fit, quite the opposite in fact.

    As do transistors.

    I was thinking more broadly than that, I was considering epigentic facets, environmental factors and so on - all these things that have been shown to alter brain chemistry which, as I pointed out, neccessarily alter brain function. It's not enough that just the patterns of interconnections and firings are the same when putting the same person in two different environments neccessarily leads to two different outcomes.

    A thought, image, memory, etc, is an activity, a pattern of behavior in time. A whirlpool, not a pool. So the poet's comment that "in dreams begin responsibilities" is quite possibly physically, scientifically, reductionistically, technically, accurate - not poetic license, but exact description. It awaits appropriate replicable research, currently beyond our capabilities.[/QUOTE]
     
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    As to research, currently the field of biomedical engineering possibly has the most impetus.
    That is, the field of prosthetics, which so far has given a few people artificial sight, or hearing. Would this be possible without a fairly close understanding of the way neurons communicate--the signalling logic?

    And let's not forget the developments in weapons technology and where that's going.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    In your OP, you used the phrase 'logical truth'. In logic, the phrase 'logical truth' has a technical meaning. It refers to logical expressions that are true simply because of their form. In other words, no matter what subject a person is talking about, if their expression takes the form of a logical truth, it will be true.

    Generally speaking, logic is concerned with the form of expressions, arguments and proofs, rather than with their content. So logicians will often replace the referring expressions in natural language sentences (the names of individuals, classes and properties) with variables. Hence, 'symbolic logic'.

    Typically, a logical expression with a particular logical form will be true on some interpretations of its variables, and false on others. If it's true on all interpretations of its variables, it's a 'logical truth'. This area of logic in which variables are interpreted is called 'formal semantics'. (It's of interest in linguistics and has practical applications in computer science.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_semantics_(logic)

    Your proposition #1 in the OP states "If something is logically true, it has always been true". And your proposition #3 states "It has always been true that human beings would be logical".

    You introduced the temporal considerations yourself. I was just responding to that. I noted that conventional logic pays no attention to time and that when temporal operators are introduced, analogous to past, present and future tense in natural language, new complications appear. This is the province of temporal and tense logics.
     
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    A logical truth is never false in first order logic. I rephrased that to extend the concept of a logical truth to an historical one.
    I guess you missed it.
    Let me phrase proposition #3 again: "It is always true in the history of this universe that human beings are logical". No temporality.

    And, would you consider having a degree in IS would give someone any insights into what logic, especially temporal logic, is?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  20. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't that support my OP and what follows, since the form of a proposition (with or without Boolean connectives) is that it's either true or false, and cannot be both?

    So the proposition: "Humans are logical and not logical", for instance, is a contradiction.
    Nonetheless, the proposition: "Human behaviour is logical and not logical at different times", may be true, but is in a different, a "temporal" context. What say you sir?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  21. river

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    To your last statement ; reason, reasonable, reasoning is the reason for this contradiction.
     
  22. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    But the proposition that "Humans are logical OR not logical" is correct.

    Remember, OR and AND are different operators.
     
  23. river

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    I reiterate:

    To your last statement ; reason, reasonable, reasoning is the reason for this contradiction.
     

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