Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  .This section is about logic.  ---  1/24/2006

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) A narrow definition of logic: a small academic discipline.  (2) A broad definition of logic: how the world works.  (3) In terms of the latter, we are constantly rewriting the rules of logic.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Argument regarding facts.  Scientific argument.  (2) Argument regarding action decisions.  Ethics arguments.  (3) Arguments regarding argument itself.  Epistemic argument.  ---  3/25/2006

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Argument, formal or symbolic.  (2) Argument, informal or real world.  (3) Weak or lame forms of informal argument: "That is the way everyone does it."  "That is the way most people do it"  "That is the way we have always done it."  ---  3/25/2006

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) How much would our thinking be held back without our theoretical knowledge of logic?  (2) Everyday thinking relies on what kinds and degrees (levels of complexity) of logic?  (3) What kind of logic mistakes are out there, committed by thinkers, speakers, and listeners who fall for them?  Would having a theoretical knowledge of logic lead one not to make or fall for these mistakes?  How big a subject is logic?  Not big.  How important an area is logic?  The worlds best thinking relies on what kinds and degree (of complexity) of logic?  How much can knowledge of language and logic help us?  Related areas: game theory, decision theory, thinking, philosophy of logic, philosophy of math, philosophy of language.  Creativity and logic (leaps).  Computers and logic (how simple?).  ---  01/26/1994

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) If there is no logic then there is no truth.  If there is no truth then there is no knowledge.  (2) There are logical relativists, epistemological relativists, ethical relativists, semantic relativists, who say that nothing is sure, and therefore, anything goes.  These people are trying to revert to the law of the jungle.  ---  3/30/2007

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Logic in human minds.  Logic can conceivably be done by non-human minds?  For hypothetical example, could an intelligent extra-terrestrial understand logic?  It seems plausible.  (2) Can logic exist outside of sentient minds?  That makes less sense.  ---  3/15/2007

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Psychology and logic.  Some people view logic as a term associated with terms like thinking and reason.  One argument against construing logic as a psychological concept is that computers use logic, and yet computers are mechanical, not psychological.  Computers are machines, not minds.  Unless you call a machine a mind, and unless you call a mind a machine.  (2) Metaphysics and logic.  Another argument against logic as a psychological concept is the argument that logical concepts describe the metaphysical nature of reality, and in fact exist independently of minds.  Philosophers like David Lewis and Saul Kripke argue that logical concepts point toward possible worlds that are metaphysically real.  (3) Symbol systems and logic.  Math and natural languages are both symbol systems.  Symbol systems contain symbols and rules to manipulate symbols.  The symbols have meanings.  Symbolic logic is itself a symbol system.  (A) Math and logic.  Bertrand Russell gave an good, if unsuccessful attempt to reduce math to logic.  Has anyone tried to reduce logic to math?  (B) Language and logic.  Grammar has rules, like logic has rules.  Grammar is not the exact same thing as logic.  Yet we use language to talk about the concepts of logic.  (4) Logic is a word that can have a narrow, technical definition on the one hand, and a wider, looser definition on the other hand.  ---  12/5/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Statements: propositions, premises and conclusions.  (2) Inferences.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1) Symbols and logic.  If you want logic, math and grammar, then you have to have symbols.  Does it make sense to talk about logic apart from symbols?  (2) Rules and logic.  Does it make sense to talk about logic apart from rules?  ---  6/8/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  (1)(A) Logic alone, without the aid of emotion (ala Spock).  vs.  (B) Logic with the aid of emotion.  (2) Non-logical behavior.  (A) Insanity.  (B) Mindless animal-like behavior.  (3) The natural world is not 100% logical.  There is randomness.  (4) People are not 100% logical.  There is insanity.  There is ignorance and errors of reasoning.  There are acts without thinking.  Pure drive or pure emotion.  (5) Could humans have an ethics based on logic or reason alone, without recourse to emotion?  What would that ethics look like?  Is the law a form of ethics based on reason without emotion?  Just because you are being logical does not guarantee you are being ethical.  What is the relation of logic and ethics?  ---  12/20/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  An individual's internal logic: the quality of it, and the development of it.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Analyzing formal logic systems (symbolic).  Analyzing actual verbal arguments (natural language).  ---  11/25/1993

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Ancient man spent much of his waking hours in a kind of dream state.  Day dreaming.  Humans are dreamers.  Thus, what role does logic play in human "minding"?  Humans apply logic after the fact.  Logic is usually an afterthought.  Unless it is the case that humans have a built in logic module in the brain, which is a possibility.  But if we did then why does it work so poorly?  Because it is version 1.0?  ---  5/6/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Can there be truth without logic?  (1) Sense perception.  Empirical data.  These are "true" without resorting to logic.  In terms of the truth of existence as opposed to the truth of a statement.  (2) Truth in art.  In art there can be truths expressed without logic.  (3) Illogical worlds.  If one exists in a world that contains no logic, or a world that is illogical, then one can have truth without logic (?).  ---  5/4/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Definitive logical proof is not something we often achieve in real life.  More often we deal with "more likely" and "less likely".  More often we are hypothesizing or prognosticating about the future.  Logical proof is a less common achievement.  There is much more uncertainty and guessing.  ---  1/1/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Degree to which ideas on any subject can be formalized, axiomatized, analyzed.  ---  02/04/1994

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Do humans have a mental logic module?  If we do then it seems like it is easily over-ridden.  If we do then it does not seem very robust nor accurate.  ---  5/6/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  First get all the facts, then start using logic.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Humans have created a variety of geometries.  One geometry, Euclidean geometry, is good at describing the human-level world.  Another geometry, hyperbolic geometry, is good at describing the large scale phenomena of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.  All of these geometries are "true".  Similarly, humans have created many types of logic.  One would think that one type of logic does well at describing the human-level world.  However, perhaps other logics do well at describing other levels of reality.  And perhaps all these types of logic are "true".  (Side note: What's funny is that geometry and logic are both systems of rules.  Geometry and logic are both axiomatic rule systems in that a small set of base rules are used to derive a larger set of higher order rules).  ---  11/25/2001

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Humans seem to induce much more than they deduce.  That is, in every day reasoning we use the techniques of science much more than the techniques of logic.  ---  1/1/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Ideas: simple vs. complex.  Phrases: simple vs. complex (or compound).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  If logic is about rules, and rules are about limitations, and art is about freedom, then why would an artist have anything to do with logic?  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Is it true that everything has its own "internal" logic?  Example, checkers, automobiles and animals.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Key to logic is: (1) The notions of truth and falseness.  (2) Notions of rules, laws, function.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Knowledge, information and logic.  When we say that a body (or set) of knowledge (or information) can be arranged in a logical structure, we mean that the ideas in the set of knowledge stand in various logical relation to each other.  An idea (or thought, or proposition) should be logical in and of itself.  Yet we also look for logical relations amongst ideas.  And yet, human knowledge is not complete.  There are areas of knowledge that are not 100% logically complete.  ---  12/6/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Limits of logic.  (1) A person could design a machine that only works strictly according to the rules of logic.  An example would be a computer.  Computers are useful.  Computers can do many useful things that humans cannot do.  But computers are not human.  (2) Humans can do many useful things that computers cannot do.  Humans are not always logical.  Some people argue that it is not even desirable that humans always follow the laws of logic.  Sometimes humans are emotional, rather than rational.  Sometimes humans make mistakes in their logical thinking.  Sometimes humans use heuristic thinking, metaphorical thinking, or associative thinking, which are forms of thinking that are not purely logical.  Sometimes humans think by using images instead of, or in addition to, words.  (3) One could easily argue that most humans would benefit by being more logical in their reasoning.  However, a human that can only reason by using logic would perhaps appear less, rather than more, cognitively capable.  Logic is good but there are other good things too.  ---  3/18/2007

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic defined as deductive thinking.  Science defined as inductive thinking.  ---  5/16/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic expresses metaphysical relationships.  New metaphysical situations would require new forms of logic?  ---  09/14/1993

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic is about what moves you can and cannot make.  Logic is about what must be and what is impossible.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic is not a requirement for survival.  Not all animal species have logic ability.  Some animal species have more logic ability than others.  Some logic ability may be hard wired, other logic ability may be learned.  ---  3/20/2007

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic is not about truth.  Logic is about forms of valid arguments.  An argument can be valid (logical) but not true.  It is so if the premises are untrue.  Logic is primarily not about proving the truth of premises.  ---  11/1/1998

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic is not the be-all and end-all.  Logic is not the most important thing.  Logic is important, though.  ---  3/20/2007

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic is part of epistemology in that epistemology depends on arguments as well as evidence.  ---  5/15/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic of imaginary worlds can be whatever you want it to be.  The best science-fiction begins with new types of logic.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic with words vs. logic with numbers or symbols.  Logic as principle of right reasoning.  Logic as forms of argument.  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic, language and truth.  (1) Relation of language and logic.  Language is capable of expressing logical relations.  The language can be informal English, formal English, or other formal symbolic notations.  (2) Relation of logic and truth.  Logical reasoning is necessary but not always sufficient for truth.  Must also get the premises correct too in matters of fact.  (3) Relation of logic and mind reason thinking.  There is thinking, logical thinking, and truthful thinking (which must also be logical).  Illogical thinking is when something doesn't follow.  (4) Relation of thinking and language.  We can not think without language.  Is writing a direct transcription of mind?  (5) Relationship of thinking and truth.  (6) Relationship of language and truth.  ---  8/8/1998

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic, truth, meaning, and usefulness.  (1) Example of logic without truth.  (2) Example of truth without logic.  (3) Example of truth without meaningfulness.  "A glimx is a glimx".  (4) Example of truth without usefulness.  "Batman's cape is blue".  ---  6/10/1999

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic.  Various definitions.  What distinguishes logic from psychology, epistemology, science, etc?  Types of logic: classical, modern, mathematical logic, philosophical logic.  ---  09/14/1993

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logic.  Why study it?  To analyze your and others arguments better.  Think more logically when under stress.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logical vs. illogical.  Factually true vs. false.  Important vs. unimportant.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Logical, practical, ethical vs. crazy, stupid, unethical.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Most ideas can be put in mathematical equation form or logical symbolization.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Related subjects, effects of and on.  Thinking, reasoning.  Philosophy: epistemology.  Language: grammar.  Rhetoric, argument.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Some people have a tendency to be more logical than others.  Logic is a skill that can be learned.  Logic does not guarantee truth, but the use of logic does increase the probability of reaching truth.  Logic does not guarantee justice, but logic does increase the probability of reaching justice.  ---  12/6/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Subconscious logic module.  I posit that our unconscious minds have a logic module or machine churning away constantly.  Any thought that pops into our heads the logic module will attempt to link with another thought and churn out as many conclusions as possible.  And the logic module will churn out as many "if-then" statements as possible.  And the logic module will churn our as many assumptions and entailments as possible.  Then from all of the above the logic module will try to sort out the logically valid from the logically invalid and the physically possible from the physically impossible.  ---  7/30/2000

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Things exist in relation to each other, and in interaction with each other.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Thoughts and words must correspond to reality.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Three types of negation.  (1) Opposite of x.  (2) Not x: anything but x.  (3) Absence of x.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Two types of "is".  "Is" defined as "is only", which is a definition used in mathematics.  "Is" defined as "is among other things", which is a definition used in natural languages.  ---  6/8/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Types and degrees of complexity of logical problems, puzzles, and arguments.  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  We do not think logically.  We think by generating many ideas.  Then we apply logic models against the ideas to rule out the illogical.  In a practiced person this is done quickly, almost unconsciously.  Humans are not instinctively logical.  Example, religious thinking, superstition, medieval law (trial by drowning) etc.  Children are fearful and primitive humans were fearful because to them anything can happen and anything is possible.  Adults and modern humans are more logical.  In terms of logic being defined as knowing what can't be and knowing what must be.  ---  3/15/1999

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  What can you apply to an idea besides logic?  Experience?  Imagination?  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  What is logic?  (1) Logic is a type of thinking.  (2) Logic is a tool, a technique, a skill, a method.  ---  12/6/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  What is logic?  Right reasoning.  Laws of truth.  Laws of true relations.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  What is the relation of logic to grammar?  Is grammar the logic of language?  No.  For example, a sentence can be grammatically correct yet illogical in content.  Second example, Can you have a sentence that is logical yet ungrammatical?  If a group of words is ungrammatical then its not a sentence.  ---  5/15/2002

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Why is logic important?  (1) Humans have an ability to be logical.  Sometimes humans are more logical than other times.  Sometimes humans are aware of their use or misuse of logic, and sometimes humans are unaware of their use or misuse of logic.  Logic helps humans understand the world.  Logic helps humans pursue truth and justice.  (2) The formal development of logic helped humans build computers.  The formal development of logic helped humans develop all the areas of knowledge.  Not to get all Jorel here.  ---  12/6/2005

Psychology, thinking, logic.  ---  Why study logic.  Most of us don't need a logic course to think.  But in complex situations we may make logical errors that someone trained in logic can spot and sort out.  Ditto for philosophy.  ---  03/30/1993

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.