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Question about logic.

by Willowz
Tags: logic
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Maui
#37
Nov22-11, 02:05 PM
P: 724
Quote Quote by Willowz View Post
I will try to make my OP based on the rules this sub-forum subscribes to, if not please inform me. Sorry.

My question is about logic. How did we acquire it? Was it evolutionary? How is it that Japanese logicians do very much the same work as white American ones do. I am asking because logic seems so fundamental to everything we do.


Logic, in my view, is the orderliness, structure, consistency and the relative comprehensibility of the world. It's not a propery of us but of reality, is it? If causality were broken in many ways, would we have made it thus far?
Maui
#38
Nov23-11, 06:19 AM
P: 724
So is causality the foundation and basis of what we call 'logic'? Seeing how certain aspects and experiments of qm appear to lack a cause, it seems appropriate to remind of Bohr's (in)famous quote - "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature". Some scientists disagree and seem to accept that nature has both deterministic and emergent properties, whereas others think in terms of some systems POV(hard to follow, for me at least)
MarcoD
#39
Nov23-11, 02:07 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Maui View Post
So is causality the foundation and basis of what we call 'logic'? Seeing how certain aspects and experiments of qm appear to lack a cause, it seems appropriate to remind of Bohr's (in)famous quote - "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature". Some scientists disagree and seem to accept that nature has both deterministic and emergent properties, whereas others think in terms of some systems POV(hard to follow, for me at least)
I really like this question since I have never read a good paper on it. Who should I read? Which experiments of qm lack a cause? I am not very proficient at physics, but so far I haven't seen experiments which don't have a causal interpretation?

My take so far is that I agree with you: Darwinistically, one would assume logic to emerge since it gives a competitive edge. But it stems to reason that it gives a competitive edge since the world, as we interact with it, seems to be causal. I don't think that needs to imply the world fundamentally is causal, at least, I wouldn't know why; then again, I wouldn't really know how causality could emerge from a non-causal world.
Maui
#40
Nov23-11, 04:14 PM
P: 724
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
I really like this question since I have never read a good paper on it. Who should I read? Which experiments of qm lack a cause? I am not very proficient at physics, but so far I haven't seen experiments which don't have a causal interpretation?


Many but most importantly - the measurement problem and the general indeterminancy of qm. Others may include - radioactive decay, the EPR correlations and the impossibility to have local causality between them, etc.

In general, causality took a great hit with the advent of qm(though some may imagine that it's still deterministic but we lack the ability to ascertain the cause). There's a lot of vacuum as to how experiments of qm should be interpreted and the vacuum is full of bogus theories and suppositions that you would hardly believe. All interpretations of qm are very vague as to what they mean and if there are 20 proponents of say BM or MWI, there are usually 20 different opinions as to how it all takes place. It's all somewhat kindergarten-ish and crackpotish, but is tacitly considered 'science' by most(or somewhat scientific) so that everyone is happy in the community and doesn't go crazy(there are theories tailored to suit all tastes).

My take so far is that I agree with you: Darwinistically, one would assume logic to emerge since it gives a competitive edge. But it stems to reason that it gives a competitive edge since the world, as we interact with it, seems to be causal. I don't think that needs to imply the world fundamentally is causal, at least, I wouldn't know why; then again, I wouldn't really know how causality could emerge from a non-causal world.


We lack a basic understanding of what the constituents of reality really are(whatever they are, they don't make sense). That's by far the biggest problem before we can begin to think of going off the deep end and tackling the biggest questions like existence, reality, etc. Hence why the PHD's rarely hang around here, they don't have answers too and probably consider it a waste of time.

I spend a lot of time thinking what causality is, it seems to be a basic fact of reality that the constituents(local or nonlocal fields, etc) interact (maybe there was no other way, or there are 2 trillion universes with different properties, or god, or it all will never make sense to an ape-like creature ot whatever you want to believe in...). For some reason, the basic properties of reality are what they are(sorry this question is bigger than me, maybe someone else will give it a try)
disregardthat
#41
Nov25-11, 05:22 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,807
Quote Quote by FlexGunship View Post
I elaborated.

EDIT: However, this is off topic. I took issue with your statement the rules of logic are arbitrary in a similar manner to language. And that they lack the need for justification. Common language to formal logic is not a fair comparison.
Its a perfectly fine comparison. And you are completely missing the point. Common language is where logic is found. Logic is part of the structure of (common) language.
http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...2&postcount=12

And the "inconsistencies" you are pointing out are not inconsistencies at all.
Willowz
#42
Nov27-11, 01:08 PM
P: 256
Quote Quote by disregardthat View Post
Its a perfectly fine comparison. And you are completely missing the point. Common language is where logic is found. Logic is part of the structure of (common) language.
http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...2&postcount=12

And the "inconsistencies" you are pointing out are not inconsistencies at all.
Basically what you are saying is that "truth" is a made up concept contingent on the postulates of any formal system. I'm probably misinterpreting you here, but how do you interpret Tarski's undefinability theorem?
disregardthat
#43
Nov27-11, 03:57 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,807
Quote Quote by Willowz View Post
Basically what you are saying is that "truth" is a made up concept contingent on the postulates of any formal system. I'm probably misinterpreting you here, but how do you interpret Tarski's undefinability theorem?

I don't understand how you got that from what I wrote. Where did I say or imply that truth is a made up concept contingent on the postulates of any formal system?
MarcoD
#44
Nov28-11, 07:18 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by disregardthat View Post
Its a perfectly fine comparison. And you are completely missing the point. Common language is where logic is found. Logic is part of the structure of (common) language.
http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...2&postcount=12

And the "inconsistencies" you are pointing out are not inconsistencies at all.
I am not sure language is the root cause of logic. Even animals which don't have logic seem to use basic logic: i.e, see a panther => run away. Isn't that logic?

Then again, I once had a dog which used his head to open doors but never quite grasped the concept of a fully closed door.
Willowz
#45
Nov28-11, 07:26 PM
P: 256
Quote Quote by disregardthat View Post
I don't understand how you got that from what I wrote. Where did I say or imply that truth is a made up concept contingent on the postulates of any formal system?
It must be my confusion over post 24. I'm still wondering what you mean by it. Is it that language/grammar/and logic are simply things we do (as in tautological) and as such there can be no inconsistencies?
Willowz
#46
Nov28-11, 07:28 PM
P: 256
Quote Quote by MarcoD View Post
I am not sure language is the root cause of logic. Even animals which don't have logic seem to use basic logic: i.e, see a panther => run away. Isn't that logic?

Then again, I once had a dog which used his head to open doors but never quite grasped the concept of a fully closed door.
A little more confusion. Are you portraying logic in terms of causality?
chiro
#47
Nov28-11, 07:35 PM
P: 4,573
Quote Quote by disregardthat View Post
I don't know what you mean by saying that english grammar is inconsistent. Could you give an example?
Have you ever heard of the liars paradox?
MarcoD
#48
Nov28-11, 07:39 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Maui View Post
Many but most importantly - the measurement problem and the general indeterminancy of qm. Others may include - radioactive decay, the EPR correlations and the impossibility to have local causality between them, etc.
I never understood EPR but I always got the feeling that it just boils down to solving equations. If x = y + 2 and we measure x, say 7, then 'magically,' we know y, 5. Clueless about the theory, really, I did get somewhere with the bracket notation.

I remember an experiment with entangled particles which gave a 100% correlation between them and an exact 50/50% divide on the 'choice' of the particle to be in a specific state. As a layman, to me, that said that, well, the 100% is predictable if you're solving equations, and the 50/50% distribution would hint that the 'underlying' system should be completely mechanical because, like in decay, a system of dices which makes sure that the choices over time are 50/50% seems improbable.

Ah well, guess I should leave the explanations to you physics guys, and women, of course.
MarcoD
#49
Nov28-11, 07:42 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Willowz View Post
A little more confusion. Are you portraying logic in terms of causality?
I would think so. The original poster commented on that logic is a byproduct of language, and I wonder whether logic is not a byproduct of a causal understanding of the world.
Willowz
#50
Nov28-11, 08:08 PM
P: 256
That would make sense. But, in that case how the heck do we do math?
MarcoD
#51
Nov28-11, 09:45 PM
P: 98
Quote Quote by Willowz View Post
That would make sense. But, in that case how the heck do we do math?
God, I personally do believe that math is a side effect of modeling the world linguistically, that language developed as darwinistic means of having an edge over other species, and that formal logic can be used to make the math, or our reasoning, precise. I.e., math is attaching concepts to symbols and manipulating these symbols, which is the basis of the linguistic darwinistic advantage. We advanced from sensing to attaching 'symbols' to what we sense, to uttering and writing down these 'symbols,' to manipulating those 'symbols' orderly which ultimately gave us a means to formulate hypotheses on our world. Each step, not necessarily in that order, increasing our competitive edge over others.

But in that puzzle, there is no reason for me to assume that math -or maybe, the math we developed- is anything else than an imperfect approximation of the world we interact with.

Another thing. People, you, often state we are good at doing logic and math. But honestly, if anything, the world shows that people are plain lousy at logic or math. The vast majority of people make lots of mistakes even employing basic arithmetic, and in daily life almost everyone rather defaults to primary feelings instead of logic.

We are exceptionally bad at manipulating symbols, consequently, doing math. We're just fuzzily moving symbols around, like apes playing with stones.
RegressLess
#52
Nov29-11, 09:57 AM
P: n/a
Logic has little or nothing to do with language. Animals with less developed brains do not cooperate, although it is logical because it benefits survival. However, intelligent animals such as crows and apes do cooperate.
disregardthat
#53
Nov29-11, 11:07 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,807
Quote Quote by RegressLess View Post
Logic has little or nothing to do with language. Animals with less developed brains do not cooperate, although it is logical because it benefits survival. However, intelligent animals such as crows and apes do cooperate.
"Logic has little or nothing to do with language."

"it is logical because it benefits survival."

You have no idea what logic is. Read a definition of logic, and you will see that logic has nothing to do with any of that which you are suggesting.

Logic is valid reasoning. It has everything to do with language.
RegressLess
#54
Nov29-11, 11:24 AM
P: n/a
Let me correct myself. Language has nothing to do with the origin of logic. If anything, language is born from logic. The crow reasons that if he drops a nut on a busy road, cars will break it open for him.

Is it not true that cooperation is logical? Does cooperation not benefit survival? I fail to see how I am so wrong.


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