### Do humans have an inherent capacity to decide that a conclusion follows necessarily from premises?

Posted:

**Tue May 21, 2019 9:51 am**This is the first of a series of polls concerning logic. The overall idea is to determined whether we share a common notion of the logic of valid reasoning as done by humans.

I think that Aristotle's syllogistic can be seen as essentially a simple and rather short catalogue of the kind of arguments philosophers at the time were using and that, therefore, presumably, they saw as valid.

I want to understand whether Aristotle's notion that there is such a thing as a valid argument, and therefore a logic of valid arguments, is still shared by most people today as it seems to have been shared by most logicians at least until the 19th century, so broadly for 2,400 years.

This view isn't a foregone conclusion. The practice of Mathematical logic today suggests on the contrary that logic is arbitrary. Mathematical logic itself is a branch of mathematics, not a method or a theory of logic. As a branch of mathematics, it brings together a very large number of theories and methods (calculus) which are all different from each other and in effect mutually contradictory.

This in turns falsifies the idea that mathematicians all talk about the same thing when they use the word "logic", and this makes it impossible to decide whether anyone of these theories or methods is really about the logic of valid arguments as used by humans and as first described by Aristotle.

It is even unclear at the moment whether any mathematical logic is meant to describe the logic of valid arguments. Given the hegemony of the paradigm used in mathematical logic among logicians today, not only among mathematicians but also among analytic philosophers and computer scientists, Aristotle's idea that there is a logic of valid arguments seems to have lost the appeal it enjoyed for 2,400 years.

My poll should be approached using what the law call "your intimate conviction". This, to be effective, requires that you take the time to reflect on the question asked.

The question is this:

Do humans have an inherent capacity to decide that a conclusion follows necessarily from premises?

(Inherent capacity: not dependent on formal or informa learning)

I think that Aristotle's syllogistic can be seen as essentially a simple and rather short catalogue of the kind of arguments philosophers at the time were using and that, therefore, presumably, they saw as valid.

I want to understand whether Aristotle's notion that there is such a thing as a valid argument, and therefore a logic of valid arguments, is still shared by most people today as it seems to have been shared by most logicians at least until the 19th century, so broadly for 2,400 years.

This view isn't a foregone conclusion. The practice of Mathematical logic today suggests on the contrary that logic is arbitrary. Mathematical logic itself is a branch of mathematics, not a method or a theory of logic. As a branch of mathematics, it brings together a very large number of theories and methods (calculus) which are all different from each other and in effect mutually contradictory.

This in turns falsifies the idea that mathematicians all talk about the same thing when they use the word "logic", and this makes it impossible to decide whether anyone of these theories or methods is really about the logic of valid arguments as used by humans and as first described by Aristotle.

It is even unclear at the moment whether any mathematical logic is meant to describe the logic of valid arguments. Given the hegemony of the paradigm used in mathematical logic among logicians today, not only among mathematicians but also among analytic philosophers and computer scientists, Aristotle's idea that there is a logic of valid arguments seems to have lost the appeal it enjoyed for 2,400 years.

My poll should be approached using what the law call "your intimate conviction". This, to be effective, requires that you take the time to reflect on the question asked.

The question is this:

Do humans have an inherent capacity to decide that a conclusion follows necessarily from premises?

(Inherent capacity: not dependent on formal or informa learning)