Why still no science of logic?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Speakpigeon
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Why still no science of logic?

Post by Speakpigeon » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:56 pm

Why no science of logic?

By logic, I mean deductive logic.

By science of logic, I mean a scientific investigation of logic as objective performance and manifest capability of human beings, investigation that would try to develop a formal model of logic which would be accurate and operational.

I can't think of any important aspect of the empirical world which is similarly neglected by science.

There doesn't seem to be any practical impossibility.

Cost would not be a significant factor.

Logic seems to be a rather crucial aspect of human intelligence, which is itself at the centre of the very costly drive to produce artificial intelligence systems. The usefulness of an accurate formal model of logic seems therefore beyond question.

So, 2,400 years after Aristotle, why is there still, in the 21st century, no science of logic?
EB
Last edited by Speakpigeon on Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scott Mayers
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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Scott Mayers » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:02 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:56 pm
Why no science of logic?

By science of logic, I mean a scientific investigation of logic as objective performance and manifest capability of human beings, investigation that would try to develop a formal model of logic which would be accurate and operational.

I can't think of any important aspect of the empirical world which is similarly neglected by science.

There doesn't seem to be any practical impossibility.

Cost would not be a significant factor.

Logic seems to be a rather crucial aspect of human intelligence, which is itself at the centre of the very costly drive to produce artificial intelligence systems. The usefulness of an accurate formal model of logic seems therefore beyond question.

So, 2,400 years after Aristotle, why is there still, in the 21st century, no science of logic?
EB
This I thought of too before and is a good question to start off with in philosophy, science, or any forms of reasoning. I think of science as 'top-down' where logic is 'bottom-up' reasoning. Both serve each other and we initially INDUCE patterns though our senses (a scientific endeavor) before generalizing the patterns into some set of general rules. That is a 'science' of logic. Then we take what we guess is most general of these forms and test the it as a 'logic' mechanism to see if it predicts. Logic is actually the reality of which physical laws manifest reality. Science, in general, is just the practical means of collecting our sensory observations among ourselves to seek out some apparent pattern.

There is also a 'logic of science', which is the human agreement to devise the rules needed to most accurately interpret reality.

One way I think of it is to begin with treating reality as a machine. Science is about trying to figure out what this machine is and how it works by tearing the machines of reality apart-- a reverse engineering idea. Science can infer accurate guesses about what the machine is, rebuild it as thought to operate and then test the artificial machine to see if it matches to the reality machine. The machine itself, including ANY machine, virtual or real, IS the 'logic'. It stands true without the concern of our observational interpretation. But we seek to discover it through science.

A science of logic IS the study of logic(s) or, more formally, "computer science". The 'computer' term actually refers to the act of computing, not necessarily calculating devices. As such, this includes any means to determine how reality creates patterns that become the 'logic' of reality. "Information theory" is also this but from a different approach (descriptive). Some prefer the study of 'algorithms' instead. All though are 'sciences' regarding logic (as 'reasoning') in some fashion.

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:30 am

Speakpigeon wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:56 pm
Why no science of logic?

By science of logic, I mean a scientific investigation of logic as objective ...
Objective science deals with the metaphysical, that which exists and has the nature it has whether anyone is aware of that existence or knows its nature or not. The physical sciences are objective sciences because the physical is whatever it is, known or unknown and no one's feelings, wishes, beliefs, or desires changes that reality.

Logic, like language and mathematics, does not exist metaphysically. Logic, language, and math are human inventions and have no existence independently of human consciousness. They are epistemological methods for the identification and description of what is known. They cannot be studied objectively, but they can certainly be studied rationally, that is, their nature can be studied and their value in achieving their purpose discovered.

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Speakpigeon » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:33 pm

Most people, at least those not terminally biased by a training in mathematical logic, would agree on the validity of the Modus Ponens, on the validity of Aristotle's syllogisms, on the validity of de Morgan's laws, etc. I think there are at least 50 logical laws that most people would agree on and they are not going to go away just because you say "not objective" or something. It is an objective fact that nearly all logicians throughout the 2,500 years of Aristotelian logic have accepted these inferences as logical laws.
EB

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Skepdick » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:21 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:33 pm
I think there are at least 50 logical laws that most people would agree on and they are not going to go away just because you say "not objective" or something.
But the 'laws' of logic do go away if you just ignore them, or tweak the context. Very much unlike gravity.

What you seem to call 'laws' a mathematician tend to call theorems. And what mathematicians always keep on the back of their mind is that different axioms produce different theorems.

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:11 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:33 pm
Most people, at least those not terminally biased by a training in mathematical logic, would agree on the validity of the Modus Ponens, on the validity of Aristotle's syllogisms, on the validity of de Morgan's laws, etc. I think there are at least 50 logical laws that most people would agree on and they are not going to go away just because you say "not objective" or something. It is an objective fact that nearly all logicians throughout the 2,500 years of Aristotelian logic have accepted these inferences as logical laws.
EB
Yes. I totally agree with that. It's what I was referring to by saying that logic, along with language and mathematics, can be studied rationally to determine how well they accomplish their purpose. My only point is that the study of the nature of those things cannot be an objective science in the sense of studying that which is metaphysical. It can certainly be objective.

Logic only matters if, as an epistemological method, it achieves its purpose of identifying and understanding aspects of reality.

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Impenitent » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:21 pm

no science of logic?

... habits are hard to break

-Imp

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:42 am

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:21 pm
... that different axioms produce different theorems.
Just curious. What do you think an axiom is?

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Skepdick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:03 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:42 am
Just curious. What do you think an axiom is?
There is an entire wiki page titled "Axiom" which broadly covers my use of the term, but the dictionary definition is good enough: a statement or proposition which is regarded as self-evidently true.

A particular example of an axiom is: ¬ (P ∧ ¬P). Otherwise known as the Law of non-contradiction. Why is it true? By definition. Why did you define it that way?

If we accept that in general, a deductive system is a collection of axioms and inference rules then the distinction drawn by Speakpigeon between Mathmatics and Logic is simply a distinction between the set of axioms and inference rules chosen.

This creates a tension between any "laws" of deduction and Hume's is-ought problem: which set of axioms and inference rules ought one accept and why?

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:03 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:42 am
Just curious. What do you think an axiom is?
There is an entire wiki page titled "Axiom" which broadly covers my use of the term, but the dictionary definition is good enough: a statement or proposition which is regarded as self-evidently true.

A particular example of an axiom is: ¬ (P ∧ ¬P). Otherwise known as the Law of non-contradiction.
Based on your reference to WikiPedia, and your example of the law of non-contradiction, you seem to regard axioms as applying only to logic and mathematics, and as something, "self-evident," whatever that means or simply accepted as a starting point or first premise for some logical or mathematical discourse. Is that a fair understanding of what you believe an axiom is?

According to your earlier statement, "... different axioms produce different theorems," doesn't that imply that axioms are arbitrary, that there are no axioms in an absolute sense? Does that mean that just anything can be used as an axiom that seems to be, 'self-evident?'

Is there is nothing that determines what is or is not a legitimate axiom?

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Skepdick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:00 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm
Based on your reference to WikiPedia, and your example of the law of non-contradiction, you seem to regard axioms as applying only to logic and mathematics, and as something, "self-evident," whatever that means or simply accepted as a starting point or first premise for some logical or mathematical discourse. Is that a fair understanding of what you believe an axiom is?
I don't know. I guess we'll soon find out whether I have effectively communicated my conception of an axiom.
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm
According to your earlier statement, "... different axioms produce different theorems," doesn't that imply that axioms are arbitrary, that there are no axioms in an absolute sense? Does that mean that just anything can be used as an axiom that seems to be, 'self-evident?'
in some sense - yes. In another sense - no. It's contextual.
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm
Is there is nothing that determines what is or is not a legitimate axiom?
What is your objective criterion for legitimacy?

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:49 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:00 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm
... Does that mean that just anything can be used as an axiom that seems to be, 'self-evident?'
in some sense - yes. In another sense - no. It's contextual.
Skepdick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:00 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:53 pm
Is there is nothing that determines what is or is not a legitimate axiom?
What is your objective criterion for legitimacy?
The same as yours for contextual. What is your objective criterion for contextual?

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Skepdick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:04 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:49 pm
The same as yours for contextual. What is your objective criterion for contextual?
Answer 1. The same as yours for objective. What is your universal criterion for objectivity?

Answer 2. I don't have one. I reject the notion of 'objectivity' beyond its empirical meaning. Testable/verifiable/falsifiable, but the scientific epistemology is still perfectly capable of producing competing models which provide different answers for the same phenomena.

Q.E.D. I have given you two answers. You decide which one you prefer.

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:52 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:04 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:49 pm
The same as yours for contextual. What is your objective criterion for contextual?
Answer 1. The same as yours for objective. What is your universal criterion for objectivity?

Answer 2. I don't have one. I reject the notion of 'objectivity' beyond its empirical meaning. Testable/verifiable/falsifiable, but the scientific epistemology is still perfectly capable of producing competing models which provide different answers for the same phenomena.

Q.E.D. I have given you two answers. You decide which one you prefer.
They are your answers. Why should I prefer one over the other if you don't?

Seriously, I have a question about a basic premise. If we disagree on it, there is nothing else we can rationally discuss except that premise.

The premise is this: There is an objective existence which is whatever it is and has the nature (characteristics, properties, etc.) it has whether or not anyone knows what that existence is or what its nature is. That reality is immutable and absolute.

By, "objective," I mean unaffected by and independent of any human knowledge, belief, wish, feeling, or action.

By, "immutable," I mean its nature cannot be changed or ever be other than what it is. (Nothing real that changes, changes the nature of reality itself because it is the nature of reality that makes change possible.)

By, "absolute," I mean reality is complete and unconditional; it is all there is and is not contingent on anything.

Randy

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Re: Why still no science of logic?

Post by Skepdick » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:03 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:52 pm
They are your answers. Why should I prefer one over the other if you don't?
So that we can establish how you deal with tie-breaks. Which follows...
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:52 pm
Seriously, I have a question about a basic premise. If we disagree on it, there is nothing else we can rationally discuss except that premise.

The premise is this: There is an objective existence which is whatever it is and has the nature (characteristics, properties, etc.) it has whether or not anyone knows what that existence is or what its nature is. That reality is immutable and absolute.
I agree on that premise. I think just about every human being on this planet agrees with this premise. Agreeing on that is trivial.

What is non-trivial is agreeing upon the framework/mechanism for adjudicating descriptions of reality for being representative of reality. There's no way to determine if any one description is better than any other description, and so the battle of the narratives unfolds.

Science has solved this as best as it can be solved by relying on predictive utility and sheer volume of evidence, but a scientific theory doesn't have a secondary redeeming virtue called "objective accuracy" to act as a tie-breaker when two theories predict the same thing.
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:52 pm
By, "objective," I mean unaffected by and independent of any human knowledge, belief, wish, feeling, or action.
By, "immutable," I mean its nature cannot be changed or ever be other than what it is. (Nothing real that changes, changes the nature of reality itself because it is the nature of reality that makes change possible.)
By, "absolute," I mean reality is complete and unconditional; it is all there is and is not contingent on anything.
Non-starter. Reality is whatever reality is. All attempts to describe it (e.g to manufacture The One True Description) is always a human construct influenced by all the things that influence evolved social animals. The very tool you are using to describe reality and organize it in your head is inseparable from human knowledge, belief, wish, feeling or action. Language.

To sum it all up in one metaphor - the map is not the territory. It can never be the territory for at least two reasons.

1. Depending on one's objective at hand different-but-incompatible maps of the same territory are possible: political, topographic, climatic, economic
2. The territory changes faster than the map can be updated.

I would never use the adjectives "objective","immutable" and "absolute" to speak about reality (the territory).
I would use them to speak about my conception of reality (the map). Reality doesn't give a damn what we say about it.

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