What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
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30-04-2015, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 30-04-2015 12:18 PM by Tartarus Sauce.)
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
The justification for the laws of logic: try going one day where you completely disregard every notion of logic in every single instance; purge logic from your thoughts for 24 hours and see where that leads you.

If you already have the foresight to understand why that would be a bad idea, congratulations, you now know the justification for the laws of logic: it works, we haven't got anything better, and it intuitively makes sense to our simian brains. Trying to use logic to justify logic is circular and trying to use reductio ad absurdum to invalidate it leaves one with the monumental task of finding a replacement system of reasoning (and considering one would almost undoubtedly be utilizing logic to come to the conclusion that it is unjustifiable, it underscores just how dependent our brains are on logic as a foundation for our thoughts and ideas).

Basically, twatting about in the playground of philosophy over the validity of logic will leave you twatting about there all day. It's useful for highlighting our limitations on knowledge and reasoning, but at the end of the day, you know you're still going to be using logic as the cognitive glue holding all your thoughts together.

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30-04-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
(24-04-2015 05:35 PM)KamojoDragon Wrote:  I was thinking about reasoning recently and I came across an issue in justifying reason and logic. In order to justify your ability to reason as legitimate, you seem to need to either use logic to justify it (a circular argument) or you would need to be unreasonable in your justification, which defeats the purpose of justifying reason to begin with.

Is the justification of our ability to reason a big problem in Philosophy, or is there a legitimate third option for justifying our ability to reason?

In philosophy, logic and philosophy of logic the term truth-bearer is an entity that is said to be either true or false and nothing else. By entity, I mean something that exists in itself, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. Truth-bearer candidates include propositions, sentences, sentence-tokens, statements, concepts, beliefs, thoughts, intuitions, utterances, and judgments but different authors exclude one or more of these, deny their existence, argue that they are true only in a derivative sense, assert or assume that the terms are synonymous, or seek to avoid addressing their distinction or do not clarify it.

Of all the methods of thinking, reason/logic produced better explanatory responses than other methods of thinking. Explanatory power is the ability to effectively explain the subject matter it pertains to, the opposite is explanatory impotence. In sociology, an agent is an individual engaging with the social structure. Human beings have a need to separate truths from falsehoods whenever possible. Reason/logic generally produces two useful outcomes. Accurate and efficient outcomes after consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. In the end, the pragmatic answer to your question, “What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?” The thinking process of reason/logic produces more favorable outcomes for both the individual and the society.

Loosely speaking, justification is the reason why someone (properly) holds the belief, the explanation as to why the belief is a true one, or an account of how one knows what one knows.

If A makes a claim, and B then casts doubt on it, A's next move would normally be to provide justification. Empiricism (the evidence of the senses), authoritative testimony (the appeal to criteria and authority), and logical deduction are often involved in justification. Justification based theories of knowledge can be divided into irrationalism, which appeals to irrational criteria and authorities (feelings, faith) and panrationalism, which appeals to rational criteria and authorities (observation, intellectual intuition).
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30-04-2015, 05:46 PM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
(24-04-2015 05:35 PM)KamojoDragon Wrote:  I was thinking about reasoning recently and I came across an issue in justifying reason and logic. In order to justify your ability to reason as legitimate, you seem to need to either use logic to justify it (a circular argument) or you would need to be unreasonable in your justification, which defeats the purpose of justifying reason to begin with.

Is the justification of our ability to reason a big problem in Philosophy, or is there a legitimate third option for justifying our ability to reason?

I've addressed the circularity issue. Now lets look at the justification or validity of reason. To the extent that reason needs justification, which it really doesn't since it is our only faculty for justifying or validating knowledge, we can do this on the basis of the axioms of philosophy, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts. The axioms keep our knowledge firmly grounded in reality. The primacy of existence principle assures us that there is a fundamental distinction between the real and the imaginary and that if we want knowledge of reality we need to observe reality and not look inward to our imaginations(faith) for knowledge of the world. The objective theory of concepts defines what knowledge is and gives us a reliable method to acquire and validate our knowledge. It is a process which uses facts and operates in accordance with the nature of our particular form of consciousness.

These things are more than adequate to justify reason as a valid means of knowledge. Incidentally, Theism rejects all of the above and that's how we can be certain that it is false.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-04-2015, 05:54 PM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
(30-04-2015 05:27 AM)KamojoDragon Wrote:  
(29-04-2015 05:20 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  No it's not circular. We don't need to justify our faculty of reason since it is our only means of acquiring knowledge. We have no other. Our senses tell us that something is there but it is our reasoning faculty that identifies and integrates this data. What we must justify is our reasoning and we do this by comparing it to reality through the process of logic or non-contradictory identification. And before you ask logic, is a corollary of the axioms and the primacy of existence which are directly observable and not deduced so the charge of circularity does not apply.

Isn't the justification for the laws of logic that they would need to be true to be false?

IE. "The Law of Non-Contradiction and the Law of Identity are false!"
"So they are not true and false at the same time, correct?"
"Yes..."
"And they are false and not (not false)?"
"Yes..."
"So you're telling me they are true?"

Right-O. Logic rests on the law of identity which truth is axiomatic. It would have to be true in order to deny it. I always tell people who deny this axiom to prove that it is false without using it. It can't be done. But they try none the less and that makes them look all manner of stupid.Wink

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-04-2015, 05:54 PM
The value of reason and logic
(24-04-2015 05:35 PM)KamojoDragon Wrote:  I was thinking about reasoning recently and I came across an issue in justifying reason and logic. In order to justify your ability to reason as legitimate, you seem to need to either use logic to justify it (a circular argument) or you would need to be unreasonable in your justification, which defeats the purpose of justifying reason to begin with.

Is the justification of our ability to reason a big problem in Philosophy, or is there a legitimate third option for justifying our ability to reason?

User Hafnof answered your question most succinctly. But I just thought some examples of Reason and Logic's success were in order lest you delude yourself about the apparent tentative nature of reason and logic. Without them, we (humans) have no means to make sense (bring internal order and consistency) of our own thoughts and the barrage of sensory data being constantly sorted and prioritized by our brain (most of which we are blissfully unaware). If not for reason and logic, we would have no system to categorize, measure, or share our perceptions with others (no language, no math, no external communication). Without reason and logic, there would be no computer program allowing me to post this response or for you to even pose the question, with or without a computer. And that is the way of science and reason and logic: By golly they work! When something else better comes along, we will likely grab itSmile

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30-04-2015, 05:58 PM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
We can't know whether logic works. If it doesn't work, we have no way to come to this conclusion reliably.

Quantum Physics: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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01-05-2015, 12:43 AM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
Just to quickly clarify, I am not a 'presup' troll trying to bait anyone.

So far, the answers seem to be split into three categories:

We don't know.

We do, through experience.

We do, because denying logic is self-refuting.
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01-05-2015, 01:00 AM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
Q) What is the justification for the use of hammers and our ability to do so?
A) We use hammers when they are useful. If they are not useful then we don't use them.

Logic is just another tool. When it isn't useful (e.g. appealing to someone's emotions, understanding quantum mechanics or trying to fool someone into a belief in woo) they we don't use it.
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05-05-2015, 08:41 AM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
(01-05-2015 12:43 AM)KamojoDragon Wrote:  Just to quickly clarify, I am not a 'presup' troll trying to bait anyone.

So far, the answers seem to be split into three categories:

We don't know.

We do, through experience.

We do, because denying logic is self-refuting.

In particular: We don't know and cannot know.

Quantum Physics: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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28-05-2015, 09:47 PM
RE: What is the justification for the use of reasoning/logic and our ability to do so?
There have been rationalists that have dealt with these sorts of problems. They normally take 'reason' as axiomatic, but they have defined 'reason' differently in the past 2,000 years.

I view reason to be a part of our 'a priori' equipment that allows us to function. I have the same sort of view concerning the sense. For a believer such as myself, God alone is the giver of knowledge, and there is no causal relation between reason and obtaining knowledge, though God can use reason (I define it as logic) on any occassion to reveal a proposition to us.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" Peter 3:15

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