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Fallacy of Logical Omniscience

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38 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Some people are essentially open to reason and some people are not.

Essentially true, with complication in practice. I have known people who are reasonable (or appear to be reasonable, at least) on certain topics, but quite unreasonable on others, and etc.

38 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I am disputing, not these statistical facts, but their generalization across mankind.

Insofar as I have correctly followed our discussion, the only generalization I believe I've attempted to make is that large changes in thought (e.g. "from Kant to Rand") take time. I believe we're agreed on that matter, so I'm not entirely certain where the point of dispute remains.

I certainly don't mean to generalize that "mankind is unreasonable." If I've intimated anything like that, I erred. When I said that "you have a respect for reason which helps to set you apart in this regard from the vast majority," it was not meant to disparage mankind, nor even "the vast majority," but to highlight what I believe to be remarkable about yourself.

If you'll excuse what is, perhaps, a bit of hyperbole, if one were to say of Roger Bannister that he has an ability to run which sets him apart from the vast majority, that's not necessarily to say that "other people are slow."*

I believe that your respect for reason, which I maintain is unusual (based upon my experience, at least), makes you more likely to change your views -- or to change them more quickly -- in the face of compelling argument, than the vast majority of men. I stand by this.

_______________________________

* If the comparison of Roger Bannister is better suited to Ayn Rand, then consider her case. If we regard her as a "genius," then what does this recognition entail if it does not imply a comparison between Rand and the general population? Yet I do not believe that calling Rand a genius implies that the rest of the populace are morons, anymore than Bannister's accomplishments make a five-minute mile "slow."

38 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

And I'm disputing it on pragmatic grounds, rather than epistemological.

Knowledge is for action. If I were to think of each new individual I met as one more member of a mostly-brainless population, instead of as a fellow self-made being of limitless potential, I wouldn't be able to stomach it; I'd have to go and live alone in the mountains.

LOL, I understand. I don't believe that the people I meet are "mostly-brainless" or anything like it. I do extend the benefit of the doubt to every individual, as far as I am able. And yet, I do not go into general discussion fora and argue there, or engage local political groups, or shout on street corners. I recognize that given the arguments I tend to make... it is difficult to find a population, in current circumstances, who will have the intelligence, the knowledge, and yes -- the respect for reason -- which are required to be open to these kinds or arguments.

The population I require -- "my kind of reader" -- is indeed rare. I treasure every glimmer of rationality I find.

38 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I think it's better to assume everyone's innocence (and sincerity and respect for reason) and treat them accordingly (holding them to the same exacting standards that you and I hold ourselves to), in the abscence of any evidence to the contrary.

Absolutely.

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5 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Why do you believe that I am not engaging? I'm posting in response to you, aren't I?

I never said you weren't. I am not sure if your example about war is an example of a pointless tangent (i.e. arguing about the causes of WW1 as opposed to a fallacy), or if you are giving an example of a context of argument to talk about like I did with an argument about income inequality. If it's the first, sure, no disagreement. If it's the second, then I'm afraid I don't understand what you're getting at. Or if you're asking me to further explain why suddenly talking about war is a tangent to our discussion, it's partly because it's a rather uninteresting example, probably its apparent connection is irrelevant then. 

 

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Or if you're asking me to further explain why suddenly talking about war is a tangent to our discussion, it's partly because it's a rather uninteresting example, probably its apparent connection is irrelevant then.

You seem to be suggesting that my discussion of war is tangential. And yes, I would like to know how you come to that conclusion, especially against my insistence that it is not. Or if it is a tangent, what then? I thought that "knowing or declaring something to be a tangent commits the fallacy, unless (most) tangents are welcomed openly." So do try to be welcoming.

"Uninteresting"? Again -- to whom? To you? And on this basis, you decide that it is "irrelevant" (probably)? I don't know how that's meant to end around your proposed prohibition against dismissing such tangents... but it's a neat trick I shall be sure to remember! (I frequently find proposed examples, questions, arguments, and etc., quite "uninteresting," I assure you. In fact, whole posts, whole threads, sometimes...)

Really though, this conflict is probably down to your unfamiliarity with my "evidence."

Remember:

On 3/4/2016 at 0:19 PM, Eiuol said:

In discussion, the point is not "is it evidence or not?" but "what does this evidence mean?" The first is bound to run into the fallacy, as in you assume their ideas must follow your standard, that certain beliefs -need- to follow without regard for evidence people hold. The second is best, as you allow for their evidence to be evaluated, not wiped away as utterly irrelevant. Focusing on a tangent is totally fine, it's usually a way to see what sort of evidence people hold. "Tangent" is another way to say "not obviously related". If we want to avoid the fallacy, it's important to exchange evidence.

So let us "exchange evidence"! Have you read that link on Austerlitz yet? Even if you decide it is tangential, somehow (flexing your "logical omniscience"), focusing on it is "totally fine"! What does that evidence mean??

Further:

On 3/6/2016 at 6:17 PM, Eiuol said:

Apparent irrelevancies are typically always relevant to some degree; no evidence is to be rejected until a case is made that it doesn't follow.

So can you make the case that Austerlitz is irrelevant to our discussion? It is not to be rejected until you do.

On 3/6/2016 at 6:17 PM, Eiuol said:

To be sure, -arguments- to reach a conclusion need to be shown to follow in a court of law, or in a book proving a thesis, but my idea is unless we assume logical omniscience, evidence is more like "see exhibit A" without any guarantee it proves a point.

Of course... I can't guarantee that it proves a point. ;)

On 3/6/2016 at 6:17 PM, Eiuol said:

Even if I can't argue entirely to prove my evidence matters, my opponent would still need to consider the new facts.

But you still must consider these facts.

On 3/6/2016 at 6:17 PM, Eiuol said:

Regardless of -whose- case it helps, new facts must be explained by both sides.

And you must explain them.

(And when you're done researching and responding to Austerlitz, do let me know; there are many more wars left for us to discuss!)

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8 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Insofar as I have correctly followed our discussion, the only generalization I believe I've attempted to make is that large changes in thought (e.g. "from Kant to Rand") take time. I believe we're agreed on that matter, so I'm not entirely certain where the point of dispute remains.

I think I'll chew on it a bit, until tomorrow.

 

Interestingly, though, this very tangent would constitute a perfect example of the sort of alleged implications Eiuol was asking about in the OP.

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33 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

You seem to be suggesting that my discussion of war is tangential.

I already conceded that this is an example of an unproductive tangent. So I don't know what you're getting at or what you disagree with. I'm not interested in talking about that part or hammering out the worth of tangents.

It would be the fallacy if I'm saying that your statements necessarily imply your belief and acceptance of all implications. If someone starts talking about war out of nowhere, I'll look at them puzzled. And if it was Rubio, I'd only start thinking he was being evasive based on how I already know he's not so honest. Or I will think that he's a really bad debater. That is a different judgment from judgments about if your claim for A means you -want- to claim B (which follows from A).

Edited by Eiuol

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5 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Interestingly, though, this very tangent would constitute a perfect example of the sort of alleged implications Eiuol was asking about in the OP.

Oh, I have nothing against tangents, as you well know. I enjoy pursuing each rabbit down its hole, and I'm down to discuss virtually any matter under the sun... so long as whatever the main contention is, is not ignored and is also directly addressed.

What I am against is tangents being argued in lieu of the main contention. Tangents as a tactic, whether employed consciously (which is what I believe Eiuol is thinking of when he invokes Rubio) or subconsciously (evasion) to avoid addressing some claim head-on.

5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I already conceded that this is an example of an unproductive tangent.

No, you don't get to "concede" that, lol. That's what you're claiming -- over my objection -- and I'm asking you to prove it. You're saying that you know my arguments to be 1) tangential and 2) unproductive.

But earlier, when I spoke of such things, you told me that to judge a line of argument to be "an unproductive tangent" is to commit some fallacy. You told me I couldn't do it, and that I should be welcoming of such tangents, treating them instead as "evidence."

So I'd like to see how you manage to do what you told me I could not do, and should not do. Alternatively, of course, you could walk back those claims... or we can discuss Austerlitz! :)

5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If someone starts talking about war out of nowhere, I'll look at them puzzled.

Is that all you would do? Look puzzled? (Which might not be particularly effective on an online forum... although there are emoji, I suppose.)

It's funny, but that's not all I would do, you know? What do you think I would do if, in a conversation, someone started "talking about war out of nowhere"? Put yourself in DA's shoes for a moment; what do you believe DA would do?

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3 hours ago, DonAthos said:

No, you don't get to "concede" that, lol. That's what you're claiming -- over my objection -- and I'm asking you to prove it. You're saying that you know my arguments to be 1) tangential and 2) unproductive.

Sure, so I fixed my claim to be that it's more a matter of if I care about the topic. I may listen, but it doesn't mean I'll reply. What matters is a person's evidence and looking at that. Basically, the idea is that it'd be wrong to start saying the other person is evasive only for bringing up what appears to be unrelated.

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I see much has been said in this thread but I need some clarification to decide whether to bother to read it fully:


QUESTION:  Anyone here (anyone at all) care to explicitly tell me whether the "Fallacy of Logical Omniscience" is meant to be presented as an actual fallacy in the use of logic, akin to "strawman fallacy", "ad hominem", "equivocation", "begging the question" etc.?

 

Logic and Fallacy


Logic primarily is a process of thinking in which induction and deduction are applied to percepts, premises, knowledge, etc. to arrive at a conclusion which is logically valid (non contradictory and integrative of reality).  Logic is the process of thinking, its beneficiary is the thinker. 

To be sure logic can suffer from fallacy, and men can err.  The urgent need for man to think properly motivates the identification of potential pitfalls and traps he may, in the process of thinking, unknowingly engage in, which undermines his ability to think and hence his ability to live.  As such, the identification and avoidance of logical fallacies is of utmost importance to man.

I fail to see any evidence of an identified logical fallacy in the alleged "Fallacy of Logical Omniscience" and accordingly no requisite urgency for its identification nor its avoidance.

Logic does not depend upon nor have anything to do with the mental states, emotions, knowledge, and certainly not the logical ability or Disability etc. of others.

 

Communication and Misidentification of Audience


PRESENTATION of a logical argument to an audience is effective to the extent it is communicated fully and completely, i.e. all of the premises, knowledge, and all of the steps of integration and deduction leading to the valid conclusion.  In order to present such a topic concisely and efficiently one must make some presumptions about the audience's knowledge and logical ability, as such a "complete presentation" must be chosen within reason, after all one cannot present the sum of all knowledge every time a logical argument is presented.

Arriving at a perfectly valid logical conclusion, does not guarantee any particular attempt at presentation of it will qualify as a full and complete and hence objectively effective communication.  But such a lack of ability to persuade or communicate how a valid conclusion is reached does not reflect badly upon the logical ability of the thinker, and certainly not the validity of the conclusion, although it may indicate a lack of communication skills.

Moreover, were the thinker able to present an objectively full and complete communication (within reason), even that does not guarantee any particular person will (or is willing to) understand.

A failure of communication is not a fallacy of logic.

 

The Error


Presuming the logical ability or knowledge of an audience incorrectly when crafting a particular presentation of a logical argument will generally lead to an ineffective communication, because it results in the presenter presenting too much or too little of one or more aspects, however, this does not give rise to anything like a logical fallacy, it is an empirical error in the identification of the skill and knowledge of that audience.  There being people who actually have the requisite skill and knowledge, this could also be chalked up to "misidentifying what kind of person, i.e. what caliber of mind, one is dealing with."


Instead of a "Fallacy of Logical Omniscience" I would say, there is "Ineffective Communication due to Inaccurate Presumption of Caliber of the Audience."

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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46 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Sure, so I fixed my claim to be that it's more a matter of if I care about the topic. I may listen, but it doesn't mean I'll reply. What matters is a person's evidence and looking at that. Basically, the idea is that it'd be wrong to start saying the other person is evasive only for bringing up what appears to be unrelated.

But I never suggested that another person is evasive "only for bringing up what appears to be unrelated." What I'd said was:

On 3/1/2016 at 7:54 AM, DonAthos said:

I tend to think of evasion as a reluctance to look at evidence, or to assess connections, or to ask oneself questions (as one would ordinarily), for fear of the potential results. It is not typically so broad as a literal refusal to look at some central passage in the context of a debate, but that happens, too. Rather, I grow suspicious when I raise examples -- and those examples are not discussed or responded to. When I ask questions -- and those questions are not answered or responded to. When I advance some fresh line of argumentation -- and that argument is not engaged or responded to. When my discussion partner instead responds with tangents, or unrelated quotes, or simple restatements of his position, or anything other than a bold willingness to dive into the meat of the topic -- that's when I begin to suspect that they are avoiding the meat of the topic.

And despite our sojourn into our own, personal tangent (which was: to discuss tangents) -- and you'll note that my replies to you continued to address the topic we were discussing, albeit in a "meta" fashion -- this remains what I believe.

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20 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Essentially true, with complication in practice.

Of course. There are a lot of things I've been skipping over (like that) for the sake of brevity.

 

20 hours ago, DonAthos said:

I certainly don't mean to generalize that "mankind is unreasonable." If I've intimated anything like that, I erred.

There's a level of rationality in which someone is liable to change their mind, when presented with a sound argument. There's a level of rationality in which someone probably won't change their mind, regardless of whatever arguments or evidence they're prompted with. Then there's Ayn Rand's sort of rationality which can single-handedly originate the argument, without any prompting. 

Please note that I'm using "rationality" in a very loose sense here, which I'm not entirely comfortable with. 

 

So we have three extremely broad tiers of descending "rationality":

Type 1 (Ayn Rand)

Type 2 (you and I)

Type 3 (Donald Trump)

Now, if I understand correctly, you're saying that most people would fit into bucket #3 (which I agree with in a purely statistical sense) and that it's a normal, to-be-expected thing (which I dispute).

 

It's like Aristotle's observation that spiders have eight legs. He knew that sometimes they lose them but he considered such less-legged spiders the exception and not the rule. Analogously, even if most of the spiders on Earth had lost a leg, the statement that "spiders have eight legs" would still be true; it's built into spider nature.

 

23 hours ago, DonAthos said:

I recognize that given the arguments I tend to make... it is difficult to find a population, in current circumstances, who will have the intelligence, the knowledge, and yes -- the respect for reason -- which are required to be open to these kinds or arguments.

 

You recognize that, given any audience of people one might actually speak to (on Earth today), it's probably safe to assume their membership in the third category - ?

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On 3/9/2016 at 1:50 AM, New Buddha said:

I would try and explain to him that Newtonian Mechanics is the mathematization of empirically gathered data via kinematics/vector mechanics, etc.  That it is inductive and not deductive.  I would also try and communicate to him the limits of formal logic (deductive reasoning) in proceeding from generalizations to particulars in science.

5 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Anyone here (anyone at all) care to explicitly tell me whether the "Fallacy of Logical Omniscience" is meant to be presented as an actual fallacy in the use of logic, akin to "strawman fallacy", "ad hominem", "equivocation", "begging the question" etc.?

 

Eiuol is wondering about the implications one can draw from any given assertion. Specifically:

 

By what objective standards can one prove whether or not one idea necessarily implies another? Obviously, those standards are going to stem from our usual epistemological standards, but precisely how and why?

At what point does Rationality require a speaker to concede the implications of their assertions ("yes; if X is so then Y is so")? Where is the line between pointing out legitimate errors and psychologizing?

 

I haven't given it enough thought before to hazard an answer, yet, but I'm finding my tangent with DA particularly informative.

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44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

Eiuol is wondering about the implications one can draw from any given assertion. Specifically:

 

By what objective standards can one prove whether or not one idea necessarily implies another? Obviously, those standards are going to stem from our usual epistemological standards, but precisely how and why?

At what point does Rationality require a speaker to concede the implications of their assertions ("yes; if X is so then Y is so")? Where is the line between pointing out legitimate errors and psychologizing?

 

I haven't given it enough thought before to hazard an answer, yet, but I'm finding my tangent with DA particularly informative.

Rand address this through her characters in AS, in the form of the imperative:

"Check your premises"

I assume with enough time and effort anyone can check enough requisite premises... if they are willing to.

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48 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Of course. There are a lot of things I've been skipping over (like that) for the sake of brevity.

No worries. I trust you.

48 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

There's a level of rationality in which someone is liable to change their mind, when presented with a sound argument. There's a level of rationality in which someone probably won't change their mind, regardless of whatever arguments or evidence they're prompted with. Then there's Ayn Rand's sort of rationality which can single-handedly originate the argument, without any prompting. 

Please note that I'm using "rationality" in a very loose sense here, which I'm not entirely comfortable with. 

 

So we have three extremely broad tiers of descending "rationality":

Type 1 (Ayn Rand)

Type 2 (you and I)

Type 3 (Donald Trump)

Now, if I understand correctly, you're saying that most people would fit into bucket #3 (which I agree with in a purely statistical sense) and that it's a normal, to-be-expected thing (which I dispute).

Hmm. Trying to put my thoughts into these terms and format (with your caveat re: "rationality" understood; nobody here is writing a dissertation), I would say that I believe that there are a great many gradations between these essential/"broad" types. While there's "a level of rationality in which someone is liable to change their mind, when presented with a sound argument," there are levels within this this to account for those who can change their minds (relatively) quickly when presented with a sound argument and those who might not.

If the bottom of Type 3 represents pure evasion, where "someone won't change their mind, regardless of whatever arguments or evidence they're prompted with," I think that most people (in a statistical sense) probably fall somewhere between the mid-range of Type 2 and mid-range of Type 3. I believe that most people can vary in where they fall on this spectrum depending on the subject matter (as we get closer to core religious beliefs, say, the closer we will approach Type 3 -- statistically speaking; a scientist who has extensively trained himself to respect evidence and argument within a given discipline might be at the very tippy-top of Type 2 with respect to that discipline -- or even somewhere within Type 1 -- yet he might be an evading communist in his political views, have distorted sexual views accounting to a mind/body split, and etc.).

Accounting to this "statistical approach," if I were to poll random people on the street, I would wager that most of them would fall between the mid-ranges of 2 and 3, as I have identified. If I were to go to a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, I would expect to find virtually all Type 3s.

Is it a "normal, to-be-expected thing" qua man to be mid-range Type 2 to mid-range Type 3? Not at all. Man has the capacity to be anywhere along this spectrum, and must fall somewhere, and that is all. Do I extend the "benefit of the doubt" to every individual? I do. Without specific and particular reason to do otherwise, I approach every man at the very highest level that my own "rationality" will allow. And I am open to meeting the next Ayn Rand at any time and in any place.

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4 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

Eiuol is wondering about the implications one can draw from any given assertion. Specifically:

By what objective standards can one prove whether or not one idea necessarily implies another? Obviously, those standards are going to stem from our usual epistemological standards, but precisely how and why?

Close, but it's more a matter of what one's statements or beliefs imply about their further beliefs. It's one thing for me to know that A leads to B, it's another to say you also know A leads to B. We both may know A, but it doesn't mean we both know A leads to B. A second point to talk about is, as you said, when a speaker is rationally required to concede the implications.

I'll get to your post later SL you made some good points.

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I like the three tiered model that Harrison came up with, but I think a more useful way of organizing people is in terms of intelligence and education than in terms of rationality.

In the Objectivist movement, there are three tiers:

1. Intellectuals, like Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff. This tier is responsible for originating new ideas, finding new reasons in favor of the tenets of the movement, providing intellectual guidance to the other members of the movement, and debating intellectuals in other movements. An intellectual typically has seven to ten years of serious study under his or her belt.

2. Informed advocates (I don't know a better term for this tier), like us. This tier has a decent understanding of the tenets of the movement and is capable of explaining many of the positions and arguments of the movement. This tier studies the work of the intellectuals and discusses and spreads the ideas of the movement in the broader culture. Yaron Brook has guessed that there might be 100,000 people like this in the Objectivist movement.

3. Laymen (again, this might not be the best term). This tier has heard of the movement and might agree with or be influenced by its ideas, but does not have the ability to explain or defend them to the extent of the informed advocates or intellectuals.

The important thing to note is that these three tiers will appear in any movement. In the Objectivist movement, they tend to correspond roughly to degrees of rationality, but similar divisions appear in other movements. For example, a Kantian philosophy professor will have better arguments than a Kantian philosophy major, and both will have better arguments than a layman who has some Kantian ideas.

This also relates to logical omniscience and the ability to see logical connections, since a person in tier 1 of almost any movement will tend to be able to see more logical connections than a person in tier 2, and a person in tier 2 will be able to see more logical connections than a person in tier 3.

If you want to read more about this, see The Power and the Glory by Burgess Laughlin, particularly his concept of an "expert" in a philosophy.

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20 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Do I extend the "benefit of the doubt" to every individual? I do. Without specific and particular reason to do otherwise, I approach every man at the very highest level that my own "rationality" will allow.

I know. :thumbsup: And I don't believe that you think of people in general as "mostly-brainless", either; that would defeat the point of entering into any intellectual discourse.

I do think it's implied in not expecting much respect for reason from people and it's an implication I've been struggling with, personally. I primarily wanted to see how my intermediate results stand up to OO's scrutiny (I figured it wasn't a big enough point to derail the thread).

 

21 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Rand address this through her characters in AS, in the form of the imperative:

"Check your premises"

 

Yes... And while that would technically cover every error in the world (if properly understood) it seems like a somewhat blunt instrument. I mean, I'm fond of the guideline that "a good theory is one a child of six could understand" and if a six-year-old asked me:

17 hours ago, Eiuol said:

We both may know A, but it doesn't mean we both know A leads to B. A second point to talk about is, as you said, when a speaker is rationally required to concede the implications.

I wouldn't respond "check your premises" and leave them to sort the rest out.

 

Once again, I'm not trying to derail the thread and I will take a stab at the OP (hopefully in a way that a six-year-old could grasp) in a few more days.

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William, I think those tiers are a good general outline. Those in the top tier really can be expected to know the implications at least within their field. But the problem still remains that I find people higher on the tier are more likely to accuse others of evasion for not noticing implications. People lower on the tier are more likely to accuse others of evasion for mischaracterizing arguments. I find that those accusations are based most often on logical omniscience, as opposed to any actual evasion.

SL, I suppose this is more of an example of a cognitive bias as opposed to a fallacy per se. I still say it's an example of poor logic. Logic can involve mental states if you're asking something like "if you believe A, what can be said about your belief in Z?" For example, if you were looking for your lost keys, but I had them in my hands all along, I would not expect you to check my hands first. The rules of logic don't depend on mental states, but applying them to mental states is different. The fallacy I'm talking about would be equivalent to saying you would check my hands first, which is ignoring the other person's context. Reasoning about mental states is as important as reasoning about facts unrelated to mental states.

Of course, the more advanced an audience or the person you're talking to, the more you can already expect them to grasp certain implications. That is, it is possible to poorly communicate your message, which isn't the fallacy of logical omniscience. However, being aware of possibly running into a fallacy helps with being a better communicator.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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On 2/29/2016 at 9:54 AM, DonAthos said:

What a person presumes to be the implications of another person's argument (or frankly, his own) cannot be assumed, or rest upon simple assertion. Like any other contentious matter, such implications must be established through reasoned argument.

 

The primary thing seems to be that implications are contextual.

 

Take "Socrates is a man". If you didn't know anything about men (let's say you were a visitor from Alpha Centauri) then that wouldn't tell you anything at all. However, if you knew that men were mortal (and you knew what mortality was) then the statement that "Socrates is a man" suddenly has real implications.

 

All knowledge is interconnected. When you get right down to it, there are no ideas held in vacuums; every concept is tangled up in every other concept in whatever brain holds them.

For one idea to "imply" another seems to mean that, in whatever mind perceives this implication, they're tangled up in an unstated (somewhat messy) kind of syllogism.

 

So the process of arguing for or against the implication of any two ideas appears to be a matter of progressing downwards between them, by increasingly-fine levels of scrutiny; isolating the relevant context and bringing those connections out where they can be examined.

 

I have a few other things but they all stem from that.

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19 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Take "Socrates is a man". If you didn't know anything about men (let's say you were a visitor from Alpha Centauri) then that wouldn't tell you anything at all. However, if you knew that men were mortal (and you knew what mortality was) then the statement that "Socrates is a man" suddenly has real implications.

All knowledge is interconnected. When you get right down to it, there are no ideas held in vacuums; every concept is tangled up in every other concept in whatever brain holds them.

For one idea to "imply" another seems to mean that, in whatever mind perceives this implication, they're tangled up in an unstated (somewhat messy) kind of syllogism.

Good stuff. I agree. I believe that the (central) question of the thread is:

Suppose that a man knows that 1) "Socrates is a man." And suppose he knows that 2) "All men are mortal." Does it follow that he knows that 3) "Socrates is mortal"?

I believe that the stance contained in Eiuol's "fallacy" is that it does not necessarily follow that, because he knows 1 & 2 the man knows 3.

Arriving at 3 is a specific action of deductive logic, and thus of thought/focus. While it may be questioned what it means to "know" that "all men are mortal," if one could be said to be in a state where he knows that Socrates is a man yet has not reached the conclusion that Socrates is mortal, still I think that this is descriptive of the process we must all undertake to "integrate" our knowledge (and I take the central point of the thread to be that it's worth keeping in mind that this is not automatic: it takes time and there may be missteps along the way).

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On 4/4/2016 at 8:01 AM, DonAthos said:

Suppose that a man knows that 1) "Socrates is a man." And suppose he knows that 2) "All men are mortal." Does it follow that he knows that 3) "Socrates is mortal"?

I believe that the stance contained in Eiuol's "fallacy" is that it does not necessarily follow that, because he knows 1 & 2 the man knows 3.

If the man does not know #3, is this immoral, or amoral?

Or perhaps even moral based on his hierarchy of values making this piece of knowledge valueless?

Edited by Easy Truth

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Suppose someone knows

1) Socrates is Athenian.

2) All Athenians are Greeks.

3) All Greeks are Europeans.

4) All Europeans are human.

5) Socrates is male.

6) Socrates is an adult.

7) All adult male humans are men.

8) All men are primates.

9) All primates are eutherians.

10) All eutherians are mammals.

11) All mammals are amniotes.

12) All amniotes are tetrapods

13) All tetrapods are vertebrates.

14) All vertebrates are chordates.

15) All chordates are bilaterians.

16) All bilaterians are animals.

17) All animals are opisthokonts.

18) All opisthokonts are eukaryotes.

19) All eukaryotes are organisms.

20) All organisms are mortal.

It might take a little time and effort to make the connections and realize Socrates is mortal.  How high a priority this is might depend on various things.  Is our person very hungry, under attack, etc.?  Does our person consider it a higher priority to evaluate Socrates' ideas? 

 

Edited by Doug Morris
I don't want 8 followed by ) to transform into an emoticon.

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On 3/4/2016 at 4:38 PM, dream_weaver said:

Man is a conceptual being. Everything he holds to be true, he holds in conceptual form.

Very eye-opening. The fact that "truth" is (solely) in the form of concepts. I thought that "hot", "loud" and "red" were perceptual.

9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

It might take a little time and effort to make the connections and realize Socrates is mortal.  How high a priority this is might depend on various things.  Is our person very hungry, under attack, etc.?  Does our person consider it a higher priority to evaluate Socrates' ideas? 

From what I can see, it's not an intentional evasion. The demonstration of evasion seems to be "you should know it" but you don't, or "one should know it but does not". If so, it can only be known in hindsight, after one "knows".

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34 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Very eye-opening. The fact that "truth" is (solely) in the form of concepts. I thought that "hot", "loud" and "red" were perceptual.

If you picked up a log from a fire that was glowing with red embers for its entire length and circumference with your bare hands, I would expect the yell that followed to be loud. In order for concepts to be objective, two things must be present. The object of consciousness and the consciousness of the object.

By moving closer to the fire, I can become aware of the heat radiating from it. The conceptual identification that it is hot converts a fact into a perceptual 'device' that can communicate to you, and be held conceptually by me, even after leaving the vicinity of the fire. The sensations only last for their respective durations.

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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

From what I can see, it's not an intentional evasion.

Based on the OP that I wrote, I'm saying that failing to make a logical connection does not always mean the cause is evasion. 

Evasion is a deliberate action, by the way, I don't mean that overlooking some facts counts. I mean the denial of facts after having already come to the conclusion that "Socrates is mortal". There is no such thing as accidental evasion.

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