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Why should intuition and ad hoc reasoning submit to logic?

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I've only recently begun flirting with philosophy so I lack the sophistication to adequately rebuke this. Can someone pose an argument from the perspective of natural law ethics why logic is the superior faculty and methodology.

Objectivism is against Natural Law ethics. So I don't think anyone here is going to be able to help you with this. Ultimately it is based on deontology (intrinsicism).

Also I don't know why you would ask anyone to start with ethics to talk about why logic was a superior methodology.

In addition to this I have to ask what you mean by "why logic is the superior faculty and methodology". I am not aware of any other methodologies other than "emotionalism", which isn't a methodology at all but a fallacy. If you want me to explain why emotionalism is wrong, I would be willing to.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As Hairnet pointed out, the problem is complicated by its premises. You have three problems in one question.

1. The relationship between "natural law" ethics and Objectivist ethics.

2. The challenge of validating logic

3. The challenge of validating logic within the context of ethics.

Let's start with logic. This is DeMorgan's Theorem.

A. NOT (P OR Q) = (NOT P) AND (NOT Q)

B. NOT (P AND Q) = (NOT P) OR (NOT Q)

You can put words in for P and Q and see the truth.

A. "Neither Republicans nor Democrats are consistent." means "Republicans are not consistent; and Democrats are not consistent."

B. You cannot have both laissez faire capitalism and state socialism. This is the same as saying that you can be not-laissez faire or you can be not-state socialist.

Logic is non-contradictory thinking. (quote from Ayn Rand).

It remains to be shown that any other mode of thinking must be internally contradictory. Maybe some other form can be non-contradictor. So far, in 2500 years, logic is the best form of thinking that we have discovered or invented.

Other considerations might be interesting or even important, but they lead to contradictions. Contradictions are just that: they cannot be resolved. Do you have a solution for Northern Ireland or Palestine? Tough questions, hard to resolve without contradictions, i.e., someone gets screwed, maybe everyone, but no answer results in no one losing. That is the nature of a contradiction. If they all had been logical from the get-go, none of it would have happened.

Edited by Hermes
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I don't know that I understand the question, surely it is blatantly obvious that logic is superior...?

Intuition is nothing more than unreliable feelings within an individual, utterly subjective. How could intuition be superior to logic which deals with the cold, hard, non-contradictory facts of reality? The intuition of two people may tell them two different, contradictory things - who is right? Either one of them is correct and the other wrong, or they are both wrong, there is no other option.

I know TV shows and movies typically show the hero as a heart-on-his-sleeve, intuitive, emotionally driven, going by his 'gut' and things always work out best for them... but that is just TV and the state of our culture is another issue entirely.

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I've only recently begun flirting with philosophy so I lack the sophistication to adequately rebuke this. Can someone pose an argument from the perspective of natural law ethics why logic is the superior faculty and methodology.

No, but I can provide you with a logical argument to do so.

Intuition and ad-hoc reasoning may be correct. However, since they do not rely upon verified premises and complete logical analysis in reaching their conclusions, they may also be incorrect.

To be logical, a conclusion must be based on true premises and must include a complete logical analysis along every step of the way to the conclusion reached.

Therefore, logic when executed properly (aka sound logic) cannot be wrong. If the premises are correct and the argument is correct then the conclusion is correct. Every time.

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Truth is correspondence with the facts of reality. The facts of reality are the many ways entities' identities are manifest.

Logic is the discipline in thought of recognizing and respecting identity. A is A. All men are mortal, Socrates is a philosopher, therefore: nothing. The terms in a syllogism must be exactly the same, in order to preserve identity, to base our conclusions on identity, to know what's true.

There are hypotheses, suppositions, educated guesses, insights, etc. that serve us well in contexts beset by unknowns. They work by analogy, which is a partial pattern-matching. Being able to compare things in many specific respects is valuable in coping with the unknown. But, in all such situations, it is still fundamentally the same thing, logic and identity that is relied on. The unknowns (relevant unknowns, relevant to one's purpose) keep your thinking from fulfilling the criteria of valid induction or deduction, but that doesn't open the door to the arbitrary.

Mindy

Edited by Mindy
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What are you are really asking is : "Why is the process of non-contradictatory identification superior?" Your asking why it is is better to identify alleged facts which do not contradict with reality ( the only sort of facts that actually exist ). No matter how you go about any process of thinking / argument or any other valid cognitive process , your stuck with the fact that if you wish to deal with reality and wish to reach valid conclusions / act in accordance with reality, that one must employ logic first. Without logic one has no cognitive grasp of anything and ones mind is helpless.

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  • 5 months later...

What are you are really asking is : "Why is the process of non-contradictatory identification superior?" Your asking why it is is better to identify alleged facts which do not contradict with reality ( the only sort of facts that actually exist ). No matter how you go about any process of thinking / argument or any other valid cognitive process , your stuck with the fact that if you wish to deal with reality and wish to reach valid conclusions / act in accordance with reality, that one must employ logic first. Without logic one has no cognitive grasp of anything and ones mind is helpless.

Is it unreasonable to think that their is a process of subconscious logical reasoning? In other words, why do all the variables have to be explicitly identified to be sure of logical validity? If you're sure of your premises and intelligence, can't you be confident that you wouldn't think something without having to identify everything that makes it true explicitly?

My definition of intuition is the ability to subconsciously make broad connections between concepts before identifying the logical connections between the concepts.

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Is it unreasonable to think that their is a process of subconscious logical reasoning? In other words, why do all the variables have to be explicitly identified to be sure of logical validity? If you're sure of your premises and intelligence, can't you be confident that you wouldn't think something without having to identify everything that makes it true explicitly?

I'm not going to think about a fully rational answer to that. Instead, I'll go with my intuition, which is saying the answer is "No.".

If you think through the logic of it, you'll find that this is the one instance where my intuition actually logically proves that the answer (at least as far as I am concerned) is indeed "No.".

Edited by Tanaka
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Is it unreasonable to think that their is a process of subconscious logical reasoning? In other words, why do all the variables have to be explicitly identified to be sure of logical validity? If you're sure of your premises and intelligence, can't you be confident that you wouldn't think something without having to identify everything that makes it true explicitly?

If we knew that our minds could only hold correct premises and ideas as concepts, this would be reasonable.

Since we cannot, we must always check our premises.

Intuition MAY be right. It may not be ASSUMED to be right. Intuition must be validated.

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Is it unreasonable to think that their is a process of subconscious logical reasoning? In other words, why do all the variables have to be explicitly identified to be sure of logical validity? If you're sure of your premises and intelligence, can't you be confident that you wouldn't think something without having to identify everything that makes it true explicitly?

Simply being intelligent isn't enough to ensure that you won't make errors. The sheer number of intelligent people who disagree strongly with each other is evidence of this. In order to trust our subconscious without checking it first, we would have to assume that we were infallible, not just intelligent, and this would of course be an unwarranted assumption.

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If we knew that our minds could only hold correct premises and ideas as concepts, this would be reasonable.

Since we cannot, we must always check our premises.

Intuition MAY be right. It may not be ASSUMED to be right. Intuition must be validated.

So in a tight spot where time is limited, it is reasonable to rely on intuition, because to check our premises would be to take too much time and miss whatever opportunity?

In other words, intuition can be used, but must not be relied upon. Is this what you are saying?

I'm interested in the time factor. We don't always have all the time in the world to rationally evaluate all our premises, and each second that ticks by the situation changes.

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So in a tight spot where time is limited, it is reasonable to rely on intuition, because to check our premises would be to take too much time and miss whatever opportunity?

In other words, intuition can be used, but must not be relied upon. Is this what you are saying?

I'm interested in the time factor. We don't always have all the time in the world to rationally evaluate all our premises, and each second that ticks by the situation changes.

It depends on the context. It's not an easy thing to verify and/or change subconscious premises or ideas. Once you identify some aspect of your subconscious or character which is acting against your life, it's a lot of work to change it.

The most important thing in these time-crunch situations is to know yourself. Know when your subconscious tends to make the right decisions, and know when it doesn't. If you've verified that your subconscious works the right way in certain situations, then you're justified in trusting it in those instances. And of course, context should help decide exactly how much time you spend questioning your subconscious inclinations in any given situation.

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