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  • Showing only topics with the tag "logic". Back to normal view
    1. Anyone interested in a philosophical logic study group?

      Intermittently, for the past 15 years or so, logic has been an interest of mine. Back then I had trouble understanding exactly why certain things people said sounded so right/wrong, and how could...

      Intermittently, for the past 15 years or so, logic has been an interest of mine. Back then I had trouble understanding exactly why certain things people said sounded so right/wrong, and how could I come up with proper responses.

      Among others, in this time I've read one great book on informal logic (which I lost, unfortunately), quite a few articles, and studied the first chapters of the stupendous Gary Hardegree's symbolic logic.

      Even though I love the subject, it is hard to sustain motivation alone. I wish to acquire a firmer grasp of logic and its applications to philosophy. Hence the suggestion of forming a study group.


      It is my understanding that most Tilderinos are in STEM, especially areas surrounding computer science. So I anticipate that many users have an understanding of logic that greatly surpasses my own. Because of that, for some, a philosophical logic study group may seem too elementary to be of any value. Others may find it interesting to approach logic from a philosophical point of view.

      In any case, the idea is to start from scratch. Besides the ability to read and write in the English language, no previous knowledge is required. No mathematics either.


      I have two initial proposals.

      1. An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

      This one is ideal for a light, relaxed approach.

      This awesome book describes 19 common logical fallacies using accessible language, with clear examples and suggestive illustrations. Not very technical, and a lot of it is well-known territory if you have an interest in logic. One chapter for each fallacy, each chapter is one page long. A great conversation starter.

      2. Symbolic Logic: A First Course, by Gary Hardegree

      I would choose this one myself. Hardegree is a wonderful teacher.

      This book is one of the best teaching materials I have ever known, and surprisingly superior even to paid alternatives. A more proper introduction to logic. Hardegree is an excellent teacher, introducing concepts with precision in accessible language. The progression is smooth, you never feel that the exercises are either too easy or too hard. And there are plenty of exercises (with answers!) which are great for self-study.


      We could start with either one of these books and follow from there. Just meeting once a week (or maybe biweekly) to discuss the chapter or chapter section we studied in that period.

      I understand a lot of people like to do that kind of stuff on Discord, so that's a possibility.

      5 votes
    2. How do you read books that defy interpretation, logic, semantics or even language itself?

      After loving Waiting for Godot in the theater years ago, I recently tried to read the novel Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, in the Portuguese translation. It was a humbling experience. Most of the time...

      After loving Waiting for Godot in the theater years ago, I recently tried to read the novel Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, in the Portuguese translation. It was a humbling experience. Most of the time I did not know who was talking, where they were talking, to whom they were talking, or what they were trying to talk about. The words were definitely arranged in interesting ways that pleased me at times, but I can't really say if what I was doing could be qualified as reading.

      Half the book doesn't even have paragraphs, it is just one continuous block.

      Maybe that is the point? I don't know. Critics do seem to get a lot more from these than I do, to the point that I ask myself "are they just deluding themselves, creating meaning where there is none just to justify their very existence? Wouldn't a work with little to no meaning render critics useless anyway?".

      I don't know, I'm rambling. I'm looking at Molloy defeated, like one day I looked at Joyce's Ulysses.

      Maybe I should read these books without thinking, like listening to music with lyrics in a language I don't speak (I can kinda do that in a movie, but a movie is only 2 hours...).

      Maybe I'm not worthy.

      6 votes
    3. What is your first-hand experience with the "Dunning–Kruger effect"?

      In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it...

      In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence. (Wikipedia)

      Some of my fellow programmers seem to think the world turns around their knowledge as if there was no valid reasoning whatsoever beyond math and computer science. They seem to think logic (a tool with multiple uses which exists since at least 380 BC) is merely an attribute of computer science. It's not uncommon for them to think they can understand the intricacies of every phenomenon under the sun.

      I have to control myself to avoid countering each of their flawed arguments. To my own detriment, I'm not always able to do so. I feel surrounded by arrogance and cognitive bias, and have to silence my better judgment in order to avoid constant conflict.

      To be clear, I'm not looking for advice, as I already know the "solution", which is no solution. You can't use reason to fight something that is not motivated by reason. I'm posting to know your stories and maybe find some solace in the knowledge that I'm not alone.

      Have you ever had to deal directly with people who grossly inflate their own competence, possibly stretching it to an unrelated field? if so, what's your story?

      20 votes
    4. Be still and know that I am God

      My wife just found a candle that was gifted to her by a coworker that contained this phrase and it caused somewhat of a debate about its destiny, which made me wonder... are we discussing religion...

      My wife just found a candle that was gifted to her by a coworker that contained this phrase and it caused somewhat of a debate about its destiny, which made me wonder... are we discussing religion and/or the lack thereof here? /r/atheism became a circlejerky hive of scum and villainy, can we do better? Or is a topic so inherently divisive inherently beyond reproach? Can emotion and anecdotal experiences ever compete on even footing with logic and reason?

      11 votes