{jctv}//the question of logic\\ Back to 7X300



logic [AND] the grammar of experience

When we say “This is a logical decision” we do not actually mean what we say. Logic cannot lead to a decision without feelings, without experience, without likes and dislikes, without taste, without an idea about the world and the way it works.

Madness assaults us most violently when we try to break out of tautology and say something useful about the world, whereas it is often the tautological way of speaking about the world that is considered mad. Lewis Carroll provided ample evidence of this. Madness has a particular relationship to logic. People reason, about everything and at all times, but their reasoning has the tendency to spiral into infinity in all sorts of wonderful ways. Madness and sanity offer extraordinary views along the paths they beat through the landscape of our experience.

A wonderful way to study logic is to find out about all the ways your reasoning can go off track. There are so many fallacies that one can commit when trying to convince oneself or someone else of something. These fallacies have names, the argumentum ad...Baculum, Consequentiam, Hominem, Ignorantiam, Invidiam, Logicam, Metum, Misericordiam, Naturam, Nazium, Odium,  Populum, Superbiam, Verecundiam you name it. A quick search on internet can deliver most, if not all of them with examples. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy or http://www.logicalfallacies.info/ or http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

Most fallacies are pretty straight forward, and you would have to be very naive to fall for them. The point is that most of them are committed when we forget or choose to ignore the conditional nature of the ground against which a logical construction holds itself stable. This happens frequently in design studio where argumentation can become untidy and people happily employ words in an unsituated and groundless way to convince others that they are right or that they have something compelling to say.

There are three kinds of reasoning: deductive, inductive and abductive. Deduction starts from premises and reasons from those premises, its conclusions can be either correct or incorrect depending on which statements are legitimate and which are illegitimate within the set of rules followed. Its instruments are the operators of logic. Inductive reasoning starts from experience and reasons from concrete events to generalized principles. It tries to find patterns and confirm those patterns in experience. Its operators are critical observation and generalisation. Abductive reasoning is a curious one, it starts when somebody starts thinking about a set of seemingly unrelated facts, armed with a sense that they are somehow connected, that a pattern should emerge, if we had the right way of looking at the problem. It is the kind of thinking required to produce a hypothesis that then needs to be tested inductively or needs to be deduced when considering the necessary premises. Abductive reasoning uses descriptive observation, analogy, simile and metaphor.

Logic as deductive reasoning studies the way that premises, which are generally grounded in experience, can explore the implications of those premises. It reveals the world that these premises disclose. Inductive reasoning looks directly at experience and tries to grasp that experience in descriptions: mathematical descriptions or indeed phenomenological ones. Abductive reasoning scans experience to find its loose ends and seeks to tie them up. Logic searches for grounded rules by which we can make legitimate statements about experience


A selective bibliography on logic

Gilles Deleuze, Logic Of Sense (2005)
Graham Priest, Logic: A Very Short Introduction, (2001)
Harry Gensler, Introduction to Logic,(2010)
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Filosofische Onderzoekingen, (1976) oorspronkelijk 1953
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractato Logico-Philsophicus (1921) Many editions and translations
Wilfred Hodges, Logic, (1977)

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