• Bylaw
    549
    One way to look at the issue, is that, really. we all have this issue. We are all stupid/stuck in certain areas. It could be reasoning about people, or certain cognitive skills that are covered by IQ, or in certain fields, or in chess or something similar. If we just compare ourselves to peers, we may seem fine. But the moment we try to work on one of our weak areas or run up against someone who is a real expert or genius, it's a different story. And do we know we are weak? I would guess pretty much everyone mis-evaluates themselves on certain cognitive skills. Either too positively or too negatively or both.

    I understand that someone with global deficits, then has a better chance of not noticing problematic feedback from life and other people. But really, we are all in this boat, I think.

    We may be solid enough coasting on what we are, in fact, correct in thinking we are good at. But somewhere, at edges of our skills, we may not know we have a problem and, if we decided to try to improve, might not do the right things to achieve that.

    I have my guess, like others, where this thread came from. I think we are dealing with an over-creative approach, combined with a dislike of what most people think of as authority. Or perhaps better put, a joy in challenging what seems obvious to others. This may lead to some real stubborn mistakes. I could be projecting, since I have had both of these problems myself.

    Another way to extricate oneself might come when one realized what is actually going on in interpersonal, global personality drive ways and how these affect reasoning. There are many ways like can come and smack you upside the head (don't I know it) and get one to start noticing bad habits that affect cognition and reasoning.

    One has to, I think, actively stifle moments of awareness that something is off. In a way, all the person has to do is to start is to let those flashes of doubt and insight get more light and air.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    And then, suppose he does come to understand that he's bad at reasoning - what then? If he still cares about the truth, but he has come to accept that his tools for discovering or filtering truths are compromised, what should he do?flannel jesus

    I don’t think that would be terribly difficult in a controlled situation - like science, or architecture or engineering. You would find out you were wrong by having your predictions disconfirmed or flaws in your designs or projects (although there are those who are notoriously bad at recognising their own flaws. Like Trevor Milton who started an e-lorry company based on lies and was jailed as a result.)

    But it’s a lot more slippery when it comes to moral judgements and ethical decisions, as the criteria are not necessarily objective (I say not necessarily, because if those judgements and decisions cause harm or calamity, those are objective consequences.) But it’s possible to skate through life being wrong about any number of such things, and if there is no karma-upance in a future existence, then - so what?
  • Paine
    2k
    But it’s possible to skate through life being wrong about any number of such things, and if there is no karma-upance in a future existence, then - so what?Wayfarer

    Would you be okay with accepting a world of consequences without being able to find out what they will be?
  • NOS4A2
    8.4k


    Psychological stress in the form of cognitive dissonance.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    But it’s a lot more slippery when it comes to moral judgements and ethical decisions, as the criteria are not necessarily objective (I say not necessarily, because if those judgements and decisions cause harm or calamity, those are objective consequences.) But it’s possible to skate through life being wrong about any number of such things, and if there is no karma-upance in a future existence, then - so what?Wayfarer

    I tend to agree.
  • ENOAH
    480


    Don't you think it's no different than for any language/linguistic tool?

    A person who believes the answers to her questions regarding subject x are best arrived at through correctly applying logic and reasoning, should learn how to use those tools.

    A person who believes the answers to her questions regarding subject x are best arrived at through correctly applying Calculus and Cartesian geometry, should learn how to use those tools.

    Or, have I misunderstood/oversimplified your query?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    Would you be okay with accepting a world of consequences without being able to find out what they will be?Paine

    Good question. I suppose it’s analogous to compatibilism in some ways.
  • Paine
    2k

    Cognitive dissonance is usually presented as an obstacle to learning. The result is a decrease of stress.

    Everything is okay. Never mind.
  • Paine
    2k

    I think about it in Aristotelian terms. There are too many accidents to explain through necessity. But there are too many repetitions to blow off connections between actions.
  • Beverley
    136
    If this persons truth-discovering tools like reason and logic are compromised in such a way, how could this person *discover the truth* that his truth-discovering (or filtering instead of discovering, if you prefer) tools are compromised and unrelaible?flannel jesus

    The person realizes that they are human and make mistakes like all of us do.

    And then, suppose he does come to understand that he's bad at reasoning - what then? If he still cares about the truth, but he has come to accept that his tools for discovering or filtering truths are compromised, what should he do?flannel jesus

    He should consider ALL possibilities and be aware that he will STILL make mistakes, as we all continue to do. But by realizing this, he may be more respectful of other people's views, even if he does not agree with them, since he knows that he too could be wrong. He might also conclude that he has been living and surviving like this for all his days, like us all, and all he can do is 'try' to be openminded and get closer to the truth... whatever that is.
  • Fire Ologist
    234
    if one of the benefits of being able to reason well, and use logic, is to find out what you're wrong about, then... what if you're wrong about logic and reason itself?flannel jesus

    You assume you are reasonable but your own reason teaches you that you are not using reason. Just sane enough to know you’re insane. Sounds like a Kafka novel.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    And then, suppose he does come to understand that he's bad at reasoning - what then? If he still cares about the truth, but he has come to accept that his tools for discovering or filtering truths are compromised, what should he do?flannel jesus

    One can discover that they are bad at reasoning by bumping up against contradictions in their own thinking. This happens most obviously when others call them out on their contradictions, and less obviously when they encounter signs that their own beliefs are not coherent. One can become capable of understanding and perceiving contradictions even with very simple tools, such as an understanding of truth and falsity, and simple rules of inference like modus ponens and modus tollens.Leontiskos

    No to both quoted posts above. I have experienced people like this in real life and I now avoid having any discussion with them, except to greet them good morning, hello, how're you doin'? And when I say discussion, I mean the topic of everyday life, let alone serious current events.

    They don't see the contradiction in what they say. They're not interested in learning or hearing about the contradiction in their statements. Mind you, when they're having a conversation, they speak with authority -- "I got bitten by mosquitos. See these bites?" I'd respond by saying -- those are flea bites, not mosquito bites, judging from the marks on the skin. She would then reason by saying, well I have a can of water standing in my yard. This is all she would hold on to for "evidence" that it's a mosquito bite. I could go on with this... you ask her, did you see any mosquitos at all? She'd say, no, but there's that standing water. :wink: lol.
  • flannel jesus
    1.4k
    One can discover that they are bad at reasoning by bumping up against contradictions in their own thinking.Leontiskos

    It seems as though, with our one example of this situation on this forum, one has to be willing to see contradictions before one is able to see contradictions. Our one test example on the forum, when faced with the contradiction, can just will themselves out of seeing it
  • Bylaw
    549
    It seems as though, with our one example of this situation on this forum, one has to be willing to see contradictions before one is able to see contradictions. Our one test example on the forum, when faced with the contradiction, can just will themselves out of seeing itflannel jesus
    So, then: can one be bad at reason and be willing to see contradictions. I would say yes. Unless we take 'bad at reasoning' to mean one never draws correct conclusions. But one could draw the conclusion that it would be good to notice contradictions as the result of bad reasoning. Like 'I've never seen Angelin Jolie where she was clearly not noticing Contradictions' 'Therefore she is good at noticing contradictions' Everyone should be like Angelina Jolie' Therefore I will look for contradictions. And so they do look and find and slowly realize that while their original reasoning for deciding this was not perfect, they're glad they decided to look for and notice contradictions.

    Then we have to ask ourselves if someone can notice with utterly terrible reasoning. Well, it depends how terrible is terrible.
    The hood of my car gets warm when I drive the car and this lasts for 10 minutes. I didn't drive my car in the last hour so it is not warm now.
    Goes outside in the 98 degree heat to his car parked in the sun and notices the hood is warm, but he hasn't driven the car for weeks. Suddenly, I think some percentage of bad reasoners will recognize a problem. Not all, clearly, but some.
  • flannel jesus
    1.4k
    hey! Who's been driving my car!?
  • Bylaw
    549
    hey! Who's been driving my car!?flannel jesus
    After a week of mulling I decided I was time travelling. Which makes sense since it was a week later. Or as I put it to myself 'therefore I am a time traveler.' If I hadn't noticed the hood, I wouldn't have been a time traveler.
  • Bylaw
    549
    If this persons truth-discovering tools like reason and logic are compromised in such a way, how could this person *discover the truth* that his truth-discovering (or filtering instead of discovering, if you prefer) tools are compromised and unrelaible?flannel jesus
    I thought I'd revisit this and made a list off the top of my head of terms that have to do with reasoning. Processes/functions that need to work well or you may have a problem with reasoning. These are not distinct categories; they overlap.

    Some of the ones that I think account for bad reasoning (in all of us, at some point, and in certain people regularly). I just bolded the last three and these three also overlap. I think when people are bad at reasoning it is often these three functions that are not up to snuff. You need have the ability to notice small cues in yourself that you might be wrong. IOW I think people often get signals from themselves that they are not sure - when presenting as sure - or the nagging sense that something might be off, but these signals get ignored. It's not just that we can't take criticism from others or recognize the validity of other perspectives, but we actually don't listen to ourselves. We don't want to. If we don't want to because it hurts - to consider we might be wrong on a particular issue or ever - then we lack grit in the face of cognitive dissonance. We can't sit with those uncomfortable feelings. We want to win, make those go away, be right, period. If we're not aware of what our feelings think are at stake, we won't be vigilant about such cues. If we're not aware of past biases or interpersonal habits we have, we may converse with poor reasoning. That's some floppy muling over those last few terms which we might not think of as involved in poor reasoning. Oh, he doesn't understand logic or deduction or whatever. That's certainly an issue with people. But in general I think if we encounter someone with bad reasoning, there's only a real problem if those last three items are weak.


    Critical Thinking
    Logical Reasoning
    Problem-Solving
    Decision Making
    Analytical Thinking
    Inductive Reasoning
    Deductive Reasoning
    Cognitive Flexibility
    Meta-cognition
    Introspection

    Grit in the face of Cognitive Dissonance.
  • Leontiskos
    1.5k
    It seems as though, with our one example of this situation on this forum, one has to be willing to see contradictions before one is able to see contradictions. Our one test example on the forum, when faced with the contradiction, can just will themselves out of seeing itflannel jesus

    Yes, "bumping up against" involves noticing. Note that you asked how someone could discover they are bad at reasoning. They could do so by noticing contradictions in their own thought. This doesn't mean that they are guaranteed to notice contradictions in their own thought, or that there is a method which provides such a guarantee.
  • unenlightened
    8.8k
    A whole philosophical tradition discovered it was unreasonable in declaring that "all swans are white".

    The phrase "black swan" derives from a Latin expression; its oldest known occurrence is from the 2nd-century Roman poet Juvenal's characterization in his Satire VI of something being "rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno" ("a bird as rare upon the earth as a black swan").[4]: 165 [5][6] When the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed by Romans not to exist.[1] The importance of the metaphor lies in its analogy to the fragility of any system of thought. A set of conclusions is potentially undone once any of its fundamental postulates is disproved. In this case, the observation of a single black swan would be the undoing of the logic of any system of thought, as well as any reasoning that followed from that underlying logic.
    Juvenal's phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility.[7] The London expression derives from the Old World presumption that all swans must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers.[8] In that context, a black swan was impossible or at least nonexistent.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

    See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kant_and_the_Platypus
    (The platypus is an anomolous creature that transcended the category mammal when discovered by both suckling its young and laying eggs rather than live young, thereby irritating many tidy minds.)

    One discovers, when reality bites, rather than when the king of the internet argues.
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