Do we have a native, intuitive sense of logic?

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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31 May 2018 09:13
 

Do humans have a native, intuitive sense of logic, do you think?

Something we would be born with or that our brain would develop inevitably in the early years of our lives.

Something we can use or not depending on whether it suits us whatever the reason.
EB

[ Edited: 31 May 2018 09:19 by Speakpigeon]
 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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31 May 2018 12:26
 

It’s called the ‘rule of thirds’. C’est magnifique.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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02 June 2018 06:29
 

More and more I find myself unable to respect any kind of formal division between nature and nurture. Especially in the case of humans. Nature is contiguous. Persons, even a deep level are shaped by culture.

I think its pretty difficult to ascertain what we are ‘born with’ since we don’t have a ready control. We can identify certain things which seem to be universal but if you isolate people entirely they seem to lose all faculties.

[ Edited: 02 June 2018 06:32 by Brick Bungalow]
 
EN
 
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EN
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02 June 2018 07:17
 
Brick Bungalow - 02 June 2018 06:29 AM

More and more I find myself unable to respect any kind of formal division between nature and nurture. Especially in the case of humans. Nature is contiguous. Persons, even a deep level are shaped by culture.

I think its pretty difficult to ascertain what we are ‘born with’ since we don’t have a ready control. We can identify certain things which seem to be universal but if you isolate people entirely they seem to lose all faculties.

Nature in this sense is pretty much limited to one’s DNA.  That gives you your basic hardware/software package, and everything thing else is nurture.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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02 June 2018 23:08
 
EN - 02 June 2018 07:17 AM
Brick Bungalow - 02 June 2018 06:29 AM

More and more I find myself unable to respect any kind of formal division between nature and nurture. Especially in the case of humans. Nature is contiguous. Persons, even a deep level are shaped by culture.

I think its pretty difficult to ascertain what we are ‘born with’ since we don’t have a ready control. We can identify certain things which seem to be universal but if you isolate people entirely they seem to lose all faculties.

Nature in this sense is pretty much limited to one’s DNA.  That gives you your basic hardware/software package, and everything thing else is nurture.

Sure. But complex expressed properties like reason aren’t, to my knowledge, trackable with DNA in isolation of cultural factors. We might identify tendencies or trends or pools but I don’t know how one could possibly extract it from its social context. We measure such things by cultural analogy and utility of outcome.

By all means correct me if I have this wrong.

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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03 June 2018 03:17
 

Preverbal infants have a sense of at least two logical rules: negation and disjunctive syllogisms.  (“Precursors of logical reasoning in preverbal infants,” Science, 16 March 2018, 359).  Since these infants are preverbal, the ability to infer using these rules can’t be based in language or otherwise learned from others through cultural adaptations; the more likely explanation is that proto-logical forms are native to pre-predicative perceptual life—a thesis as old as Husserl, a German philosopher writing early in the 20th century.  For note: in this experiment, familiar objects are used, and through manipulations of and changes in these objects, “logical” rules are perceived.  This suggests that formal propositional logic has its origins in perceptual life, at least the basic rules do; from there, more complex relations implied in those rules can be derived (perhaps an analogy to infant number sense and later ability in mathematics is warranted here; this has been studied).  Research on infant cognition re logic is just beginning (this is the first article to my knowledge), but work on cause and effect, object permanence (substance), number, theory of mind, and moral reasoning is well underway.  It may turn out that many of the basic forms we attribute to language and higher learning (“culture”) are already anticipated early in perceptual life; that these higher forms are extractions and developments of these more ‘native’ forms.  From here, it can be asked, I guess, “nature” or “nurture”, but most likely the answer is that these basic elements are simply how we perceive; that they are, like Kant indicated, intrinsic to the very possibility of experience.  Of course a difference must be drawn between these anticipatory forms and the more developed products of later cognitive life, but the genetic (not genes, but “genesis”) origins are unmistakable—as far as I can tell, that is.

 

[ Edited: 03 June 2018 04:32 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Speakpigeon
 
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12 June 2018 01:36
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 03 June 2018 03:17 AM

Preverbal infants have a sense of at least two logical rules: negation and disjunctive syllogisms.  (“Precursors of logical reasoning in preverbal infants,” Science, 16 March 2018, 359).  Since these infants are preverbal, the ability to infer using these rules can’t be based in language or otherwise learned from others through cultural adaptations; the more likely explanation is that proto-logical forms are native to pre-predicative perceptual life—a thesis as old as Husserl, a German philosopher writing early in the 20th century.  For note: in this experiment, familiar objects are used, and through manipulations of and changes in these objects, “logical” rules are perceived.  This suggests that formal propositional logic has its origins in perceptual life, at least the basic rules do; from there, more complex relations implied in those rules can be derived (perhaps an analogy to infant number sense and later ability in mathematics is warranted here; this has been studied).  Research on infant cognition re logic is just beginning (this is the first article to my knowledge), but work on cause and effect, object permanence (substance), number, theory of mind, and moral reasoning is well underway.  It may turn out that many of the basic forms we attribute to language and higher learning (“culture”) are already anticipated early in perceptual life; that these higher forms are extractions and developments of these more ‘native’ forms.  From here, it can be asked, I guess, “nature” or “nurture”, but most likely the answer is that these basic elements are simply how we perceive; that they are, like Kant indicated, intrinsic to the very possibility of experience.  Of course a difference must be drawn between these anticipatory forms and the more developed products of later cognitive life, but the genetic (not genes, but “genesis”) origins are unmistakable—as far as I can tell, that is.

Thanks, very interesting reply!

I’m particularly interested in the level of logical complexity that the human brain can solve outside any formal training. There is in particular the question of logical truths. As I understand it, the brain just hasn’t anything to say about most logical problems because most of them don’t correspond to any logical truth. This in turn is just a direct consequence of the fact that logical truths are a small minority of all possible logical cases for a given problem. The more complex the problem, the fewer logical truths there are relatively to all possible logical cases. The number of logical cases increases exponentially with the number of independent variables. So, it seems rather crucial that our sense of logic be optimal in providing maximum capability without going too far given the resources required to provide it.

Given that you specify that this is a somewhat new field of research, I don’t expect my question here to have an answer yet. But if nobody is specifically looking into this, I think that it should become a priority!
EB

 
NL.
 
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12 June 2018 07:30
 

This is based on my own musings, but it seems to me that there is a hierarchy that goes from the ability to passively follow the laws of physics (i.e., a rock) to the ability to problem solve physically if not consciously (a plant) to visual spatial logic (most, maybe all, animals,) to abstract, symbolic forms of communication (I don’t mean that being a social butterfly is at the top of the hierarchy, ha ha - I would say even work that seems largely mathematical to us, such as what Stephen Hawking did, requires this form of abstract symbolism.)


I think the rock level of determinism is fairly obvious. It has the properties of existence in general.


Plants are able to ‘solve problems’ - often surprisingly well - but not, that we know of, at a conscious level. They are goal oriented systems (the goal being life). If I remember correctly, Jordan Peterson likes to talk about how fungi and slime (in that limbic state that is neither plant nor animal,) can be amazingly good problem solvers (I can look for a citation later if anyone is interested.) But again, so far as we know, these are unconscious processes that happen when a system becomes goal-oriented.


Animals do appear to have some number sense, and I am going to go ahead and say they must possess a fair bit of visual spatial logic. I can find a source to back that up upon request, of course, but I think common sense points strongly in this direction. Animals couldn’t hunt or run from predators without some sense of where they, the other animal, and objects in the environment are and were likely to be at least a few seconds in the future. Living near hawks, I can say that they even appear to use tricks such as driving birds into windows, although it is possible this is not a ‘logical’ process and something they learned via behavioral conditioning - but I would say that the ability for a hawk to visually track an animal couldn’t possibly be from conditioning, because there are simply too many options. There is no simple rule a hawk could follow such as “Always swoop down about one foot in front of where the rabbit is at the time you begin your descent” - the rabbit may swerve, stop, hide in a bush, burrow into a hole, and so on. Those all require different responses on the part of the hawk, indicating some innate understanding of how movement in the physical world works. They may learn a few tricks as they mature and learn to hunt, but I don’t think they have to learn about literally every single possibility of movement via real world experience and reinforcement.


I think symbolic communication - which leads to what we think of as more formal logic - in humans is interesting in that it appears to be strongly present in potentate form and yet does not develop outside of environmental teaching, and if too much time passes with no input, the ‘window’ for such learning closes (a child who is not exposed to language at all before age five will likely never become a fluent speaker of any language - of course data is blessedly limited on that for obvious reasons, but so far as we know this is how windows of learning work.) For example, infants appear to show inferencing skills very early on - if you show a one-year-old an array of three familiar objects and one unknown object and ask them to hand you the ‘zazish’ (or any made up word), then they will hand you the unfamiliar object. That shows some real skill in terms of inferencing and reasoning via process of elimination, at an age where you couldn’t possibly formally ‘teach’ such logic - and yet if you don’t say anything to a baby up through age one, then no, they would not be able to do this. So it seems to me that the innate and the learned become so interdependent after a point that it is almost impossible to truly separate them. The more advanced skills become the more opportunity-dependent they seem to become as well.

 
Speakpigeon
 
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13 June 2018 09:26
 
Brick Bungalow - 02 June 2018 06:29 AM

More and more I find myself unable to respect any kind of formal division between nature and nurture. Especially in the case of humans. Nature is contiguous. Persons, even a deep level are shaped by culture.

I think its pretty difficult to ascertain what we are ‘born with’ since we don’t have a ready control. We can identify certain things which seem to be universal but if you isolate people entirely they seem to lose all faculties.

I take your point… up to a point.

I would agree that the perennial nature v. nurture debate is mostly bogus. I guess we can always think of nature and nurture as the two extremes of a continuum. Yet, I would say that we need a visual sense if we are to read Shakespeare. A visual sense will develop properly outside any human environment or interaction. That’s what I mean by “sense of logic”. Personally, I don’t believe we could possibly start to understand the complex relations between human beings, interpersonal, hierarchical, familial, etc. without having first a sense of logic. I don’t believe we could possibly understand anything about the world without having first a sense of logic. So, I believe the little human that comes to this world needs to develop a sense of logic first to try and understand things just as much as it needs to develop a visual sense first in order to see the world at all.
EB