Tag Archives: German Shepherd

Why Would YOU Think Like Aristotle?

26 Oct

So why would anyone, you, I, or the person down the street, the big shot in the office, the bag person pushing a shopping cart  — Why would they, or anyone else, think like, or want to think like Aristotle?

The reason is simple: Because we are human.

Aristotle no doubt believed he came up with a higher form of reasoning. His followers, even to this day, tend to believe that Aristotlean Logic is a higher form of reasoning, largely due to the complex nature of its exceptions.  Fallacies, they are called.

So what is a Fallacy?

Its simplest definition is an error in reasoning: On the surface the argument looks as though it is reasonable and logical, but when compared to empirical data the answer simply does not fit.

The easiest fallacy to uncover results from not closely defining the terms being used. Often these are accidental. If you don’t realize that bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa, are all called germs: If you don’t realize that some of these are good for you, then you are prone to making fallacies about them yourself or to accepting fallacies about them from others.

This is where questions come in. Even when you know that germs are a category, not things themselves, and even when you know that some are good for you and some are bad for you and some are indifferent — it does not hurt to ask yourself, or the person you are talking too, “Exactly what do we mean by that?”

Why Logic is so difficult to master is because there are so many potential fallacies that have been identified. The lowest number of known fallacies I have ever heard is ninety-nine.  The largest number is over a thousand.

In order to be a logician you need to not only recognize a fallacy, you need to be able to implement it; that is find it and correct it.

The reason why there are so many exceptions in Logic; the reason why there are so many fallacies is not because Logic is complex, but because it is simplistic. It way over simplifies so that our minds, which are incapable of handling the full extent of reality, can deal with, manipulate, and understand reality.

Once we understand that Logic is simplified reasoning, one that is not in any way connected too, or representative of reality, then we can use it to good effect. We take a tiny piece of our insanely complex universe, make it bite size so our brain can deal with it, and then discuss it as though it were real. We can refine our definition to the point where it can be understood and manipulated. We can discuss specific bacteria strains, or domestic cats, without constantly worrying that this small segment of reality is not representative of all reality, even though we are aware of the fact.

Once that is done we can use Logic.

Basically Logic is a system of drawing lines around the various parts of the universe and declaring “This is This and That is That”.

It is important to realize that neither This nor That really exist in and of themselves.

A dog is NOT a dog. There is a self animated fur-bearing thing out there in reality that we call a dog. Dogs share DNA with cats and humans. When we talk about dogs we often do not even realize we are discussing domestic dogs and much of what we say does not apply to their wild cousins. So we can discuss German Shepherds or Border Collies as opposed to Tea Cup Poodles or Chihuahuas.

I am aware I am beating a point in the head here, but it needs to be absorbed.

When we are using Logic we are not talking about “Things” we are talking about our definitions of “Things”. The things themselves do not exist independently or out of context with any of the other things the universe is composed of. The fact things can be treated as though they are separate entities allows humans the ability “Think” about them: To manipulate ideas about them: To, as far as humanly possible, understand them.

We never really know, no can we ever know, exactly what we are talking about. But we can arrange our definitions is such a way that we can discuss them as though we did know.

The problems of reasoning happen when we forget that Logic, Things, or Events, and our understanding of them, are all artificial constructs that allow us as humans to function within a universe we cannot fully comprehend.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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The Second Law of Identity

15 Jun

We start with the simplest form of the First Law of Identity as applied to objects in the real world, such as a dog, a tree, a river.

A <- P

Then:

AnT -> (A1…A) = C <- P

Where Significant Variations of A over T(ime) becomes a Group Category. A Concept of A’ness as viewed by the Perceiver.

Or:

Once enough examples of A have been observed A’ness becomes a  mental concept so that the next time the Perceiver encounters the next A they will perceive it as an A: That is it belongs to the Category A. Even though there is a wide difference between the New A and its predecessors.

In simpler language:

Once you have seen a Chihuahua, a Cocker Spaniel, and a German Shepherd,  you are pretty certain to be able to recognize a Great Dane as a dog even though you have never seen one before.

Like all things dealing with the mind this does not work perfectly.

If you have seen enough sheep to recognize a sheep you might think a goat is a sheep until you learn differently.

Also a thing can belong to more than one grouping. Thus a whale legitimately belongs with fish as things that swim in the sea and also as a mammal that nurses the young.

Words play a part in this.

Let us go back again to childhood to see how the next problem of Identity begins. I will call it the first step in Map Fragmentation™. It is normally done by a person with a minimal understanding of Reason who considers themselves a “logical” person swinging Aristotle’s Hammer™.

I can remember looking out the window of a bus and pointing at a big red truck with all the bright lights and loud noise. “Look mommy. A truck.”

My mother explained, “Honey, that kind of a truck is called a Fire Engine.”

A simple enough exchange, you would think.

Until I heard the father of a friend of mine tell his son, “That is not a truck. That is a Fire Engine.”

When I tried to explain it was a truck, just a different kind of truck, the father instructed me that I should inform my mother to get married so I could be raised like a real man instead of like a whimpering sissy.

What I took away from that was pure happiness that I did not have a father around who would act like that, and a profound fear my mother might someday get married and I would have to deal with someone like him. What I get out of it today is that what adults think they are teaching children and what the children are learning have nothing to do with each other.

What I also gathered was that to be a “Real Man” in The United States in 1950 meant to have an unwavering opinion and NEVER show any uncertainty, hesitation, or doubt.

What happened is the father used Aristotle’s Hammer™ to fragment his son’s map.

A (Fire Engine) is A (Fire Engine). Therefore it is not a truck.

A (Fire Engine) is not both A (Fire Engine) and Not A (Fire Engine). Therefore it cannot be both a Fire Engine and a Truck.

A (Fire Engine) is either A (Fire Engine) or Not A (Fire Engine). Therefore if it is a Fire Engine it is not a truck.

This type of reasoning not only fragments a person’s map, which is the way they navigate through reality, it does serious damage to their mental and emotional states as well. It makes it difficult for the person to make the connections necessary to maintain mental and emotional wellness.

The child’s ability to group things into a sensible Map or Model of the Universe has been seriously ruptured with Pseudo-Logic.

It may not matter if this only happens once, or twice, but you can bet the father will have a lot more subjects to apply Aristotle’s Hammer™ to. It would help if the schools somehow countered the process of Map Fragmentation™ but unfortunately they have entire text books devoted to Map Fragmentation™ rather than Map Creation.

For example small children are given books that help them identify cars, trucks, and airplanes. Cats, dogs, cows, etc. It is only later they are taught that cars and trucks are vehicles, and they may never be told that an airplane is also a vehicle. Somewhere, when they are old enough they will be told that cats, dogs, cows, and OMG even humans, are mammals.

I have been given several reasons why children are taught this way, each one (to me) appearing stupider than the last.

What it amounts to is that instead of giving the children connected maps of reality; the maps they would build if left alone; are fragmented in the name of Education using Aristotle’s Hammer™.

Most people…Eventually… Construct completed maps subconsciously on their own.

However certain institutions, such as the military, us an Aristotle’s Hammer to a power Thor would envy.

Some navy people get apoplectic if you call one of their ships a “boat”. Sorry, bud. A ship is just a big boat. A canoe is a tiny boat. In the real world, in spite of Aristotle, there is no distinct demarcation that makes a ship something separate from all other floating devices.

An army man once told me of a harrowing experience when he referred to his rifle as a “gun”.

He was forced to stand for what seemed like hours

First shaking his rifle while shouting, “This is my weapon.”

Then shaking his crotch while shouting, “This is my gun.”

Shaking his rifle again while shouting, “This is for fighting.”

Shaking his crotch again while shouting, “This is for fun.”

A penis is not a gun. A rifle is a gun. A gun is a weapon.

But then disassociation is supposed to be helpful in the military. They are, or were, taught to think of the person they were shooting at as a target, not a living breathing human being.

However:

Sooner or later the soldier comes face to face with the fact the target they shot was a living breathing human being.

That is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder served raw.

The Second Law of Identity is the conceptual recognition of groups of things in addition to recognition of individual things. The way an intelligence, any intelligence, recognizes the next example of a thing as belonging to a known group of recognized things.

The Second Law of Identity is necessary because the recognition of groups of things, and the connections between groups of things, is just as necessary to the thinking process as recognition of an individual thing.

To carry it one step further:

AnT + A+nT + ∞Tn -> EnT <- P

Where AnT is any group of things, say dogs and A+nT is any other group of things, say cats, and the two of them become an Extended group called pets.

We arrive at something very much like a Venn Diagram where cats and dogs are pets while mountain lions and wolves are wild creatures.

Except that wolves can be made into pets and lions cannot except in Texas.

Time to move on to the 3rd Law of Identity.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

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