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Monday, May 11, 2015

Logical Action

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Philosophy is the art of wisdom. Differentiating between true and false. Finding out the realities of life and nature, to any evident degree.

It is also a way of life. Logical thinking, as devised by ancient philosophers and improved throughout the generations, is a method of filtering out the useful ways of thinking, and avoiding the useless ones. Useful thinking, in the sense that such mind-effort will lead to true conclusions, rather than false fantasies.

Without acting on it - being logical and using those methods of thinking, there is no philosophy. Just opinions and rambling.

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But then comes the question of whether being logical, and acting on evidence, is actually useful, in practice.

Logic represents likelihoods and impossibilities. Good arguments or fallacies. Looking back at history, those people who aligned themselves with evidence, are those that develop the most, both socially and technologically. The excitement around the Scientific method in recent centuries is plenty of evidence, to the benefit of logic.

It is common for people to seek the advice of wiser men and women. Tribes have their Shamans, Kings and Emperors have their Council - their citizens have Witches, and modern Politicians have their Scientists - their citizens have Psychologists.

And while science and psychology are founded on philosophy, their practice is far from logical. Logic had been replaced with experimentation; rather than reach the source of problems, symptoms are badly managed by gadgets and drugs.

I have rarely talked with a person who is aware of logical fallacies. Even more rare was talking with a person who practiced avoiding logical fallacies! Even those who studied philosophy seem to treat it as entertainment, abstract thoughts, rather than a practice.

Arguably, psychology helps emotional issues, but it does not show people how to be logical. Logic has a method and rules. Specifics that need be understood, and then practiced. Then applied to every choice you make.

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The Question of AI

As a side note, I can also mention AI, or rather computerized machines. After all, if being logical is useful to us, then logical machines will continue making choices that benefit us, without the well-known "human error" factor. No wonder computers have become the highlight of the new millennium.

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