Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Right For The Wrong Reasons

See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum. And one night, they decide they don't like living in the asylum anymore. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away into the moonlight. Stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend daren't make the leap. Y'see... y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then the first guy has an idea... He says, "Hey, I have a flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk across the beam and join me!" But the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... he says "Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was halfway across!"

Someone makes a conclusion based on what he perceives are facts. His conclusion is correct, his logic is (usually) fine, but the facts themselves are wrong.

The Gettier Problem  is a well-known issue in epistemology that basically uses this scenario to mount an attack on the definition of "knowledge" as "justified, true belief" — a conclusion reached this way is justified and true, but intuitively we wouldn't call it knowledge.

Compare and contrast Framing the Guilty Party, where the facts are KNOWN to be false, but the conclusion is still correct. Also compare Conviction by Counterfactual Clue. Can sometimes overlap with Accidentally Accuratewhen it happens on a meta-level. Dismissing the conclusion because of erroneous facts would be the Fallacy Fallacy. When the premises and the conclusion are correct, but the logic connecting them is completely insane, you have a Bat Deduction. For the direct inverse, where the logic and premises are perfectly sound, but the conclusion isn't, see Entertainingly Wrong. May be a reason for Don't Shoot the Message.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Reason

Reason is the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to intuitive reason.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Reason

The faculty of reason, also known as rationality or the faculty of discursive reason, in opposition to "intuitive reason," is a virtue that governs the exploratory interactions of humans with the universe - such as those employed in our practice of the natural sciences. It is a mental ability found in human beings and normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.It is closely associated with such human activities as language, science, art, mathematics and philosophy.

Reason, like habit or intuition, is a means by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. But more specifically, it is the way rational beings propose and consider explanations concerning cause and effect, true and false, and what is good or bad. In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some event, phenomenon or behavior. The ways in which human beings reason through an argument are the subject of inquiries in the field of logic.

Reason is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for Freedom and self-determination.

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the controversial question of whether animals can reason.