Julia Galef is the host of the podcast Rationally Speaking (which I've listened to for years and recommend). She's a rationalist concerned with improving the way she and others think. As a result, she often puts out material critiquing typical reasoning mistakes. As Sean Carroll pointed out recently when interviewing her, this tends to put … Continue reading The Scout Mindset
At Aeon, Nevin Climenhaga makes some interesting points about probability. After describing different interpretations of probability, one involving the frequency with which an event will occur, another involving its propensity to occur, and a third involving our confidence it will occur, he describes how, given a set of identical facts, each of these interpretations can … Continue reading Probability is relative
Ross Pomeroy at Real Clear Science discusses five logical fallacies that often get misidentified and abused in arguments. Identified by Steven Novella in his book The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, one of these is the old Correlation and Causation fallacy: 2. Correlation and Causation. Correlation does not prove causation. To say that it does is a logical fallacy. … Continue reading How do we establish causation?
Last week was scientism week at Scientia Salon, and I reblogged a post by Coel Hellier on a defense of scientism, mostly by arguing that mathematics was actually part of science. As I indicated in my comment on that reblog, while I agree with Coel that both logic and mathematics have foundations that are empirically … Continue reading Is logic and mathematics part of science?
Massimo Pigliucci has an interesting post at Scientia Salon on philosophical zombies. Massimo looks at David Chalmers's argument for philosophical zombie arguments and, I think, does an excellent job at showing the problems with them. But in the discussion, a distinction is made that I find interesting. Apparently, Chalmers admits that zombies are probably not naturally … Continue reading Logic has empirical foundations, sort of.
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. David Hume Reason, logic, is a tool. It is a means to an end. It is never an end unto itself, never the goal. It is the journey, not … Continue reading Reason is a tool of emotion
via Rationally Speaking: Rationally Speaking cartoon: Evidence & Reason. Click through to see a enlarged version. This succinctly mirrors my earlier comments on a post Massimo made a while back expressing frustration on a relative's unwillingness to see logic. Sometimes the logical thing to do is to recognize that logic won't work. Related articles Rationally Speaking … Continue reading Rationally Speaking: Rationally Speaking cartoon: Evidence & Reason
Massimo Pigliucci posted yesterday: Rationally Speaking: Irrationality, a personal study, his personal frustration in a conversation with a relative who, despite being a fairly rational person, had an emotional aversion to gay marriage. Massimo lamented the difficulty in convincing people to approach things rationally. I think trying to counter emotional positions with logic is a tricky … Continue reading Countering emotion with logic is often not effective