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Posts Tagged ‘Non-formal logic’

From Logic to Ontology: The limit of “The Semantic Web”

 

 

(Some post are written in English and Spanish language) 

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/technology/web-development/TCH_WDD/165684-18926951 

From Logic to Ontology: The limit of “The Semantic Web” 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undecidable_problem#Other_problems

If you read the next posts on this blog: 

Semantic Web

The Semantic Web

What is the Semantic Web, Actually?

The Metaweb: Beyond Weblogs. From the Metaweb to the Semantic Web: A Roadmap

Semantics to the people! ontoworld

What’s next for the Internet

Web 3.0: Update

How the Wikipedia 3.0: The End of Google? article reached 2 million people in 4 days!

Google vs Web 3.0

Google dont like Web 3.0 [sic] Why am I not surprised?

Designing a better Web 3.0 search engine

From semantic Web (3.0) to the WebOS (4.0)

Search By Meaning

A Web That Thinks Like You

MINDING THE PLANET: THE MEANING AND FUTURE OF THE SEMANTIC WEB

The long-promised “semantic” web is starting to take shape

Start-Up Aims for Database to Automate Web Searching

Metaweb: a semantic wiki startup

http://www.freebase.com/

The Semantic Web, Collective Intelligence and Hyperdata.

Informal logic 

Logical argument

Consistency proof 

Consistency proof and completeness: Gödel’s incompleteness theorems

Computability theory (computer science): The halting problem

Gödel’s incompleteness theorems: Relationship with computability

Non-formal or Inconsistency Logic: LACAN’s LOGIC. Gödel’s incompleteness theorems,

You will realize the internal relationship between them linked from Logic to Ontology.  

I am writing from now on an article about the existence of the semantic web.  

I will prove that it does not exist at all, and that it is impossible to build from machines like computers.  

It does not depend on the software and hardware you use to build it: You cannot do that at all! 

You will notice the internal relations among them, and the connecting thread is the title of this post: “Logic to ontology.”   

I will prove that there is no such construction, which can not be done from the machines, and that does not depend on the hardware or software used.  

More precisely, the limits of the semantic web are not set by the use of machines themselves and biological systems could be used to reach this goal, but as the logic that is being used to construct it does not contemplate the concept of time, since it is purely formal logic and metonymic lacks the metaphor, and that is what Gödel’s theorems remark, the final tautology of each construction or metonymic language (mathematical), which leads to inconsistencies. 

This consistent logic is completely opposite to the logic that makes inconsistent use of time, inherent of human unconscious, but the use of time is built on the lack, not on positive things, it is based on denials and absences, and that is impossible to reflect on a machine because of the perceived lack of the required self-awareness is acquired with the absence.  

The problem is we are trying to build an intelligent system to replace our way of thinking, at least in the information search, but the special nature of human mind is the use of time which lets human beings reach a conclusion, therefore does not exist in the human mind the halting problem or stop of calculation.  

So all efforts faced toward semantic web are doomed to failure a priori if the aim is to extend our human way of thinking into machines, they lack the metaphorical speech, because only a mathematical construction, which will always be tautological and metonymic, and lacks the use of the time that is what leads to the conclusion or “stop”.  

As a demonstration of that, if you suppose it is possible to construct the semantic web, as a language with capabilities similar to human language, which has the use of time, should we face it as a theorem, we can prove it to be false with a counter example, and it is given in the particular case of the Turing machine and “the halting problem”.  

Then as the necessary and sufficient condition for the theorem is not fulfilled, we still have the necessary condition that if a language uses time, it lacks formal logic, the logic used is inconsistent and therefore has no stop problem.

This is a necessary condition for the semantic web, but it is not enough and therefore no machine, whether it is a Turing Machine, a computer or a device as random as a black body related to physics field, can deal with any language other than mathematics language hence it is implied that this language is forced to meet the halting problem, a result of Gödel theorem.   

De la lógica a la ontología: El límite de la “web semántica”  

Si lee los siguientes artículos de este blog: 

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_sem%C3%A1ntica  

Wikipedia 3.0: El fin de Google (traducción Spanish)

Lógica 

Lógica Consistente y completitud: Teoremas de la incompletitud de Gödel (Spanish)

Consistencia lógica (Spanish)

Teoría de la computabilidad. Ciencia de la computación.

Teoremas de la incompletitud de Gödel y teoría de la computación: Problema de la parada 

Lógica inconsistente e incompletitud: LOGICAS LACANIANAS y Teoremas de la incompletitud de Gödel (Spanish)  

Jacques Lacan (Encyclopædia Britannica Online)

Usted puede darse cuenta de las relaciones internas entre ellos, y el hilo conductor es el título de este mismo post: “de la lógica a la ontología”.  

Probaré que no existe en absoluto tal construcción, que no se puede hacer desde las máquinas, y que no depende ni del hardware ni del software utilizado.   

Matizando la cuestión, el límite de la web semántica está dado no por las máquinas y/o sistemas biológicos que se pudieran usar, sino porque la lógica con que se intenta construir carece del uso del tiempo, ya que la lógica formal es puramente metonímica y carece de la metáfora, y eso es lo que marcan los teoremas de Gödel, la tautología final de toda construcción y /o lenguaje metonímico (matemático), que lleva a contradicciones.  

Esta lógica consistente es opuesta a la lógica inconsistente que hace uso del tiempo, propia del insconciente humano, pero el uso del tiempo está construido en base a la falta, no en torno a lo positivo sino en base a negaciones y ausencias, y eso es imposible de reflejar en una máquina porque la percepción de la falta necesita de la conciencia de sí mismo que se adquiere con la ausencia.   

El problema está en que pretendemos construir un sistema inteligente que sustituya nuestro pensamiento, al menos en las búsquedas de información, pero la particularidad de nuestro pensamiento humano es el uso del tiempo el que permite concluir, por eso no existe en la mente humana el problema de la parada o detención del cálculo, o lo que es lo mismo ausencia del momento de concluir.  

Así que todos los esfuerzos encaminados a la web semántica están destinados al fracaso a priori si lo que se pretende es prolongar nuestro pensamiento humano en las máquinas, ellas carecen de discurso metafórico, pues sólo son una construcción matemática, que siempre será tautológica y metonímica, ya que además carece del uso del tiempo que es lo que lleva al corte, la conclusión o la “parada”.  

Como demostración vale la del contraejemplo, o sea que si suponemos que es posible construir la web semántica, como un lenguaje con capacidades similares al lenguaje humano, que tiene el uso del tiempo, entonces si ese es un teorema general, con un solo contraejemplo se viene abajo, y el contraejemplo está dado en el caso particular de la máquina de Turing y el “problema de la parada”.  

Luego no se cumple la condición necesaria y suficiente del teorema, nos queda la condición necesaria que es que si un lenguaje tiene el uso del tiempo, carece de lógica formal, usa la lógica inconsistente y por lo tanto no tiene el problema de la parada”, esa es condición necesaria para la web semántica, pero no suficiente y por ello ninguna máquina, sea de Turing, computador o dispositivo aleatorio como un cuerpo negro en física, puede alcanzar el uso de un lenguaje que no sea el matemático con la paradoja de la parada, consecuencia del teorema de Gödel.

Jacques Lacan (Encyclopædia Britannica Online)

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Jacques Lacan (Encyclopædia Britannica Online)

The revolution … Another Gödel’s that does not exist!

Completeness, incompleteness, consistency, inconsistency, decidable and undecidable are concepts of meta logic which can be attributed to certain features of the formal logical systems, more precisely axiomatic systems. These are concepts that are attributed to K Gödel from their theorems from the beginning of the previous century. They emerge in a very particular context of mathematics as opposed to the ideal of David Hilbert who believed that everything in that area could be proof.

Kurt Gödel was born on April 28, 1906 in Brünn, Moravia. It became part of the Vienna Circle, and from that moment they begin to develop their most important theories on the completeness of the formal systems from two publications: his doctoral thesis written in 1929, and the theorem (formally on propositions undecidable in the Principia Mathematica and related systems) published in 1931.In 1931, Gödel published About propositions …, article that called into question the agenda D Hilbert, because not only showed that the system Russel and Whitehead had cracks, but the entire system would be axiomatic.

An axiomatic system consists of a set of formulas set forth or allowed without demonstration-axioms-from which all others are derived assertions theory called theorems. The set of axioms over the definition of phrasing or formula System (definition preceding statement of the axioms) and the set of rules for obtaining theorems from the axioms (transformation rules) are the basis of the primitive system.

K. Gödel proved that it is impossible to establish consistency internal logic of a broad class of deductive systems, unless it is taken early so complex reasoning that its internal consistency remains as subject to the doubt as to the systems themselves, putting at stake the impossibility proofing certain propositions. Consistency, inconsistency, completeness and incompleteness.What is a system, which means that it is consistently inconsistent, complete or incomplete, which is a proposition, etc.?
A system is a set of axioms and rules of inference, a claim that a proposition can be true or false. When a system is complete? Once inside it can be determined by the value of truth or falsity of any proposition
The completeness assures us that there is no truth in our system that we will not be able to find But we can only be sure of being able to reach the whole truth if our system is complete.Change is incomplete when it contains proposals on which we are unable to determine their truth or falsity. Moreover, a system is consistent when no contradictions of any kind nor does it have any paradox, and is inconsistent when we run into contradictions and paradoxes. A system is consistent if it is clean of paradoxes and contradictions and complete if any proposition can be proved or disproved sign him. Gödel believed that if it is consistent is incomplete and if it is completely inconsistent.In that sense, consistency means that it is not possible to deduce from the same set of axioms, two theorems which are contradictory. When it comes to contradiction semantics, the system is inconsistent.

The principle of inconsistency then assumed that the truth-value of a system can not be determined from a set of axioms, but only from a foreign axiom. That is a system that is inconsistent when it can not get rid of its internal contradictions semantic.

  

  

The article’s complete translation from Spanish Language is:

  

Tuesday October 2, 2007
LACAN’s LOGIC
 What is the consistency? (*)- Uses Lacan of the concepts of consistency, inconsistency, completeness and incompletenessReferences
At its annual course Witz is in the symptom that dictates in the Association of Psychoanalysis of La Plata, Enrique Acuña introduced the notions of inconsistency, consistency, and completeness and incompleteness to mention that Lacan over his teaching. In his last part in the seminar sinthome The 23, in relation to the Borromean knot defined by the imaginary consistency, as symbolic of the inconsistency in relation to significant misunderstanding, and what is real by the former existence. Consistency or inconsistency of the other incompletud Another, logical consistency of purpose, consistency of the imaginary, are different enunciated over the teaching of Lacan gaining different ways.

 

José Ferrater Mora in his Dictionary of Philosophy, stresses that the concept of consistency appears in three different contexts: a use which describes the “actual subsistence in terms of consistency,” a metaphysical sense in which the term is linked essence, by declaring that the essence of what something is that this “something” is – with some referral to the notion of substance, and finally a logical starting expressions as evidence of consistency by which it is tested whether a calculation is consistent or not.

The revolution … Another Gödel’s that does not exist.
Completeness, incompleteness, consistency, inconsistency, decidable and undecidable are concepts of meta logic which can be attributed to certain features of the formal logical systems, more precisely axiomatic systems. These are concepts that are attributed to K Gödel from their theorems from the beginning of the previous century. They emerge in a very particular context of mathematics as opposed to the ideal of David Hilbert who believed that everything in that area could be proof.
Kurt Gödel was born on April 28, 1906 in Brünn, Moravia. It became part of the Vienna Circle, and from that moment they begin to develop their most important theories on the completeness of the formal systems from two publications: his doctoral thesis written in 1929, and the theorem (formally on propositions undecidable in the Principia Mathematica and related systems) published in 1931.

In 1931, Gödel published About propositions …, article that called into question the agenda D Hilbert, because not only showed that the system Russel and Whitehead had cracks, but the entire system would be axiomatic.
An axiomatic system consists of a set of formulas set forth or allowed without demonstration-axioms-from which all others are derived assertions theory called theorems. The set of axioms over the definition of phrasing or formula System (definition preceding statement of the axioms) and the set of rules for obtaining theorems from the axioms (transformation rules) are the basis of the primitive system.
K. Gödel proved that it is impossible to establish consistency internal logic of a broad class of deductive systems, unless it is taken early so complex reasoning that its internal consistency remains as subject to the doubt as to the systems themselves, putting at stake the impossibility proofing certain propositions

Consistency, inconsistency, completeness and incompleteness

What is a system, which means that it is consistently inconsistent, complete or incomplete, which is a proposition, etc.?
A system is a set of axioms and rules of inference, a claim that a proposition can be true or false. When a system is complete? Once inside it can be determined by the value of truth or falsity of any proposition
The completeness assures us that there is no truth in our system that we will not be able to find But we can only be sure of being able to reach the whole truth if our system is complete.

. Change is incomplete when it contains proposals on which we are unable to determine their truth or falsity. Moreover, a system is consistent when no contradictions of any kind nor does it have any paradox, and is inconsistent when we run into contradictions and paradoxes. A system is consistent if it is clean of paradoxes and contradictions and complete if any proposition can be proved or disproved sign him. Gödel believed that if it is consistent is incomplete and if it is completely inconsistent.

In that sense, consistency means that it is not possible to deduce from the same set of axioms, two theorems which are contradictory. When it comes to a contradiction semantics, the system is inconsistent.
The principle of inconsistency then assumed that the truth-value of a system can not be determined from a set of axioms, but only from a foreign axiom. That is a system that is inconsistent when it can not get rid of its internal contradictions semantic.

– Variations concepts: consistency real and imaginary symbolic.
Another Consistency, consistency of purpose, consistency of the imaginary, inconsistency and incompleteness of the Other … what meaning acquire these concepts in these statements Lacan over their teaching?
Initially, more precisely before the construction of the graph of desire, without mark Another appears, that is complete and consistent. This is a symbolic while suffering from semantic contradiction, and a quantum completud as no significant fault. Another is a belief that the neurotic builds.

The inconsistency of this other – introduced by misleading significant that reveals that not everything can be known-is revealed with more force in the workshop of The Anxiety builds when the scheme of dual causation of the subject and the object from the castration of the Other .

The seminar From Another one to the other, the expression appears logical consistency in relation to the new version of the object being constructed linked to the release of more than enjoy. There consistency is not linked to the version of a symbolic logic that represents an axiomatic system free of contradiction, but rather the version of a “real consistency linked to the substance.” Real subsistence in terms of consistency linked to the substance, since it is something. This version is opposed to drift significant chain in which we were unable to find any consistency as defined in these terms. This object “substance” comes to take the place empty Another That is the consistency of the object takes its weight from the inconsistency the Other. The object in its consistency, cover the inconsistency of the Other. Opposes well to the inconsistency of the results from the chain, the consistency of the object substantial a.

As for the registration imaginary, comprehensiveness is at stake in the stadium at the beginning of the mirror with respect to that image that comes to ensuring actual fragmentation of the body. Image complete in itself full of joy to the baby.
On the other hand consistency in relation to the imaginary Lacan the shows at the seminar The sinthome when opposed to the inability of the real and the symbolic semantic inconsistency introduced by misleading significant. There defines consistency imaginary “which holds together” (1)

Enrique Acuña, class of 12 September from its current annual Witz is on the symptom in the APLP, referred to the version of the Borromean knot that Lacan introduces The Third whereby this function “which keeps together “meets the object a.
It is an “a” that gives stability. He raised hence the need to follow the path that leads to Lacan towards formulating the sinthome since his father’s name through the object to the horizon with the question why Lacan replaced in the role of “what holds together” in order “” by the sinthome?.

It is the uses that Lacan makes the concepts drawn from other disciplines-in this case of mathematics, logic and topology-to try to say every time a new way, that he called his symptoms, the real.

 

 

 An the original document is:

 

http://microscopia2007.blogspot.com/2007/10/logicas-lacanianas.html

 

************ EL PSICOANALISIS ENTRE LOS I N T E R s T I C I O S DE LA CULTURA * WWW.APLP.ORG.AR

martes 2 de octubre de 2007

LOGICAS LACANIANAS

¿En qué consiste la Consistencia? (*)

-Usos de Lacan de los conceptos de consistencia, inconsistencia,
completud e incompletud-

Referencias
En su Curso anual Del witz que hay en el síntoma que dicta en la Asociación de Psicoanálisis de La Plata, Enrique Acuña introdujo las nociones de inconsistencia, consistencia, completud e incompletud a las que hace mención Lacan a lo largo de su enseñanza. En su última parte en el seminario 23 El sinthome, en relación al nudo borromeo define a lo imaginario por la consistencia, a lo simbólico por la inconsistencia en relación al equívoco significante, y a lo real por la ex -sistencia. Consistencia o inconsistencia del Otro, incompletud del Otro, consistencia lógica del objeto, consistencia de lo imaginario, son distintos enunciados a lo largo de la enseñanza de Lacan que van cobrando distintos sentidos.

 

 

José Ferrater Mora en su Diccionario de filosofía, destaca que el concepto de consistencia aparece en tres contextos diferentes: un uso en el que se describe la “real subsistencia en términos de consistencia”,un sentido metafísico en el que queda ligado al término esencia, por declararse que la esencia de algo es aquello en que este “algo” consiste – con cierta derivación hacia la noción de sustancia-, y por último un contexto lógico a partir de expresiones como prueba de consistencia por medio de la cual se prueba si un cálculo es o no consistente.La revolución Gödeliana…del Otro que no existe.
Completud, incompletud, consistencia, inconsistencia, decidible e indecidible son conceptos de la metalógica que se refieren a ciertas características de los sistemas lógicos formales, más precisamente a los sistemas axiomáticos. Son conceptos que se atribuyen a K Gödel a partir de sus teoremas de principios del siglo anterior. Surgen en un contexto muy particular de las matemáticas en contraposición al ideal de David Hilbert que consideraba que en ese ámbito todo podría ser demostrable
Kurt Gödel nació el 28 de abril de 1906 en Brünn, Moravia. Entró a formar parte del Círculo de Viena, siendo a partir de ese momento que comienza a elaborar sus teorías más importantes sobre la completitud de los sistemas formales a partir de dos publicaciones: su tesis doctoral escrita en 1929, y el teorema (Sobre proposiciones formalmente indecidibles en los Principia Mathematica y sistemas afines) publicado en 1931.En el año 1931, Gödel publicaba Sobre proposiciones…,artículo que ponía en cuestión el programa de D Hilbert, porque demostraba que no sólo el sistema de Russel y Whitehead tenía fisuras, sino que todo sistema axiomático los tendría.
Un sistema axiomático está compuesto por un conjunto de enunciados o fórmulas que se admiten sin demostración –axiomas- a partir de los cuales se obtienen todas las demás afirmaciones de la teoría llamadas teoremas. El conjunto de axiomas, más la definición de enunciado o fórmula del sistema (definición que precede al enunciado de los axiomas) y el conjunto de las reglas para la obtención de teoremas a partir de los axiomas (reglas de transformación) constituyen la base primitiva del sistema.
K. Gödel demostró que es imposible establecer la consistencia lógica interna de una amplia clase de sistemas deductivos, a menos que se adopten principios tan complejos de razonamiento que su consistencia interna quede tan sujeta a la duda como la de los propios sistemas, poniendo en juego la imposibilidad de demostrar ciertas proposicionesConsistencia, inconsistencia, completud e incompletud
En ese sentido, la consistencia implica que no sea posible deducir, a partir del mismo sistema de axiomas, dos teoremas que sean contradictorios. Cuando se llega a una contradicción semántica, el sistema se muestra inconsistente.
El principio de inconsistencia entonces supone que el valor de verdad de un sistema no puede ser determinado a partir de un conjunto de axiomas sino solo desde un axioma exterior. Es decir que un sistema es inconsistente cuando no puede librarse de sus contradicciones semánticas internas.-Variaciones conceptuales: consistencia real, simbólica e imaginaria.
Consistencia del Otro, consistencia del objeto, consistencia de lo imaginario, inconsistencia e incompletitud del Otro…¿qué significado adquieren estos conceptos en estas afirmaciones de Lacan a lo largo de su enseñanza?
Al comienzo, más precisamente antes de la construcción del grafo del deseo, el Otro aparece sin barrar, esto es completo y consistente. Se trata de una consistencia simbólica en tanto adolece de contradicción semántica, y de una completud cuántica en cuanto ningún significante falta. Se trata de un Otro que la creencia neurótica construye.

La inconsistencia de este Otro – introducida por el equívoco significante que devela que no todo puede saberse- se revela con más fuerza en el seminario de La Angustia cuando construye el esquema de la doble causación del sujeto y del objeto a partir de la castración del Otro.
En el seminario De un Otro al otro, la expresión consistencia lógica aparece en relación a la nueva versión del objeto a que está construyendo ligada la versión del plus de gozar. Allí la consistencia no queda ligada a la versión de una lógica simbólica que supone un sistema axiomático libre de contradicción, sino más bien a la versión de una “real consistencia ligada a la esencia”. Real subsistencia en términos de consistencia ligada a la esencia, ya que en ella algo consiste. Esta versión se opone a la deriva de la cadena significante en la que no podemos encontrar ninguna consistencia definida en estos términos. Este objeto “sustancializado” viene a ocupar el lugar vacío del Otro, es decir que la consistencia del objeto toma su peso a partir de la inconsistencia el Otro. El objeto a en su consistencia, tapa la inconsistencia del Otro. Se opone así a la inconsistencia de la deriva de la cadena, la consistencia sustancial del objeto a.
En cuanto al registro imaginario, la completitud se pone en juego al comienzo en el estadio del espejo con relación a esa imagen que viene a velar la fragmentación real del organismo. Imagen completa que en tanto tal llena de júbilo al infans.

 

 

Por otro lado la consistencia en relación a lo imaginario Lacan la pone de manifiesto en el seminario El sinthome cuando la opone a la imposibilidad de lo real y a la inconsistencia semántica de lo simbólico introducida por el equívoco significante. Allí define a la consistencia imaginaria como “lo que mantiene junto”(1)

Enrique Acuña, en clase del 12 de septiembre de su curso anual Del witz que hay en el síntoma en la APLP, hizo mención a la versión del nudo borromeo que Lacan introduce en La Tercera según la cual, esta función de “lo que mantiene junto” la cumple el objeto a.
Es un “a” que da estabilidad. Planteó allí la necesidad de acompañar el trayecto que conduce a Lacan hacia la formulación del sinthome desde el nombre del padre, pasando por el objeto a teniendo como horizonte la pregunta ¿porqué Lacan sustituye en esa función de “lo que mantiene junto”, al objeto “a” por el sinthome?.
Se trata de los usos que Lacan hace de los conceptos extraídos de otras disciplinas- en este caso de la matemática, la lógica y la topología- para intentar decir cada vez de una manera nueva, eso que llamó su síntoma; lo real.
Marcelo Ale
Consultas:
Ferrater Mora Jose Diccionario de filosofía. Ariel, Barcelona. 1999.
Copi I Introducción a la
lógica. Manuales EUDEBA. Buenos Aires.1995.
Cohen, M y Ángel, E Introducción a la lógica y al método científico. Amorrortu. Buenos Aires. 1968. 2 vol.
WWW.Wikipedia.org/wiki teoremas.
Acuña Enrique Curso Anual APLP Del witz que hay en el síntoma. 2007
Lacan J La tercera en Intervenciones y textos 2 Manantial. Buenos Aires. 1988.
El seminario libro 23 El sinthome. Paidós. Buenos Aires. 2007.Notas:
(1) Lacan J. El Seminario 23 El sinthome, Página 63.

¿Qué es un sistema, qué significa que sea consistente, inconsistente, completo o incompleto, qué es una proposición, etcétera?
Un sistema es un conjunto de axiomas y reglas de inferencia, una proposición una afirmación que puede ser cierta o falsa. ¿Cuándo un sistema es completo? Cuando dentro de él puede determinarse el valor de verdad o falsedad de toda proposición
La completud nos asegura que no hay ninguna verdad en nuestro sistema que nosotros no seamos capaces de encontrar Pero solo podremos estar seguros de poder alcanzar toda la verdad si nuestro sistema es completo.

.En cambio es incompleto cuando contiene proposiciones sobre las que no podemos decidir su verdad o falsedad. Por otra parte, un sistema es coherente cuando no hay contradicciones de ningún tipo ni tiene ninguna paradoja; y es incoherente cuando nos encontramos con contradicciones y paradojas. Un sistema es consistente si está limpio de paradojas y contradicciones y completo si toda proposición puede ser demostrada o refutada entro de él. Gödel considera que si es consistente es incompleto y si es completo es inconsistente.

 

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Informal logic

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Informal logic (or, occasionally, non-formal logic) is the study of arguments as presented in ordinary language, as contrasted with the presentations of arguments in an artificial, formal, or technical language (see formal logic). Informal logic emerged in North America in the early 1970s as an alternative approach to the teaching of introductory logic courses to undergraduate students. It quickly became affiliated with the Thinking Skills Movement (Resnick, 1989) and especially with critical thinking (see below). Later still it became affiliated with the interdisciplinary inquiry known as Argumentation theory (see below).

The precise nature and definition of informal logic are matters of some dispute. Ralph H. Johnson and J. Anthony Blair define informal logic as “a branch of logic whose task is to develop non-formal standards, criteria, procedures for the analysis, interpretation, evaluation, criticism and construction of argumentation in everyday discourse.”[1] This definition reflects what had been implicit their practice and what others (Scriven, 1976; Munson, 1976; Fogelin, 1978) were doing in their informal logic texts.

//

[edit] Origins and theory

To appreciate this switch on focus from formal to informal logic, one must set aside stock examples such as: “All men are mortal, Socrates is man, therefore Socrates is mortal.” This is not the sort of matter people choose to argue about in their everyday lives. (It is a paradigm of a certain kind of reasoning, called a syllogism). In the wider world, people argue about which party should form the government, how to deal with global warming, the morality of capital punishment, or the effects of television, subjects that do not lead to answers that have only a single “truth”, or “falseness”, as do statements within formal logic. In informal logic, argument is distinguished from implication and entailment, argument being construed as activity or discourse in which reasons are given to persuade rationally.

The following is an example of such an argument.

Senator Paul Martin was well known for extolling the virtues of his hometown of Windsor, Ontario (Canada). On this occasion, Senator Martin rose to defend Windsor against a slur contained in Arthur Hailey‘s novel about the auto industry, Wheels. Hailey wrote of “grimy Windsor” across the border from Detroit, “matching in ugliness the worst of its U.S. senior partner.” According to press reports, Martin responded: “When I read this I was incensed … Those of us who live there know that (Windsor) is not a grimy city. It is a city that has one of the best flower parks in Canada. It is a city of fine schools, hard working and tolerant people.”

Martin is defending the claim that Windsor is not grimy by offering his reasons. But the conclusion has to be extricated from the text; and Martin makes no claim about the strength of his argument, which is typical. His argument makes use of assumptions that need to be unearthed—as is also typical of arguments as they occur in daily life. And there are problems of interpretation, i.e. what he meant by “grimy.” This example is typical of the sorts of argument dealt with by informal logic and presents a contrast with the Socrates example. In (2000), Johnson and Blair modified their definition, and broadened the focus now to include the sorts of argument that occurs not just in everyday discourse but also disciplined inquiry—what Weinstein (1990) calls “stylized discourse.” The following is Anselm’s ontological argument—an attempt to persuade the receiver of the truth of the proposition that God exists.

We have the concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived. Such a being must exist, for if such a being fails to exist, then a greater being — namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived, and which exists — can be conceived. But this would be absurd: nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. So a being than which no greater can be conceived — i.e., God — exists.[2]

To understand this definition above, one must understand “informal” which takes its meaning in contrast to its counterpart “formal.” (This point manages not to be made for a very long time, hence the nature of informal logic remained opaque, even to those involved in it, for a period of time.) Here is it helpful to have recourse to Barth and Krabbe (1982:14f) where they distinguish three senses of the term “form.” By “form1,” Barth and Krabbe mean the sense of the term which derives from the Platonic idea of form—the ultimate metaphysical unit. Barth and Krabbe claim that most traditional logic is formal in this sense. That is, syllogistic logic is a logic of terms where the terms could naturally be understood as place-holders for Platonic (or Aristotelian) forms. In this first sense of “form,” almost all logic is informal (not-formal). Understanding informal logic this way would be much too broad to be useful.

By “form2,” Barth and Krabbe mean the form of sentences and statements as these are understood in modern systems of logic. Here validity is the focus: if the premises are true, the conclusion must then also be true also. Now validity has to do with the logical form of the statement that makes up the argument. In this sense of “formal,” most modern and contemporary logic is “formal.” That is, such logics canonize the notion of logical form, and the notion of validity plays the central normative role. In this second sense of form, informal logic is not-formal, because it abandons the notion of logical form as the key to understanding the structure of arguments, and likewise retires validity as normative for the purposes of the evaluation of argument. It seems to many that validity is too stringent a requirement, that there are good arguments in which the conclusion is supported by the premises even though it does not follow necessarily form them (as validity requires). An argument in which the conclusion is thought to be “beyond reasonable doubt, given the premises” is sufficient in law to cause a person to be sentenced to death, even though it does not meet the standard of logical validity.

By “form3,” Barth and Krabbe mean to refer to “procedures which are somehow regulated or regimented, which take place according to some set of rules.” Barth and Krabbe say that “we do not defend formality3 of all kinds and under all circumstances.” Rather “we defend the thesis that verbal dialectics must have a certain form (i.e., must proceed according to certain rules) in order that one can speak of the discussion as being won or lost” (19). In this third sense of “form”, informal logic can be formal, for there is nothing in the informal logic enterprise that stands opposed to the idea that argumentative discourse should be subject to norms, i.e., subject to rules, criteria, standards or procedures. Informal logic does present standards for the evaluation of argument, procedures for detecting missing premises etc.

Some dissent from the view that informal logic is not a branch or subdiscipline of logic (Massey, 1981; Woods, 1980, 2000). Massey criticizes the study on the grounds that it has no theory underpinning it. Informal logic, he says, requires detailed classification schemes to organize it, whereas in other disciplines the underlying theory would provides this structure. He maintains that there is no method of establishing the invalidity of an argument aside from the formal method (i.e. where the conclusion can be false even when all the premises are true), and that the study of fallacies may be of more interest to other disciplines, like psychology, than to philosophy and logic (Massey, 1981).

[edit] Relation to formal logic

See also: Formal logic

Logic is the normative study of reasoning (q.v.). Wherever there is reasoning, there is a logic that seeks to articulate the norms for that type of reasoning. Informal logic differs from formal logic not only in its methodology but also by its focal point. That is, the social, communicative practice of argumentation can and should be distinguished from implication (or entailment)—a relationship between propositions—which is the proper subject of formal deductive logic; and from inference—a mental activity typically thought of as the drawing of a conclusion from premises. Informal logic may thus be said to be a logic of argument/ation, as distinguished from implication/inference (Johnson, 1999).

[edit] Relation to critical thinking

See also: Critical thinking

Since the 1980s, informal logic has been partnered, in the minds of many, with critical thinking and indeed some seem to equate the two. Still, it is clear that they are different, though related. Critical thinking is, in the first instance, a kind of activity, or mental practice, whereas informal logic is a kind of inquiry or theory. Critical thinking also designates an educational ideal that emerged with great force in the 80s in North America as part of an ongoing critique of education as regards the thinking skills not being taught. The precise definition of “critical thinking” is a subject of much dispute (Johnson, 1992) but there is agreement that in order to think critically one must be able to process arguments. That is where informal logic comes into play. Critical thinking, according to Johnson, is the evaluation of an intellectual product (an argument, an explanation, a theory) in terms of its strengths and weaknesses (Johnson, 1992). While much of critical thinking will focus on arguments (because one has to grapple with reasons for and reasons against) and hence require skills of argumentation, critical thinking requires additional abilities not supplied by informal logic: the ability to obtain and assess information, to clarify meaning. Also many believe that critical thinking requires certain dispositions (Ennis, 1987). Many succumb to the temptation to conflate critical thinking with problem solving. Johnson takes these issues to be part of the Network Problem (Johnson, 2000) and to require, for their proper settlement, a theory of reasoning.

[edit] Relation to argumentation theory

See also: Argumentation theory

“Argument” is not the same as “argumentation” but scholars do not agree on just how these terms should be used. In the approach taken here, argumentation refers to a social and cultural practice whose chief components are the process of arguing and the product—the argument—which may emerge from that process. But, Pragma-dialecticians, for example, use “argumentation” where many would use “argument” (See van Eemeren and Grootendorst, 1992). Argumentation theory (or the theory of argumentation) has come to be the term that designates the theoretical study of argumentation. This study is interdisciplinary in the sense that no one discipline will be able to provide a complete account understanding. A full appreciation of argumentation requires insights from logic (both formal and informal), rhetoric, communication theory, linguistics, psychology, and, increasingly, computer science. Since 1970s, there has been significant agreement that there are three basic approaches to argumentation theory: the logical, the rhetorical and the dialectical. According to Wenzel (1990), the logical approach deals with the product, the dialectical with the process, and the rhetorical with the procedure. Thus, informal logic is one contributor to this inquiry, being most especially concerned with the norms of argument.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Johnson, Ralph H., and Blair, J. Anthony (1987), “The Current State of Informal Logic”, Informal Logic, 9(2–3), 147–151.
  2. ^ Anselm (1033-1109). Proslogium, chapter II.
  • Barth, E. M., & Krabbe, E. C. W. (Eds.). (1982). From axiom to dialogue: A philosophical study of logics and argumentation. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter.
  • Blair, J. A & Johnson, R.H. (1980). The recent development of informal logic. In J. Anthony Blair and Ralph H. Johnson (Eds.). Informal logic: The first international symposium, (pp.3-28). Inverness, CA: Edgepress.
  • Ennis, R.H. (1987). A taxonomy of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. In J.B. Baron and R.J. Sternberg (Eds.), Teaching critical thinking skills: Theory and practice, (pp.9-26). New York: Freeman.
  • Eemeren, F. H. van, & Grootendorst, R. (1992). Argumentation, communication and fallacies. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Fogelin, R.J. (1978). Understanding arguments: An introduction to informal logic. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
  • Govier, T. (1987). Problems in argument analysis and evaluation. Dordrecht: Foris.
  • Groarke, L. (2006). Informal Logic. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-informal/
  • Hitchcock, D. The significance of informal logic for philosophy. Informal Logic 20(2), 129-138.
  • Johnson, R. H. (1992). The problem of defining critical thinking. In S. P. Norris (Ed.), The generalizability of critical thinking (pp. 38�53). New York: Teachers College Press. (Reprintrf in Johnson (1996).
  • Johnson, R. H. (1996). The rise of informal logic. Newport News, VA: Vale Press
  • Johnson, R. H. (1999). The relation between formal and informal logic. Argumentation, 13(3) 265-74.
  • Johnson, R. H. (2000). Manifest rationality: A pragmatic theory of argument. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Johnson, R. H. & Blair, J. A. (1977). Logical self-defense. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. US Edition. (2006). New York: Idebate Press.
  • Johnson, R. H. & Blair, J. A. (1987). The current state of informal logic. Informal Logic 9, 147-51.
  • Johnson, R. H. & Blair, J. A. (1996). Informal logic and critical thinking. In F. van Eemeren, R. Grootendorst, & F. Snoeck Henkemans (Eds.), Fundamentals of argumentation theory (pp. 383-86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  • Johnson, R. H. & Blair, J. A. (2000). Informal logic: An overview. Informal Logic 20(2): 93-99.
  • Johnson, R. H. & Blair, J. A. (2002). Informal logic and the reconfiguration of logic. In D. Gabbay, R. H. Johnson, H.-J. Ohlbach and J. Woods (Eds.). Handbook of the logic of argument and inference: The turn towards the practical (pp.339-396). Elsivier: North Holland.
  • Kahane, H. (1971). Logic and contemporary rhetoric:The use of reasoning in everyday life. Belmont: Wadsworth.
  • Massey, G. (1981). The fallacy behind fallacies. Midwest Studies of Philosophy, 6, 489-500.
  • Munson, R. (1976). The way of words: an informal logic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Resnick, L. (1987). Education and learning to think. Washington, DC: National Academy Press..
  • Scriven, M. (1976). Reasoning. New York. McGraw Hill.
  • Walton, D. N. (1990). What is reasoning? What is an argument? The Journal of Philosophy, 87, 399-419.
  • Weinstein, M. (1990) Towards a research agenda for informal logic and critical thinking. Informal Logic, 12, 121-143.
  • Wenzel, J. 1990 Three perspectives on argumentation. In R Trapp and J Scheutz, (Eds.), Perspectives on argumentation: Essays in honour of Wayne Brockreide, 9-26 Waveland Press: Propsect Heights, IL
  • Woods, J. (1980). What is informal logic? In J.A. Blair & R. H. Johnson (Eds.), Informal Logic: The First International Symposium (pp. 57-68). Point Reyes, CA: Edgepress.
  • Woods, J. (2000). How Philosophical is Informal Logic? Informal Logic 20(2): 139-167. 2000

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