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Logic and Wikipedia

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(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Two16 would like responses to this:

  • Any article based on a logical fallacy has a point of view: its the point of view of the stupid.
But what if people cannot agree what is or is not a logical fallacy? --Eloquence 09:47 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)
Just to be pedantic it could be a perfectly sensible point of view but not correctly explained or justified in the article. -- Chris Q 15:06 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)
That's what I would call a fully defensible position (free of logical fallacy). Compare with: Extraodinary claims require clear proof. Positions which require for their defense, the defense of a logical fallacey, are not really defensible at all. Marxism is not fully defensible bacause of logical fallacies contain in its premise. No ideology is fully defensible.

Well in principle the basics of logic are well accepted and there are several canonical books on the topic. Subtle logics such as Quine are not too far beyond the skills of a first year philosophy student. (though far beyond many university graduates.) In principle there is no difference between the processes in Epistemic communities in the flesh and on-line in this matter. What do you do in the other Epistemic communities that you inhabit? Two16

The (very long) list of en:logical fallacies goes far beyond the basic principles of logic and is hardly uncontroversial. Moreover, these concepts change over time. In addition to that, many views which are arguably not based on logic, such as religious beliefs, are represented on Wikipedia. It is not clear to me what you mean with "based on" a logical fallacy. Is an article that says "X believe Y" based on fallacy Y? I would not agree with what. Do you have any practical examples in mind? --Eloquence 11:03 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Your objection based on the inadequecy on the wikipedia's entry is noted: many of the samples are simply a diferent cute name for the same general fallacy. every single one I examined was . There are several accept nomeclatures of logical fallacy (one extremely popular example classifies logical fallacy into 14 different categories. Most university run courses in basic logic and reason which use tests and assignments to ensure that the people with the intellect of a small childern do not become philosophers ( or have an other profesion which requires rationality or reason)). The culture of reason is still a sub-culture in the 'pedia. Cultures not based on reason are fundamentalist. I would be more than happy to provide examples from edit wars that I have sat through as a bystander and earlier examples where a neo-sprite (me) was appling logic to people who simply couldn't use logic. Period.

Starting an article whose statement is impeachable on the grounds of some incorect thinking has the point of view of the ignorant.

At the heart of every edit war the is a logical fallacy on 1 or more sides. If you haven't seen logical fallacy in wikipedia (basically including any article without en:NPOV then you are in need of remediation. Most people over-estimate their capacity to use logic. They have never examined themselves in this regard, with a gentle philosophy inquiry. The goal for writers and editors should be to have logical reasoning fall as far below the threshold of counsciousness, as the rules of grammar fall in a skilled corrospondant. A very quick person will retrieve all this learning in single sitting.

Two hard core examples from the history and philosophy of science is found in the en:talk:scientific method and en:talk:EPR paradox. Any point of view which is based on en:logical positivism, or is a varient of it, is a en:logical fallacy.

Boolean logic doesn't change through time. It is a concretization of Indo-european modes of reason embedded in a symbolic language of language pure and applied reason. I guess the sapir-whorf article needs to be re written too.

with love Two16

the belief in the validity of logic and logical means of reasoning is a point of view. When wikipedia talks about positions that are universally acknowledged to be illogical it should say "position X is illogical". When wikipedia talks about positions that are believed by some to be illogical it should say "some people consider position X to be illogical". We should not say "position X is ignorant because it is illogical", because the link from illogicality to ignorance has not been proven and is itself disputed. In this way, we can satisfy both people who worship logic and people who blaspheme logic. Martin
The Wikipedians al too rarely recognize logic, nor does their estimation of its worth or value.

Martin the wikipedia has a very specific meaning for POV and en:NPOV. Please read them so that you are informed about the nature of this dialogue. An example of a common logical fallacy still common in the scientific community is en:logical positivism which is refuted by the meta-mathematical doctoral thesis of en:Kurt Godel which refuted the ideas of the en:Vienna circle about en:science before they were even published in en:1935. Many scientists are completely mistaken about the limits of their own field because they hold unreasoned positions that are equivilant to en:logical positivism. Any article which is writtten by someone who holds this logical fallacy will have the point of view of the ignorant. I have framed my arguement for logic, in the en:Sciences, because that field is considered by those who have never examined the subject to be Objective. I guess in this regard a should mention the philosophically indefensible philosophy en:Objectivism developed by en:Ayn Rand. No appologies will be given to anyone foolish enough to be a dogmatic Objectivist. Respect what she has to say of value, there is much, but don't be so stupid as to think it is not filled with logical fallacy.

Two16 - I consider your incorrect assumption that I have not read en:NPOV (et al) to be impolite, as is your incorrect implication that I am not "informed about the nature of this dialogue". Anyway, I'll see you at en:Goedels Incompleteness Theorem, if you want to pursue the point... Martin ---No desire to be impolite to you. I think you wear a white hat: en:Hanlon's Law Would you consider doing a close reading of en:NPOV because it can only be defended by those who know it cold..

I think this is a good idea. There are many situations where logic cannot be applied because of lack of knowledge, mainly disputed premises etc. I think, however it is perfectly valid to point out flaws in what are presented as logical arguments. -- Chris Q 15:34 Feb 11, 2003 (UTC)

Disputed pemises are adequetly dealt with by correct use of talk pages and Wikipedian refactoring technique. Logic is a tool of Epistemic communities.