When we ask anyone, except the logicians, what logic is and what it serves for, the answer will be that the logic is a rational way of thinking. This correlation between rationality and logic is unbreakable in our head. For instance, when somebody claims to be a vegetarian, but continue to eat chicken saying that the birds are stupid, we may notice that his/her position lack logic.
For us, it may sound unreasonable to eat chicken due to its low intelligence. At the same time, if we ask the same question to a logician, he will explain to you that logic is a science of proper reasoning. To say more generally, it is the systematic research of the form of valid inference, which is represented by a specific logical relation between the premises and its conclusion.
Therefore, if our vegetarian friend continues his justification by saying that due to the low intelligence chicken fails to realize what is happening before it dies, thus, it dies without any pain enable to capture that fatal moment.
These given argumentation almost every time acts positively on us. We start to find our friend’s position more plausible. Thanks to Aristotle’s impact [Aristotle. Organon, or logical treatises], we live in the society that forces us to justify every idea we have. That is what “being rational” means.
How can you prove your position? Explain yourself! Where is the confirmation 84 of your thoughts? We hear this from everywhere. Recalling in our heads the example of the chicken, if we rewrite it using the syllogistic form, our friend’s standpoint becomes not only plausible but also logical to us.
Take a look on its structure: 1) Our vegetarian friend does not eat the meat of animals who die in suffering. 2) Chicken does not suffer when it is dying. 3) Therefore, our friend eats chicken. Deductive reasoning always involves the logical consequence of given premises.
Accordingly, if all premises are true, the conclusion is necessarily true. That is why we accept our friend’s explanation, even if we are not sure does chicken suffer for real or not. In fact, we should check whether the chicken actually suffers or not, before approving his/her view. Yet, nobody (or almost nobody) does that!
We consider some issues as if we have the full knowledge of them. While the other we study and examine from all sides. For instance, we do not verify every statement we hear or check a thousand of possibilities before buying a body lotion. Nobody will spend the whole evening reading the content on the labels and trying to find the best body lotion, because it takes to many efforts.
Our brain do this job for us using the memories it has. It could be the advertising we saw the other day, or the huge word SALE written in red, or the attitude that comes from our childhood. There are millions of inciting factors that may intrude our thinking process and influence our decisions. For example, the cognitive biases. [Kahneman. D. Thinking Fast and Slow]
Unfortunately, for Aristotle, we do not always use the deductive reasoning, construct the strong arguments pro and contra, and verify every tiny possibility. People are lazy creatures. We always tend to simplify our life in any of its manifestations. Reasoning is no exception. Human brain with its “bounded rationality” [Simon H. A. Theories of bounded rationality] does not always use the logical tools to make a decision.
Nevertheless, we can usually find the logical arguments for our choice, as we have found the roots in the chicken & vegetarian example.
However, when we actually reason we don’t need to sort them through in syllogistic form. Thus, the deductive reasoning cherished by Aristotle is overvalued when comes to the real-life reasoning.
Author Natalie Reva