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Logic and edit of SkonEdit

On 30 Aug 2006, Skon wrote:

Background
What Mr. Spock calls "logic" throughout TOS and the Movies is actually not logic, as it is understood in real-life science and philosophy in the 21st century, but it is rationality or rational thought and action. This is evident from many examples, the best example being perhaps his view that logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) Another example is Spock's advice to Commodore Matthew Decker to follow the only logical path of action and to return to the Enterprise instead of flying into the planet killer's mouth. (TOS episode:"The Doomsday Machine")
But pure logic just tells you what follows from what, it tells you what must necessarily be true, provided that certain assumptions are true. But logic never declares any informative statements to be true. The only logical truths are tautologies, statements which are true whatever the circumstances may be, like the statement: It is raining or it is not raining. But logic can never dictate an ethical principle or recommend a course of action as the right one or point out a right decision. Logic could only serve to deduce what is right from certain accepted principles which guide rational conduct. Logic itself has nothing to do with decisionmaking or even ethics. And logic cannot tell you which assumptions are scientifically acceptable and which are not, which Spock and other Vulcans seem to assume occasionally. You need to have principles for the proper conduct of science first, from which you could then derive such judgements about scientific appropriateness. Rationality in general, on the other hand, comprises logic, as well as the theory of probabilities, rational decision theory and game theory. So rationality, as it is conceived in 21st century philosophy, covers much of what Spock frequently calls "logic". We could speculate that the Vulcan conception of logic is wider than the actual human one, with the Vulcan conception comprising all aspects of rational thought and decisionmaking, not just deduction alone. But on the shows, the English word "logic" is used. So it would seem that "logic" is a bad translation of a Vulcan word denoting "rationality".

I am removing this from the article on logic.

The reason is that "logic" and "logical" are different words, with different meanings. Logic is, as you defined, the application of facts to derive possible outcome.

"Logical" however, is the application of logic in order to produce a compelling argument. That argument is capable of taking other factors in to account, including established patterns for what is considered ethical or moral action.

If you wish to make the above argument, you should define an article on "Logical" and then link the "logic" article to it, with a small blurb that logic is closely related, but has different form.

If you want to discuss this matter further, feel free to append your comments in to this discussion tab until there is an agreement from the community majority over excerisizing the arguments above.

(Which for the record, the use of "logical" in the above quoted works is actually used correctly.) --Dracorat 19:13, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


Sorry, but this does not make much sense!
Of course "logic" and "logical" are different words with different meanings. The former is a noun, the latter an adjective. "Logical" means most generally "pertaining to logic".
I certainly did not define logic to be "the application of facts to derive possible outcome". I am not even sure what that is supposed to mean, but it most certainly has nothing to do with logic. It might be a very cloudy circumscription of probabilistic prognosis or of decision theory.
And it is said that ""Logical" is the application of logic in order to produce a compelling argument." This cannot be true for purely formal reasons already, since "logical" is an adjective, and as such it cannot denote an event or process like an application of logic. I do not know what that definition is supposed to mean.
But even if it were true that I failed to appreciate the difference between logical and logic, which has actually not been shown in any way, my first example did not even deal with the term "logical" but with Spock's statement that logic dictates that the needs... This is false in any case. Logic may dictate that either the good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the good of the many does not outweigh the good of the few, or something like that. But no ethical principle is dictated by logic.
As for the Commodore Decker example: Not entering the Planet Killer and returning to Enterprise may only be said to be a logical choice if you first name the premisses from which this conclusion is drawn. This was not done by Spock. Since Spock is very accurate, he would not withhold necessary information. But it is not merely a matter of logic what the right choice is. It is a matter of logic plus decision-theoretic or ethical principles. As I said, logic can tell you only what follows from what. But if you believe A, and B follows from A by logic, then it should be compelling for you to believe B, at least if you are rational. In this case we may say that it is logical to believe B if one believes A. But it is generally simply false to say that B is logical without mentioning A!
I do not see which dispute there is supposed to exist here to be settled by the community, because no justification has been given to remove the background info. Unless some arguments wich make sense are given, I will put the background info back.
Note: I am not insisting on the background info being in the main article. But I am insisting on a proper justification for the removal of the background info. --Skon

The fact that this disagreement exists should justify the reason enough. Coupled with the fact that an additional user has reverted your changes, you are encouraged not to place the background information back in to the article.

Finally, the matter of argument retaining to logic needs to be taken up in discussion before presented as fact. --Dracorat 21:27, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Bold statements attempted to be asserted as fact, such as "What Mr. Spock calls "logic" throughout TOS and the Movies is actually not logic" require fact to back them up.

While you did make a valid attempt to back up your position, your position is conjecture.

For example, the statement:

This is evident from many examples, the best example being perhaps his view that logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

However, the statement certainly can be logic. As you have pointed out, logic is based on "what follows from what, it tells you what must necessarily be true, provided that certain assumptions are true."

Your argument is based only in that the assumptions were not necessarily made clear.

However, the argument itself asserts the assumptions silently. It is not required that all assumptions be declared each time, otherwise you end up with a recursive description of all points and facts leading to a conclusion. So much so that you would bore your intended audience, even if that is simply the person to whom you are stating your "logic".

But no ethical principle is dictated by logic

This is not a part of the definition of logic. It is neither stated nor disproved. It is therefore, not valid to simply make this a rule without defining parameters.

In your expounded definition, it is not necessary to state what "A" is when "A" is understand to be a contributing factor to decision "B". You can be accurate without having to state all the minutae. Dracorat 21:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course I will not put the background article back without previous discussion. In fact, I think I asked for further discussion/elaboration when I said that sufficient reasons should be given before removing the background info. Sorry that I was not clear enough!
BUT: Mere disagreement is NOT sufficient to remove an article! One can disagree with anything. That one disagrees that Washington, DC is the capitol of the US is not sufficient to remove that fact from a Wikipedia article. That one does not believe that 2+3=5 is not sufficient to discuss arithmetic. Reasons have to be given! Not only authors have to answer for their articles, but editors have to justify their edits as well, otherwise, this system can't work. We could remove anything then, on the basis of disagreement alone. Of course, Dracorat ammended his earlier statement with some reasons of his.
I think at this point it is best to wait for some comments from other users, because I have the impression that Dracorat and I could exchange arguments indefinitely. So let us follow Dracorat's advice here, and wait for more feedback.
But let me again point out some difficulties in Dracorat's recent comments.
  • "Finally, the matter of argument retaining to logic needs to be taken up in discussion before presented as fact." :What is it exactly that Dracorat wishes to be discussed here? How does his statement relate to my background article?
  • "However, the statement certainly can be logic" (referring to "The good of the many outweighs the good of the few.") No! This statement cannot be logic since logic is the science of valid inferences. This statement is not the science of valid inference and it is also not a statement about a particular inference being valid.
  • Dracorat denies that ethical principles are not dictated by logic alone because "this is not a part of the definition of logic". Well, but the truths that logic dictates are truths which are true whatever the descriptive content of them may be. Logical truths are true in virtue of a certain constellation of logical words like: and, not, if-then, there exists, for all, necessarily. No ethical principle can be stated by just using logical words. Ethical principles have descriptive content and they are formulated by specific ethical vocabulary like: good, right, forbidden, immoral. These are not logical words. All of this can be verified, by the way, by looking into introductory logic texts.
  • Dracorat renders "my definition" as dealing with "contributing factors to decisions". This is false. My example (it was not a definition, by the way) deals with implications and statements and believing statements, not with decisions.
  • As for inferences with silent premisses: Logic can only deal with explicit premisses. How would you asses the validity of an inference if not all premisses are given? You do not even know what the inference is then. If Spock uses unmentioned premisses, what are they? From which principles can you deduce his Good-of-the-Many thesis and from what deduce that Decker should return? You can withhold explicit premisses at best if they are completely obvious. Are Spock's premisses in these examples obvious?
  • And who is the other user (who was mentioned by Dracorat) who disapproves of my background article? --Skon
was Shran Dracorat 21:46, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Just popping in to explain MA policy a bit – neither the article space or background section are to be used for opinions or information not pertaining to the Star Trek universe. The article space is for information revealed in canon Star Trek, written from an "in-universe" perspective. The background section is for production information related to the subject, not for arguments or further explanations. If something in the Star Trek universe is incorrect in regards to the real world or if one aspect of Trek contradicts another aspect of Trek, it can be briefly noted as part of the background. Reasonable speculation for such errors may be included, but only as background information and it should also be kept at a minimum. Besides these exceptions, real-world information and explanations are not permitted. If anyone wishes to learn further on a real life subject such as logic, a link to Wikipedia is provided. --From Andoria with Love 23:33, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I am aware of MA policy and not aware of not complying with it.
The first five pages of the article on logic have to be removed as well, then. Or is there anything in canon Trek which says that? What about the article on Albert Einstein in the Star Trek Encyclopedia III? For most of it, there is no evidence in canon Trek, too. What is "reasonable" speculation and "minimum" length, anyway? This would depend on the subject, wouldn't it? Or who interprets the MA policy for us?
By the way, I am definitely not putting forth personal opinions here. I hate to bring this up, but I have a PhD in logic. --Skon 23:52, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, from what I have read, it's opinion and argument, neither of which are needed. The article as it is is fine without containing an excessive amount of real-world info. What is written there now is information supported by on-screen evidence. No need for any further explanation, really, unless Trek provides it. --From Andoria with Love 00:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
What Shran deems "excessive" may not be seen as excessive by others. --Skon 13:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Skon, please look up how to use talk pages at Help:Talk pages. The problem is not what you are saying, but the formatting you are using, It is chaotic, and terrible. Learn how to do it right please. At some point, I am going to have to go through all of this and clean it up, something I am not looking forward to. Second off, more people than just Shran have commented that your long background note does not belong. It is up to three other people in this talk page alone. The community has spoken. Deal with it. --OuroborosCobra talk 20:53, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I put the wiktionary note in the external links (...as it's an external link) and put the Real universe info on Logic in the background section (...as it's background information) and removed the "Logic in Star Trek" as this is a Star Trek wiki, where our point of view is from that of Star Trek. And after toying with an opening sentence for a couple minutes, I can't really come to a conclusion on how to define Logic. Hm. Fascinating. In my opinion, what we have now is good. Just needs a neutral opening sentence. Oh, and I'm just popping into the argument now - but I agree, that much is way too excessive. - AJ Halliwell 21:41, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it was a good change. I am going to edit now to remove the second mention of the matron, but otherwise, that was a good change I think. Thanks. Dracorat 21:46, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Deleted unsupported statements from articleEdit

I deleted the following from the beginning of the original article:

"Logic is defined in Human terms as "the study of arguments".

Logic is the process of trying to understand structure and relation between arguments and is most commonly associated with applications of mathematics and computer science. Logic itself is a form of science, used to solve problems.

Logic, as related to species, is defined in how most species use deductive reasoning to solve problems or to enrich their lives by the study of it."

  • These statements are not referenced with any canon Trek sources. I know of no instance in canon Trek where this information was given. If these lines are put back in the article, please put them back with appropriate references.
  • From a real-world perspective, the above "Human" characterization of logic is inaccurate. There is no real-world basis for the use of "logic as related to species". It is inaccurate to describe logic as a process. Real world logic is a science. Sciences may be processes as well, but that is debatable and the term "science" is more informative anyway. Real logic does not study relations between arguments. Logic studies arguments and relations between statements (like the relation of entailment), but not relations between arguments. Applications of logic in math and computer science are mentioned, but equally salient applications in linguistics and philosophy are not mentioned. --Skon 13:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Minor edit Edit

I just changed "These arguments" to "This question" because in the previous sentence there is no mention of any arguments. Therefore it is unclear what "these arguments" refers to. On the other hand, the previous sentence mentions one question, i.e. whether the Vulcan usage of "logic" is compatible with ours.

Skon 23:44, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Logic as the science of deduction Edit

I am wondering why Dracorat removed my statement that logic is the science of argument and deduction in the real world. I do not object to the removal, one can go to Wikipedia for real-world logic. Just wondering what's wrong with a standard definition of the subject accepted by any experts. Does he think that definition is controversial, too?

Skon 23:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Because this article is supposed to be written from an in-universe POV, not a real world POV. At least, that would be my guess. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:35, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Yeah because the link to Wikipedia is sufficient if someone needs a definition. It is not an affront to anyone. You will notice I even undid some of my own changes because really, we need to keep the article on topic, and that topic is Star Trek.
    • And as a note, your latest changes (with the quotes) are wonderful.
      • Dracorat 16:51, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Tuvok's mantra Edit

There was an episode where Tuvok had great trouble suppressing his violent emotions (perhaps it was "The Meld"?) and in his impaired attempts to use meditation he recited some Vulcan mantra. Does anyone know what Tuvok recited and if there was any reference to logic in the mantra? If yes, this might provide an interesting quotation for the logic article. (I am sorry, I do not know much Voyager, I saw each episode only once.) --Skon 00:47, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

You may be referring to keethara. -- Connor Cabal 15:43, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

T'Lara to ... ? Edit

The newly added DS9 quotation from T'Lara (thanks for that!) is such that one likes to know to whom T'Lara was talking. Could we add that?--Skon 20:00, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

References to logic Edit

I am really pleased with the quality of the quotes we have collected so far! There are dozens of occasions where a Vulcan would make a peripheral comment that this is logical or that is illogical. But all our quotes so far really make a point about how the quoted individual views logic. Let's keep up that quality!--Skon 00:31, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Why move Motion Pictures? Edit

Why are the Motion Picture references at the end of the list now? Chronologically, the movies cited here are before the events in TNG and later shows.--Skon 13:10, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

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