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4 Limits Of Logic

 , October 25, 2015 updated on March 18, 2021
Logic is a formal discipline of creating and validating reason. The value of logic lies in its correctness. That is to say that formal logic can be shown to be correct, given basic assumptions about existence and knowledge. As such, it is widely used to prove theories, solve problems and make decisions. In some cases it's used to fully automate decisions. If logic's strength is its correctness, its limitations are related to its range. In many cases, systems of logic don't handle types of thought that humans can process with ease. The following are a few examples:

1. Partial Truths

Many forms of logic only handle true or false. Where rational thought can easily see a glass as approximately half full. Logic tends to give you, false that the glass is full and false that it is empty. It should be noted that some forms of logic, including fuzzy logic, can handle partial truths.

2. Language

Each form of logic represents observations in a formal language of logic. These languages impose limitations that don't exist in natural language. In other words, logic languages can't represent or consider the subtleties of a natural language such as French.

3. Uncertainty

Some forms of logic fail to handle uncertainty, although this is studied by a field known as probabilistic logic. Any form of logic that can't handle uncertainty has difficulty with real world decision making because uncertainty is common.

4. Human Perception

Using logic to create something that people are passionate about such as architecture tends to have low value. It is notoriously difficult to codify perceptions such as aesthetics, emotion or cultural concepts. For example, if you were to write a movie review with formal logic, humans would typically view the results as lacking insight. Artificial intelligence could review a film by looking at people's opinions about similar films and assimilating them. Such approaches are a facade of judgment that can generally be viewed as low value.

Thinking

This is the complete list of articles we have written about thinking.
Abductive Reasoning
Abstract Thinking
Abstraction
Aesthetics
Analogy
Analysis Paralysis
Analytical Thinking
Anomie
Argument From Silence
Arrow Of Time
Assertions
Automaticity
Backward Induction
Base Rate Fallacy
Benefit Of Doubt
Big Picture
Brainstorming
Call To Action
Catch 22
Causality
Choice Architecture
Circular Reasoning
Cognition
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Biases
Cold Logic
Collective Intelligence
Complexity Bias
Concept
Consciousness
Constructive Criticism
Convergent Thinking
Counterfactual Thinking
Creative Tension
Creeping Normality
Critical Thinking
Culture
Curse Of Knowledge
Decision Fatigue
Decision Framing
Decision Making
Design Thinking
Divergent Thinking
Educated Guess
Emotional Intelligence
Epic Meaning
Essential Complexity
Excluded Middle
Failure Of Imagination
Fallacies
Fallacy Fallacy
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Equivalence
First Principles
Formal Logic
Four Causes
Fuzzy Logic
Generalization
Golden Hammer
Good Judgement
Grey Area
Groupthink
Heuristics
Hindsight Bias
Hope
Idealism
Ideas
If-By-Whiskey
Imagination
Independent Thinking
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Information
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Logic
Logical Argument
Logical Thinking
Ludic Fallacy
Magical Thinking
Meaning
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Mindset
Misuse of Statistics
Natural Language
Nirvana Fallacy
Norms
Objective Reason
Objectivity
Opinion
Overthinking
Perception
Personal Values
Perspective
Positive Thinking
Practical Thinking
Pragmatism
Problem Solving
Proof By Example
Propositional Logic
Prosecutor's Fallacy
Radical Chic
Rational Thought
Realism
Reality
Reason
Reasoning
Red Herring
Reflective Thinking
Relativism
Salience
Scarcity Mindset
Scientism
Selective Attention
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Situational Awareness
Sour Grapes
State Of Mind
Storytelling
Subjectivity
Systems Thinking
Thinking
Thought Experiment
Unknown Unknowns
Visual Thinking
Want To Believe
Whataboutism
Win-Win Thinking
Wishful Thinking
Worldview
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Logic

A few logic terms explained.

Law Of Excluded Middle

A classical law of logic first established by Aristotle.

Fuzzy Logic

Logic that allows for partial truths.

Logic vs Intelligence

The difference between logic and intelligence.

Causality

The definition of causality with examples.

Magical Thinking

The definition of magical thinking with examples.

Scientism

The definition of scientism with examples.

Fallacies

A list of logical fallacies.

Mutually Exclusive

The definition of mutually exclusive with examples.

False Balance

The definition of false balance with examples.

Problem Solving

An overview of problem solving with examples.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Workaround

A definition of workaround with examples.

Creative Thinking

A list of common creative thinking techniques.

Problems

A list of common types of problems.

Analysis Paralysis

The definition of analysis paralysis with examples.

Arrow Of Time

The definition of the arrow of time with examples.

Business Problems

An overview of common business problems.

Decision Framing

The definition of decision framing with examples.

Research

The common types of research.
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