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Why Logic Fails
John Spacey, updated on March 17, 2021
Logic is a formal system of rational thought that is useful for problem solving, decision making and strategy formation. Despite its usefulness, logic has limits and can be wrong. In some areas, logic may not be as useful as other techniques such as heuristics or thought processes such as imagination. The following are common failures and limitations of logic.
Motivated ReasoningUsing logic to justify what you want as opposed to using logic to determine a strategy.
FallaciesErrors in logic known as fallacies.
Fallacy FallacyAssuming that a conclusion is wrong simply because someone has developed a illogical argument for it.
Ludic FallacyLogic based on game theory and probability theory that underestimates the complexity and unpredictability of the real world.
Cold LogicMisuse of logic to handle situations that aren't purely logical such as art, culture and social interaction.
Illogical SuccessA tendency for strategies that don't appear to be logical to be successful nonetheless in areas such as politics. In many pursuits and professions, a purely logical approach doesn't typically work.
Practical ApproximationsLogic may miss practical approaches such as heuristics that are useful but not completely correct.
Partial TruthMany systems of logic deal only with true and false. Such logic can't handle grey areas that are commonly understood by rational thought. Fuzzy logic can handle partial truths.
Divergent ThinkingLogic is most useful for processes of convergent thinking, or finding the correct answer to a problem. It isn't as useful for creating ideas that don't yet exist or novel solutions.
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