The origin of logic

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by geordief, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I like that explanation where humans during the forest days were smarter but smaller and weaker and that we were chased out of the trees by our bigger stronger cousins.
    But why would we leave the safety of the trees to begin with to deal with even larger predators? We were driven out and that would also explain the ancient myth of being cast from paradise. It wasn't God, it was our big bad tree neighbors.

    Once on the ground, our bigger brains allowed us to fashion survival strategies and develop common language among the troupes.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    The logic we're using is evolutionary logic. A species survives changes in its environment if it can adapt, and evolve new ways to find food.
    So we or our last common ancestor, learned to make weapons, and hunt other animals. This didn't just require being able to move around efficiently, it meant having bigger brains.

    Eating meat was a feedback mechanism, it was why our brains got bigger. We must have included meat, probably scavenged, in our diets before we started making weapons to hunt with.

    The phrase "our brains got bigger", applies to our other cousins, in that our brains got bigger than the other apes who survived, bigger proportional to our body weight. We evolved a brain that today uses about 1/3 of the energy we get from our food. We started with one that was more like say, a chimpanzee's brain, or an orangutan's.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But that is all after we left the trees.
    This may shed some light.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecus

    But competition may have been causal to territorial clan wars (as they are today still) for the richest seasonal feeding areas in the forest, which humans lost and were driven out of the forest by our bigger stronger cousins.

    Once out of the trees humans had to use bipedalism for its advantages and had to devise cooperative efforts to combat the larger but much simpler plains dwellers and the cooperative battles against large predators. That's when we started eating meat and ground tubers, causing loss of jaw muscle and room for a growing brain. The fossils clearly show the heavy jaws of australopithecius as compared to later human skull fossils.
     
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  7. river

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    Agreed

    From what I have read , meat protein matters to the development of Brain . Why , don't know .

    Here is the thing though , both forms of protein , in no particular order , animal and vegetable, matter to our health .

    The nutrients we get from both , plants and meat matter .
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  8. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

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    Brain, and the universe existed before the appearance of human being.
     
  9. river

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    What do you mean by " Brain " ?

    To your last statement , Agreed .
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    “And for a moment―for a split second―everything else falls away, the whole pattern and order of my life, and a huge joy crests in my chest. I am no one, and I owe nothing to anybody, and my life is my own.”
    ― Lauren Oliver, Hana
     
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  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Until Tax time.
     
  12. river

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    Magical Realist said:

    For sum Write4U , Tax time doesn't much matter ; Their life is their Own Because They Have The Wealth . Good for them . They are certainly Enjoying Life Better than I am . Especially Couples .

    Because when you have to work at my age , it Sucks . . I should have been better with my finances in my teens .
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Only insofar as the prefixes a- (from Latin ad) and e- (from ex) indicate "to" and "out of" or "from" respectively, cf. amener and emmener in French.

    Efferent and afferent combine these prefixes with fere (to carry), whereas affect and effect combine them with facere to do or make.
     
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  14. river

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    Interesting .
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The advantages of bipedalism that obtained, when the quadrupedal primates that were to become bipedal first encountered them, are not easy to guess.

    The prevalence of bogus guesses - Just So stories with no visible mechanism forcing the change or providing the pressure - startles me. Even among the professionals and experts we find "so they could see over tall grass" and "so they could make and carry tools" put forth as explanations, when a moment's thought would make obvious that such advantages are not enjoyed by quadrupeds in the early stages of stumbling around on their hind legs.

    A quadrupedal mammal forced to walk around on its hind legs is usually handicapped, not benefitted. For example: It's not only newly visible to every leopard for a half mile in any direction, but it's unable to run fast and get away. It not only burns more calories and expends more effort over longer times to get anywhere, but it is unable to pursue elusive prey or sniff around at ground level for edible roots and invertebrates as well as a quadruped can.

    Meanwhile, the evidence we do have points to our ancestors having adapted to bipedal locomotion long before they were out of the trees. According to the fossil record and genetic analysis we have so far, by the time our ancestors had begun to walk around on the savannah with arms too short to reach the ground and opposable thumbs on each hand they were fully bipedal - which was a likely reason they did not quickly evolve into fast, strong, oder and sound sensitive, fur protected and camouflaged, and crepuscular if not nocturnal, baboon-like quadrupeds (as every other large and terrestrial placental mammal emerging from the forest did); but which also implies that the long evolutionary development of bipedalism took place among tree-climbing, forest dwelling primates. They probably weren't carrying large, heavy, and crudely one-handed tools around with them in the trees, eh? And if they were, they were carrying them in one hand - as all such carrying over any significant distance is done by primates now.

    It's much easier and more efficient for a terrestrial quadruped to carry things in one hand, or its mouth - the more it has to carry, and the farther it has to carry, the greater the disadvantage of walking on its hind legs becomes. That applies to infants and weapons and extra food and whatever - hands become available for new tasks as, not before, the organism becomes competently bipedal.

    Which brings up the point: the origins of reasoning and the origin of logic are not necessarily the same. Assuming that logic arose from the same substrate of mental patterns that produced reasoning is not safe.
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, all living organism use logic for survival. It's unavoidable. Life and Survival are sequential mathematics and it takes mathematics (logic) to be able to survive.
    This ability may be unconscious, but it is logical. If not, the organism dies by natural selection.
     
  17. river

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    What do you mean ?

    There is the Facts , of which reasoning and then logic is derived and the Psychology of reasoning and the resulting logic .
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with your conclusion about logic of course but, just reading your example, isn't what made our ancestors different from other quadrupeds that fact that the hands of apes are already adapted ideally for grasping objects (tree branches for instance)? So is it not possible that holding tools - or rocks to throw at adversaries, etc - would have been immediately something that an ape down on the ground would frequently do, with no further evolutionary step required to enable it?
     
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  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Proof of evolutionary processes lies in the fact that today chimpanzees do leave the trees and are using tools like twigs for fishing ants and termites and rocks for cracking nuts and even travel on the ground.
    Some interesting tid-bits;
    https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/mammals/facts-about-chimpanzees/
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/c/chimpanzee/

    This is the beauty of being able to see the evolutionary processes in closely related species, where one species (man) has made an "accidental" evolutionary leap and our closest cousins have relatively fallen behind because there was no naturally selective need for drastic change.
     
  20. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    First, the immediate cause of the existence of logic is that it is the logic of deductive reasoning, itself a feature of the human brain, and most plausibly a feature of all animal brains, even though only humans can do articulated language and therefore express logical reasoning in an explicit way (those who do at any rate).
    The human brain is the product of natural selection. Having neurons is a selective advantage. Thus, logic is a byproduct of natural selection.
    Natural selection itself wouldn't work in a universe without regularities. You can't adapt to chaos. Thus, logic could only exist in a regular universe.
    Humans could only exist in a regular universe, because logic is also a key ingredient in the animal brain that helps the animal predict its environment and adapt its behaviour to it. No logic, no adaptation of the behaviour, and no survival.
    Again, it the universe was chaotic, logic not only couldn't exist because natural selection would work, but if it could nonetheless exist wouldn't work because the effectiveness of logic is based on there being regularities.
    So, logic is a byproduct of the complexity and regularity of the universe, at the same time as it is the cognitive process that allows us to create abstract models of the universe, and indeed abstract models of logic itself, i.e. formal logic (although, all our models for now are essentially wrong).
    So logic is one of the natural processes of the universe and it produce abstract representations of the universe.
    As such, logic should be seen as characteristic of a certain class of universes complex enough to produce abstract representation of themselves, including predictions about (not "of", though) their own future evolution.
    And we are this process.
    EB
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    While I can agree with most of that, I do believe you have cause mixed up with effect. IMO, pure logic is causal to the emergence of order from chaos, not a result. (Chaos Theory)

    Complex patterns are formed by the dynamical self-assembly of relative values and functional mathematical processes. Universal Mechanics are mathematical in nature, which gives them the reliability and predictability necessary for deterministic results. IMO, logic is a fundamental causal property of the universe. But any logic based on a false premise is moot.

    Logic does not always provide truth. Some optical illusions can cause logical cognitive responses in the brain, but which are mathematically "false" in perceived color values.

    OTOH, mathematics are not only logical, they are incorruptable in essence. Hence the Universal "regularities"....

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  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The ape carrying tools around is most often - by far - using one hand to carry them. That same ape on the ground is unlikely to handicap itself by walking on its hind legs for any distance, with or without tools; when traveling it will carry the tools, rocks, etc, with one hand or in its mouth, because three legged locomotion is much faster and much more efficient than two legged for quadrupeds. It will stumble around on its hind legs in specialized and temporary and occasional circumstances, but not as its primary mode of locomotion or transport - the energy cost alone would be prohibitive, given the absence of any immediate payoff, and when the extra risk of predation and injury and hampered food acquisition and so forth is figured in its hard to imagine why any animal coming down from the trees would do that (and easy to explain why none have, outside of the presumed hominid outlier. Bipedalism has emerged only from the ground up, only among small animals, and other than the slow and awkward but heavily defended scaled pangolins only in jumping animals. There are no ground-immigrant bipedal squirrels, raccoons, weasels, monkeys, lemurs, baboons, etc. The apes that we know came down from the trees unto the savannah became better land quadrupeds, not bipeds, of course: that's the obvious way to go. Climbing animals faced with an incrementally more significant grounded life are not going to begin adjusting by crippling their ability to run and their ability to climb and their ability to hide in one move.

    Remember that the bipedal transition happened in a quadrupedal ape. Sophisticated employments of necessarily free hands necessarily came after, not before, those free hands were available. The earliest, chimp-brained, crude knapping, toolmaking forerunners we know of (including the carrier bag employers, the probable first hominid tool) were already obligate bipedal primates - hundreds of thousands of years of major skeletal alteration via selection pressure down the evolutionary path to us. So what in hell could that selection pressure have been? Seeing over tall grass? C'mon - that's not even a serious Just So Story. (And it doesn't match the timeline).

    To abet the evolution of bipedalism one needs some kind of selection pressure strong enough to overcome the obvious and very large penalties of extended bipedal behavior in a fairly small quadrupedal monkey-brained animal well-adapted to climbing trees. These include a reduced, not enhanced, ability to carry objects long distances overland . They include a reduction in flight speed, evasion agility, and concealment, from predators. They include greater exposure to injury, and risky weaknesses in other biological systems of the organism (circulatory, digestive, motor control, etc). The grounded quadrupedal tree-adapted primate on its hind legs can't run, hide, or fight - and it frequently injures itself just walking around. Even today, after a million years of adjustment, healthy and athletic humans sometimes get dizzy from standing up. A thirty pound weaponless version of that in the crosshairs of a stalking leopard is lunch.

    T
    he origins of logic begin by presuming logic has originated, after all. That presumes reasoning - the larger and inclusive context in which logic is embedded - is well established. One hates to be too cynical, but "seeing over tall grass" came from the topflight pros and experts in the field.
     
  23. river

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    Reasoning is based on knowledge .

    Logic is based on conclusions from the reasoning .
     

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