2

In social psychology, naïve realism is the human tendency to believe that we see the world around us objectively, and that people who disagree with us must be uninformed, irrational, or biased. It is considered as one of the four major insights in the field.

The three tenets that make up a naïve realist:

  • Believe that they see the world objectively and without bias.
  • Expect that others will come to the same conclusions, so long as they are exposed to the same information and interpret it in a rational manner.
  • Assume that others who do not share the same views must be ignorant, irrational, or biased.

The last two tenets are the necessarily results of following logic. The question is: would the first one is too?

In my understanding, logic only studies the relationship between statements, not the truth value of the premise. For example, if we have a deduction:

All men are motorbikes.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is a motorbike. 

Then logic only confirms whether the conclusion fits the premise. Even if the induction is made with scientific method, then a logician will still assume that there is a chance that the premise is wrong.

However, if they has checked and tested the premise many times, then they have to believe that their action to see the world is objectively and without bias. This is more true in the case that logician acknowledges their human biases and distortions, and has done everything in their best to check that. The belief that they are objective and the belief that they may be wrong aren't mutually exclusive. That belief, therefore, is a necessary consequence of believing in logic.

To put it in another way, there are 3 additional arguments in parallel with the specific problem the logician has to deal with:

  • A: They follow the laws of logic
  • B: They know that they may be wrong
  • C: They are objective and has no bias

I think A is sufficient to conclude C (in fact it may be that A ⇔ C). B is an additional filter to make sure (a) A actually exists, (b) the premises of the specific problem are correct, and (c) no implicit premise is missing. But at the same time it makes the logician less confident at the moment they need to be. B makes A believable and makes C unbelievable, even though A and C are the same.

Is that correct? Does following logic necessarily require one to conclude that they are objective and have no bias?


Related: Is there any research about how philosophical ideas become maladaptive thoughts?

  • You are right : logic has nothing to do with the "Belief that we (humans ?) see the world objectively and without bias". In the same way, logic has nothing to do about the fact that "All man are mortals": this is (maybe) biology. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Nov 19 '18 at 15:52
  • 2
    The problem is that one has no way of checking and testing the premises without using a host of other premises. If I am using a ruler to measure lengths then I am assuming the ruler is not defective, and there is a lot more than that to something involving social interactions, there are no rulers. All logic does is reshuffle information already contained in the premises, so "believing" in it has no non-trivial consequences. – Conifold Nov 19 '18 at 18:59
  • 2
    Does "following logic" mean you pinpoint the logical premises in every single belief and decision you make and ensure that it always follows from logic rather than having any emotion-based decisions? It seems difficult to me to explicitly connect "following logic" (aka logical decision making & beliefs...?) and "seeing the world objectively." The laws of logic are certainly objective, so following logical principles would be objective, but I'm just not really sure what "sees the world objectively" means. We all see the world through our own lens - perhaps why it's "naive" realism :p – Alex Strasser Nov 19 '18 at 21:37
  • Logic refuses to endorse naive realism and those who endorse it have to ignore logic, but this may not make any difference to your question, (which I don't quite understand). To be truly objective and have no accidental bias would mean going right back to the beginning and starting with sound metaphysical axioms but no naive realist ever does this. I find the question a little unclear, however, so cannot answer it directly. . . – PeterJ Dec 28 '18 at 14:07
  • @PeterJ so you mean there are actually two arguments to conclude C: one has to follow logic and one has to trace to the axioms. (In my analysis the latter is embedded in B, but I think it's optional.) Anyhow, I think naïve realism only activates when we have C. A logician is still a human, and they will have this tendency no matter what. – Ooker Dec 29 '18 at 3:16
2

If we look at the title of the question, which is a surprisingly accurate summary of the body:

Does following logic necessarily require one to conclude that they are objective and have no bias?

we see that we're looking for the truth value of the proposition

one follows logic => one is objective && ~(one has bias)

It seems at this point that we need to contextualise the attributes objectivity and bias, since it's possible to be biased and subjective in general, but at the same time successfully use the rules of logic in a single instance in which there is objectivity and no bias.

Also, it's important to note that two fallacies can produce a result which is the same as the result arrived at by logical reasoning, so a precise criteria for "following logic" is required: is it merely getting the right answer, or detailing an actual proof showing the steps taken? The second is intuitively the more appropriate one, but people usually implicitly use the first, especially given the meaning of the word "follow".

In summary, if following logic means that a rigorous logical proof is specified, then assuming that we accurately (objectively) know what the rules of logic are (arguably an instance of tautology or circular reasoning, but then what is logic and mathematics apart from tautologies?), we can claim objectivity and non-bias only in relation to that instance. (We could still be subjective and biased in other aspects of our lives.)

  • I have added some words; nothing new, but another way to look at it. What do you think about it? Is it correct that A ⇔ C? – Ooker Nov 23 '18 at 12:18

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.