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In her book The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng writes:"I have already asserted the fact that nothing in the world actually behaves according to logic. So how can we use logic in the world around us? Mathematical arguments and justifications are unambiguous and robust, but we can’t use them to draw completely unambiguous conclusions about the world of humans."

The author is a mathematician and she, AFAIK, not only praises logic in the book, but also talks about its limitations. I read only the first chapter, but I highly disagree with the bold text above in the quote.

Can someone help me please come up with an example why they think that bold statement is true or false?

Here is my take:

  • I (human) am logical when I go to work everyday because it is logical to do so given I want to have income.
  • I (human) don't interact with people I know don't want to be good to me, and it is logical to do so given I want good for myself.

I can come up with many examples of how and why things are logical in the world.

Can someone help me explain the author's point of view? What are your arguments in favor (or against) of her position that nothing in the world actually behaves according to logic?

Or how much is the world logical?

closed as off-topic by jobermark, Philip Klöcking Jan 16 at 22:33

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that push a personal philosophy with no question beyond "am I right" or "what do you think" are off-topic here as this is not a blog. It's ok to express unique opinions, but you must have an actual, answerable question to go with them." – Philip Klöcking
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  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because It refers to a casual notion of 'logical' not connected to philosophy – jobermark Jan 16 at 21:33
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Philip Klöcking Jan 16 at 22:31
  • You cannot base a question simply on your personal, colloquial definitions. That is not how StackExchange (or philosophy in general) work like. – Philip Klöcking Jan 16 at 22:34
  • @PhilipKlöcking Where did you see my personal definition? Can you care to explain? – user36694 Jan 17 at 5:48
  • The quote is about a certain understanding and definition of logic echoed in the comments of Conifold. You have an implicit definition of logical that is broadly the same as "rational" or "makes sense". The examples you give maybe can be stated in broadly syllogystic form, but they do not constitute proper logic. Logic is abstract par excellence, the world is about particulars. There simply is a difference, jump, categorical gap between how things are and how they may be abstractly described with the help of logic. – Philip Klöcking Jan 24 at 7:51
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Eugenia Cheng writes:"I have already asserted the fact that nothing in the world actually behaves according to logic. So how can we use logic in the world around us? Mathematical arguments and justifications are unambiguous and robust, but we can’t use them to draw completely unambiguous conclusions about the world of humans."

There is a dichotomy in the world, between freedom on the one hand, and neccessity on the other; logic, is the form that neccessity takes, and this is why Hegel identifies neccessity with logic, and hence his Philosophy of Logic, which takes logic to be ontological, rather than a grammar of certain sentences.

Thus most things in the world are a composite, and not a fixed composite, of freedom and neccessity; were they wholly, in their nature, neccessary, then they would behave exactly as logic suggests; as they are not, they do not. Thus Eugenia Chengs assertion 'nothing in the world actually behaves according to logic'. Generally, what we get, is limits on its behaviour, rather than its behaviour in detail.

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Human beings evolved in tribes by survival of the fittest tribe, so individual rationalisation is not elementary. Collective behaviour is the instinctive norm. Furthermore, the art of reasoning came late to the game. Trial and error is the basic way of finding out what works, which is why ritual is so prevalent in our cultures.

Konrad Lorenz - On Aggression

Pack behaviours are phylogenetic: "The motive power ... stems from instinctive behaviour mechanisms much older than reason and not directly accessible to rational self-observation." (page 240)

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