Reasoning and levels of reasoning
Reasoning is a common function. It is not true that some people don’t get very good reasoning power and others less reasoning power, we all get the same function. Instead, reasoning power is governed by:
- the extent of the Memory model we have built up [experience]
- the ‘correctness’ of the model
- the amount of data we have accumulated to populate the classes
Reasoning is thus a function of using the models we have learnt to provide the information needed to make a decision. It is the model itself that determines how good the end result is.
In animals, their models are limited by the fact they don’t have language, thus they will have a Memory model exactly the same as we do, it is just that their models will just be smaller, because they are not able to use word tokens that are conceptual [have no basis in the physical]. Thus the concept of the ‘financial derivative’ will be a mystery to them [as it is to most people!]
Don’t believe me?
Wolfgang Köhler was a German-American psychologist. In 1913, he left Frankfurt for the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where he was the director of the anthropoid research station. In this research, Köhler observed the manner in which chimpanzees solve problems When confronted with bananas positioned out of reach, he found that the chimpanzees stacked wooden crates to use as makeshift ladders. If the bananas were placed on the ground outside of the cage, they used sticks to lengthen the reach of their arms. Köhler concluded that the chimps had not arrived at these methods through trial-and-error (which American psychologist Edward Thorndike had claimed to be the basis of all animal learning). They used Reasoning.
An animal’s models may be far more ‘correct’ than ours because animals tend to be more observant than we are. Their Perceptions are not clouded by the influence language can have. And in their models the number of facts they have accumulated will simply depend on the amount of experience they have had to enable them to populate the models, just as it is with us. Shut a little dog in all day without letting it roam or meet other dogs and it will not only be unable to deal with other dogs or new situations because it will not have learnt, but it won’t have come across enough other dogs to be able to form a reasonable model of what other dog behaviour is like.
All people have the same levels of Reasoning power and this may be exactly the same as all animals. But we don’t have the same ability to Learn. Thus any deficiencies in action that result from Reasoning are more likely to be a function of the faulty Learning process rather than incorrect reasoning.
Sadly ‘Learning’ is never taught in schools.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - Spiritual interactions
- Chesterton, G K - Orthodoxy - Reason is itself a matter of faith
- Crowley, Aleister - Book of Lies - Windlestraws
- De Morgan, Augustus - Formal Logic – Necessary reasoning
- Democritus - Galenus Diels fr 125
- Kant, Immanuel - Critique of Pure Reason - Cause effect chains and heuristics
- Kant, Immanuel - Critique of Pure Reason - Heuristics and the systems of the universes
- Leibniz - The Monadology - 04
- Neumann, John von - The design for a computer