(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Logic and Practice

Scientists and doctors are people, not machines. They are driven by the same forces that motivate professionals of any kind — which include money, sex, the desire to be respected, liked and even feared alongside the more noble impulses of curiosity, determination, professionalism and perfectionism.

Michael Hanlon, “Beyond Belief,” Aeon Magazine, March 11, 2013

Not just professionals, I’d say… This in discussing “unreason” in the information age, and specifically here the fallacy that “reasonable” people (in Hanlon’s example, scientists, doctors and other professionals) are any more straight-edged than the rest of humanity when it comes to reason.

The listed motivations affect our USE of reason or logic. Though logic is by nature abstracted and supposed less fallible, its practice is always embedded within a human–fallible–context. Even machines (say, algorithms) are biased according to their human designers’ embedded ideologies and motivations.


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This entry was posted on August 18, 2015 by and tagged , .
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