Causal Reasoning

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:26 am

TommyK wrote:This is why nobody likes philosophy majors. Every conversation turns into bullshit esoteric philosophy circlejerk.

Holy shit. We're trying to answer a question to help someone prep for the LSAT. Who gives a damn about the philosophical repercussions. Stay on topic people.

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suspicious android
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby suspicious android » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:55 pm

jamesireland wrote:Now this is possibly getting off topic, but the term 'rational' definitely has no widely agreed upon definition. At best it represents a sort of value judgment regarding ways of thinking - to call something rational is to say that it is an acceptable/good way of thinking. Hume would certainly not want to impute causal reasoning, or any other form of scientific reasoning for that matter.

It may be that according to the writers of the LSAT, all causal reasoning is flawed. But, this is certainly not something we can find out by looking to Hume, since he clearly did not think scientific reasoning flawed.


Actually, "rational" has many widely agreed upon definitions. You just have to use common sense to see figure out what meaning is being used based on context. Was I saying "Hume says science is dumb, lol"? No, then I wasn't using your suggested definition. Was I talking about the LSAT, which deals almost exclusively in deductive reasoning? Hmm.. well, this is an LSAT forum, the question was about the LSAT. But I guess if your point had really just been "wait, what do you mean by 'rational' there?" you wouldn't have had an excuse to bring up Karl Popper.

I haven't said anything incorrect: causal arguments can't really be deductively valid. Knowing this is helpful on the LSAT. Hume among others point out this problem without saying that inductive reasoning,science, etc., is garbage. There's a reason they say induction is the triumph of science but the shame of philosophy.

jamesireland
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby jamesireland » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:56 pm

suspicious android wrote:
jamesireland wrote:Now this is possibly getting off topic, but the term 'rational' definitely has no widely agreed upon definition. At best it represents a sort of value judgment regarding ways of thinking - to call something rational is to say that it is an acceptable/good way of thinking. Hume would certainly not want to impute causal reasoning, or any other form of scientific reasoning for that matter.

It may be that according to the writers of the LSAT, all causal reasoning is flawed. But, this is certainly not something we can find out by looking to Hume, since he clearly did not think scientific reasoning flawed.


Actually, "rational" has many widely agreed upon definitions. You just have to use common sense to see figure out what meaning is being used based on context. Was I saying "Hume says science is dumb, lol"? No, then I wasn't using your suggested definition. Was I talking about the LSAT, which deals almost exclusively in deductive reasoning? Hmm.. well, this is an LSAT forum, the question was about the LSAT. But I guess if your point had really just been "wait, what do you mean by 'rational' there?" you wouldn't have had an excuse to bring up Karl Popper.

I haven't said anything incorrect: causal arguments can't really be deductively valid. Knowing this is helpful on the LSAT. Hume among others point out this problem without saying that inductive reasoning,science, etc., is garbage. There's a reason they say induction is the triumph of science but the shame of philosophy.


I read you as originally claiming that all causal reasoning on the LSAT is flawed, because all causal reasoning period is flawed, and that the support for the latter comes from Hume. This seems a reasonable reading because if true it would answer OP's question, and because that reading of Hume is quite common (see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_ ... n_reliable). My apologies for misunderstanding you.

That said, given the understanding of the point that we seem to agree upon, I wouldn't assume that all causal reasoning on the LSAT is flawed. For one, and I don't know the test well enough to be sure, but as you mention the test is not concerned exclusively with deductive validity. Secondly, I don't see what is to be gained from making such an assumption. If you want to quickly and reliably determine whether reasoning is flawed, the stem seems a better place to look, rather than determining if there is causal reasoning present.

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suspicious android
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby suspicious android » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:49 am

jamesireland wrote:
That said, given the understanding of the point that we seem to agree upon, I wouldn't assume that all causal reasoning on the LSAT is flawed. For one, and I don't know the test well enough to be sure, but as you mention the test is not concerned exclusively with deductive validity. Secondly, I don't see what is to be gained from making such an assumption. If you want to quickly and reliably determine whether reasoning is flawed, the stem seems a better place to look, rather than determining if there is causal reasoning present.


I think I actually said the test is almost exclusively dealing with deductive reasoning. But anyway, yeah, it's not a huge deal. Mostly when cause and effect comes up, it's either a strengthen or weaken question; for either case, the argument is almost invariably flawed anyway. So I wouldn't worry about it too much, but the OP asked, so.. it's something that can help someone who has trouble finding flaws to find them. This is a pretty big problem for a lot of beginner students.

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JazzOne
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby JazzOne » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:49 pm

chia99 wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
6lehderjets wrote:Is every causal relationship we see in LR flawed? I have been seeing that the majority of causal relationships are flawed but I wanted to make sure if that was applicable throughout the test before assuming such a sweeping generalization.

Thanks.

What are you talking about?
I think the answer is no, but I'm not sure what you're referring to. There are def more flawed reasoning questions than ones with solid reasoning, but not all are flawed.




LOLLLLL. "I have no clue what your talking about but I'll answer anyways."

+1

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JazzOne
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Re: Causal Reasoning

Postby JazzOne » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:51 pm

suspicious android wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
To clarify, OP, there are more flawed causal reasoning questions on LR than correct ones. However, you will still see many valid causal reasonings. For example, parallel valid questions often have this type of structure: if a then b and if b and c then d. A and c, therefore, d.


This is not a causal argument.

Regarding causal arguments, it is impossible to prove causation rationally (see David Hume on this one). Only if the causal link is a premise can a causal argument be truly valid. I don't recall any question that does that though.

+1

Lol gotta love that causal logic.




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