kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Name:
Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Art of Compromise

Our beloved maximum leader has declared that he will veto any bill that funds the troops and includes a timetable for withdrawing the troops from Iraq. Period.

He has stated that such a timetable would aid the terrorists; when asked why, he said it was "logic."

I think "logic" is a term our beloved leader should avoid introducing. He may be asked about the logic of this inference:

The Congress passes a bill to fund the troops (with a binding or non-binding date of withdrawal).

Therefore

Congress refuses to fund the troops.

Or perhaps he will be asked about the more inductively-based Republican claim that Harry Reid is helping the terrorists. Presumably the argument has to include this premise:

Suicide bombers care what Harry Reid says.


In any case, I think what the Democrats ought to do is pass a bill funding the troops, eliminate any of the "extras" (there will be time for that, and another bill to use for such "add-ons"), and put a deadline for withdrawal--the year 2050.

If Bush views this deadline as unacceptable, it will be clear how long he thinks this war will take. If this deadline is acceptable, then we have a new inference to ponder, relative to the rules of Bush-logic:

I will veto any bill with a timetable for withdrawal (P)

A bill that puts the year 2050 as a date for withdrawal has a timetable for withdrawal.


Therefore

I will not veto a bill with a timetable for withdrawal (not P).


You have to love Bush's schema here, which is similar to Da Costa's approach known as "Paraconsistent Logic"--although intuitionist logicians might like this rule as well, one that allows the following inference to be valid:

P


therefore


Not P

9 Comments:

Blogger Bazarov said...

I remember in our Practical or Symbolic Logic course you brought in a syllogism W had made and then we checked it for validity. I believe he failed. How much more entertaining our classes become thanks to our politicians!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Akrasia said...

Why do you hate freedom, Kurt?

It's illogical.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only hate your freedom.

Now where are my little smiley face icons when I need them???

9:57 AM  
Blogger triangirl415 said...

OK, OK. I struggled to get a C in logic (those damn theorems drove me mad), but even I can see the faulty reasoning for vetoing the funding bill. W's nation building in Iraq has caused mass loss of life, a chaotic civil war, and has inspired a whole new generation of America-hating terrorists. However, in W's speech following his veto, he had the nerve to call the Democrats' reasonable timetable for American withdrawal "a prescription for chaos and confusion". Please excuse my dear aunt Sally, but the guy has done enough damage to our country. And it's logical: a man who couldn't run a business, and insists on running a country like a business is a man who cannot run a country.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is P.
with a bunch of iss following it.

Yes. Symbolic Logic was difficult. You actually told me it would be a good idea to pray to Dio (which I had written on a folder) before I took my test. Imagine. Not me praying. You saying. Of course, in jest.

Bush will not agree 2 a X table for fear the 'terrorist' or 'American People' might figure out his Plan.
We all know HE'S yet to figure out the 'Unplanned plan'.
Meaning: W would need to admit colossal mistakes and failure.
Not happening (ever)...
yes,
P
therefore not P.
And 'we' P all over the UN and Sudan just the same.
Everybody's a Critic and a Cynic.
Why can't we just be Happy?
We had our Cinco beer even though an entire boat of immigrants capsized. I am sure. I am guilty. I am being cynical and I'm leaving now. :) HERE :) I took all the smileys with me:)))))))}
Jennifer

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While endless reasoning in the absence of guiding intuitions is unproductive, some people, including President Bush, champion the other extreme—"going with the gut" at all times. Intuition, however, is best used as the first step in solving a problem or deciding what to do. The more experience you have in a particular domain, the more reliable your intuitions, because they arise out of the richest array of collected patterns of experience. But even in your area of expertise, it's wisest to test out your hunches—you could easily have latched on to the wrong detail and pulled up the wrong web of associations in your brain."
Psychology Today June 2007

http://psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20070424-000001.html

I just started reading my magazine today. I read this and thought of your take on W's Logic (well, lack of. This article is pretty good. Similar to science explanation of Deja Vu.

Jennifer

11:30 PM  
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