The 10 Habits of Logical People - Foundation for Economic Education
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Becoming a logical person involves cultivating intellectual habits and skills that may seem simple, but are only achieved after lots of education and training.
We can only communicate our ideas if we use words that accurately express those ideas. Finding the right words could be difficult. In such a case, we should go back to the source of the idea to bring clarification.
"Vague" and "ambiguous" originates from Latin words that mean "wandering."
A logical person avoids vague and ambiguous language. He doesn't use language that dances around ideas but uses precise vocabulary, so the listener knows exactly what he is talking about. If he refers to complex terms such as freedom or equality, he ensures to define his understanding of the word before proceeding.
The purpose of logic is to arrive at the truth. There are two basic forms of truth:
Logical truth is founded upon ontological truth.
Logic is about finding out if statements are true or false, and the ability to express ideas clearly.
Our ideas are the way our minds understand the objective world. Clear ideas consistently reflect that world, while vague ideas give a distorted view of the world.
The logical person is always testing his ideas for accuracy.
When we're not paying sufficient attention to a situation, it is easy to make mistakes in reasoning.
The logical person has to train himself to always pay attention, even in familiar situations.
Ideas should not be a product of pure subjectivism, but must always touch base with the facts in the objective world from which the ideas were born. (e.g., the idea of a "cat" should refer to an actual cat.)
This is much harder to do with more complex ideas, such as capitalism and socialism.
If the fact is an existing thing, then access it to establish its factualness.
If you cannot establish factualness by direct evidence, then test the authenticity and reliability of the indirect evidence.
Evasive language does not directly state what a speaker has in mind. It results in two problems:
If we consistently use evasive language, we may eventually believe our own bad rhetoric.
The logical person understands that his ideas are based on things that exist.
Many ideas may seem true at first, but when you spent time looking into the sources of those ideas, you'll find they originated in legends.
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