When it comes to having a good judgement, logical reasoning is super important: if you know A, it can help you get to B, C and so on. However, logical reasoning is only that – a way to get to knew places based on initial information and your knowledge of how the world works. So let’s say you know that A leads to B and you observe A – you can safely conclude B will happen. However, several things can go wrong in this scenario:
- You think you observe A, but it’s actually D. Or X. Which don’t lead to B at all!
- You think A leads to B, but in reality this is not (always) the case.
- Yes, A leads to B. Unless there’s also K, in which case A & K lead to Q. Unfortunately, you don’t know that, or you do know that but you don’t observe K and assume it’s not there.
In all of the above scenarios, if you’d conclude B – you’d be wrong.
And that’s okay, we’re all wrong from time to time. Being wrong helps us get an even better grasp on reality, so it’s actually pretty useful. At the same time, it can be incredibly frightening, causing us to defend our views no matter what. In her Ted-talk, Julia Galef shows possible consequences of this behavior, and argues better judgement doesn’t start with better logical skills, instead it starts with a different mindset. Check it out!