Consistency is circular

Logical reasoning consists of statements that are either assumptions or deductions. Mathematics similarly consists of formulas that are either integrals or primitive functions.

The problem with this fact is that every statement is both an assumption and a deduction, just as every formula is both an integral and a primitive function, at the same time, because it means that logical reasoning, as well as mathematics, is circular, which we call consistent. If we can travel the whole wheel around both forwards and backwards, and all the time arrive to the same points, then we’re consistent. Consistency (and thus also belief in consistency) does thus implicitly assume circularity. The fact that circularity thus actually is possible is a problem if we hope to arrive to a single truth by reasoning alone, because it excludes this possibility. Instead, it means that logical reasoning, as well as mathematics, can just go round and around.

If all of us could accept this fact, then we would get rid of extremists of all kinds (like cladists and particle physicists), instead turning our world into a society of compromises, as democracy (at least in Sweden) initially aimed at. Democracy is thus actually a yielding for this fact.

Science can thus never yield for a denial of this fact, because then it turns itself from science into a belief of some kind, like cladistics’ belief in a single tree of life or particle physics’ belief in Higgs particle. Instead, it has to stay steadfast in the fact that consistency is circular.

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2 responses to “Consistency is circular

  1. Very interesting thoughts. I really liked the first paragraph.

  2. I meant the first part of what you were saying which is also in the second paragraph (facepalm)

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