“It describes a thought that proceeds analogically and only analogically – not logically. A thought in which therefore procedures of this type – ‘just as … so likewise…’ or ‘as if…then’ or again ‘as p is to q, so r is to s’ are privileged compared to digital procedures of the type ‘if … then …’ and ‘p is not non-p.’”
It’s interesting to pose that ordinary thoughts can be illogical. At first glance it was surprising to see how simple phrases like ‘just as’ or ‘likewise’ are used so often and yet they always relate to or lead back to experiences in the past. Initially this passage felt difficult to understand because his argument didn’t make sense to me. I understood the logic but it was difficult to apply it to human thought. In order to try to understand this better, I used a quote to see the application of this logic.
"Some have little power to do good, and have likewise little strength to resist evil" (Samuel Johnson).
Even after reading this, I still had trouble applying it until I broke it down to how I would explain this for a robot to understand. Eventually I realized it would have to become conditional understanding. By conditional I mean, as used in the quote, it’s stated that little power leads to little strength. However, it’s the opinion of the reader to decide if he or she accepts this or not.
At this point, it felt like an epiphany because it introduced the idea of free will. We don’t program our computers to function with free will. For example, if we clicked Start on our computers, we wouldn’t want it to randomly open a random folder, only the Start menu.
However, human thought doesn’t seem to have such restrictions to logic. Anyone can think any thought. Our thoughts are bound by no logic rules.
I can only speculate that he explained how some thought cannot be understood by logic in such a way to demonstrate how a reader can begin to interpret this and see logic being used to describe something so integral as human thought to show how it is illogical. It also demonstrates the inability to program freewill.