Friday, March 19, 2010

Reflection: The Difference Between 'Illogical' and 'Not Logical'

Can everything be classified as either logical or illogical? I don't think so. I think a lot of people call behavior 'illogical' when it is merely 'not logical' -- and that there is actually a huge difference between those two things. So much of our experience, whether we're normal or not so normal, is not about logic at all -- it's about drives and impulses and changes in arousal level (perceived as either interest or fear).

Is motivation logical? Well, it's mitigated by logic -- hopefully-- but that's not the same as being driven by it. There's quite a bit of evidence of brain reward systems running on chemicals (ie dopamine) in kind of a 'ka-ching ka-ching' fashion. There's scientific evidence of reward system irregularities being implicated in various disorders. Is a person less logical because they fail to experience reward or motivation in the more typical ways?

Ah, and then there's the issue of drives. Just about everyone has heard the term 'drive' applied to things like sex, but there's also a drive toward monogamous/ faithfulness, supported by its own system of neuroeptides. (Some of thItalice early research on that came from studying prairie voles, and why it was that they formed pair bonds and nurtured their young for a long time when other related species didn't.)

Of course I've also written recently about the issue of sensory processing -- having the 'volume of the world' turned up unusually high or turned down unusually low. Ultimately... I think it's illogical to expect others' non-logical parts to operate the same as our own!