Pale_Blue_Dot_wide

The Wikilogic Foundation

For and against arguments for everything

 

What is WikiLogic – Wikipedia vs WikiLogic

Everyone knows about our inspiration site, Wikipedia: a place where you can share your own knowledge, correct other peoples or learn something new. It stays relevant and up to date by allowing anyone to edit it. Wikipedia deals with the raw information.

The WikiLogic project on the other hand, tries to mimic the same model except, instead of dealing with information only, it deals with how information is linked as evidence to create new claims. For example if i know these two facts:

(1)”Mortals must die”

(2)”I am a mortal”

Then i can use these to provide a new claim:

(3)I must die.

Anyone with some basic knowledge of logic or philosophy will recognize this as an argument map.

We want to see all the information in the world archived on WL so anyone can pick any claim, such as the example above, and perform a series of actions such as:

  1. Check the current state of it; is it currently set as ‘true’
  2. Check which sets of premises back this and check the premises themselves
  3. Add new evidence
  4. Edit existing evidence
  5. Use this claim as evidence to a new argument you would like to make
PreziOverviewpng
This is to show how arguments are linked – one starts a discussion about abortion but that requires answers to lower level arguments that can go all the way back to whether anything exists. The original claims status (true or false) will then have repercussions on higher level arguments such as what policy the government has on abortion

Has this been done before?

If this does not seem new to you, let us redirect you to our wiki page that compares out project with similar ideas so you can see the differences and hopefully get a better idea of the overall direction.

How would it be used?

Until then here is a text explanation abstracted from another article. (click here for the full article)

WikiLogic will allow someone interested in a point like whether capital punishment is moral to search for it and be provided with an ‘argument web‘ This is a page where someone has made a claim and people will have the chance to open up a ‘fallacy ticket’ or counter statement against parts or all of the claim. This will set the original claim to false.

To open up a ticket they need to define the issue presented in the argument they are attacking. You can pick one of the rules of logic that is being violated or request a link backing up the truth of what is stated. For example the first set of premises on the capital punishment page might say:

“A survey showed most Americans want it.”

Someone else goes on the site and clicks the “Argumentum ad populum (Appeal to the masses)” ticket from the list of fallacies, which allows them to also add a post explaining why they added it if they want. In this example the person writes “Most Americans wanting it, does not make it moral unless the definition of moral is based on majority rule.”

This makes the premise group fallacious which means it can no longer be used to back up whatever claim it was supporting. Although the concluding claim will only be set to false if there are no other backing premise sets left.

Another example of how this claim can be rebuffed might take the following form:

A person opens a ticket by clicking the “Link is required for fact” button on the premise that says “A survey showed most Americans want it.” If someone supplies the link to the study then it passes and can be used as evidence.  As the fallacy tag mentioned earlier still stands, it will not help the capital punishment discussion in this instance. However it could still be used in a claim about people’s feelings towards capital punishment in America.


What can WikiLogic be used for?

We originally thought of this idea as a way of storing thoughts and communicating complicated new lines of reasoning to others by allowing them to go through at their own pace and makes edits and updates as required. However, the importance of good reasoning in everyday life means the possibilities for this are near endless.

Here are some of the key areas WL can help with (click to expand):

Education
Business
Courts of law
Knowledge distribution

How does WikiLogic improve on traditional forms of debate and arguments?

Arguments come in many forms, such as casual discussion, organised debate, internet chat rooms, academic papers and many more. There are many strengths of using WL to explore arguments as a new alternative to those mentioned. The following points highlight why. Note: they may re-iterate on the same information as they are meant to be self-standing explanations. (Click to expand)

Overcoming closed minds
Taking emotions out of the picture
Identifying points of disagreement.
Resolving old arguments permanently and moving on
Allowing people to edit previously resolved arguments
Anyone can get involved at any level

 

It is worth noting that for all cases with WL, we will not guarantee the correct answer, but the best available answer with the evidence presented – Arguably, that is the best answer we are ever capable of.

“Models are not right or wrong – they’re always wrong, they’re always approximations.  The question you have to ask is whither a model tells you more information than you would have had otherwise.  If it does it’s skillful”.