What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Logical Problems?

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What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Logical Problems?

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:43 am

Salvete Philosophi,

I'd like to know the difference in treatment and provability of quantitive and qualitative logical problems.

I will explain: Quantitive questions are those dealing with numbers. E.g. One apple plus another apple equals how many apples? Two apples. Qualitative questions deal with problems related to quality. E.g. Is socialism better or worse than capitalism?

The first question has an obvious undeniable answer. Any answer that diverges from that answer can be seen only as I) Lack of mental capacity (being a child or insane or with brain problems) or II) Misreading (in which there are so many numbers and some got lost on the calculation) or III) Deliberate attempt at deceit.

In no situation does a quantitive question show any level of subjectivity. It is clear and perfect.

But what about qualitative questions? Can the same be said of it? How can we prove that to be so?

I remember immediately the post of our good C. Lupus on Induction and Deduction. In physical things I see how that can be true. As in, "will a bomb exploding on the face of this puppy kill it?" You could then take the puppy and strap a bomb on it and explode it. That would confirm it beyond doubt. You could then do that to thousands of puppies. Because that's not evil at all. And conclude with it that puppies are vulnerable to bombs.

That much is clear. It is still measurable. Denying the death of the puppies would be madness, because it is objectively true.

But can the same be said of more abstract and immesurable qualities? As in, can someone use a similar method to denote that this or that makes you less happy. Or that this or that is objectively better as a form of social organization or individual behavior?

If so, how exactly?
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Re: What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Logical Problems?

Postby Spurius Iuventius Catulus » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:05 pm

Given that you've described the difference between these two things -- one is measurable in an unambiguous way, while the other is abstract -- the shortest answer is that this is literally the difference between two things of unlike natures, and forcing one into the other's role is probably going to be awkward for everyone involved. ;)

It sounds like what you're really looking for is ways to effectively analyze complex things and present satisfactory and compelling arguments about them. In this case, becoming skilled with both qualitative and quantitative research tools, and then using good rhetoric to present your analysis of that data may be the best answer.

Unfortunately, the only things you can control are your own efforts. The state of the debate around climate change is a good example of a situation in which denial about something which has been clearly quantified, with plenty of clear, concrete evidence is in full effect.

I'm not sure what puppybomb denialism would look like, but assume it's a possibility, regardless of the rigor you apply to your argument.
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Re: What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Logical Problems?

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:54 am

Salvete, amici!

This is a nice question, Curti Philo, and actually it is the main purpose for me to get involved into the topic of logic. I came to the conclusion that "qualitative logic", if properly applied, can be just as precise as " quantitative logic".
You already showed us one way, Philo: Inductive Reasoning.
We observe individual instances and come then up with general principles. Empirical observation showed us that the bomb killed the puppy in all experiments, so we can establish the principle that bombs are deadly for puppies.
This is the scientific method, and it is based on iinductive logic.

But sometimes we do not know all necessary factors to come to a clear conclusion, e.g. the question: Should I carry an umbrella today or not? But even here there are rules to calculate the optimal decision under uncertainty.

There might be denialism of the facts, as Catulus mentioned. This would lead to conflict. Because refusal to accept logic is the root cause of all conflicts in a community.
If two people do not come to the same conclusion using valid logical reasoning, then they must have different premises. Then the discussion should focus on exchanging the data (premises) that each one has until both have all relevant data. Then they must necessarily come to the same conclusion.
Unfortunatily today most discussions in the Internet go ad hominem right away or they intent to trigger emotions, easily done by offering a certain choice of pictures (Internet memes).

So the answer to the initial question is: No, there is no principal difference. Everything can be quantified and calculated in some way, even under uncertainty.

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