There was a guy called Descartes and he is influencing you more than you think
In my former education I had a teacher that talked a lot about ”Inner logic”. I never fully understood what she meant. Logic is logic I thought, is it some kind of compass she is referring to maybe? Like the one pigeons have so that they find their way back home.
As I’ve gotten older I have started to maybe not fully understand, but at least grasp what she was meaning. I’ve started to understand that the way I navigate the world is my own construct, it is my own logic. I think and behave according to what is logical to me, but that doesn’t have to be logical to other people. It took me quite some time to come to this realisation that not everyone thinks like me. At least that is the conclusion I have made from my observations, but I guess I can never be entirely sure because I will never be able to think the thoughts of someone else and thereby make a comparison.
One of the things that have been very strong part of my inner logic is my belief that not everything is measurable. I believe there are things that cannot be calculated in such a way it than can be compared to what it once was or set in relation to something else. Some things are in-measurable, and that’s just the way it is.
Now this is a belief that every now and then is contested in my line of work. In design thinking for example we work a lot with empathy, which is something I consider in-measurable, I do not even see the purpose of measuring it. Still some people that have crossed my path have argued differently as they don’t see the value in something that cannot be measured, because if it was to be measured and then compared to previous findings, it could be categorized as an increase or a decrease and then valued according to these parameters.
So where does this fixation on measurability come from I have asked myself? And I have come to the realisation that it is a heritage that origins from the philosopher Descartes and the world view that he formed as a result of his doubts.
Descartes ideas are intricate, and this is a fraction of it; Descartes was a doubter; the only thing he didn’t doubt was that he was thinking (corgito ergo sum). This led him to forming a dualistic world view divided in an outer world and an inner world. The inner world was subjective and immaterial, hard the measure, this in opposition to the outer world which was objective, material and measurable. This outer and inner world could also be applied to our bodies where our physical bodies are the outer world, and our mind and spirit the inner world. He then pointed out that mathematics was the most efficient method for understanding the world, because things that can be measured goes well with mathematics. This resulted in the view some have today that things that can’t be measured in mathematical terms is “fluffy”, and therefore their value can be questioned since it is not possible to formulate its presence in quantitative terms.
For me that is not logical, but then I guess Decartes had his own inner logic……