Is reasoning inherently adversarial? Some random thoughts, unequally distributed:

  • From Gwern: In software engineering, rubber duck debugging is a method of debugging code. The name is a reference to a story in the book The Pragmatic Programmer in which a programmer would carry around a rubber duck and debug their code by forcing themselves to explain it, line-by-line, to the duck. Many other terms exist for this technique, often involving different (usually) inanimate objects, or pets such as a dog or a cat.
  • A lot of early philosophy was written in dialogue form.
  • Studies have shown that there are psychological benefits in self-talk.
  • Again from Gwern: “Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory”, Mercier & Sperber 2011.
  • The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy developed by Richard C. Schwartz in the 1980s. It combines systems thinking with the view that the mind is made up of relatively discrete subpersonalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities. IFS uses family systems theory to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized.
  • Does Minsky’s Society of the Mind idea still have purchase? From the wiki: “Minsky constructs a model of human intelligence step by step, built up from the interactions of simple parts called agents, which are themselves mindless. He describes the postulated interactions as constituting a ‘society of mind’, hence the title.”
  • It might be useful to make a distinction here between dialogic thinking and dialectical thinking. Both involve many logics and an exchange of ideas, but dialectic thinking wishes to establish some truth through this process, as compared to dialogue which is meant to explore.