Asymmetrical reasoning (in spatial cognition, and human empathy)

While Michael is out chasing Finnish bass singers, I decided to reflect upon some things we have been mutually been talking about. I shall refer to a phenomenon that I will call asymmetrical reasoning processes.

If A is to the left of B, then B has to its right, then B has in relation to it, A to its right.

A first question: can we construe this proposition in terms of the dyadic symmetry relation Lab iff  Lba?

This is an aside. Let’s talk about the real reason at hand; I use symmetrical in as much as a putative non technical sense as I can.

Theoretical cognition cases

Lets put an example; I am at the train station, I want to get to the bakers in the quickest route as I can; so I take route A, which consists of staying predominantly on the right side of the road, and the journey takes 4 minutes (we are not aware of the duration).

Now, I want to go back to the train station from the bakers, after getting my baguettes or somesuch, and I take a different route, lets call it route B, where I walk down the right hand side of the road, go on the left, and then go back on the right again; which takes 5 minutes (again, we are not aware of the duration).

Lets grant for the interests of clarity, that in both routes to the bakery, and returning to the station, that I desire to go back the quickest way, why is it that I pick route A, and then not-A, instead of just A alone? Lets also grant that these kinds of cases also happen; are we being irrational or asymmetrical about our spatial reasoning of distances?


Why is it that we can ‘perfectly’ give reasons for our own states of behaviour and attribute particular processes and motivational profiles to our actions; but we do not accept seeing them as rational when we find identical processes and reasoning in that of others?

Example: Consider the following dialogue

C: I love you
D: I’m sorry, there is someone else
C: You don’t care about me?
D: Yes, I do, but this other person (E) is so very special
(C reasons the following: E is  so special to D, D cannot love me because I don’t appear as special to D, therefore, C reasons that she is not special, and enters a cycle of self-hatred.)
C: I am not special
D: No,  of course you are; you are very special for (valid and sound) reasons x,y,z…
 (C accepts reasons x,y,z towards them being special, but cannot commensurate her specialness in virtue of x,y,z to the fact that she cannot have the relationship with D that she wants)
C: I am not convinced, D, you do not love me, and I am worthless because I do not possess this special relation you have with E.
D: You are special to me, even if we do not have the necessary emotional compatibility and intimacy (i.e. ‘special relation’)
 (C is still not convinced of her specialness, but finds a strong basis for the feeling of her inferiority, that basis of her rejection, which overrules x,y,z)
Now, lets say that D is talking to E, and, D admits his love for E, but E gives the same story, that she has a special relation to another person, F, but tries to convince D that he is special (for sound and valid reasons p,q,r,); D is in the same position as C, and commits to the same reasoning process that D is inferior in virtue of his rejection from E, and that the reasons, p,q,r are not sufficient to convince him of his worth as a person.
If we were to ask D whether C was special, he would say “yes, of course she is”, and would appeal to reasons x,y,z; but if you pointed out that D is acting in the same way as C, and D accepted that C was acting unreasonably (namely, it is unreasonable that C should feel horrible about herself because she is a wonderful person [x,y,z class reasons]),  and that D shouldn’t feel inferior, miserable and worthless, because he too is very special for p,q,r class reasons, he would refuse to acknowledge they are the same kinds of situation, saying something like “this situation is different to C, she is wonderful, I am not…”
Let me state it in more human terms; isn’t it odd how we refuse to accept that people reason in the same ways that we do? Particularly, poignant is it that we are easier to find fault in other people’s reasoning, but lack the reflective clarity very often to discover it in ourselves. Is our reasoning about other people asymmetric insofar as we do not treat our reasons and motivations in the same way as we do others? Or are we irrational for not treating others as ourselves, and vice versa?
Destre (and Antisophie) 

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