ASK A QUESTION
I read once that an African tribe was asked a simple logical problem paraphrased as follows: "Berlin is a city in Germany. There are absolutely no camels in Germany. Are there camels in Berlin?" The tribe could not provide a definitive answer, instead saying things like "I have never been to Berlin, so I cannot say whether there are camels or not" or "If Berlin is a big city, there must be camels" in other words, completely missing the logical puzzle and instead providing more pragmatic answers. Now this story may be apocryphal, since I cannot find where I read it, but it raises an interesting question. To what extent is logic universal, is it culturally biased/culturally learned, and how do we explain the answers of the tribe?
September 6, 2012