Could there ever be an end to knowledge?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. river Valued Senior Member

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    Knowledge is gained from all beings Universally .

    Until we discuss " knowledge " with other life forms ; other than ourselves ; we are somewhat ignorant to what the word knowledge really means .
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, there are no unanswerable questions, only unanswered questions, which means that it cannot be considered as *knowledge*.

    Knowledge comes from answers to the questions. That's why belief in mono-theism (religion) cannot be considered knowledge. It poses unanswerable questions. We can have knowledge of biblical scripture, but then we have knowledge of Humpty Dumpty also.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, "ignorance" is the antonym of "knowledge".
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think that is right. There are situations in which one can determine that no answer exists, and that constitutes a form of knowledge.

    An example would be the Uncertainty Principle (it is impossible to know exactly the position and momentum of a QM wave-particle simultaneously). This is a very significant piece of knowledge about the world. There are also many problems in mathematics in which there are too many variables to determine a solution. Realising that is knowledge, too.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Well, there is a difference between knowing that something exists and knowing what it is or how it functions. By a poetic definition of knowledge, we know of the FSM. And of course there is "knowing" in the biblical sense.

    Because there are so many forms of *knowledge*, that really we should qualify the term in what context we are using it.

    I was speaking in context of reliable (tested and confirmed) knowledge in its most common forms.

    And knowing about the Uncertainty effect only yields knowledge that quantum change is uncertain or probabilistic at best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  9. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    I think it is possible to think of knowledge (ideas) in terms of physicality rather than separate from physicality (I "know" physicality itself is an unresolved understanding in the first place)
    But ,taking this approach "knowledge" and "the known" are the same beast in different aspects (the universe looking at itself as some have said)

    So no more metaphysics either -all just physics in one configuration or another.

    It is a simple way to look at things but, ( doubtless ) entirely unverifiable or even examinable perhaps.

    But it was behind my earlier idea of a knowledge gathering machine "hoovering up" facts in a finite universe.(post#111)
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    We are doing this as we speak. Followed NASA lately?

    But gathering up ALL the FACTS in a finite universe would take a memory the size of the universe. But we are gaining considerable knowledge of HOW the Universe functions..
     
  11. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Well clearly a thought experiment. The hoovering machine would also have to assemble itself as it went along and would only "know" everything at the very end when it had incorporated all the matter in the universe . So it would be "knowing itself" at that stage.

    It is perhaps meant to show the impossibility of the task as well as the hypothetical nature of the task.

    Information seems to me to be at the forefront of research now (doesn't the holographic universe) go into that territory.

    But since we end up looking up our our fundament I look upon the area of my supposition as a big cul de sac (or a sac de culs?

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    EDIT: Come to think of it , it does make me think about an enormous black hole . That does hoover up information and matter in a similar way to my hypothetical machine
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    4,777
    We're getting an idea how the universe is unfolding. According to Tegmark the universe is inherently mathematical, a collection of dynamic values and equations, which express themselves from the very subtle to gross reality (fact)
     
  13. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks , I will give it a look sometime. (never heard of the man before)
     
  14. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    One problem with math, is the tools defines certain operations, with no basis in reality. The classic example is division by a fraction. 1/(1/2)=2. If I have one gallon of milk and divide this by 1/2, you will get two gallons of milk. How does this work in reality? Can anyone demonstrate making two gallons of milk from one, by dividing by 1/2? Do you jump up and down and plead to the gods? When Jesus fed the multitude of thousands with a couple of fish and a few pieces of bread, all he needed to do was divide by a fraction. There is math proof for this miracle based on routine math. The point I am making, is that operation follows the rules of math, but it can't be applied to reality without being a miracle.

    It is so simple, to divide by a fraction, to make anything appear to expand in numbers. But can anyone show how this done is realty with a demonstration? Does each case require different actions; For example, does dividing milk, gasoline and apples all need different procedures?

    Math is a tool. Tools do not have to look like anything in natural reality to be useful. Dividing by a fraction is not natural. One will not find natural computers that look like iPads. Tools are used to help humans fabricate things. Once these fabricated things appear, everywhere, from the tools, many people start to believe that reality is now based on the tools. This is partially true, because the tool helped to create this synthetic reality. The cotton gin was critical to the Industrial revolution, even of not natural. The tool adds magic tricks not possible in natural reality; division by a fraction.

    The proper POV when it comes to math is, natural reality does not need math to exist. We can fabricate reality and synthetic with math, but this does no mean the tool is doing anything but copying at best, or adding synthetic at worse. The tools needs to place second or else you have no defense against magic.

    Can anyone demonstrate division by a fraction using physical things? If not, should this operation be stricken from math simulation of reality? If not, should we make it well known that this operation can cause miracles to happen? The answer is no, since truth is not as important as fabrication led by math.

    I don't bother with math, partly because my skills are atrophied, but also because conceptual design is more fundamental, Math can be used to create miracles; feed the multitudes, which makes things ideal. Mass production was made possible with tools.
     
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    No.

    Really?
    2 apples +2 apples = 4 apples is a miracle?
    If maths didn't have any application in reality then we wouldn't use it.

    Nor, apparently, logic or reality.
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The same way that multiplying the one gallon by two gets you two gallons. How else do you think it works?
    If your understanding of it is as poor as you have shown here then it is best that you do steer well clear, and perhaps also avoid criticising that which you don't understand?
     
  17. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    575
    I feel on secure ground to say that some internally consistent mathematical formulae and equations would not correspond to anything we see in reality (perhaps the vast majority?)

    Is there any reason for why some equations "map" to the real world and others do not(other than that is what we observe empirically ?

    Or have I got it wrong and does it follow if a mathematical relationship is internally consistent that there must be a corresponding relationship in the physical world?

    As an example we have n-dimensional space where n can take any number at all. Surely nearly all of these spaces are purely conceptual...or can these dimensions be roped in to describe endlessly complicated scenarios with an endless number of variables?
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Tegmark, who changed his name from Shapiro to sound more, well, Danish and distinctive, in a N American academia chock full of Jewish names, is a very controversial figure, to put it politely. More here:
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6551

    I think you are right: maths is not the same thing at all as physical reality. Maths is abstract, quantitative logic. Some maths can be applied to model physical reality, but there is a lot more to maths than this.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Wikipedia says that 'Tegmark' was his mother's last name. So if he's choosing to use his mother's last name instead of his father's (Shapiro), that might imply something about his early family life that's probably none of my business.

    I agree. Mathematics seems to me to be most concerned with constructing a realm of abstract possibilities based on logical principles. Mathematics doesn't really explain how and why some of those possibilities are actualized in physical reality while an almost infinite number aren't. (What does it mean for an abstract mathematical relation to become... physical?)

    I don't want to totally dismiss Tegmark's mathematical 'Platonism' though. It reminds me of the currently fashionable structural realism. I haven't read Tegmark's book or studied structural realism, so I'm getting a little out of my current pay-grade if I say too much about how the two are similar or different, or even how plausible they are.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/structural-realism/

    I'm not really sure what my final considered opinion will be about all this, though I am a bit skeptical about promoting what are at best metaphysical speculations as if they were something more certain than that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    4,777
    OK, simply put, the Universe *functions* mathematically. Humans have been able to translate these functions into a language, Mathematics. There is a difference!

    This is an interesting presentation touching on the various aspects of the universal mathematical functions. Watch this NOVA presentation,
    http://www.pbs.org/video/2365464997/
    If you have problem with site, select your nearest PBS station.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  21. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    4,293
    It wouldn't be infinite if you have the power to love and pleasure. Even rocks are special. Nirvana rejects infinity but not fluxuation. If you a celestial body for omniscience there's no rejecting one for love and hedonistic faith. Even God can't have a endless memory. You would be pleased with a capacitated universe, and it is naturally by volumed shapes and colors. Another tiny miracle. Only gold, but not treasure can be countless and still be wished for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  22. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Please stop posting non-sequitur bollocks.
     
  23. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    I dont see
     

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