Is knowledge something you have...

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Doreen, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    So human errors and faulty memory can be ruled out 100%?

    So the beliefs results in something. I like this point. I am not quite sure how it came up here. In reaction to Lixeluke I wanted to ask

    Is knowledge a thing or a process?

    Because it seems he has a very reified sense of knowledge. Perhaps 'static' is a better adjective. To me knowledge, and even belief, though nouns, refer to processes. I was accepting for the present his conflation of belief and knowledge since that distinction is not the critical one for me in this thread. But I was trying to get to an ontology of knowledge by pressing on the problems with considering knowledge 'correct propositions in the mind'.

    Here's what you said....
    Now I did draw a conclusion, since you did not mention 'things'.

    And I note again, you did not mention 'things'. Again, not that this proves anything. But you must be aware that most people would directly connect language to things, so it's absence led to my assumptions. And I am not even in disagreement with the position of yours I seem to be hallucinating.

    It sounds more like phenomenalism. I would take realism as at least a weak claim to knowledge or access to Ding an sich.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
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  3. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    I see no examples of evasion on my part. I would not state that I have demonstrated my points if I had not demonstrated my points. Which I have. There is no evasion. I've provided clear cut reasoning behind the facts I've clearly demonstrated (and not pulling out of thin air).
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Ah - I recall.
    Yes. Knoweldge (in the strict definition I provided) does reflect reality. Or rather it should.
    Not quite sure what you are striving for.
    I think the simplest (and possibly flippant) answer is "I do not know".

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    I'm interested as to where you intend to take this. Bit outside my normal sphere but I'll follow if you are willing to lead a blind man.

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    I think it is a valid point - one that highlights the concern I raised previously with the term "knowledge" as I had defined it becoming a redundant term.
    Comes down to the "how do you know that what you know is knowledge - i.e. true?" It requires some objective observer to confirm that it is true - but then this confirmation is subject to justifying that the objective observer is telling the truth etc. If you remove the need for (absolute) truth then you come down to justification - with the better justification leading to a greater confidence of truth - and thus justification and truth are just sides of the same coin. And knowledge becomes a matter of confidence in one's justification.

    Something I will need to consider further, though: the above is just "typing out loud" - all a bit messy.
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  7. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    No, I am not pushing for that, at all. I am really trying to clarify your positions - you and the other posters - to the point where I understand them and then can begin prodding.

    Which is why I would say justified, true belief is redundant. It is as if we have some direct route to the truth. First we check some person's justification, THEN we check to see, via our infallible method, whether it is true. Rather it is more the other person justified it. We checked that justification. We then compared the belief with our justified belief. If the same, approval. If different, we compared justification methods. If we liked ours better, we say the other person's justification is weak (er).

    I realize that

    a justified, then justified by us belief is floppy, but I think there is something misleading about tossing true in.

    But you must agree, I hope, that Western traditions - and probably others - give language a kind of transcendent status. You may not think language contains, but this is a common metaphor for language and knowledge.

    I relooked at the verification link - if that is the right one - and see that it must be verifiable by the senses or by a tautology of logic. In the former case, it seems to me that people can support a misconception. Our senses are not uncultured - for example - devices.
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No it hasn't. Not even with this post of yours.
    No I am not.
    Agreed - I said initially that I know that in the example that I would claim the belief to be knowledge.
    My question was whether or not, prior to me rolling the dice - i.e. before the revelation of the truth value - it is knowledge or not.
    Please can you answer it.

    So you are saying that to be able to tell if I had knowledge or not I have to wait until I roll the die and see if it lands on the 3 or not?
    I.e. Before I roll the die, whether or not I have knowledge is contingent upon a future event?

    Just to confirm my understanding, please answer this simple question that you have continued to avoid answering directly:
    BEFORE I roll the die, is it possible to have knowledge that it will land randomly on a 3? or will it remain merely a belief up to the point of rolling, at which time the truth value becomes revealed.

    I would go further and say that a future revelation of truth can not change a belief made prior to the revelation of truth into knowledge unless the justification for the belief INCLUDES evidence of the revelation of truth.
    E.g. if I believe my next roll will be a 3 solely because it is Wednesday, this will be merely a belief (insufficiently justified) even after the roll lands on a 3 - unless I have evidence that it has landed on 3 and my belief now includes that evidence within its justification.
  9. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    The flaw in your responses is that you're not responding to the post. You're taken lines out of context, and responding to them.

    Everything is clear in my previous post. The roll never needs to occur in order for the subject to possess knowledge. You're simply not reading the reasoning as it is being stated. I'm not sure exactly what it is that you're not getting.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I read your reasoning - I disagree with it - and I was asking for clarification on the question that you have now finally answered so that I was sure I understood you correctly.

    For the record you have stated that the future random event does not need to have occurred for someone to possess actual (as opposed to just a claim of) knowledge of the outcome.

    And you see no problem with this?

    Then please answer this question: How can a claim of X be "true in actuality" if there is no true/false-in-actuality value yet assigned to X?
  11. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Because it is impossible for an assigned value to make a proposition true or false. If X is true, then X is true not because some observer assigned some value to it. If X is true, then X is true regardless of whether or not any observer assignes any value to it.

    Furthermore, if X is true, then X is true whether or not an observer believes X is false. Whether or not X is true is completely independent of whether or not any observer believes X is true or false.
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I am not talking about some observer assigning a value to it.
    An event assigns its own truth/false value by the very act of happening. I.e. when the event occurs the truth/false value becomes a quality of that event with respect to the claim made about it.
    Prior to the event happening there is no truth/false value for that event with respect to the claim made.

    You are claiming there is.
    You are claiming that someone can actually have (as opposed to merely claim) knowledge of the outcome of a future random event.

    I understand your claims.
    I have assessed them.
    I have rejected them.
    You seem to have nothing further to add.
    Given this I feel there is little point in continuing.

    If you come up with a new set of rules, let me know and I'll reconsider.
  13. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Well first there is the paradox involved in this.
    But let's set that aside. Why don't we call this wisdom and instead of taking it literally we could say it is provocative and hyperbolic to balance out a common problematic tendency.

    That sound OK?
  14. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Wrong. All you're doing is dismissing facts before even considering them carefully. Especially without taking linguistic distrtions into account, and eliminating them.

    Proposition X = Dice will fall on 3.

    Future events are irrelevant. Logically speaking, either this statement is true or it is false right now in the present. That is all there is to it. There is nothing you can do about it. If X is true, then whatever future even has no relevance. Same goes if X is no true.

    True: In the future, the dice will fall on 3.
    False: In the future, the dice will not fall on 3.

    Whether or not an event will take place in the future, is taking place in the present, or has taken place in the past doesn't matter. All t/f propositions no matter what MUST possess a value of true or false.

    I forgot to mention the dilemma behind the distortion.
    If X is true, then the dice will land on 3 when you roll it. What you are attempting to do is mixing and mingling 2 things:
    A. Whether or not X is true.
    B. Whether or not a subject can use a particlular system of justification to determine whether or not X is true.

    X does not become true when the dice lands on 3. That is just logically impossible.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  15. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    I can't say I disagree. Do you see belief and knowledge as different things?
  16. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    So what does this mean? And what do you mean by reality? (I know a Zen master would hit me with a staff for asking such a question and many non-Zen people would cheer him on, but still...) Obviously reflect is a metaphor. It implies that there is a something - in your case I am sure you would say it was physical

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    - that is doubled in some way. Is it doubled in language? What is it that is doubled?

    a concrete example would probably help us. I don't want to choose it because this might confuse me about your position.

    Fair enough. The post I am responding to in the post above this one supports this answer.
    Well, I don't want to lead, exactly. I want to press you and Glaucon and any others I am still communicating with in this thread to get into the ontology of knowledge. From there I will probably try to see what you are not taking into account or assuming. I might also try to get you to argue with each other. Why? I think when discussed on a rather abstract level a lot of our unconscious assumptions about knowledge - what it is, what it does - can be glossed over missed. Honestly, I am not quite sure where we are going. I mentioned the brain issue because this is a possible area I might end up challenging someone's beliefs. But it might not be appropriate.

    Well, I followed it and agree. Or better put, I think that is consistent. T
  17. Try Again No, I'm not a mod. Registered Senior Member

    I believe we get knowledge from interpretation of things around us, and what we are told. Although things are often wrongly interpreted.
  18. Pipes75 Registered Senior Member

    We may not have a complete understanding, but we are always learning more as we go. Alot of work has been done for us, even if we have difficulty understanding and/or translating alot of it!
    But looking back through the past... it's the mistakes of yesterday that we learn from, the work from yesterday that we learn from, the visions of yesterday that we learn from, etc...
    The past gives us todays knowledge.

    As for the spiritual, the only way I know anything about the spiritual is through experience. The way I percieved my experiences helped raise my self awareness. But I can not explain much of it to anyone, I am not a guide.

    Knowledge is more then just information, knowledge is awareness.
    Awareness can be found in many different places, but for the logical ones, it generally comes from a reliable source of information.
  19. Pipes75 Registered Senior Member

    I like this simplified deffinition. Using 'interpretations of the things around us' pretty much covers everything!
    So, I'll help with the 'although' part.

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    Things are often misinterpreted, but it's our mistakes that we eventually learn the most from!
  20. Try Again No, I'm not a mod. Registered Senior Member

    I do want to clarify one thing, by things around us I mean people, events, etc. I do not mean getting knowledge from nature, or something to that affect.
  21. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Mod Hat;

    That's because you're blinded by your ego.

    And yet, everyone else here disagrees with that assessment.

    Totally incorrect.

    You'll notice you've received a Warning.

    Your next post in this thread must be a direct response to requests for clarification and/or explication by others here. This means that you have to do your homework; saying that X is true, without an explanation, is not sufficient. Which is to say, you are intellectually obliged to respond directly to criticisms that are directed at your argument.

    Sorry 'luke, but I've been tolerant. I'm not sure if you're confused [as you have been in the past...], or simply being arrogant. Regardless, this attitude will not be tolerated.

    Fair warning.
  22. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    So I'm assuming we're back to the question regarding the dice.

    GIVEN:Subject believes that the roll on a 1d6 will be a 3.
    Is the claim knowledge or misconception?

    So how would you like this to be answered? First of all, a claim (proposition) cannot be knowledge or misconception. Thus, already pointing out the author's confusion of the information I provided.

    So let's try to go about this from a less logical and more politically correct angle. This scenario is not only a specific, but a hypothetical. It would be impossible, considering the givens within this scenario, for me or anybody to ascertain whether the subject (not the proposition) possesses knowledge or misconception. Simply stated, one would need more information in order to answer the question.

    Let's break down the scenario.
    Proposition = A 1d6 will show a 3 when rolled.
    Subject in question considers proposition to be true.

    These are some conclusions that I can draw from the givens:
    1. The proposition is either true or false.
    2. The subject either possesses knowledge or misconception.
    3. If the proposition is true, then the 1d6 will show a 3 when rolled. (Naturally => If X, then X.)
    4. If the proposition is false, then the 1d6 will not show a 3 when rolled. (Naturally => If not X, then not X.)
    5. Does everybody understand this? Is there anything that is incomplete or unclear about this answer?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2010
  23. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    They are ruled out when the matter in question has been verified.

    I would say "limited".
    But I take your point. Myself: it cannot be a 'thing', it must be a process.

    Exactly. It can mirror..

    Right; but "most people" don't really think much.
    I'm not being condescending, it's just that the 'average person' pretty much accepts the appearance of their experiences prima facie...
    'Most people' think that "things" exhaust reality. And yet if pressed on ontology.. they would be stupefied...

    I see little difference between the two, contingent, of course, on what you';d allow to qualify as DAS... [ to which I would allow the mind... ergo.. I'm a Realist Phenomenalist...

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