Knowledge

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Mandibil
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Mandibil »

Cleric K wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:28 pm
Well, if I need to question it, how can it be knowledge.
But here again we have a hidden preconception of what we expect knowledge to be. The above question implicitly restricts knowledge only to the domain of absolute truths.
I have not referred to a "we" and certainly not a nation of a "we" that can have expectations !
I have not mentioned a relation between truth and knowledge so please explain how you do that (and also the difference between truth and absolute truth)

In other words I can only consider something to be knowledge if I thus find it within the contents of my consciousness that it is impossible to question it.
No, then you have already knowledge, and that is exactly my question ... this seemingly inevitable reference to knowledge before knowledge

Clearly, the majority of things that we call knowledge in the practical sense, are not absolute truths at all.
I don't know the difference between truth and absolute truth and how that relates to my question of knowledge

For example can we consider “apples fall” to be knowledge?
Considering is not knowledge. And if you don't have knowledge of X how can you get it to be knowledge. Again, back to my original question.


A thought experiment:

I experienced (what I was told was) Louis Armstrong in 1970 ... does that mean i "know" "Louis Armstrong ??
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Cleric K
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Cleric K »

I have not referred to a "we" and certainly not a nation of a "we" that can have expectations !
I have not mentioned a relation between truth and knowledge so please explain how you do that (and also the difference between truth and absolute truth)
The fact that you ask me to explain the relation between truth and knowledge, further shows me that I don't understand what you mean by knowledge :)

For example, the statement "fire burns and causes pain" can be considered knowledge. It could be acquired either through own experience or by being told by someone. If that someone has told me that fire doesn't cause pain, at the moment I put my hand into the fire I find conflict between the facts and my knowledge. In this sense the relation between knowledge and truth is obvious. Since you seem to be uninterested in the question of truth, this leads me to believe that you are looking to understand knowledge in itself, as some pure element unrelated to the facts of experience. If this is the case, I don't think I can be of much help. In my understanding, knowledge about something is a concept or idea that reflects the harmony of the facts of certain experiences (which are themselves captured by concepts and ideas). In this sense, knowledge consists in the discovery of concepts and ideas that relate the disconnected facts of perception into a whole. (clearly, we are speaking of conceptual knowledge here and not motor skills, for example)

As for absolute truth, I can give only one example that is related to thinking. This is closely related to what Dana suggested with the self-evident knowledge of awareness but in thinking we are a little more specific. The reason is that any philosophical judgment is already a product of the thinking process. So if I say "awareness exists" I'm still employing thinking to form that statement. Thus the thinking process precedes anything that we can say about awareness or anything else.

Consider the question “How do I know that thinking exists?” We quickly realize that this is a different way of knowing. We do not need to postulate or define that thinking exists, neither we prove that through chains of logical thoughts. Any thought that we perceive is already a testimony for the living process of thinking. The statement "thinking exists" can be considered intuitive knowledge (nothing to do with the popular meaning of intuition as in “my intuition tells me this is right”). In the true sense, intuitive knowledge is not something the we suppose is right because we have a vague feeling about it but because its very experience contains in an inseparable way its corresponding meaning. In this sense, when we meditatively experience the thought "thinking exists" we don't go any further to look for proof of the statement but the very perception of the thought is in itself the testimony for the existence of the thinking process. In this way the statement "thinking exists" can be considered knowledge of an absolute truth.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by SanteriSatama »

Mandibil wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:05 am You may be missing the point somewhat, but that may be as well due to unclearness in my question :-) I am interested in the jump from not knowledge to knowledge. No one can claim knowledge if they cannot explain how they make this transition, imo. To answer your answer:
"Not knowledge" is already a claim of knowledge. Philosophical skepticism can't claim either "I know" or "I don't know".

There must be a difference between "knowing" and "knowing for certain" then? What is it ?
When in pain, pain is felt. This is beyond doubt. Is there a who/what feeling the pain, what is the cause of pain, etc., goes into hermeneutics.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by ScottRoberts »

Mandibil wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:05 am metaphysics is foundational to epistemology (it comes before)
I am an idealist, but I am also a pragmatist. And so my "definition" of something like "knowledge" amounts to how I use the word "know", to wit:

I know something when I experience it. Thanks to memory, I also know that I have experienced it, and so know it. Being a metacognitive sort I can also ask questions about whether or not I will experience something, that is, come to know it. Asking such a question is knowing that I don't know whether or not I will come to know something, which is to say, experience it.

In sum, to know something is to experience it, which is to say that knowing is experiencing. And since, assuming idealism, there is only experiencing, then for idealism, epistemology = ontology. Only non-idealists have epistemological issues.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Mandibil »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:47 am I can only say that there in one state I know for certain, beyond any doubt whatsoever: in this now this awareness exists. Beyond that, everything else seems a relative, provisional story that arises out of it, I know not how.
I think I agree with you to some extend.

You implicitly say that knowledge is only possible in the now. I agree. But the experience of now can not all of it be knowledge, because then now and knowledge is the same and there would be no need for epistemology. I believe the need for determining knowledge arises from the awareness of objects that can be experienced but not necessarily are in the now !! Concepts can be imagined without being sensed, so there is a need to determin whether something "exist" (in what we could call reality) or not. My question thus deals with, how do I determin when that experience is knowledge.

Could you elaborate on the difference between "knowing" and "knowing for certain" !
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Could you elaborate on the difference between "knowing" and "knowing for certain" !

Mandibil ... Being more eclectically inspired metaphysician, a comprehensive grasp of epistemology is not my forte. But I'm getting at the distinction between knowing something to be plausibly true, based of a coherent and cogent theory that makes that case, as opposed to knowing beyond any doubt, for example, that one's awareness exists, independent of any theory regarding how or why. So when I'm aware of some qualia, the awareness of it is all I know for certain. But if for instance I 'know' that this qualia is what we have agreed by consensus to call the color red, then I'm making a cognitive observation based on some testable, empirical, evidential scientific theory about light being absorbed by objects, leaving only a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum visible, etc, etc, which no other theory, so far at least, has contradicted, but nonetheless must always be subject to some degree of uncertainty. The same would be true for knowing that some objective state exists even when one is not experiencing it. Thus, knowing that the sun won't likely explode today, and knowing that I'm aware of feeling warm in its presence, are surely different kinds of knowing.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by AshvinP »

Mandibil wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:30 am
Soul_of_Shu wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:47 am I can only say that there in one state I know for certain, beyond any doubt whatsoever: in this now this awareness exists. Beyond that, everything else seems a relative, provisional story that arises out of it, I know not how.
I think I agree with you to some extend.

You implicitly say that knowledge is only possible in the now. I agree. But the experience of now can not all of it be knowledge, because then now and knowledge is the same and there would be no need for epistemology. I believe the need for determining knowledge arises from the awareness of objects that can be experienced but not necessarily are in the now !! Concepts can be imagined without being sensed, so there is a need to determin whether something "exist" (in what we could call reality) or not. My question thus deals with, how do I determin when that experience is knowledge.

Could you elaborate on the difference between "knowing" and "knowing for certain" !
As Scott said, everything you experience is knowledge of an 'objective world' under idealism. You may then ask, how do we know if idealism is true? We can't know that for certain and ultimately we take that on faith. But that's the same for all worldviews - a leap of faith is unavoidable if you desire to continue existence.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Mandibil »

As Scott said, everything you experience is knowledge of an 'objective world' under idealism.
I disagree. Time and space for instance are not experienced ... which would mean that they would have qualia. And I would even go further to say that qualia does not exist, as they are not in themselves specific/unique to any particular object (concept) ... it is incorrect in my opinion to say "red" exist !
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Re: Knowledge

Post by AshvinP »

Mandibil wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:20 pm
As Scott said, everything you experience is knowledge of an 'objective world' under idealism.
I disagree. Time and space for instance are not experienced ... which would mean that they would have qualia. And I would even go further to say that qualia does not exist, as they are not in themselves specific/unique to any particular object (concept) ... it is incorrect in my opinion to say "red" exist !
How do you figure time and space are not experienced?

Every experience of a 'particular object' is experience of qualia.
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Re: Knowledge

Post by Mandibil »

How do you figure time and space are not experienced?
I mis-wrote.. it should have said .. time and space are not perceived. Off course they are experienced, otherwise you and I would not talk about it :-)

Every experience of a 'particular object' is experience of qualia.
I would say that the "qualia" would be the sense data (and feelings) ... which are not particular to any object. If they ignite a concept ... like "elephant" ... then that is the object, but it is not perceived, but rather cognized, from (internal) concepts !!
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