How do you know whatever you KNOW you KNOW?

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Nitish
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 06:59 am
How do you know whatever you KNOW you KNOW?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 07:37 am
@Nitish,
Nitish wrote:
How do you know whatever you KNOW you KNOW?


I don't know that I know what I know. After all, I need not know I know in order to know. It is not clear what "knowing that I know" means. In ordinary conversation, "I know that I know Mary loves me" would ordinarily be understood only as meaning, I am sure that Mary loves me.

Give an example of what you mean.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 03:01 pm
@kennethamy,
Yeah, an example would be nice Nitish. Are you asking what justified true belief (JTB) means?

If you are asking whether now have absolute knowledge about anything, then I say absolutely not. Unless, that is, you believe in such a thing on faith alone. Absolute knowledge must be permanent and eternally valid. If it is changeable then it obviously can't be completely true.

Even the law of gravity, for example, is not absolute because it is not an independent law and is open to further knowledge. And you can't absolutize common sense reality especially since what passes for it today will certanly change over the course of a century as it has changed throughout the history of mankind. As long as we are still learning we can't absolutize or priviledge(sp) any element of our knowledge.

We could all consent to be redudundant and call this proof of knowing when our referents are self-made or conventional. But as soon as we seek how such conclusions are valid in the first place, then we are asking an ultimate question.

So if you can will you please try to clarify the question for us Nitish so we can sure discuss it in its proper terms?Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 05:20 pm
@Nitish,
Nitish wrote:
How do you know whatever you KNOW you KNOW?

I only know what I cannot deny, and accept certainty as the equal of knowledge. Remember what myths tell us; that it does not matter what are the facts when it is impossible to know them. It is more essential for humanity to act upon that knowledge of which they are certain than to surrender their existence to empty wonder. If an explaination of reality is desired one will be forthcoming, and it will be a blessing to you if you accept it at face value, and then, get on with what you know.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 05:23 pm
@Nitish,
Confirmation from your peers is one way.

Not failing is another, if what you know you know happens to be an action.

Faith is yet another, although we cannot subscribe to faith as a means of truth, it is faith that the question requires, isn't it?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 05:36 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I only know what I cannot deny, and accept certainty as the equal of knowledge. Remember what myths tell us; that it does not matter what are the facts when it is impossible to know them. It is more essential for humanity to act upon that knowledge of which they are certain than to surrender their existence to empty wonder. If an explaination of reality is desired one will be forthcoming, and it will be a blessing to you if you accept it at face value, and then, get on with what you know.


There used to be those who could not deny that the Earth was flat. But you do not think that they knew that the Earth was flat, do you?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 05:39 pm
@Aristoddler,
Aristoddler wrote:
Confirmation from your peers is one way.

Not failing is another, if what you know you know happens to be an action.

Faith is yet another, although we cannot subscribe to faith as a means of truth, it is faith that the question requires, isn't it?


I would have thought that confirmation from your peers is one way of knowing, not a way of knowing that you know. How does faith show that you know what you know. Faith is only strong belief, and that you believe something, no matter how strongly, is no reason for you to think that you know that thing; much less that you know that you know it.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 05:59 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I only know what I cannot deny, and accept certainty as the equal of knowledge. Remember what myths tell us; that it does not matter what are the facts when it is impossible to know them. It is more essential for humanity to act upon that knowledge of which they are certain than to surrender their existence to empty wonder. If an explaination of reality is desired one will be forthcoming, and it will be a blessing to you if you accept it at face value, and then, get on with what you know.


The difference between the justification of a true belief and having faith in a true belief is that in seeking after justification we seek after reasons.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 06:04 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
The difference between the justification of a true belief and having faith in a true belief is that in seeking after justification we seek after reasons.


Well, that certainly sounds right.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 06:55 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
There used to be those who could not deny that the Earth was flat. But you do not think that they knew that the Earth was flat, do you?

In regard to human beings, who are like Pi, the earth as a practical matter is flat. Now, no one walking up a hill would say it is flat both ways or up hill both ways. Still it is easier as a practical matter to show it is flat than round, since flatness is obvious, while roundness must be proved. And yet, even the roundness of the earth can be observed with a keen eye, or a telescope. Consider this, that for those who make topographical maps our highest mountains appear as slight expression against a common flat background.
So, I suppose if it were said properly, the earth is round but its surface is flat.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 06:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Well, that certainly sounds right.

Where belief preceeds reason reason justifies belief. When reason can free itself from the task of proving belief it can add to understanding. At the task of proving belief reason only adds certainty to ignorence.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 07:50 pm
@Nitish,
I know that I can only know that which I can potentially verify
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2008 10:59 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Where belief preceeds reason reason justifies belief.


I don't see how it can be said to be justified by reason when it has already preceeded it. I think the word "rationalization" is more fitting since we are talking about "Reason" here and not "reasons".

Quote:
When reason can free itself from the task of proving belief it can add to understanding.


If we are seeking after the truth, which I would argue we are obligated to do, then it seems necessary and required that reason be freed from belief or our beliefs questioned.

Quote:
At the task of proving belief reason only adds certainty to ignorence.


Some beliefs are more probable than others. The task is to discover which ones are justifiable to the highest degree.

We can always question someone's belief or simply refuse to believe with them. But if they offer reasons for their beliefs, then we are obligated to hear the reasons before we disagree with them. And then, if we deem it necessary, we can proffer our own counter-arguments. In this way reason is said to be progressive and enlightening.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 12:50 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
In regard to human beings, who are like Pi, the earth as a practical matter is flat. Now, no one walking up a hill would say it is flat both ways or up hill both ways. Still it is easier as a practical matter to show it is flat than round, since flatness is obvious, while roundness must be proved. And yet, even the roundness of the earth can be observed with a keen eye, or a telescope. Consider this, that for those who make topographical maps our highest mountains appear as slight expression against a common flat background.
So, I suppose if it were said properly, the earth is round but its surface is flat.


But that is changing the issue. It is still true that people used to believe that the Earth was flat (they would fall of if they went to far) but it was actually round. If you don't like that example, there are lots of examples when someone thinks he knows something and doesn't. So why get hung up on the particular example. It is only a diversion from the issue, isn't it?

Isn't the point that you can believe you know something, but be mistaken and not know what you believe you know, so that certainty and knowledge are not the same? And, so, I can know, but not know that I know (i.e. be certain)?
 
dancinginchains
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 01:59 am
@Nitish,
To put a slight derivation on Popeye:

I know what I know because that's what I know.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 05:28 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
I don't see how it can be said to be justified by reason when it has already preceeded it. I think the word "rationalization" is more fitting since we are talking about "Reason" here and not "reasons".



If we are seeking after the truth, which I would argue we are obligated to do, then it seems necessary and required that reason be freed from belief or our beliefs questioned.



Some beliefs are more probable than others. The task is to discover which ones are justifiable to the highest degree.

We can always question someone's belief or simply refuse to believe with them. But if they offer reasons for their beliefs, then we are obligated to hear the reasons before we disagree with them. And then, if we deem it necessary, we can proffer our own counter-arguments. In this way reason is said to be progressive and enlightening.


One of the big steps forward for mankind was when the Medieval Church allowed the division of theology from Philosophy. And, with much respect for the people and the religion, you see in Islam what can happen when people refuse to divorce their science from their religion. The bad part for us is that when science was cut loose from theology people began to harnass the power of the earth, and to think of themselves as so many gods. In a sense, the medieval morality was always defective. It did not correct the injustice of its own day, and it cannot correct the injustice of our day. And, according to what people always believe, that anything they can get away with is justified, they glorify themselves, and attack morality. What good does reason do for such a people as us, but to magnify the problems we face? Humanity has had for thousands of years enough science to understand and survive nature. Reason applied to nature increases the number, but not the meaning of lives. The true problem is what it has always been: How to understand ourselves, and manage our excesses so they do not destroy us.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 05:57 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
But that is changing the issue. It is still true that people used to believe that the Earth was flat (they would fall of if they went to far) but it was actually round. If you don't like that example, there are lots of examples when someone thinks he knows something and doesn't. So why get hung up on the particular example. It is only a diversion from the issue, isn't it?

Isn't the point that you can believe you know something, but be mistaken and not know what you believe you know, so that certainty and knowledge are not the same? And, so, I can know, but not know that I know (i.e. be certain)?

A ball is round because from the perspective of a person, and in relation to a person the ball is clearly round. If the ball grows to the size of our earth, at any given point it is flat. Only by changing our perspective to one larger yet, to that of the moon, the solar system, or the cosmos does the earth become round. It is a matter of scale rather than of fact. Think of what people are looking for with Pi. If you slice a circle into very thin pie shaped slices, in relation to the diameter the bit of circumference seems nearly at 90 degrees, which is as the earth, from our perspective, seems to be. With a circle a ratio is reached between circumference and diameter. Is it accurate. Is it more accurate than the casual observation that from where I stand everything is flat?

In the time or Frederick the Great, the man who became the head of the Berlin Academy, Maupetuis, was called the earth flattener because he showed with astronomical observations that the earth tended to flatten near the poles. Now, it was obvious to any enlightened mind of the times that the earth was round. Actually it is roundish from a larger point of view, and as flat as ever from the perspecive of those who must live on it. There is a moral to the story.

Truth, no matter how highly held is always most hard pressed in proving reality against what is obvious. It does not matter in most respects whether one believes the earth is round, roundish, or flat. That is not the problem. The problem is the same as always, that truth is a form of human relationship. It can suffer as much as any other form of relationship, and even fail, as when those who do not have enough of truth are cut down by the truth of others.

It does not matter what example you choose. Certainty is the enemy of truth. I think truth is simple enough. We know reality when we can concieve of reality. Truth is the measure of our concepts against reality. If our concept does not conform to reality it is shown to be false. If our concept does conform to reality it is true. So soon as we become certain that our concepts describe reality correctly we give up checking them.

Most of our concepts are handed to us at birth. We must learn a lot, and know a lot before rational, critical thinking becomes possible for us. We cannot possibly begin to check all that we know as fact that is given to us, on faith, as discovered and checked by others. And every day we rely on this given knowledge. How do we know it. We don't know it, but are certain of it, and this presents very severe problems for humanity and society, because when things break down, as they often do, we really don't know how to recreate them. There is not much difference between a divorce and a war, or between a war and carting a computer off to the land fill. Knowledge is an extremely intimate and detail relationship that few of us can be said to have on any subject.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 06:16 am
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
I know that I can only know that which I can potentially verify

If Kant said knowledge is judgement, I agree because a concept is a judgement. It is concepts which are verified against reality. It is concept which are true or false.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 08:16 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Where belief preceeds reason reason justifies belief. When reason can free itself from the task of proving belief it can add to understanding. At the task of proving belief reason only adds certainty to ignorence.


That has a really nice ring to it. But it is sort of hard to figure out what it means. Does that matter as long as the ring is pleasant?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 08:19 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
If Kant said knowledge is judgement, I agree because a concept is a judgement. It is concepts which are verified against reality. It is concept which are true or false.


Now, there is the concept of justice. Is that concept true or false? I always thought it was judgments (AKA as propositions or statements) which are true or false. We have say make an assertion about justice (or whatever concept) before we have what is true or false.
 
 

 
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