Seeing as knowing is a posteriori I think that your "know" means the opposite from the word "know" in the dictionary....That's pretty strange...
I was trying to be concise and brief, and I got tangled up in anticipating the debate that would follow. Specifically ...
Martin Cothran wrote:
How about the fact that I can know anything at all?
So, let me abandon attempts to be brief. "Philosophers" sometimes analyzes words to the point where it drives their definition to uselessness. As an example, the whole "do I exist?" question is another debate that I find pointless. I'm not saying ontology is useless, but if I don't exist, there's no point in asking the question.
"Can I know anything?" is, IMO, another pointless question. It typically pivots about issues of omniscience. Only God is omniscient (yes, I realize some of you won't even concede that). Given that none of us is omniscient, defining "know" in that way quickly makes the discussion useless. Yes, defined in that way, none of us know anything. It makes my original question meaningless, because by that definition we don't even know science.
So, I'm trying to define the word with a more common usage. When someone says, "I know my name," or, "I know 1 + 1 = 2", or "I know apples are real," what do they mean? They mean that their experience of life has led them to a conclusion. So, I think I am using the word a posteriori
. Further, they mean that the evidence of those experiences has convinced them that the statement they would make is true. They mean that if someone were to attempt to refute their statement, they would continue to maintain that they "know".
They do not mean "absolute knowing" or "perfect knowing". They do not mean no contrary evidence, experience, or argument exists. They do not mean they never have nor never will doubt. They mean the weight of experience in their possession has led them to a conclusion about which they can make a statement that they believe to be true.
The problem is in the attempt to give the word an absolute meaning - to create a binary condition where one must either say "I know" in the perfect sense or resign to saying "I doubt". That is not the common usage of the term, and it is the attempt by "philosophers" to push such a usage that causes people to roll their eyes and dismiss philosophy as idiocy.
So, my usage acknowledges gray lying between black and white, but also says that their comes a point where life experience causes someone to flip a switch and say "I know", treating an issue as if it is black and white.
It is akin to the engineer who acknowledges error in his measurements, but still stands by his conclusion that the airplace will fly. The fact that crashes have occurred does not prevent him from making a declaration that the airplane he designed will fly. The alternative is paralysis ... and maybe those who go to that extreme don't exist.