Skepticism and Belief

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Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 06:51 pm
Knowledge defined

Pre-Gettier and Post-Gettier we generally and more or less plausibly hold (1)

Knowledge is justified true belief. We might outline this as follows.

S knows P if and only if

  1. S believes P
  2. S has evidence for P
  3. and P is a true fact about the world

Alone 1-3 are necessary and together they are sufficient for the predication of knowledge to S. Post-Gettier many epistemologists came to hold that some fourth property or condition need be provided, but we can ignore that for now.

Skepticism defined (more or less)

Now, skepticism captures a broad range of theories which hold doubts about knowledge or its properties (1-3). Some might be
[INDENT]i. Doubt as to our our justification (evidence), that it is lacking in some particular cases (everyday, mundane, weak skepticism),

ii. Consists of (only) falsehoods (error theory about knowledge),

iii. Possible knowledge is doubtful (Pyrrhonian skepticism)

iv. Or is radically and systematically unjustified (Cartesian skepticism).
[/INDENT]Some derivative positions

I wish to clarify a few derivative positions which combine the properties of knowledge and skeptical approaches. We might approach these derivatives through this outline:

a. Do not exist
b. Is always inadequate or insufficient
c. Is always false

So, by combination of a. and 1. we get

a1: Beliefs do not exist

And so on...

a2: Evidence does not exist; Justification does not exist
a3: Facts do not exist; true and false facts do not exist

b1: Beliefs are always inadequate or insufficient (all beliefs are not really beliefs)
[INDENT]b1i. I might say, "You don't really belief that." Thus, I judge the adequacy or perhaps authenticity of your belief.
[/INDENT]b2: Evidence is always inadequate or insufficient; justification is always inadequate or insufficient
b3: Facts are always inadequate or insufficient

c1: Beliefs are always false
c2: Evidence always leads to false conclusions or can never have true conclusions
c3: Facts are always contingently false, even if they could (possibly) be true

Beliefs

Now in my exploration I stumbled onto a weird one. "Beliefs do not exist."

This is quite strange for it seems plausible that one might argue, "Look, your belief isn't really a belief."

So the same with our Knowledge defined section, we might outline belief as follows.

S believes Q if and only iff
[INDENT]...
[/INDENT]And that's where I get loopy. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for belief or to say that S beliefs something? What are your thoughts on this particular issue or anything I've given above?
 
Joe
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 08:24 pm
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
Knowledge defined

Pre-Gettier and Post-Gettier we generally and more or less plausibly hold (1)

Knowledge is justified true belief. We might outline this as follows.

S knows P if and only if

  1. S believes P
  2. S has evidence for P
  3. and P is a true fact about the world
Alone 1-3 are necessary and together they are sufficient for the predication of knowledge to S. Post-Gettier many epistemologists came to hold that some fourth property or condition need be provided, but we can ignore that for now.

Skepticism defined (more or less)

Now, skepticism captures a broad range of theories which hold doubts about knowledge or its properties (1-3). Some might be
[INDENT]i. Doubt as to our our justification (evidence), that it is lacking in some particular cases (everyday, mundane, weak skepticism),

ii. Consists of (only) falsehoods (error theory about knowledge),

iii. Possible knowledge is doubtful (Pyrrhonian skepticism)

iv. Or is radically and systematically unjustified (Cartesian skepticism).
[/INDENT]Some derivative positions

I wish to clarify a few derivative positions which combine the properties of knowledge and skeptical approaches. We might approach these derivatives through this outline:

a. Do not exist
b. Is always inadequate or insufficient
c. Is always false

So, by combination of a. and 1. we get

a1: Beliefs do not exist

And so on...

a2: Evidence does not exist; Justification does not exist
a3: Facts do not exist; true and false facts do not exist

b1: Beliefs are always inadequate or insufficient (all beliefs are not really beliefs)
[INDENT]b1i. I might say, "You don't really belief that." Thus, I judge the adequacy or perhaps authenticity of your belief.
[/INDENT]b2: Evidence is always inadequate or insufficient; justification is always inadequate or insufficient
b3: Facts are always inadequate or insufficient

c1: Beliefs are always false
c2: Evidence always leads to false conclusions or can never have true conclusions
c3: Facts are always contingently false, even if they could (possibly) be true

Beliefs

Now in my exploration I stumbled onto a weird one. "Beliefs do not exist."

This is quite strange for it seems plausible that one might argue, "Look, your belief isn't really a belief."

So the same with our Knowledge defined section, we might outline belief as follows.

S believes Q if and only iff
[INDENT]...
[/INDENT]And that's where I get loopy. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for belief or to say that S beliefs something? What are your thoughts on this particular issue or anything I've given above?


(2. S has evidence for P)

and so then you list I., ii., iii., etc... as possible skepticisms. Thus the analytical on-slaught begins and continues and continues and continues. I never understood the value of this setup or problem. It looks useful enough if you want to list rational applications against said propositions that usually use the same applications, yet with different definitional language. The Knowledge spectrum is a fallacy trap that doesn't lead to any extra justification, unless you insist on the above boundaries only when rational to the individual. Just seems like a laid out circle to me.
 
nameless
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 10:58 pm
@nerdfiles,
Quote:
Knowledge is justified true belief.

Since;
"Who knows doesn't speak, who speaks doesn't know!" (Lao Tsu)
of what ('quality') is the 'knowledge' of which is spoken?

("the passionateness of a belief is inversely proportional to the evidence in its favour!" - Bertrand Russell
"The strength of a 'belief' is inversely proportional to the amount of critical thought expended on the subject of that 'belief'" - nameless)

"Everything exists!
Existence is contextual.
Everything exists in it's context." - Book of Fudd
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 11:14 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Since;
"Who knows doesn't speak, who speaks doesn't know!" (Lao Tsu)
of what ('quality') is the 'knowledge' of which is spoken?


Well, those are very broad categories. I'm really not sure of the relevance, though.

If (in fact) S believes Q, has (sufficient) evidence for Q and Q is true, this is as supposed a sufficient condition for S's knowing Q. Whether S utters or performs a speech act involving Q does not seem to modify the "quality" of S's knowing. It might show that S has a poor ability to express Q verbally. It might say something about the expression of knowledge. What you seem to be saying is that knowledge is determined by whether or not a speaker utters statements corresponding to it.

If S utters Q stammeringly or confidently, will this affect whether S believes it, has evidence for it, or its truth? Or are you simply asserting that S knows Q only if S does not utter Q?

-U > -K

But how might we ever confirm that S knows? It seems that knowledge is essentially public in some way or other, and your quote is largely unhelpful. If S speaks inconfidently it goes without saying that we might question S's grasp of her own knowledge, but we might still say S knows Q. Philosophers add in "uhms" and "ers" all the time, and this does not make us question that he or she knows what they have written in their own book or corpus.

Quote:
("the passionateness of a belief is inversely proportional to the evidence in its favour!" - Bertrand Russell
"The strength of a 'belief' is inversely proportional to the amount of critical thought expended on the subject of that 'belief'" - nameless)


Daniel Dennett attacked PMS Hacker, by way of expressing his own beliefs, in a very emotionally charged and frustrated and dogmatic manner.

Most analytic philosophers and neuroscientist agree with Dennett. I certainly wouldn't want to say D.D. didn't expend much time on the subject. He's spent a majority of his career writing about consciousness, etc--even if I think he's wrong.

So what you've said seems false.

But this vein of that seems important it. Public criteria constitutes what it means to say that S believes Q.

Are you saying we should observe the agent and somehow that will give us one or all of the necessary conditions, and thus the sufficient condition, for saying that agent believes something?
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 11:17 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
"Everything exists!
Existence is contextual.
Everything exists in it's context." - Book of Fudd


This is supposed to mean?

How do you justify premise 2? Premise 1 is tautological.

Certainly every thing can be viewed as in a context. But necessarily so? This argument just looks like pissing in the wind.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 11:47 pm
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
Knowledge defined

Pre-Gettier and Post-Gettier we generally and more or less plausibly hold (1)

Knowledge is justified true belief. We might outline this as follows.

S knows P if and only if

  1. S believes P
  2. S has evidence for P
  3. and P is a true fact about the world

Alone 1-3 are necessary and together they are sufficient for the predication of knowledge to S. Post-Gettier many epistemologists came to hold that some fourth property or condition need be provided, but we can ignore that for now.

Skepticism defined (more or less)

Now, skepticism captures a broad range of theories which hold doubts about knowledge or its properties (1-3). Some might be[INDENT]i. Doubt as to our our justification (evidence), that it is lacking in some particular cases (everyday, mundane, weak skepticism),

ii. Consists of (only) falsehoods (error theory about knowledge),

iii. Possible knowledge is doubtful (Pyrrhonian skepticism)

iv. Or is radically and systematically unjustified (Cartesian skepticism).
[/INDENT]Some derivative positions

I wish to clarify a few derivative positions which combine the properties of knowledge and skeptical approaches. We might approach these derivatives through this outline:

a. Do not exist
b. Is always inadequate or insufficient
c. Is always false

So, by combination of a. and 1. we get

a1: Beliefs do not exist

And so on...

a2: Evidence does not exist; Justification does not exist
a3: Facts do not exist; true and false facts do not exist

b1: Beliefs are always inadequate or insufficient (all beliefs are not really beliefs)[INDENT]b1i. I might say, "You don't really belief that." Thus, I judge the adequacy or perhaps authenticity of your belief.
[/INDENT]b2: Evidence is always inadequate or insufficient; justification is always inadequate or insufficient
b3: Facts are always inadequate or insufficient

c1: Beliefs are always false
c2: Evidence always leads to false conclusions or can never have true conclusions
c3: Facts are always contingently false, even if they could (possibly) be true

Beliefs

Now in my exploration I stumbled onto a weird one. "Beliefs do not exist."

This is quite strange for it seems plausible that one might argue, "Look, your belief isn't really a belief."

So the same with our Knowledge defined section, we might outline belief as follows.

S believes Q if and only iff[INDENT]...
[/INDENT]And that's where I get loopy. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for belief or to say that S beliefs something? What are your thoughts on this particular issue or anything I've given above?



C.S. Peirce held that to believe a proposition is to be willing to use that proposition in an argument. Another, somewhat different notion is that to believe that p is to accept p as true.

There is, btw, an ambiguity in the word, "belief". The word can refer either to a mental state of the acceptance of a proposition, or else, it may refer to the proposition that is accepted. So, if A believes that p, the term, "belief" may refer either to A's mental state, or to p itself.

One important thing is to distinguish between believing and knowing. There seem to be two main distinctions between the two.

1. We can have false beliefs. We cannot have false knowledge.
2. Belief may have little justification, or even none at all (faith). To know, the knower must have adequate justification, however that is to be analyzed.
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
C.S. Peirce held that to believe a proposition is to be willing to use that proposition in an argument. Another, somewhat different notion is that to believe that p is to accept p as true.


Supposing this claim is true, it would seem to make your later "mental state" claim seem nonsensical. What would an "acceptance state" look like? Where do you find it? In the brain like a mental state?

Quote:
There is, btw, an ambiguity in the word, "belief". The word can refer either to a mental state of the acceptance of a proposition, or else, it may refer to the proposition that is accepted. So, if A believes that p, the term, "belief" may refer either to A's mental state, or to p itself.


It is nonsensical to claim that beliefs refer to mental states. See above, etc. When I believe Q I am not referring to it. I need not refer to it for if I am queried as to whether or not I believe it, "referring" would be an overly technical way of saying I acknowledged it and responded.

If someone says "I accept Q" this does not refer to a mental state any more than saying "I believe Q". Outside of the standard argument to this conceptual confusion, we can fully understand that someone believed Q without at all bringing his or her mental state into account. In some cases we need to resort to mental states to determine whether or not someone can believe something. So, the word "belief" does not refer to a mental state. I doubt that it refers to anything at all.

Quote:
One important thing is to distinguish between believing and knowing. There seem to be two main distinctions between the two.

1. We can have false beliefs. We cannot have false knowledge.
2. Belief may have little justification, or even none at all (faith). To know, the knower must have adequate justification, however that is to be analyzed.


Your 1 just seems like a crude placement of the adjective false. It's not entirely illuminating. False beliefs do lead to a denial that one knows. False knowledge would simply be an idiomatic way of saying someone does not know. No one literally talks about false knowledge for it is incoherent in the first place. 1 does not proffer any distinction between believing and knowing.

Your 2 merely restates all that I have said. Whatever sense of "justification" one's conception of "belief" has, it's necessarily going to be a different kind of "justification" from one's conception of "knowledge," if that conception of "belief" factors into one's conception of "knowledge."

A.
S knows P iff

  1. S believes P,
  2. S has justification for P,
  3. P is true.


B.
S believes P iff

  1. S has justification for P
  2. ... some other stuff

Obviously "justification" in B1 must be different from "justification" in A2 because "belief in A1 is on the same footing as "justification" in A2. They're on the same logical order. This should be clear by the original definition in the OP.

Also, again, about the mental state stuff.

If my boss signs a contract and I tell my co-worker. Am I referring to a mental state when I say "The boss believes such and such"? Does the truth of my assertion depend on my referring to a mental state? This just makes me wonder what on earth you mean by mental state. I hope nothing Cartesian or behaviorist.
 
Joe
 
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:55 am
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
Your 2 merely restates all that I have said. Whatever sense of "justification" one's conception of "belief" has, it's necessarily going to be a different kind of "justification" from one's conception of "knowledge," if that conception of "belief" factors into one's conception of "knowledge."[/qoute]

What is the difference between a belief's conception of justification and a knowledgeable conception of justification. Is it coherence? This seems to be what I find highly skeptical about this process. does this idea imply that knowledge can only be justified by other knowledge? If so, what's the point of it all?:muscle:
 
nameless
 
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:30 pm
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles;55199 wrote:
nameless wrote:

Since;
"Who knows doesn't speak, who speaks doesn't know!" (Lao Tsu)
of what ('quality') is the 'knowledge' of which is spoken?

Well, those are very broad categories. I'm really not sure of the relevance, though.
If (in fact) S believes Q, has (sufficient) evidence for Q and Q is true, this is as supposed a sufficient condition for S's knowing Q. Whether S utters or performs a speech act involving Q does not seem to modify the "quality" of S's knowing. It might show that S has a poor ability to express Q verbally. It might say something about the expression of knowledge. What you seem to be saying is that knowledge is determined by whether or not a speaker utters statements corresponding to it.

He refers to other than 'superficial knowledge'.
Surity of any 'knowledge' is fallacious. There is no 'sure knowledge'. There are hypotheses and theories. 'Knowledge' is often transformed and updated and or dumped.
He is speaking of 'understanding' as 'knowing', rather than piles of so called 'facts' as knowing. If you have to question his statement, you obviously do not 'understand/know' at the depth that he means.
What can be verbally expressed is no more than metaphor, and is not the thing, not 'truth'. There are no words at that depth of understanding/experience'.

Quote:
But how might we ever confirm that S knows?

We cannot. We can safely accept his assertion of what he thinks that he 'knows'.
S only thinks that he 'knows' something (most often a function of ego). S 'believes' that he 'knows' something ('knowing' sounding so much more comfy to the ego than 'believing'). It is not for me to confirm or deny what another thinks or believes. It is reality/truth for him, a feature of the greater Reality/Truth.

Quote:
It seems that knowledge is essentially public in some way or other, and your quote is largely unhelpful.

Knowledge is just a poor and obsolete term. All 'knowledge' is tentative and contextual. Public or otherwise.

Quote:
Quote:
("the passionateness of a belief is inversely proportional to the evidence in its favour!" - Bertrand Russell
"The strength of a 'belief' is inversely proportional to the amount of critical thought expended on the subject of that 'belief'" - nameless)

Daniel Dennett attacked PMS Hacker, by way of expressing his own beliefs, in a very emotionally charged and frustrated and dogmatic manner.

So?

Quote:
Most analytic philosophers and neuroscientist agree with Dennett.

Fallacy of appeal to authority and numbers.

Quote:
I certainly wouldn't want to say D.D. didn't expend much time on the subject. He's spent a majority of his career writing about consciousness, etc--even if I think he's wrong.

Means nothing. Proves nothing. Another cognitive fallacy...

Quote:
So what you've said seems false.

I can see how you might think so within the context of the cognitive fallacy above.

Quote:
But this vein of that seems important it. Public criteria constitutes what it means to say that S believes Q.

I can make no sense of this statement, but 'public' anything is irrelevent in what a person believes. A person says that he believes such and such, and that is all there is to it. It is his 'truth'. What has the 'public consensus of criteria' to do with it? Are you referring to 'language'?

Quote:
Are you saying we should observe the agent and somehow that will give us one or all of the necessary conditions, and thus the sufficient condition, for saying that agent believes something?

007 is an 'agent'. I'm speaking of people. Can we skip the jargon and keep the conversation available to all who might possibly gain from such?
If Bob says that he believes something, or if Bob says that his nose itches, is sufficient for me. What possible reason would I have to argue with such a statement? His assertion is 'sufficient condition' for acceptance.
If we are we going to get into individual examples where it becomes incumbent on us to acertain, further than an accepted declaration, the veracity of the speaker's assertion? I already accept that there are such conditions, but they are quite uncommon.

nerdfiles;55200 wrote:
nameless wrote:

"Everything exists!
Existence is contextual.
Everything exists in it's context." - Book of Fudd

Premise 1 is tautological.

All truth appears so. It remains true, the 'complete set' with all other definitions contained within. 'Truth' is irrefutable and unfalsifiable.

Quote:
How do you justify premise 2?

All the evidence is in support. There is no evidence in refutation. I don't need to 'justify' something that cannot be refuted. There is nothing that exists (nothing can exist) that is not contextual.

Quote:
Certainly every thing can be viewed as in a context. But necessarily so?

Yes!
Nothing is "in a context" (but by 'appearance'), 'it' is one and the same as the perceived context! Definitionally!


Quote:
This argument just looks like pissing in the wind.

This isn't an argument, it is a statement of an omniversal truth.
If you can refute any of it, I'll recant and give weight to your arbitrary and unfounded dismissal. Until then, your 'discomfort' remains trivial.
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 12:01 am
@nerdfiles,
Quote:
Means nothing. Proves nothing. Another cognitive fallacy...
...D.D. has been writing for multiple decades. I hardly need to provide a proof that he's at least spent some time thinking about his topic.

You do understand that I am not trying to prove to you that D.D.'s ideas are right. You should be able to pick up from context clues that my saying philosophers agree with D.D. is pretty much irrelevant to my claim. My claim is that he's AT LEAST SPENT CRITICAL THOUGHT ON HIS SUBJECT, EVEN IF HIS ACCOUNT AND ARGUMENTS ARE ABSURD.

You do realize that is what this literally says:

Quote:
"The strength of a 'belief' is inversely proportional to the amount of critical thought expended on the subject of that 'belief'"
D.D.'s strength of belief does not inverse proportionately or proportionately in any way reflect that he's spent time and "critical thought" on his topic. His corpus, degrees, etc, etc AT LEAST SHOW THAT HE'S SPENT TIME ON IT. I AM NOT ARGUING THAT HE IS RIGHT OR CORRECT OR WHAT HE SAYS IS TRUE.

Honestly, I'm surprised you'd think I'd argue this. Clearly my claim that philosophers agree with him is pretty much irrelevant so I don't see why you needed to comment on that.

Again, I said he might be false, or have made absurd arguments. I think his entire conception of mind is absurd, but I cannot say that he has not spent a lot of time on his topic on basis of his dogmatic outbursts at a conference.

Do you understand what I am saying?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 12:30 am
@nerdfiles,
Nameless wrote:
Knowledge is just a poor and obsolete term. All 'knowledge' is tentative and contextual. Public or otherwise.


What term would you recommend in its stead, if any?
Quote:

A person says that he believes such and such, and that is all there is to it. It is his 'truth'. What has the 'public consensus of criteria' to do with it? Are you referring to 'language'?
There is a social component to 'truth' - this is the public consensus of criteria referred. A person can say the sky is made of gold, but based on consensus, we can deduce what he speaks is not 'truth'. What one says is not "all there is to it". Clearly, there is a consensus factor based on many objective methods of rationalization (science, logic, etc.)
Quote:

We cannot. We can safely accept his assertion of what he thinks that he 'knows'.
S only thinks that he 'knows' something (most often a function of ego). S 'believes' that he 'knows' something ('knowing' sounding so much more comfy to the ego than 'believing'). It is not for me to confirm or deny what another thinks or believes. It is reality/truth for him, a feature of the greater Reality/Truth.
I understand what you're saying: Each consciousness can only perceive subjectively, we cannot view from an objective lens. Meaning, each perception is an independent truth, "a feature" of the 'greater reality'. Fair enough, I can't refute that.

However, I don't think our perception is as nonsensical and detached as you make it sound. Clearly, there is universal consensus on some matters.
Quote:

What can be verbally expressed is no more than metaphor, and is not the thing, not 'truth'. There are no words at that depth of understanding/experience'.
Why does the theory regarding that we cannot speak "truth" have more weight than a theory regarding that we can speak "truth", if we are to agree with this claim?

Quote:
If Bob says that he believes something, or if Bob says that his nose itches, is sufficient for me. What possible reason would I have to argue with such a statement? His assertion is 'sufficient condition' for acceptance.
Claiming knowledge of objective understanding would obviously be much different than a claim about your nose itching or what kind of ice cream you like. We must make a distinction, and that's the point. So, you don't have to use "knowledge", "truth", or even "understanding", but the words are there to provide the distinction. Yes, some propositions do hold more weight, even though you seemingly think they do not (based upon your aforementioned statements). So, while I agree concerning the subjectivity factor, for communication and understanding sake, a distinction must be allowed. Do you disagree?
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 12:54 am
@Zetherin,
Quote:
There is a social component to 'truth' - this is the public consensus of criteria referred. A person can say the sky is made of gold, but based on consensus, we can deduce what he speaks is not 'truth'. What one says is not "all there is to it". Clearly, there is a consensus factor based on many objective methods of rationalization (science, logic, etc.)


This "consensus" analogy seems to be a bit too embellishing. This is why I simply wish to stick to talking about the "public" aspect to knowledge, for it involves the "internal/external" distinction.

Quote:
Knowledge is just a poor and obsolete term. All 'knowledge' is tentative and contextual.


Yes, we know things tentatively, in some cases, and we know things contextually... I'm not exactly sure how "tentative" and "context" make a term obsolete. In fact, I'm not really sure what your point is.

Quote:
I understand what you're saying: Each consciousness can only perceive subjectively, we cannot view from an objective lens. Meaning, each perception is an independent truth, "a feature" of the 'greater reality'. Fair enough, I can't refute that.


But who claims that knowledge is objective. Some proposition does not need to be objectively or necessarily true for someone to know it. You cannot refute that because there's nothing to refute, there's only an error.

Quote:
However, I don't think our perception is as nonsensical and detached as you make it sound. Clearly, there is universal consensus on some matters.


If by universal you mean "inter-subjective." I'm sure you meant that. I don't mean to correct you, just to perhaps add another "word" so that someone might see it and not start thinking that you're talking about "God."
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 12:54 am
@nerdfiles,
Generally, nothing the user: nameless has said undermines

S knows P iff

  1. S believes P
  2. S has evidence for P
  3. P is true

Bryan knows that Bob is in the house iff

  1. Bryan believes that Bob is in the house
  2. Bryan has evidence for the claim that Bob is in the house
  3. It is true that Bob is in the house

Innocuous, boring, etc I know--but we have to start somewhere.

Bryan can cease to know that Bob is in the house. In that case, we'll just say Bryan knew Bob was in the house. So yes, his knowledge is tentative and context-bound. We still count it as a genuine knowing.

So back to my original point:

In this example, what would be some examples of the necessary and sufficient conditions--humor me--of Bryan's believing? (I release this is a fruitless endeavor, but this is a philosophy forum. Who knows when fruit will grow?)

Bryan believes Q (or Bob is in the house) iff
[INDENT]...
[/INDENT]???
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:04 am
@nerdfiles,
What is the difference between a belief's conception of justification and a knowledgeable conception of justification?
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:10 am
@nerdfiles,
I was only assuming that our conception of belief presupposes justification for the purpose of showing you that even if belief does presuppose justification, it must be different from the kind of justification presupposed by our conception of knowledge.

I was not saying that belief presupposes or necessarily has justification. The difference, in large part, is that justification as presupposed by our conception of belief does not exist in any meaningful sense while justification as presupposed by our conception of knowledge does at least have a meaningfulness to it.

We don't need to justify our beliefs in the sense that we have to provide evidence for them. However, it seems that we have to do something more than merely say "I believe X" at some indiscriminate interval. And we cannot let our conception of belief drift into or overlap too much our conception of opinion because certainly "I believe that your shirt is pretty" is more in line with an opinion while "I believe the communist party is the best party" is something that isn't so, well, trivial. So we have trivial beliefs (opinions) and substantial beliefs (perhaps political beliefs or ideological beliefs or non-trivial, generally).

But to say of someone that he believes this or that, there must be a few obvious necessary conditions. Or maybe there aren't. I'm looking for a position here.

[EDITED SUBSTANTIALLY AFTER JOE'S REPLY BELOW]
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:15 am
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
But who claims that knowledge is objective. Some proposition does not need to be objectively or necessarily true for someone to know it. You cannot refute that because there's nothing to refute, there's only an error.


Exactly, I was simply trying to make the distinction between propositions that do have "truth" (Water is composed of 2 hydrogen molecules and 1 oxygen), those which do not (The stratosphere is composed of gold), and those in which "truth" simply does not apply (I like icecream). The distinction, if anything, allows us to communicate and understand one another. What I got from nameless's posts was that distinction did not matter because no one could *know* anything (regardless of truth-claim). Thus, we're just left with independent rambling, a 'feature' of perception, which seems to amount to nothing. It didn't matter if someone was using scientific method, logic, or even just preferential speak... none of it means anything. I'm confused.

Quote:
If by universal you mean "inter-subjective." I'm sure you meant that. I don't mean to correct you, just to perhaps add another "word" so that someone might see it and not start thinking that you're talking about "God."


Yes, intersubjectivity is what I was referring to.

"God", haha, I just chuckled.
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:20 am
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
I was only assuming that our conception of belief presupposes justification for the purpose of showing you that even if belief does presuppose justification, it must be different from the kind of justification presupposed by our conception of knowledge.

I was not saying that belief presupposes or necessarily has justification. The difference, in large part, is that justification as presupposed by our conception of belief does not exist in any meaningful sense while justification as presupposed by our conception of knowledge does not.

We don't need to justify our beliefs in the since that we have to provided evidence for them.

But to say of someone that he believes this or that, there must be a few obvious necessary conditions. Or maybe there aren't. I'm looking for a position here.


me too. I'll throw something out there when I stew on it some more.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:36 am
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
But to say of someone that he believes this or that, there must be a few obvious necessary conditions. Or maybe there aren't. I'm looking for a position here.


Hm, this one really has me here.

I can think of quite a few examples in which I cannot find any necessary conditions. An abundance of critical thought does not have to precede a belief claim. Joe could shout one of your 'trivial beliefs', "Jane, I think your shirt is nice!", and believe it. Where is the necessary condition here? No critical thought was involved, it's just a preference, a *feeling*. A 'substantial belief' seems as though experience or critical thought, of some sort, must come before. Here I can find some necessary conditions, but language is so diverse, meanings so twisted, we'd have to quite literally look at each and every belief proposition to "make sure". And even then, what criteria would we follow? I mean, only the speaker knows for sure, right?

It gets even trickier if we speak of those with mental illness, such as schizophrenia. Where do hallucinations lie within belief?
 
nerdfiles
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 01:57 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
Hm, this one really has me here.

I can think of quite a few examples in which I cannot find any necessary conditions. An abundance of critical thought does not have to precede a belief claim. Joe could shout one of your 'trivial beliefs', "Jane, I think your shirt is nice!", and believe it. Where is the necessary condition here? No critical thought was involved, it's just a preference, a *feeling*. A 'substantial belief' seems as though experience or critical thought, of some sort, must come before. Here I can find some necessary conditions, but language is so diverse, meanings so twisted, we'd have to quite literally look at each and every belief proposition to "make sure". And even then, what criteria would we follow? I mean, only the speaker knows for sure, right?

It gets even trickier if we speak of those with mental illness, such as schizophrenia. Where do hallucinations lie within belief?


Good!

Under some accounts of (and in papers which defend) epistemic minimalism, true belief (sans justification) is defended as a plausible definition of knowledge.

1. Essentially the idea is that "belief" has not been given a rich enough qualification or has been given an insufficient characterization by those who accept "justified true belief" as knowledge.

2. True belief as knowledge is usually attacked on account of hallucination and schizophrenia cases. But the counter is usually given that beliefs must be, by our ordinary conception of belief (think preferences), acquired in a more or less causally appropriate manner.

So, for instance, people clinically diagnosed as mentally handicapped or psychotic seem to have beliefs, but certain classes of beliefs are generally denied to them as bearers of those beliefs. So, for instance, the belief that one is in a padded room might be legit while the belief that pluto has martians on it (uttered every other year) is not. A random sequence of utterance that happens to sound like "I believe X" would not be attributed to a person. For instance, we wouldn't attribute beliefs to a parrot.

On hallucination: Suppose you're induced into a coma and someone "injects" (by some means) into your brain "the belief that X"; I'd doubt that we'd say you legitimately or genuinely hold that belief. On the supposition, we'd simply say that you were induced to say it or you got it in the wrong way. There seems to be a "coherency in acquisition."

This is perhaps evidenced by theist/atheist feuding. Each side of the camp says "they only think they believe (God talks to them) or (Science tells them the right morality)" which is just another way of saying "they only believe they believe." This kind of talk is nonsensical and absurd, but it intimates, I think, the idea that Science or God could literally speaking to us, even if true, would give us "beliefs" in an inauthentic way or by cheating.

Even if God decided to tell you this or that, I'd still think it mysterious that you could even get a belief at all because God's supposed to be outside of the normal flow of things. Getting beliefs through flux seems suspect. We generally hold that people must get their beliefs through some standard and normal process.

So the reason for our believing something or having the belief at all seems to be necessarily within a certain class of possible reasons. And perhaps this is a necessary condition.

For instance, in order for me to genuinely say, at all, that I believe in God. I must go to church for some number of years, have religious parents, perhaps, etc etc. No one would say I really have the belief at all if I behave and act as a self-described atheist for 30 years and suddenly and unexpectedly, one Wednesday morning, start saying "I believe in Christ (in the Christian sense)"--especially if I own not one copy of the Bible. People would likely think I'm being insincere or playing a joke or hit my head or am being coerced. But what do people know? In any case, it seems there's something essentially public about having beliefs at all or being said to have beliefs by others.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2009 02:29 am
@nerdfiles,
nerdfiles wrote:
So, for instance, people clinically diagnosed as mentally handicapped or psychotic seem to have beliefs, but certain classes of beliefs are generally denied to them as bearers of those beliefs. So, for instance, the belief that one is in a padded room might be legit while the belief that pluto has martians on it (uttered every other year) is not. A random sequence of utterance that happens to sound like "I believe X" would not be attributed to a person. For instance, we wouldn't attribute beliefs to a parrot.


This is shaping up well.

Firstly, what are all the classes of belief? Next, how do we know certain classes are denied to an individual - besides those mental illnesses which are more apparent - how would we know?

Quote:
On hallucination: Suppose you're induced into a coma and someone "injects" (by some means) into your brain "the belief that X"; I'd doubt that we'd say you legitimately or genuinely hold that belief. On the supposition, we'd simply say that you were induced to say it or you got it in the wrong way. There seems to be a "coherency in acquisition."
I don't see how I could argue with another that their belief isn't legitimate or genuine, unless I had criteria, or an objective means of rationalization with which I could evaluate. This makes it easy for me to argue with someone that the stratosphere isn't composed of gold, but how on earth would I contest someone saying "That shirt is nice", without bowing down to preferential thinking?

And how would we evaluate where someone acquired the belief? It's not always so simple - it could be a culmination of experiences, thoughts, feelings, that led them here. How do we know that every class of belief is not "induced" in some way? How does this "coherency in acquisition" fit in, and how am I to be a judge?

Quote:
Even if God decided to tell you this or that, I'd still think it mysterious that you could even get a belief at all because God's supposed to be outside of the normal flow of things. Getting beliefs through flux seems suspect. We generally hold that people must get their beliefs through some standard and normal process.
Are we really questioning people acquiring beliefs from some metaphysical figure? This seems absolutely absurd to me. OF COURSE these people are acquiring their beliefs from standard or normal processes.

Quote:
So the reason for our believing something or having the belief at all seems to be necessarily within a certain class of possible reasons. And perhaps this is a necessary condition.
But it doesn't seem as if there is a solid "list of reasons" with which we can reference. Maybe my saying, "Your shirt is nice", is just because I enjoy a shade of red. I believed your shirt was nice because of a preference. How can we obtain necessary conditions from something like this?

Quote:
For instance, in order for me to genuinely say, at all, that I believe in God. I must go to church for some number of years, have religious parents, perhaps, etc etc
Spirituality is much more expansive, varied, and abstract to really 'pin-point', so this example flops right here, but I will address the point you are making: The best we can do is create a list of criteria. If someone created a list of "10 things one must do to be considered religious", and you did not abide by those criteria, we could say *You are not religious based upon X criteria*. How does have to do with belief? Your thoughts could not have changed at all (beliefs), and yet someone is essentially saying you do not believe...?

But onto the point of publicity: If you told someone on this forum you were religious even without abiding by a list of criteria, you could actually find someone that legitimately and genuinely believed you (given you provide *something* to provide insight), BECAUSE there are individuals here that understand spirituality can be more expansive. If you did it somewhere else, you would probably find different results, and yeah, maybe many would not genuinely believe you. The "public" can obviously vary, but this does not change what we genuinely believe, does it? Are you saying it's like playing ping pong? We have to have the ball hit back to us, lest we stop believing? That is, we have to have someone believing us to really believe anything? We aren't playing the game unless we have someone perceiving us.

The essence of "public" you see here, I don't see. If I close my eyes, I can think of quite a few things I believe which I do not outwardly display to any "public". How do you account for these?
 
 

 
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