Sufficient conditions of knowledge

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Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 03:02 pm
@fast,
kennethamy wrote:
Do not confuse not saying you know, with not knowing, nor saying you know with not knowing.


I am not confusing any of this.

Quote:
Do you perhaps have the idea that if you know, then you should know that you know, otherwise, you don't really know?


No. I'm aware that I can know and not know that I know. I've stated this.

I just rarely feel confident saying I know, since I do not know that I know.

Quote:

For the belief that it is a mental state often leads people into thinking that if one knows, one should know that one knows, since we all have direct access to our own mental states


Oh, no, I do not believe this, because I think that I can know things without realizing that I know things; I would just be unaware of the truth at the time. In fact, this happens quite often.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 03:14 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;107897 wrote:
I am not confusing any of this.



No. I'm aware that I can know and not know that I know. I've stated this.

I just rarely feel confident saying I know, since I do not know that I know.



Oh, no, I do not believe this, because I think that I can know things without realizing that I know things; I would just be unaware of the truth at the time. In fact, this happens quite often.


The British philosopher, Harry Prichard, was known for never saying he knew and saying, instead, "I strongly believe", just as he would never say, "I promise (to do so-and-so)" and saying instead, "I fully intend (to do so-and-so". And for the same reason. He did not think he could be certain that he knew, and he did not think he could be certain that he would perform his promise. But, of course, it made no difference, since people would just translate, "I strongly believe" into "I know", and "I fully intend" into, "I promise", and indulge Prichard in his little curlicues.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 03:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;107900 wrote:
The British philosopher, Harry Prichard, was known for never saying he knew and saying, instead, "I strongly believe", just as he would never say, "I promise (to do so-and-so)" and saying instead, "I fully intend (to do so-and-so". And for the same reason. He did not think he could be certain that he knew, and he did not think he could be certain that he would perform his promise. But, of course, it made no difference, since people would just translate, "I strongly believe" into "I know", and "I fully intend" into, "I promise", and indulge Prichard in his little curlicues.


You think people would translate "I strongly believe" into "I know"? I don't. And certainly not on this forum!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 03:25 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;107903 wrote:
You think people would translate "I strongly believe" into "I know"? I don't. And certainly not on this forum!


Well, they knew Prichard. They knew what he meant, and why. After all, the words don't much matter. It is their meaning that matters. He says, "I fully intend to be there on Saturday" and immediately they say to themselves, "Oh, that's just old Harry, again. He'll be there on Saturday. He just promised he would be".
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:03 am
@fast,
I'm not satisfied. I am not satisfied with the JTB model. I would like to able to use knowledge with assurance. I would like to able to confidently use knowledge practically.

There's just something about saying I know, without being sure, which rubs me the wrong way. My beliefs often mean very little, and my justifications are often very flawed. Even if my justification was strong, I could still be wrong about the truth, I would just be more confident saying I knew the truth. Which is fine, I suppose, but Harry Prichard is really creeping up on me. I'm trying to bite the bullet, but I fear chipping my tooth...

This is a painstaking dilemma.
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:50 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108088 wrote:
I'm not satisfied. I am not satisfied with the JTB model. I would like to able to use knowledge with assurance.


Having adequate justification gives you assurance, but that's not what you're after. You want something more. You want to be able to say you know only when you cannot be mistaken. The mere fact that it's logically possible that you might be mistaken is no good reason to refrain from saying you know when you have adequate justification for a belief that you believe is true.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:53 am
@fast,
fast;108095 wrote:
Having adequate justification gives you assurance, but that's not what you're after. You want something more. You want to be able to say you know only when you cannot be mistaken. The mere fact that it's logically possible that you might be mistaken is no good reason to refrain from saying you know when you have adequate justification for a belief that you believe is true.


It's not that I want to be able to say that I know when I cannot be mistaken. It's silly to wish for infallibility. I don't yearn to be epistemically certain of everything.

What I am yearning for is something that allows me to be psychologically certain of the things I think I know. Again, as I noted, it's probably more of a personal problem than a philosophical one. Sorry for wasting both of your times with this.

Have you thought about that 'connector piece' you spoke of earlier?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:58 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108088 wrote:
I'm not satisfied. I am not satisfied with the JTB model. I would like to able to use knowledge with assurance. I would like to able to confidently use knowledge practically.

There's just something about saying I know, without being sure, which rubs me the wrong way. My beliefs often mean very little, and my justifications are often very flawed. Even if my justification was strong, I could still be wrong about the truth, I would just be more confident saying I knew the truth. Which is fine, I suppose, but Harry Prichard is really creeping up on me. I'm trying to bite the bullet, but I fear chipping my tooth...

This is a painstaking dilemma.


I think you are raising a psycho-linguistic* issue more than a logical issue. You are talking about the conditions of claiming that you know, rather than the conditions of knowing. The truth conditions of knowing, and the appropriate conditions for claiming that one knows are not the same. In order to do the latter, I suppose you ought to believe strongly that you know (since claiming you know gives others the assurance that you believe that your claim to know is well justified, and is not, just (say) a shot in the dark). But, believing strongly that you know is not a condition of knowing (it is, as I said, only a condition of claiming one knows). It is important to separate the conditions of knowing from the conditions of claiming to know. They are different. And your interest seems to be in the latter. So there really isn't any dilemma. There is the problem of confusing claiming to know with knowing. When those are distinguished, the problem vanishes.

*I don't mean crazy linguist.

By the way, I don't think you mean, "painstaking". Just "painful".
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108097 wrote:
I think you are raising a psycho-linguistic* issue more than a logical issue. You are talking about the conditions of claiming that you know, rather than whether or not you do (in fact) know. The conditions of knowing, and the appropriate conditions for claiming that one knows are not the same. In order to do the latter, I suppose you ought to believe strongly that you know (since claiming you know gives others the assurance that you believe that your claim to know is well justified, and is not, just (say) a shot in the dark). But, believing strongly that you know is not a condition of knowing (it is, as I said, only a condition of claiming one knows). It is important to separate the conditions of knowing from the conditions of claiming to know. They are different. And your interest seems to be in the latter. So there really isn't any dilemma. There is the problem of confusing claiming to know with knowing. When those are distinguished, the problem vanishes.

*I don't mean crazy linguist.


What are the conditions for claiming to know?

I can claim to know, but not even think I know, and I can claim to know, and strongly believe I know. I can do both of these things, can't I?

Quote:

By the way, I don't think you mean, "painstaking". Just "painful".


Haha, just realized that! Yes, "painful" is what I meant! Although I should have said, "A dilemma that's slowly but surely driving me into the arms of psychiatric care." In other words, you should have meant crazy linguist Very Happy
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:08 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108098 wrote:
What are the conditions for claiming to know?

I can claim to know, but not even think I know, and I can claim to know, and strongly believe I know. I can do both of these things, can't I?



Haha, just realized that! Yes, "painful" is what I meant!



One condition of claiming to know, as I said, is believing that you know. But that is not a condition of knowing. Of course, you can claim to know and be insincere or lie. I am talking about the conditions of sincerely claiming to know. Lying or insincerity is a different matter.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:10 am
@fast,
kennethamy wrote:

One condition of claiming to know, as I said, is believing that you know. But that is not a condition of knowing. Of course, you can claim to know and be insincere or lie. I am talking about the conditions of sincerely claiming to know. Lying or insincerity is a different matter.


Is it possible that I am sincere, claim I know, and still do not believe I know? Or is my not believing, when I say I know, what makes me insincere?

I ask because I often say I know trivial things, sincerely, even if I don't believe them, or, at the least, don't believe them strongly. I may think the things I say I know are just a strong possibility. Is thinking something is a strong possibility the same as believing something is a strong possibility? Hm.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:13 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108101 wrote:
Is it possible that I am sincere, claim I know, and still do not believe I know? Or is my not believing, when I say I know, what makes me insincere?


The latter, I would think. Wouldn't you? A person can, of course, claim to know, but not believe he does know, just as he can claim to love someone, and not believe he does. I don't see any difference.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:15 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108102 wrote:
The latter, I would think. Wouldn't you? A person can, of course, claim to know, but not believe he does know, just as he can claim to love someone, and not believe he does. I don't see any difference.


Is it possible that I think I love someone, tell them I love them, not necessarily believe that I love them, and not be insincere?

Cannot I think and not believe something?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:27 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108103 wrote:
Is it possible that I think I love someone, tell them I love them, not necessarily believe that I love them, and not be insincere?

Cannot I think and not believe something?



Maybe, in some distorted way. But let's just use another example. I claim that there is oil on my land, and offer you the land at a nominal price. But I don't believe there is oil. So I am lying. If you want to discuss the philosophy of lying, that's another matter. But under normal circumstances, if you claim to know that p is true, then you believe (strongly or not) that p is true. I don't understand your last sentence. You seem to be struggling not to believe that your problem is just a consequence of not distinguishing between the conditions of claiming to know and knowing. This business about insincerity and lying is a red herring, and doesn't matter. Under normal conditions a condition of claiming to know that p is believing you know that p, just believing what you claim is true is a normal condition of claiming that anything is true. That is part of the logic of claiming.
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:29 am
@Zetherin,
[QUOTE=Zetherin;107834]It still confuses me whenever I consider the "true" part of JTB. [/QUOTE]Because I parked my car in the parking lot, because I haven't noticed any suspicious activity in the parking lot, because I have my keys, and because there is no fear of repossession, and because the area has had virtually no crime in the past, then not only do I believe my car is in the parking lot, but in addition to that, I have adequate justification that my car is in the parking lot.

However, I can't directly see it from where I'm sitting, and yes, it's logically possible that it's no longer there.

Would it be wrong of me to claim I believe it's there? No. Would it be wrong of me to claim I know? No (for I have adequate justification). Would it be wrong of me to claim that I'm certain (confident) that it's there? No. Would it be wrong of me to claim that I'm certain (impossible that I could be mistaken)? Yes.

I do not need to know that I know in order for it to be true that I know. One interpretation of "I know that I know" is I'm certain.

Unfortunately, it's not true that it's in the parking lot. My dad played a prank on me and used a spare key he had and moved it to an adjacent parking lot.

Looking back, we see that I had a justified false belief yet claimed to know when in fact I didn't know. That means I was mistaken, but that's okay, for we are fallible humans that make mistakes.

[QUOTE]I still don't see how true is distinguished from certain. [/QUOTE]You don't know how "true" is distinguished from "certain"? Those animals aren't even related. The proposition, "My car is in the parking lot" is true when it's a fact that my car is in the parking lot. It wasn't in the parking lot, so the proposition is false.

Certainty implies Knowledge and knowledge implies truth, so certainty implies truth. Truth implies neither, and knowledge doesn't imply certainty.

It may be easier to think of certainty as a kind of knowledge: 1) fallible knowledge and 2) infallible knowledge. Fallible knowledge includes the possibility of mistake where infallible knowledge excludes the possibility of mistake.

[QUOTE]If something can be true, and not certain, what makes something true - the possibility of being true? [/QUOTE]I'm confused by that question. A something that can be true is a proposition, but a proposition wouldn't know anything, let alone have certainty (in any sense).
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:32 am
@fast,
kennethamy wrote:
If you want to discuss the philosophy of lying, that's another matter.


It is, you are right.

Quote:

I don't understand your last sentence.


Sorry. I meant: Can't I think, but at the same time, not believe something?

Anyway, thanks for trying to help. I don't really know where to go from here. I guess I'll just have to contemplate this more by myself. Still very confused.

---------- Post added 12-04-2009 at 10:37 AM ----------

fast wrote:
You don't know how "true" is distinguished from "certain"? Those animals aren't even related. The proposition, "My car is in the parking lot" is true when it's a fact that my car is in the parking lot. It wasn't in the parking lot, so the proposition is false.

Certainty implies Knowledge and knowledge implies truth, so certainty implies truth. Truth implies neither, and knowledge doesn't imply certainty.

It may be easier to think of certainty as a kind of knowledge: 1) fallible knowledge and 2) infallible knowledge. Fallible knowledge includes the possibility of mistake where infallible knowledge excludes the possibility of mistake.

Yes, I know all of this. I don't know what I meant when I said that. I think I was referring to how I should use truth claims and certainty in language. I miscommunicated entirely.

I agree with everything else you have written. These aren't the problems I'm having. I will try to articulate my thoughts better at a later time.

Once again, thanks both of you.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:39 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108107 wrote:
: Can't I think, but at the same time, not believe something?

Anyway, thanks for trying to help. I don't really know where to go from here. I guess I'll just have to contemplate this more by myself. Still very confused.


Do you mean the same thing? Isn't "I think that p" a near synonym for "I believe that p"? So the answer to your question seems to be no.

Very often, confusion is the consequence of not distinguishing between two different things. It is important to articulate the confusion to get to its root.

As Wittgenstein writes, " 'What is your aim in philosophy?' 'To show the fly the way out of the fly bottle' ".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:04 pm
@fast,
I just want to stress that words don't have an exact meaning like numbers. "Truth" is a complicated word. A word "means" what it "means" in the head of an individual idiosyncratic human. Some words are simpler than others, just as some "truths" are.

Also, I know it seems silly to some when objective reality is put under question. When considering cars on the road, objective reality is too important to even think of denying. For practical purposes and common-sense there is obviously objective reality. But "reality" on the highway is one thing and abstract human statements are another. And its this sphere I refer to when questioning the concept of objective truth.

Why should one metaphor be true, and another false? Because it gives us more pleasure? But different human beings take pleasure in different metaphors. When I speak of metaphors, I refer to all abstract discourse.
One must consider how our abstract words are born. As tropes.

No shortage of tropes-become-literal ("literal" is one such trope) both in this post and on this forum in general.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 11:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108233 wrote:
A word "means" what it "means" in the head of an individual idiosyncratic human.


If that were literally true, we could not communicate.
We can communicate.
Therefore it is false.

But I don't see what that has to do with the subject of this thread, anyway.

---------- Post added 12-05-2009 at 01:21 AM ----------

Zetherin;108101 wrote:
Is it possible that I am sincere, claim I know, and still do not believe I know? Or is my not believing, when I say I know, what makes me insincere?

I ask because I often say I know trivial things, sincerely, even if I don't believe them, or, at the least, don't believe them strongly. I may think the things I say I know are just a strong possibility. Is thinking something is a strong possibility the same as believing something is a strong possibility? Hm.


People, I suppose, have idiosyncrasies about how they use a term (or whether they ever use that term). And I suppose that different people use the term, "know" more or less loosely (as some children do) or more or less strictly, as Prichard did (if he used it at all). But, as Prichard saw, "I know" is analogous to "I promise" in that people who claim to know (and I suppose we are talking here about claiming to know, rather than the meaning of the word, "know") are "giving their word". In the case of promising it is giving their word that they will do what they promised, and, in the case of claiming to know, that they have made every effort to make sure that what they claim to know is true. That is to say, that they believe that their belief that they know that p is fully justified. Having said that, I also have to say that the claim to know is very much influenced by the stakes involved in the particular case. A serious case, say of a murder trial, requires much stricter standards of justification than does even a civil case where only money, but not a person's life or freedom is at stake. The law recognizes this difference, and makes beyond reasonable doubt the standard in criminal cases, where as it make only probability the standard in civil cases. So, if you are a juror on panel in a murder trial, you really ought to believe more strongly in the verdict you give than you do in (say) a negligence case (which is not to say that the latter may not also be serious too). It will, naturally, depend on the particular case.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2009 12:38 am
@fast,
What it has to do with this thread is obvious. We are talking about the word "know."

Hardly any philosophical statement is "literally" true, and even tautologies are not always tautologies -- just as contradictions are sometimes only skin deep. The word literal itself is dead metaphor, and only literal in the sense that there is a strong consensus on what it "means."

I agree that there is no private language, but also that there is no ideal universal language. Observe the disagreement on this thread, for instance. Abstract words are born as metaphors. Philosophic discourse is an ambivalently fictional poetry. It intends to be truth. It intends to impose its interpretations on other minds. Just as your intend to impose your interpretation of the metaphorical word "know" on the rest of us. And just as I intend to impose my interpretation of philosophy as metaphor. Truth is made, not found.

The problem with formal logic is that is does not take the organic nature of language into account. The more abstract a word, the blurrier and more context-bound its meaning is. The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon verb for sex. A person must consider this. It was an intentionally "wrong" use of sex verb that eventually took on a "literal" meaning quite divorced from sex. The bible of course bears witness to this root, as it uses "know" in just such a sexual sense. To "know" something is to be intimate with it. You know?

We haven't even started on the word "sufficient" yet, a word with a root that means "artificial."
 
 

 
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