The Truth Condition of Knowledge

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Scottydamion
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:36 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129198 wrote:
Wait, let's not confuse the matter now. What do you mean by "absolute knowledge"?


Absolute knowledge would be knowing that P is true, and my parents claim absolute knowledge concerning god or reality, because they think the knowledge comes from god and can therefore not be false.

I apologize if the term "absolute knowledge" has a specific meaning in philosophy, but if it does I did not know it.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:48 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;129201 wrote:
Absolute knowledge would be knowing that P is true, and my parents claim absolute knowledge concerning god or reality, because they think the knowledge comes from god and can therefore not be false.

I apologize if the term "absolute knowledge" has a specific meaning in philosophy, but if it does I did not know it.


If P is known, P is true. And so we can certainly know what is true, if we know things. Remember, think of knowing as simply a set of conditions which must be met. As long as you believe P, have justification for P, and P is true, you know P. There's nothing absolute about it.

Now, what you seem to be doing is confusing certainty and knowledge. Your parents are very certain about what they think they know, but they might very well be mistaken. That is, they may not know at all. But no matter someone's certainty about a belief, it does not change the, let's see, 'quality' of the purported knowledge. Your parent's knowledge that God exists, if they actually know, isn't any more absolute than my knowing that my dog is in the kitchen, if I actually know. I do not know what the term "absolute knowledge" would mean, except if certainty and knowledge are confused, conjoined.

But this is very common.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:53 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129203 wrote:
Now, what you seem to be doing is confusing certainty and knowledge. Your parents are very certain about what they think they know, but they might very well be mistaken. That is, they may not know at all. But no matter someone's certainty about a belief, it does not change the, let's see, 'quality' of the knowledge. Your parent's knowledge that God exists, if they actually know, isn't any more absolute than my knowing that my dog is in the kitchen, if I actually know. I do not know what the term "absolute knowledge" would mean, except if certainty and knowledge are confused, conjoined.

But this is very common.


Yes that is my point, that they are confusing the two, and as a result I have had a hard time getting over that confusion.

My grandpa once said "they have to prove me wrong, because I know..." when talking about god. To him, certainty is knowledge, so like I tried to say above, to him the truth tables don't have any Fs.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:59 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;129207 wrote:
Yes that is my point, that they are confusing the two, and as a result I have had a hard time getting over that confusion.

My grandpa once said "they have to prove me wrong, because I know..." when talking about god. To him, certainty is knowledge, so like I tried to say above, to him the truth tables don't have any Fs.


Yes, but as kennethamy noted earlier, you should show grandpa the:

Argument from ignorance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a fallacy to believe that something is true, just because it has not been proven false. More, the burden of proof is not on "them". They don't have to do anything. The burden of proof lies on your grandpa.

See:

In cases where the referent of a positive claim is of an uncommon or immaterial nature (grandpa's God), or is unaccompanied by an explanation of causal mechanisms, a default to belief in the claim is not warranted. The proper default is skepticism. Here the burden of proof lies with the person making the positive claim, not with the skeptic.

Philosophic Burden of Proof - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 10:04 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129208 wrote:
Yes, but as kennethamy noted earlier, you should show him the:

Argument from ignorance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a fallacy to believe that something is true, just because it has not been proven false. More, the burden of proof is not on "them". They don't have to do anything. The burden of proof lies on your grandpa.

See:

In cases where the referent of a positive claim is of an uncommon or immaterial nature (grandpa's God), or is unaccompanied by an explanation of causal mechanisms, a default to belief in the claim is not warranted. The proper default is skepticism. Here the burden of proof lies with the person making the positive claim, not with the skeptic.

Philosophic Burden of Proof - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


You have no idea, lol. Belief in god is essentially a part of my parents and grandparents now. I have tried reason, I have tried debate, but I see no hope on the horizon. I don't even see hope of them understanding my position even if they don't agree with it...
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 10:17 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;129210 wrote:
You have no idea, lol. Belief in god is essentially a part of my parents and grandparents now. I have tried reason, I have tried debate, but I see no hope on the horizon. I don't even see hope of them understanding my position even if they don't agree with it...


Unfortunately, not everyone is receptive to reason. It is sad. But since this involves close family members, I would probably still try. You must present your case as if you aren't attacking them or belittling them in any way. Don't shove anything down their throats, but do come armed.
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 06:53 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128988 wrote:
Then there's no point in ever saying "I know" instead of "I am justified in believing"...


In most contexts, no. It is perhaps even better to stick to justified belief because it avoids confusions with certainty.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 01:56 PM ----------

Scottydamion;129210 wrote:
You have no idea, lol. Belief in god is essentially a part of my parents and grandparents now. I have tried reason, I have tried debate, but I see no hope on the horizon. I don't even see hope of them understanding my position even if they don't agree with it...


I don't think you should waste more time on that thing. It is mostly probable that they will not change their minds.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 07:01 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;129210 wrote:
You have no idea, lol. Belief in god is essentially a part of my parents and grandparents now. I have tried reason, I have tried debate, but I see no hope on the horizon. I don't even see hope of them understanding my position even if they don't agree with it...


It takes a lot of background understanding even to recognize the difference between argument and persuasion. (And even many of those who should have that information, are unable to make that distinction). So I doubt very much that at this stage in the lives of your grandparents you are going to be able to provide them with that information, let alone, make them understand its significance. Training and education are necessary conditions, although, as we see over and over again, on this very forum, they are, by no means, sufficient conditions, not even when we think they may exist. (For confirmation see the report that starts the thread, The "overeducated" and Barack Obama. No amount of education can make up for the inability to think).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 10:56 am
@fast,
The truth condition of knowledge is most often disputed because it is held that it is "useless" because we cannot ascertain the truth. So we had better rest content with justified belief, and not make the unattainable a condition of knowing. Thus, we have John Dewey telling us that truth is "warranted assertability". (We get Rorty, later on, telling us the same thing).

But:
1. It is false that we cannot ascertain the truth. We do it all the time. What we may not be able to do is ascertain certainty. We can believe we are on the top of a mountain, and be on top of the mountain, even though we cannot tell (because of the clouds) that we are on top of the mountain.

2. And, even if we cannot ascertain the truth. it does not follow that we have not achieved the truth.

Unfortunately, philosophers like Dewey and Rorty are confused on this point (but not only on this point)

A form of this kind of argument was a mainstay of Berkley's Idealism, and is an important tool in the Idealist view. All use this tool, and if someone uses this tool (Dewey and Rorty) he is an idealist in spite of himself.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129346 wrote:
The truth condition of knowledge is most often disputed because it is held that it is "useless" because we cannot ascertain the truth. So we had better rest content with justified belief, and not make the unattainable a condition of knowing. Thus, we have John Dewey telling us that truth is "warranted assertability". (We get Rorty, later on, telling us the same thing).

But:
1. It is false that we cannot ascertain the truth. We do it all the time. What we may not be able to do is ascertain certainty. We can believe we are on the top of a mountain, and be on top of the mountain, even though we cannot tell (because of the clouds) that we are on top of the mountain.

2. And, even if we cannot ascertain the truth. it does not follow that we have not achieved the truth.

Unfortunately, philosophers like Dewey and Rorty are confused on this point (but not only on this point)

A form of this kind of argument was a mainstay of Berkley's Idealism, and is an important tool in the Idealist view. All use this tool, and if someone uses this tool (Dewey and Rorty) he is an idealist in spite of himself.


Ascertained truth in contrast with achieved truth?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:11 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129349 wrote:
Ascertained truth in contrast with achieved truth?


Sure. You can achieve truth without ascertaining that you have.
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:14 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129346 wrote:
The truth condition of knowledge is most often disputed because it is held that it is "useless" because we cannot ascertain the truth. So we had better rest content with justified belief, and not make the unattainable a condition of knowing. Thus, we have John Dewey telling us that truth is "warranted assertability". (We get Rorty, later on, telling us the same thing).

But:
1. It is false that we cannot ascertain the truth. We do it all the time. What we may not be able to do is ascertain certainty. We can believe we are on the top of a mountain, and be on top of the mountain, even though we cannot tell (because of the clouds) that we are on top of the mountain.

2. And, even if we cannot ascertain the truth. it does not follow that we have not achieved the truth.

Unfortunately, philosophers like Dewey and Rorty are confused on this point (but not only on this point)

A form of this kind of argument was a mainstay of Berkley's Idealism, and is an important tool in the Idealist view. All use this tool, and if someone uses this tool (Dewey and Rorty) he is an idealist in spite of himself.


Maybe another way of putting the objection is that "P is true" does not have to be a premise, but rather truth tables are sufficient.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:14 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129352 wrote:
Sure. You can achieve truth without ascertaining that you have.


Suppose a truth is, "Humans exist". Is the fact that I am a human mean that I have achieved the truth, "Humans exist"? If so, it would seem that every moment I am alive I am achieving some sort of truth, and a limitless number at that. But what have I actually achieved?
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:18 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129354 wrote:
Suppose a truth is, "Humans exist". Is the fact that I am a human mean that I have achieved the truth, "Humans exist"? If so, it would seem that every moment I am alive I am achieving some sort of truth, and a limitless number at that. But what have I actually achieved?


But his statement applies broadly whereas yours is specific. All one has to do is look for faults in your specific statement to see if it applies to what he said, but you would have to disprove his example of being on top of a mountain to disprove his argument would you not?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:18 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;129354 wrote:
Suppose a truth is, "Humans exist". Is the fact that I am a human mean that I have achieved the truth, "Humans exist"? If so, it would seem that every moment I am alive I am achieving some sort of truth, and a limitless number at that. But what have I actually achieved?


That is not what I meant. I meant that you can believe what is true without knowing that what you believe is true. As in the top of the mountain case I gave. (Sorry. I guess I fell into talking some philosophese. It is catching).
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 12:06 pm
@fast,
kennethamy wrote:

2. And, even if we cannot ascertain the truth. it does not follow that we have not achieved the truth.


So what you meant here was: Even if we cannot know the truth, it does not follow that we cannot believe the truth? That seems true.

Quote:

We can believe we are on the top of a mountain, and be on top of the mountain, even though we cannot tell (because of the clouds) that we are on top of the mountain.


We can, but we wouldn't say that we had knowledge we were on top of the mountain. For we had no justification. Isn't that sort of what Gettier was getting at? One can be right about a truth, but if they have no justification, it's just a lucky guess, not knowledge.
 
Emil
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 12:39 pm
@fast,
Here is the essay I was talking about earlier.

Clear Language, Clear Mind Blog Archive JTB+ and the first person perspective
 
Miles Esfahani
 
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2012 04:46 pm
@fast,
Hi all
a late reply as i just joined the site but:
The issue I have always had with the truth condition is the below:
If for 'S knows that P' it is necessary that P be true, then we need some way of determining whether P is in fact true (actually true). And if so them determining whether P is true or not will itself entail 'knowing that P is true'. But since knowing has a truth condition the exercise becomes circular. How can we know that P is true in the first place to satisfy the truth condition? If we knew of a way to determine whether P is actually true or not then we would do a way with the initial question of 'what is knowledge', since knowledge would be that via which one determines whether P is actually true or not.

But since our 'knowing that P' depends on 'P being actually true', and 'P being actually true' depends on us 'knowing that P is actually true' then the whole exercise falls flat on his face.
 
Spreader
 
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2012 03:10 am
Jesus said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
 
 

 
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