The reason Bertrand Russell got into philosophy.

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Resha Caner
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:04 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166585 wrote:
Specifically, what resources address the difference between knowledge and certainty?

I don't think I know what that sentence means. Are you asking who it is that discusses this issue?


Yes.

kennethamy;166585 wrote:
C.S. Peirce


Thanks. I'll look him up, because at the moment the difference between "uncertainty" and "inactuality" seems either like hair splitting or one of the issues that I think Turing raised, i.e. that I may feel certain, but in actuality I am in error.

From within my engineering profession I am comfortable with the constructs of probability that provide a measureable means for conveying the certainty (in technical language, the confidence) of data. I was wondering if there is a philosophical equivalent, and maybe Pierce provides that. I'll look it up. In the meantime, if you don't mind continuing the conversation with someone uneducated in this area, I'd appreciate it. So, maybe we can attack a few of those details you mentioned.

kennethamy;166585 wrote:
And I think I have a number of plausible hypotheses to explain that, too. One of them concerns a modal fallacy in logic which people seem prone to make very easily.


Please elaborate.

---------- Post added 05-21-2010 at 08:09 AM ----------

Jebediah;166649 wrote:
From what I remember of how we learn language, when we learn a word it is by association with something. So if you prime someone with the word "nurse" they become more likely to fill in "Doc___" as doctor rather than docile or some other word. That seems to open the door to confusion then, if you have learned a word with certain associations, and then are trying to reason about that word using a different definition that hasn't been learned as strongly.


True, but that is what makes Polanyi's position that language cannot convey all knowledge so important. In simple terms, it means context is important. I suppose we could go the route of the pure scientist and use a dead language like Latin to invent a new word every time we think we have come upon a new concept, but that gets a bit unwieldy. I, for one, think the trend in the art world of creating a new "school" with a new "manifesto" every time someone with an ego wants to make a name for themselves a bit silly.

I just presented a paper this summer discussing the inemical relationship between engineers and math educators. Engineers are prone to use common language rather than a "scientific" language, and so we become used to establishing context in our conversations.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:33 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;166649 wrote:
From what I remember of how we learn language, when we learn a word it is by association with something. So if you prime someone with the word "nurse" they become more likely to fill in "Doc___" as doctor rather than docile or some other word. That seems to open the door to confusion then, if you have learned a word with certain associations, and then are trying to reason about that word using a different definition that hasn't been learned as strongly.


Sorry. What is your point, and what has it to do with whether knowledge implies certainty? I thought that was the subject?

---------- Post added 05-21-2010 at 09:45 AM ----------

Resha Caner;166835 wrote:
Yes.



Thanks. I'll look him up, because at the moment the difference between "uncertainty" and "inactuality" seems either like hair splitting or one of the issues that I think Turing raised, i.e. that I may feel certain, but in actuality I am in error.


Please elaborate.

---------- Post added 05-21-2010 at 08:09 AM ----------



.


The distinction I made was this: When I am philosophically certain that p is true, then it is impossible for me to be mistaken that p is true. But when I know that p is true, then I am (actually) not mistaken that p is true. Now, you do see the distinction between the possibility of mistake and the actuality of mistake, don't you? For instance, it is possible that my belief that Quito is the capital of Ecuador is mistaken, but (actually) it is not. Therefore, although I am not certain that Quito is the capital, that does not mean I do not know it is the capital. That ought to clear it up.

As for elaborating here is a thread that discusses the issue:

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/branches-philosophy/epistemology/8602-why-do-some-people-believe-knowledge-implies-certainty.html
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 11:06 am
@kennethamy,
Yes, I suppose I get what you're saying in a general sense. But I'm certainly lacking the details that make it tenable. I'll look at the other thread.

And thanks for the introduction to Peirce. I read the page at Stanford about him, and have downloaded some of his essays. He's got some intriguing ideas that, at first glance, appear to fit well with my own philosophy - agapism and tychism (which seems to be borne out by quantum physics). It was also interesting to read about his objections to Bayes.
 
 

 
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