Re: Belief & Knowledge

From: rwas rwas <>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 17:27:57 -0700 (PDT)

> >> From a mystic standpoint, this can't be. To know
> > something is closer to the analogy of a subscriber
> > line. When one *knows* something, anything, they
> > subscribe this pattern.
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but the usual definition of
> knowledge is:

Usual? Are you trying to arrive at a destination or
make your destination come to you?

> A true belief that has a casual connection with the
> fact that makes it
> true.

That's not my def of knowing. Understanding has to be
able to transcend common definition. If it is
constrained, one can never see outside of the box.

> The standard example is that I may believe that Tom
> has bought a blue
> car because I saw him drive up in it. And Tom has
> bought a blue car -
> so the belief is true. But it isn't knowledge
> because the car I saw
> him drive up in is a rental car, not the one he
> bought. So in this
> example there is no casual connection between my
> belief and the fact
> that Tom bought a blue care, and hence my true
> belief is not knowledge.
> Brent Meeker

This is sequential thinking.

One can know all about Tom before Tom is ever born.

What you're describing to me looks like the mechanics
of sequential thinking.

People might generate models to describe their
observations and if those models jive with those
models of others, we say it's factual because we can
all agree on what we're talking about. In effect, all
we've done is find a way to cooperate in thinking. A
very limited thinking I might add.

At one level, our whole world seems to be built upon
common languages which imply thought processes that
yield consistent reproducible results. By language I
mean any common mode of interrelating, not necessarily
the spoken word.

You take your def of *knowledge* or *knowing*, it's
simply a best guess agreed upon by a large enough body
of people to secure that definition in common usage.
The spoken and written languages were not manufactured
by scientists, they evolved with humanity. It is only
since the advent of scientific thought that we have
attempted to constrain meanings of things to make the
easy to analyze.

One must realize in the attempt to constrain common
everyday experience to a finite conceptual space, that
something will be lost in the translation.

If you are constraining your arguments to a conceptual
space that you all have agreed upon and are happy in
throwing away what you could not translate, then there
should be no contention.

But if you are taking this constrained conceptual and
thought space and then trying to impose it on others,
I foresee a problem.

These discussions seem to delve into various realms of
understanding and belief systems. If one is attempting
to translate these belief systems into your sterilized
conceptual and thought space, one will obviously only
see what the rules of this concept space will allow
him to see.

If however, one attempts to force the conceptual
spaces of others to obey *this* analytical conceptual
space, not only will something be lost, but free
thinking will suffer.

I mention this not because I see it as a problem here
so much as I see it as a general clash between
scientific thinking types and others. This issue and
it's ramifications in translating observables from one
conceptual space to another could be the subject of a
lengthy debate all by itself. I mention it here
because there doesn't seem to be a declared line of
definition between common meanings and scientific
definitions of common meanings.

I also mention it because it seems that much of the
dicussion here is forcing understanding through
symbolic logic. Doesn't this present the problem of
the excluded middle concept?

Robert W.

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Received on Thu May 03 2001 - 17:40:14 PDT

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