sseekkeerr wrote:1. What is the "truth" they keep talking about? Do they even know what it is? The truth of what exactly?
2. What is the "knowledge" that Socrates, Plato and those philosophers were discussing back then?
3. All those concepts, how nothing exists, or soul is immortal, reincarnation is real and knowledge is innate,... Just how did they know it? I mean, they just came up with those ideas and didn't even bother to prove them, yet people actually believed them (they had students)?
4. What is the point of Philosophy? To find the "truth"? Or "knowledge"?
All these questions are factual, meaning there is only 1 answer for each.
Please don't give vague philosophical answers (which don't actually solve anything). I'm considering dropping this class right now, seriously .
sseekkeerr wrote:So is philosophy like critical thinking? Or they are different?
Mowk wrote:Post the syllabus for the class, within it, you'll not likely find any promise of answer to your questions.
"All these questions are factual, [are they?] meaning there is only 1 answer for each [is there?]. Please don't give vague philosophical answers (which don't actually solve anything). I'm considering dropping this class right now, seriously . I found this forum today and it seems to be a great place to look for answers."
It may also help to reveal how assumptive your questions are. On second thought: drop the class.
Seeker (But Spelled Unusually) wrote:Philosophy to me is like the art of debate, which is good, but I want some kind of conclusion.
Mhejmej wrote:I see why philosophy is not for you. Yes, I agree. Drop the class.
One last drop of wisdom:
Stop trying to look for what they thought the truth was. Start thinking why they thought the way they did. "Truth" and "Good" is invidivualistic. The reason why some philosophic is confusing to read, is because, all work is open for interprentation.
Interpret it in your own way.
If everyone has the same feeling about a piece of art, it is not good work.
Great philosophy has varied interprentations.
Which is exactly why you get the "debate" feel.
Unfourtunately, you do not have a philosophic perspective and therefore would stand no chance in a debate.
Drop the class.
Myself wrote:We do not know the totality of reality, therefore, there are specific things that we do not know.
We know that we do not know the totality of reality, therefore, it cannot be said that we know nothing, because we know at least that one thing.
What categories of knowledge can then be said to exist?
To answer this, the first thing that I am going to do is propose a definition of knowledge (which actually combines a few generally accepted definitions of knowledge) to be used for the purposes of answering this question.
Knowledge: An understanding or awareness of a certain subject, that, to a person approaching the subject reasonably and in good faith, cannot reasonably be refuted.
I'm also going to be using the following definition of refute, as opposed to the definition meaning that it must be proven wrong:
2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of (1)
Given this definition, the understanding or awareness one has of a subject does not necessarily have to be proven wrong, but the accuracy of that understanding or awareness must be able to be reasonably denied.
1.) The difference between knowledge and truth is that knowledge does not necessarily have to be absolutely true, it must only be true (i.e. irrefutable) within a partial reality. If and when the understanding or awareness of a subject should become reasonably refutable, then the understanding or awareness may cease to be knowledge and merely become assumption or theory.
2.) The difference between knowledge and conviction (or belief) is that a person who is merely convinced of something, (or who merely believes something) when approaching the subject reasonably and in good faith, will admit that their understanding or awareness of the subject is, at the very least, refutable.
-The God argument is a good one for this because if an Atheist/Theist is approached on the subject of whether there is/is not a God, then that person should admit that they do not actually know. In fact, given the nature of the question, it is possible that no true understanding or empirical awareness of the subject may exist such that either position is benefitted.
3.) The difference between knowledge and certainty is that certainty might be defined as, "Definite, beyond doubt or question." This differs from the definition for knowledge above because knowledge merely, "...cannot reasonably be refuted," whereas certainty is, "beyond doubt or question." In other words, knowledge both can be (and in some cases, should be) questioned whereas a certainty is beyond question. Certainty, therefore, exists on a plane above knowledge, because it implies that no question with the goal of refuting the subject can even be asked, not just that the subject cannot be refuted.
The following paragraphs will be some categories of knowledge for which I have made a distinction, please note that any similarity to any other categories such as these is entirely coincidental and unintentional:
1.) Local, Unshared Local, Unshared knowledge refers to an empirical understanding or awareness of what an individual is experiencing in the present. The subject(s) of this knowledge cannot reasonably be refuted unless the individual experiencing the subject chooses to refute it and does so reasonably.
An example of this knowledge would be the fact that there is a pen sitting to the left of my keyboard at this moment. As you might expect, I have a certain concept in mind pertaining to what I would define or consider to be a, "Pen," and this object which I am empirically experiencing (sight) fits that concept to such a great extent that I consider my understanding of the subject to be irrefutable. This knowledge is unshared because there is nobody sitting here with me, and even if there were, the question of whether or not the object in question is a pen has not been brought up. In other words, I am left with my own thoughts as to whether or not the object in question is a pen.
As we all know, appearances on many things can be deceiving, however, so what I may know to be something in my Local, Unshared, knowledge might turn out to be something else altogether. For example, I might happen to be looking out of my window and see a small figure amongst a grove of trees eating some sort of foilage or vegetable matter. Upon examining the movements of this creature and it's color, I determine that it is a beaver. Except, it turns out the animal has it's back to me, and when the animal turns around and hops away I can clearly see by its facial features that the animal is a brown rabbit.
Some might claim that the animal was a beaver, in my estimation, was knowledge until the animal turned around which gave me a better vantage point. Of course, this was not knowledge, because the point that the animal was a beaver does not satisfy the quality of, "...cannot reasonably be refuted," given the fauna of my geographical area, I was simply expecting the animal to be a beaver as opposed to a brown rabbit.
Had I internally investigated the matter more thoroughly, (i.e. thought about it) then I would have realized that the animal in question was not irrefutably a beaver. However, after getting a better look at the animal, namely the animal's face, it became irrefutable knowledge at the Local, Unshared, level that the animal in question was a brown rabbit. In other words, if I pursue the subject in good faith and reasonably (internally), then that the animal in question is a brown rabbit (given my empirical experiences of brown rabbits and what they are) is irrefutable.
When it comes to questioning one's knowledge at the Local, Unshared level, the first question that should be asked is, "Is my understanding of the subject definitely the case, can it reasonably be that my present understanding is not the case?" If an individual is honest with himself/herself in answering this question, (good faith) and arrives at a conclusion that the subject cannot reasonably be otherwise, then that person has knowledge...at that level.
2.) Local, Shared Local, Shared knowledge refers to an awareness or understanding of what two (or more) individuals are experiencing in the present. The understanding or awareness of this subject constitutes knowledge if all of the parties are in agreement, or if all of the parties are not in agreement, then those who are in agreement are approaching the subject reasonably and in good faith while the contradicting party is either not approaching the subject reasonably or is not doing so in good faith.
If all parties are experiencing the subject reasonably and in good faith, yet they arrive at different conclusions, then the parties may not have Local, Shared knowledge with relation to the subject, but that does not prohibit them from having Local, Unshared knowledge regarding that same subject.
We're going to go back to the pen on my desk for this one:
A.) I am sitting with an individual who happens to be clinically insane. With regard to the subject on my desk and sitting to the left of my keyboard, I know (Local, Unshared) that the subject in question is a pen. Unfortunately, my clinically insane company thinks that the subject in question is not a pen, but rather a cheese enchilada. He attempts to eat it, and the whole affair goes to Hell from there. He may be acting in good faith in his assertion that the subject is a cheese enchilada, but he is not acting reasonably, as it can be empirically demonstrated (in many ways) that the subject in question is a pen and not a cheese enchilada.
-That the subject in question is a pen remains Local, Unshared knowledge (from my perspective) because I know the subject in question to be a pen, and acting in good faith and with reason, that the subject in question is a pen is irrefutable to me.
-That the subject in question is a cheese enchilada is not Local, Unshared knowledge to my company because that the subject is not a cheese enchilada is refutable to a person acting in good faith, and with reason because it is easily refutable that the subject is not a cheese enchilada.
-That the subject in question is a pen is not Local, Shared knowledge because my company and myself clearly do not share the knowledge that the subject is a pen.
B.) I am sitting with an individual who happens to be clinically insane and another individual who is clinically sane. With regard to the subject on my desk and sitting to the left of my keyboard, I know (Local, Unshared) that the subject in question is a pen. The clinically insane person in my company still thinks it is a cheese enchilada, but the clinically sane person in my company also knows the subject in question to be a pen.
-The subject in question is Local, Shared knowledge between myself and the other sane individual because acting reasonably and with good faith, we both understand the subject in question to be a pen.
-The subject in question is still not knowledge of any kind to our clinically insane company because he still fails to approach the subject reasonably, although he may be acting in good faith.
Local, Shared knowledge is a higher form of knowledge than Local, Unshared knowledge because it requires both internal and external reasonable and good faith verification to survive as knowledge.
3.) Local, Past, Unshared Local, Past, Unshared knowledge has all of the qualities of Local, Unshared knowledge except it is empirical knowledge of something past and something not presently occurring. This distinction of a quality of knowledge only exists to differentiate between an understanding or awareness of something being experienced and understanding or awareness of something that has been experienced.
4.) Local, Past, Shared Same general concept as #3, only applying to shared knowledge instead.
5.) Expanded, Shared Knowledge Expanded, Shared knowledge is a category of knowledge that is, by definition, shared knowledge and relates to either past/past shared knowledge or past/present shared knowledge. In other words, it relates to an understanding or awareness of a subject that has been experienced on at least two different occasions, by at least two different people who are both approaching the subject reasonably, in good faith, and who both find the understanding or awareness of the subject to be irrefutable.
-Going back to the pen, assuming that the pen on the desk goes unmoved for a couple of days, if on day one my understanding and awareness of the subject results in the Local, Unshared or Local, Shared knowledge that the subject in question is a pen, and a few days later another person empirically experiences the object, and acting reasonably and in good faith identifies it as a pen (Local, Unshared if just one person) then we happen to converse about the subject and agree that it is irrefutably a pen; we have come to Expanded, Shared knowledge.
Expanded, Shared knowledge is a higher form than any sort of local knowledge because not only does it require both internal and external verification, it requires that such verification take place over a period of time so that if the nature of the subject were going to change, it would have been more likely to do so.
6.) Expanded, Unshared Knowledge Expanded, Unshared knowledge is such knowledge that exists and is found (reasonably, and in good faith) irrefutable on the individual level over a course of time and multiple observations.
-In other words, if I leave my desk and come back after a period of time and I still know the object in question to be a pen, then I have achieved Expanded, Unshared knowledge.
Expanded, Unshared knowledge is a higher form of knowledge than Local, Unshared knowledge because it requires the understanding and awareness of the subject to remain the same (and, in good faith and with reason still be irrefutable) over the course of multiple observations.
7.) Regional Knowledge Regional Knowledge is a form of awareness or understanding that exists pertaining to knowledge of a subject (on the whole) or knowledge of the qualities possessed by a general subject.
-For the pen example, that all reasonable people acting in good faith could identify the same object (or a different object with the necessary similarities) as a pen. In other words, the understanding and awareness of what makes up a pen, or of what qualities a pen should have would constitute Regional Knowledge.
-Another good example is the knowledge that human beings are mortal creatures. All reasonable people acting in good faith that have witnessed someone die, (yet have not witnessed anyone live forever, which is impossible to witness, because we cannot know the future, even if someone could live forever) would conclude given their awareness and understanding that human beings are mortal creatures and are capable of death. There may be a person who has never seen someone dead in the mix, but the argument that a certain person has not seen anyone dead, even to a reasonable person acting in good faith, is not enough to trump the awareness and understanding of a person who has seen someone dead that humans are mortal creatures. In other words, such a person acting reasonably and in good faith would not find the mortality of humans to be reasonably refutable.
Regional knowledge does not necessarily exist on a higher or lower level than Expanded knowledge. The reason for this is because Regional Knowledge deals in the understanding or awareness of generalities, or of certain concepts, but not so much in the understanding and awareness of a concrete and specific thing in a certain location. Regional Knowledge is a different category of knowledge altogether that does not warrant comparison to Local or Expanded Knowledge.
8.) Universal Knowledge -Universal Knowledge does not exist because it would require that a given individual(s) have an awareness and understanding of the totality of reality, or at least of the physical reality, which we do not.
Universal Knowledge would be the highest form of knowledge, if it existed.
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