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Can we have knowledge or belief which is independent of culture?

 
 
sam155
 
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:21 am
im interested in knowing whether we can or can not have knowledge or belief independent of culture. in specific, i wonder if areas of knowledge have something to do with this or ways of knowing
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 11,176 • Replies: 70
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 09:24 am
@sam155,
I suppose we are more likely to have "knowledge" (e.g., how something works) than "belief" with less dependence on culture. So long as our mental activity rests on inherited symbols it is culturally constituted. Face it, we live in a cultural soup as cultural animals. We respond to symbolic constructions of situations more than, or at least as much as, the "situations" themselves.
emilybaker
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 11:09 am
Hey!

There seems to be more and more evidence of the impact of culture on our brain itself. I watched a fascinating video recently about brain plasticity and consciousness. It uncovers the impact of cultural and technological change on the brain structure and, hence, on the way we think/live/relate etc. I really recommend it to you.
http://iai.tv/video/mind-change

I hope you enjoy it!

Emily
odiousness
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 02:17 pm
@sam155,
well you can have knowledge without culture there was this story about an orphaned teen that had lived on the streets half his life and ended up being a doctor i mean you would need to clarify and yes culture heavily affects the way we perceive different morals and ideas i'm really into the whole butterfly effect thing and it doesn't have to even be a million years ago what happened yesterday could affect today and so on E.X. if you grew up as a christian and accepted the religion you would look badly upon those who are not of your religion and so on. let's say you have a teacher that expresses her religious beliefs and she's atheistic you would like her less and do worse in that class from a shutdown of your mind. culture can heavily affect your knowledge but is not needed.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 02:33 pm
@sam155,
1+1=2
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 04:19 pm
@sam155,
Kinda depends on how you define “belief.”

The way “belief” is often used (particularly in a religious context)…it pretty much means “what you guess about an unknown.”

Insofar as a person is willing to guess haphazardly, a “belief” (so defined) can be independent not only of culture…but of common sense and reason.

When someone uses the words “belief” or “believe” in conversation with me, I almost always ask for an explanation of what the person means with the word. I often ask for the question or comment to be reworded without using “believe” or “belief”—which damn near always ends the discussion.
G H
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 05:35 pm
@sam155,
Quote:
im interested in knowing whether we can or can not have knowledge or belief independent of culture.

Some difficulty if culture is "all the knowledge and values shared by a society". Since a process of formulating, evaluating, and standardizing knowledge will be grounded in social discourse, team interactions, the group effort of peers, etc. But the individual working alone can certainly seek his/her own unshared discoveries and concoct methods, schemes, views, and inventions kept equally private. While also bearing in mind that much of that would not be possible without the acquisition of language (arguably public and social in origin, or was driven into emergence by social needs).
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 06:18 pm
@vikorr,
can you please expand on what you mean
0 Replies
 
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 06:19 pm
@Frank Apisa,
what if i argued belief and knowledge are complementary like JTB, how whould this change the outcome of the question
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 06:21 pm
@odiousness,
why isn't culture needed?
0 Replies
 
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 06:22 pm
@emilybaker,
cool video thanks, but do you believe we can have knowledge without culture
0 Replies
 
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 06:23 pm
@JLNobody,
can you please give me examples of what you mean, even if a personal example is used
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2012 08:16 pm
@G H,
Very good, G H. As far as I'm concerned "culture" consists of BOTH the shared or collective standards, understandings (knowledge/ beliefs), practices, etc. etc. AND the unshared dispositions of individuals, so long as the latter are founded on shared and learned practices/skills like language (culture does not include the private languages of psychotics). But "culture" also pertains to the ways--and the products of the ways--individuals modify, improvise, overturn, as well as affirm inherited understandings.
My society's cultural "heritage" consists of its entire inventory of understandings and practices--all of which are in principle available to its members. My individual cultural "inheritance" consists of those understandings and practices that I've received from my society's (and that may include multiple societies) "heritage."
But this is sounding to stuffy.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 07:06 am
@sam155,
Quote:
what if i argued belief and knowledge are complementary like JTB, how whould this change the outcome of the question


Who is JTB...and where did JTB make that argument, so I can see it in context?
sam155
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:30 am
@Frank Apisa,
Justified True Belief.... uhh
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:38 am
@sam155,
Quote:
Justified True Belief.... uhh


"Justified True Belief" is, in my opinion, like Pascal's wager...it looks and sounds good until it is examined.

We could discuss it if you like, but it really does not impact on the questions I am asking here.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:39 am
@sam155,
Aha...JTB is shorthand for justified true belief.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:40 am
@sam155,
Sorry, guys, I've been away from A2K...and am not up to date with these shorthand references.

I honestly thought he was referring to an argument proposed by someone.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:47 am
@sam155,
Sam...now that I understand your shorthand...

...let me ask you about the "B"...

in JBT:

Why should my question change if “belief” (used in the context of JTB)…is simply a guess about the unknown.

How can anyone expressing a “belief”, for instance, about what happens after death…be doing anything but making a guess?

How can anyone expressing a "belief" about whether the Bible is divinely inspired or not...be doing anything but making a guess?

How can anyone expressing a "belief" about whether a human (or any other animal) contains an everlasting soul...be doing anything but making a guess?

My question...actually statement...stands.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Feb, 2012 08:51 am
If something is true, it's not a belief, it's a certainty. If something is a belief, one cannot know that it is true, one just thinks so.
 

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