joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 12:12 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
....how are we to know with certainty...


In a word - we can't ! All "knowledge" is a matter of levels of confidence with respect to prediction and control. Chaos theory indicates that 100% confidence (aka certainty) is a myth.

C.S. Peirce said the same thing over a hundred years ago, and he didn't know anything about chaos theory.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 08:30 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

fresco wrote:

Quote:
....how are we to know with certainty...


In a word - we can't ! All "knowledge" is a matter of levels of confidence with respect to prediction and control. Chaos theory indicates that 100% confidence (aka certainty) is a myth.

C.S. Peirce said the same thing over a hundred years ago, and he didn't know anything about chaos theory.


I child may, when asked what the capital of Ecuador is, reply hesitantly, "Is it Quito?". And the teacher my say, "That's right, Johnny. You know the answer, but you should have more confidence in yourself". Didn't little Johnny know what the capital of Ecuador is, even if he was not confident that he knew? And if that is so, then what has knowing to do with levels of confidence?
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 09:48 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
Every time I close my refrigerator door I don't expect all of my food to disappear from existence, only to reappear again the next time I open the door.


That may be why it doesn't disappear... Wink

But I've been thinking about this for a bit.
The basic idea is that collapse of quantum superposition happens when it is observed. That is when it collapses in to a definite, physical state, indicating that reality only comes into existence when it is observed.

So physical reality requires an observer in order to exist. But does observer neccesarily mean human observer?
Can there perhaps be some sort of observer function in quantum phenomena themselves? Can one wave function be thought of as the observer of another? Or rather, can they be thought of as eachother's observers?

It would seem that they would require some sort of consciousness for that to be possible.
But what is consciousness? It may be nothing more than an event of information. A sub atomic wave can be thought of as information. So when two waves interact it can be thought of an exchange of information, according to which the waves will interact to form reality.
The moment this happens, the moment when quantum information is transformed to reality, and potential is realized, could perhaps be called a moment of consciousness.

This may be all consciousness is. There may be no brain required for a conscious moment. It may be that a brain is only required to string together a series of conscious moments.

The thing is that if we can explain it like this, there is no paradox of how consciousness could come to be from dead matter.
There is no need for impossible concepts like "objective reality" because it would be obvious that consciousness is as naturally occuring in reality as matter, and so all objects are also subjects. It wouldn't matter if you called it subjective or objective reality, there is only one.

The way I see it, this idea doesn't contradict the traditional view, it only explains it differently. But I have to admit that I am not so familiar with quantum physics that I can know if these ideas are conscistent with what can be derived from and constructed out of it. It's only to the best of my ability to understand this idea that is still in the making, with a lot of work yet to do to make it practical and "user friendly". But I agree with those who believe that it is worth the effort, because what we can potentially gain in the way of deeper understanding, may clarify a great many things for us. But only if the seemingly incomprehensible aspects of this idea can be accounted for in such a way that they become less problematic than the issues it seeks to resolve.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 11:47 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I child may, when asked what the capital of Ecuador is, reply hesitantly, "Is it Quito?". And the teacher my say, "That's right, Johnny. You know the answer, but you should have more confidence in yourself". Didn't little Johnny know what the capital of Ecuador is, even if he was not confident that he knew? And if that is so, then what has knowing to do with levels of confidence?

I'm confident that I have no idea what you're talking about.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 05:56 am
@joefromchicago,
Smile Ken's "teacher" was clearly over-confident or he would not have missed that morning's copy of the "Quito Times" bemoaning the fact that the new government had re-named the capital as another city.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:30 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Smile Ken's "teacher" was clearly over-confident or he would not have missed that morning's copy of the "Quito Times" bemoaning the fact that the new government had re-named the capital as another city.


That it might not be true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador is no reason in the world to think that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador, just as that you might not exist is no reason in the world to think that you do not exist. In general, that a proposition might not be true is no reason in the world to think that it is not true.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:34 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
I child may, when asked what the capital of Ecuador is, reply hesitantly, "Is it Quito?". And the teacher my say, "That's right, Johnny. You know the answer, but you should have more confidence in yourself". Didn't little Johnny know what the capital of Ecuador is, even if he was not confident that he knew? And if that is so, then what has knowing to do with levels of confidence?

I'm confident that I have no idea what you're talking about.


All "knowledge" is a matter of levels of confidence

I am supposing you wrote that and it was not your evil twin who did so. Therefore, I am simply pointing out that one can know, for instance, that Quito is the capital of Ecuador without being confident that one knows that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Understand now?

I think you are confusing two things: 1. knowing with, 2. claiming to know. A claim to know this or that implies confidence that one does know this or that. But knowing itself, does not imply confidence that one knows. Easy enough once the distinction between claiming to know, and knowing is pointed out.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:38 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
That it might not be true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador is no reason in the world to think that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador


And just because you can string words together in a sentence is no reason to think that it actually means something.
If Quito is not the capital, that is a very good reason not to think that it is.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 08:54 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
That it might not be true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador is no reason in the world to think that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador


And just because you can string words together in a sentence is no reason to think that it actually means something.
If Quito is not the capital, that is a very good reason not to think that it is.


It certainly is. In fact it is a decisive reason. But what has that to do with whether that Quito might not be the capital is an reason for thinking it is not the capital? It the fact that you might not have been born any reason for thinking that you were not born. Who said that if Quito was not the capital that would not be a good reason for its not being the capital? What I said was that the fact that it might not be the capital is not a good reason for thinking that it is not the capital. No more that the fact that you might not have been born is a good reason for thinking that you were not born.

Do try to read a little more carefully.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 09:20 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Do try to read a little more carefully.


Oh, it seems that I did misread. Sorry.

It would perhaps be simpler to say; the fact that is may be the capital is no reason to think that it is the capital.
But if, based on the information you have, you can make no clearer statement than that it may or may not be, what has that to do with knowing what is actually the case?

In your example with little Johnny, I would say the he does not know what the capital is. He has some information, but he is not confident that it is the right information.
So knowing doesn't mean simply having information, but also having the understanding of where, how and why it applies.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 09:46 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
All "knowledge" is a matter of levels of confidence

I am supposing you wrote that and it was not your evil twin who did so.

No, I didn't write that. Fresco wrote that, and I assure you he isn't my evil twin. But I happen to agree with it.

kennethamy wrote:
Therefore, I am simply pointing out that one can know, for instance, that Quito is the capital of Ecuador without being confident that one knows that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Understand now?

Yes, I understand that you've committed a pretty simple semantic error. You are confusing "confidence" (the level of informed belief on which one can base a prediction) with "self-confidence" (the strength of one's own convictions). They're not the same thing.

kennethamy wrote:
I think you are confusing two things: 1. knowing with, 2. claiming to know. A claim to know this or that implies confidence that one does know this or that. But knowing itself, does not imply confidence that one knows. Easy enough once the distinction between claiming to know, and knowing is pointed out.

That's a rather dubious distinction. As with any empirical fact, there is no such thing as being 100% certain of being correct. That's something David Hume taught us two centuries ago. Consequently, to say that I "know" an empirical fact is really just saying that I am reasonably confident that I am right in my assertions regarding that fact.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 09:46 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
Do try to read a little more carefully.


Oh, it seems that I did misread. Sorry.

It would perhaps be simpler to say; the fact that is may be the capital is no reason to think that it is the capital.
But if, based on the information you have, you can make no clearer statement than that it may or may not be, what has that to do with knowing what is actually the case?

In your example with little Johnny, I would say the he does not know what the capital is. He has some information, but he is not confident that it is the right information.
So knowing doesn't mean simply having information, but also having the understanding of where, how and why it applies.


Suppose that little Johnny had been up all night studying the capital of South America, and that his mother had tested him that very morning, and he was letter perfect. And suppose it turns out that his teacher is not a nice person, and is very intimidating. So that when he sharply says to little Johnny, "All right. What is the capital of Ecuador?" and little Johnny hesitatingly replies, "Is it Quito, sir?" Would little Johnny's hesitancy indicated he does not know the answer? Or would it be rather a sign of being intimidated? Confidence that one knows has nothing whatever to do with whether one knows. As I said, it has to do with whether one is willing to claim that one knows, and how strongly one is willing to make that claim. But that is an entirely different matter, as I just know you now realize.

To say that Quito may be the capital of Ecuador is to imply that there is some evidence that it is. To say that Quito might be the capital of Ecuador is only to say that it is barely possible that it is the capital of Ecuador. That is the difference between "may" and might". Some dictionaries say that "might" designates a weaker degree of possibility than does "may".
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 09:54 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
All "knowledge" is a matter of levels of confidence

I am supposing you wrote that and it was not your evil twin who did so.

Suppose away.

kennethamy wrote:
Therefore, I am simply pointing out that one can know, for instance, that Quito is the capital of Ecuador without being confident that one knows that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Understand now?

Yes, I understand that you've committed a pretty simple semantic error. You are confusing "confidence" (the level of informed belief on which one can base a prediction) with "self-confidence" (the strength of one's own convictions). They're not the same thing.

kennethamy wrote:
I think you are confusing two things: 1. knowing with, 2. claiming to know. A claim to know this or that implies confidence that one does know this or that. But knowing itself, does not imply confidence that one knows. Easy enough once the distinction between claiming to know, and knowing is pointed out.

That's a rather dubious distinction. As with any empirical fact, there is no such thing as being 100% certain of being correct. That's something David Hume taught us two centuries ago. Consequently, to say that I "know" an empirical fact is really just saying that I am reasonably confident that I am right in my assertions regarding that fact.


How does what I wrote imply anything about certainty that one is correct? I simply pointed out the obvious distinction between claiming to know that some proposition is true, and knowing it is true. Claiming to know and knowing are independent of one another; I can do the one with out the other. And I pointed out that although one can know something without being confident that one does, when on claims to know something one implies one is confident that one knows that thing. What that has to do with certainty I have no idea. It is true, I think, that one can know something is true without implying that one is certain (without the possibility of doubt, but that is a different matter altogether.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 10:19 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Confidence that one knows has nothing whatever to do with whether one knows.


First you say this, and then you say.

Quote:
As I said, it has to do with whether one is willing to claim that one knows, and how strongly one is willing to make that claim.


But what would you put as a measure of this willingness and the strength of one's conviction in making the claim? I can't think of anything but confidence...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 11:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
How does what I wrote imply anything about certainty that one is correct? I simply pointed out the obvious distinction between claiming to know that some proposition is true, and knowing it is true. Claiming to know and knowing are independent of one another; I can do the one with out the other.

That depends on how you define "know."

kennethamy wrote:
And I pointed out that although one can know something without being confident that one does, when on claims to know something one implies one is confident that one knows that thing. What that has to do with certainty I have no idea. It is true, I think, that one can know something is true without implying that one is certain (without the possibility of doubt, but that is a different matter altogether.

You're starting to run circles around yourself. If "knowing" something means something other than "knowing something for certain," then you're right that "knowing" really means "being reasonably confident that something is true." But then "knowing" and "claiming to know" would be the same thing, which you deny. So either: (1) "knowing" means "being certain," in which case "knowing" and "claiming to know" would be distinct ("claiming to know," in that case, would mean "being confident but not certain"); or else (2) "knowing" means "being reasonably confident," in which case "knowing" and "claiming to know" would mean the same thing, since being confident of something is simply another way of saying that one claims to know something. In either case, though, you're wrong.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 03:47 pm
@joefromchicago,
Although you can Know without being certain that you know, in which case you won´t claim anything but instead suggest whatever you might consider as the potential correct answer, obviously has nothing to do with claiming to know, which of course does n´t amount to know but only to be confident that you might know something...so I don´t quite see from the mess you just wrote above from where it follows the argument against Ken reply...
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 04:29 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
How does what I wrote imply anything about certainty that one is correct? I simply pointed out the obvious distinction between claiming to know that some proposition is true, and knowing it is true. Claiming to know and knowing are independent of one another; I can do the one with out the other.

That depends on how you define "know."

kennethamy wrote:
And I pointed out that although one can know something without being confident that one does, when on claims to know something one implies one is confident that one knows that thing. What that has to do with certainty I have no idea. It is true, I think, that one can know something is true without implying that one is certain (without the possibility of doubt, but that is a different matter altogether.

You're starting to run circles around yourself. If "knowing" something means something other than "knowing something for certain," then you're right that "knowing" really means "being reasonably confident that something is true." But then "knowing" and "claiming to know" would be the same thing, which you deny. So either: (1) "knowing" means "being certain," in which case "knowing" and "claiming to know" would be distinct ("claiming to know," in that case, would mean "being confident but not certain"); or else (2) "knowing" means "being reasonably confident," in which case "knowing" and "claiming to know" would mean the same thing, since being confident of something is simply another way of saying that one claims to know something. In either case, though, you're wrong.


then you're right that "knowing" really means "being reasonably confident that something is true."

What makes you believe I think that knowing means being reasonably confident that something is true. People are often reasonably confident that something is true, but do not know it is true. In fact, it turns out that what they are reasonably confident is true is false. My view is that on knows that p only if one is justified that p is true, one beliefs that p is true, and p is true. The fact that I am reasonably confident that p is true is compatible with p being false. So confidence that p is true is compatible with not knowing that p is true.

My view is that one can know that p is true, but it still be possible that one is mistaken that p is true, so that one is not certain that p is true. For instance, I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Now it is certainly possible that Quito might not have been the capital of Ecuador. For instance, Guayaquil (Ecuador's second city) might have been designated as the capital of Ecuador. But, of course, it was not, since, in fact, it is Quito that is the capital of Ecuador. You are, I think, confusing two senses of the term "possible". It is possible that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador might mean: "I do not know whether Quito is the capital of Ecuador". Now that is the epistemic sense of the term "possible", and obviously, it is self-contradictory to say that I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, but it is possible (epistemic sense) that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador. I am not using the epistemic sense of "possible". There is, however, the modal sense of possible. It is modally possible for Quito not to be the capital of Ecuador because some other city might have been the capital of Ecuador. Clearly, then, I can know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador and it be modally possible (although not epistemically possible) for Quito not to be the capital of Ecuador. I hope that clears that up.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 05:58 pm
@kennethamy,
Quote:
"I do not know whether Quito is the capital of Ecuador". Now that is the epistemic sense of the term "possible", and obviously, it is self-contradictory to say that I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, but it is possible (epistemic sense) that Quito is not the capital of Ecuador. I am not using the epistemic sense of "possible". There is, however, the modal sense of possible


Laughing ...all this verbiage from Ken who claims when it suits him "not to speak philosophese" !

In everyday terms, nobody walks around making claims about "what they know" unless they are in particular social situations like schools and courtrooms . "Knowledge", conscious or otherwise, is what we use in the course of predicting the outcomes of our interactions with the world. To the extent that such prediction can never technically be "certain", and often falls far short of accuracy, we can speak of "confidence levels".

This usage factor is the central element of neo-pragmatism which rejects the "correspondence theory of truth" and by association the concept of "objective reality".
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 06:08 pm
@fresco,
You fail to explain how does one imply the other...once knowledge hardly has anything to do with existing an objective reality...objective reality it is a tautologous expression once we could very well stick with the absurd question whether there is a reality at all, which is more or less what is being sugested...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2010 06:23 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
To clarify..."objectivity" implies that "knowledge" can be tested against some "observer independent state". Hence the verbiage above about "testing claims".
By contrast, I state the position that "observation" is always an interactional event involved with the coherence of a system, i.e. about "what systemically works", as opposed what "corresponds to a fragmented reality".
 

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