8
   

Knowledge without Certainty

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:42 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

No doubt people decieve themselves about all manner of things. And many of our deciepts are probably very comfortable for us, as well. But if deciept is possible, then so must truth be. For what is deciept but the lack of truth?



So, is it true that, as Descartes believed, the mind is an open book, and we are absolutely certain about the contents of our own minds. I have no idea what your answer to this question (which was, after all, the issue) is from your post.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:46 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

jeeprs wrote:
No doubt people decieve themselves about all manner of things. And many of our deciepts are probably very comfortable for us, as well. But if deciept is possible, then so must truth be. For what is deciept but the lack of truth?
Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.


You think that if I believe, against all evidence, that Esmeralda adores me, that I am contradicting myself? Why would you believe that? (In fact, Leon Festinger calls that kind of thing, "cognitive dissonance").
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:48 pm
@kennethamy,
But it would follow that if we are capable of decieving ourselves, then our minds may not be at all open. After all, self-knowledge is understood to be a difficult thing to attain. It is quite possible that many people do not know their own minds and that what they think of as their own views and ideas are actually imposed upon them by convention or are, as you already said, deciepts or delusions. Now of course I don't think this is likely to be a factor in the case of mundane knowledge such as place names. Although, now that I mention it, there is an amusing parallel. There is a syndrome called Paris Syndrome which affects Japanese tourists. They arrive in Paris, expecting to see this very romantic city full of blossoms and poodles and exotic and beautiful women. Instead they find a large-scale urban metropolis with homeless people and dreadful traffic. Frequently they become so disoriented by this that they are taken to the Japanese Embassy for repatriation. There is also a Jerusalem Syndrome. It is much more connected with religion, as you might expect. Both are splendid examples of the power of delusional thinking in the human imagination.
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:48 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
jeeprs wrote:
No doubt people decieve themselves about all manner of things. And many of our deciepts are probably very comfortable for us, as well. But if deciept is possible, then so must truth be. For what is deciept but the lack of truth?
Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.
You think that if I believe, against all evidence, that Esmeralda adores me, that I am contradicting myself? Why would you believe that? (In fact, Leon Festinger calls that kind of thing, "cognitive dissonance").
Fine. But, do you have a response to my post, the one which you quoted?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 11:56 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
jeeprs wrote:
No doubt people decieve themselves about all manner of things. And many of our deciepts are probably very comfortable for us, as well. But if deciept is possible, then so must truth be. For what is deciept but the lack of truth?
Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.
You think that if I believe, against all evidence, that Esmeralda adores me, that I am contradicting myself? Why would you believe that? (In fact, Leon Festinger calls that kind of thing, "cognitive dissonance").
Fine. But, do you have a response to my post, the one which you quoted?



. If you mean your view that all self-deceit is reducible to self-contradiction, then I see no reason at all to believe that. Why, if I believe that Emeralda adores me, although she does not, am I contradicting myself? What I seem to be doing is refusing to recognize the evidence that Esmeralda is indifferent to me.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 12:00 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Why, if I believe that Emeralda adores me, although she does not, am I contradicting myself?
You're not, but neither are you self deceiving. So, you have replied, twice now, with an example of something which I have not claimed to be self deceit and pointed out that this is not described as self deceit!! Get a grip.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:06 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
Why, if I believe that Emeralda adores me, although she does not, am I contradicting myself?
You're not, but neither are you self deceiving. So, you have replied, twice now, with an example of something which I have not claimed to be self deceit and pointed out that this is not described as self deceit!! Get a grip.


Why am I not deceiving myself when I believe that Esmeralda loves me to distraction, when all the evidence points to her being indifferent to me? I really have no idea what your point is. But then, that's customary.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:26 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I really have no idea what your point is.
The traditional paradigm of self-deception focuses on interpersonal deception, best described by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In this paradigm, A intentionally gets B to believe some proposition p, all the while knowing or believing truly ~p. Such deception is intentional and requires the deceiver to know or believe ~p and the deceived to believe p. On this traditional mode, self-deceivers must (1) hold contradictory beliefs and (2) intentionally get themselves to hold a belief they know or believe truly to be false.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception#Analysis
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:34 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
I really have no idea what your point is.
The traditional paradigm of self-deception focuses on interpersonal deception, best described by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In this paradigm, A intentionally gets B to believe some proposition p, all the while knowing or believing truly ~p. Such deception is intentional and requires the deceiver to know or believe ~p and the deceived to believe p. On this traditional mode, self-deceivers must (1) hold contradictory beliefs and (2) intentionally get themselves to hold a belief they know or believe truly to be false.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception#Analysis


When there is self-deception, A and B are one and the same person. There are not two persons, one of whom is trying to deceive the other. Self-deception is a variety of wishful thinking. Wishfully thinking that what one want to be true is true despite the evidence that it is not true. The notion of cognitive dissonance is illuminating. In any case, I don't see what your point is.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I don't see what your point is.
Your inability to follow a simple conversation is not my problem:
ughaibu wrote:
Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:50 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
I don't see what your point is.
Your inability to follow a simple conversation is not my problem:
ughaibu wrote:
Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.



Repeating what is false does not make it true. If I believe that some figure is both a circle and is also a square, I am making a mistake, and I am believing a contradiction. But I am not deceiving myself.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 08:57 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Repeating what is false does not make it true.
Sure, and your awareness of the fact makes your conspicuous habit of doing so extra irritating. You are the only poster who thinks that they're playing your game, nobody cares when you lose, but it's boring as **** when you derail threads for pages at a time trying to avoid, at any cost, admitting that you made a pillock of yourself. Grow the **** up, at your age it's not cute, it's embarrassing.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 09:46 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
Repeating what is false does not make it true.
Sure, and your awareness of the fact makes your conspicuous habit of doing so extra irritating. You are the only poster who thinks that they're playing your game, nobody cares when you lose, but it's boring as **** when you derail threads for pages at a time trying to avoid, at any cost, admitting that you made a pillock of yourself. Grow the **** up, at your age it's not cute, it's embarrassing.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance


Self deceit is generally characterised as belief that both P and not-P.

1. Who "generally characterizes self-deceit in that way"?
2. If I believe that Esmeralda loves me, but she does not, and I am deceiving myself, then I believe both that Esmeralda loves me, and she does not. But that is surely not a case of believing that Esmeralda loves me and believing that she does not love me. Therefore, this is a case of self-deceit when I do not believe that both P and not P.
Further, not all cases of believing P and not P are cases of self-deceit. For example, I may believe that circles are squares. That is a case of believing that P and not-P, but that is not a case of self-deceit. Therefore, it follows that believing that P and not P is neither a sufficient condition of self-deceit, nor is it a necessary condition of self-deceit. Therefore, it is false that to deceive oneself is to believe P and not-P. And therefore, the general characterization you claim, that self-deceit is the belief that P and not-P is false.

QED

Second, cognitive dissonance is not a feeling, and hence, cognitive dissonance is not an uncomfortable feeling. Cognitive dissonance is simply holding two beliefs that are inconsistent with one another together. This may or may not cause a feeling, comfortable or uncomfortable. If you read Festinger's accounts of cases of cognitive dissonance, you will discover many cases of cognitive dissonance, when those who so hold cognitively dissonant beliefs are quite comfortable with holding them. Not only when they do not realize they are holding them, but even when it is pointed out to them that they hold them.
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 06:01 am
@kennethamy,
But why is "self-deceit" so called? Where is the "deceit" element in it? Doesn't deceit require a deceiver? And doesn't the deceiver need to know the truth in order to deceive? So who or what knows the truth in cases of self-deceit?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 06:18 am
@ACB,
ACB wrote:
But why is "self-deceit" so called? Where is the "deceit" element in it? Doesn't deceit require a deceiver? And doesn't the deceiver need to know the truth in order to deceive? So who or what knows the truth in cases of self-deceit?
In any case, the main point of my reply to Jeeprs is that self deceit is a claim about beliefs, and makes no statement about truth.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 02:07 pm
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

But why is "self-deceit" so called? Where is the "deceit" element in it? Doesn't deceit require a deceiver? And doesn't the deceiver need to know the truth in order to deceive? So who or what knows the truth in cases of self-deceit?


I suppose the idea is that the person who is deceiving himself knows the truth in one way, but denies it in another way. For instance, a person who knows he is going to die because his physicians tell him he will, behaves and talks as if he will not die. Such circumstances, we know happen. And we call them cases of self-deceit. However, I admit that the notion needs a good deal of analysis. But it is one thing to say that the notion of self-deceit is unclear, but it is a different thing to say that there is no such thing as self-deceit. In answer to your question, I suppose that the answer is that there is a sense in which the same person knows (or perhaps, should know) what he denies is true.
0 Replies
 
Lewis33
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2011 06:05 am
@kennethamy,
Let's see if I understand this correctly. "Can I know that p, and p (actually) be false?" Here you are referring to the epistemic sense of knowing, i.e., in reality, if I know x, then x has to be true. So if I am reasoning inductively, and I am certain (objectively) to a high degree of probability that my conclusion is true, then am I correct to assume that I have knowledge? I assume you would agree even though it is certainly possible that a piece of evidence could turn up that would undermine what I believed to be knowledge. So in actuality, if I thought I knew based on the rules of good inductive arguments, and later it turned out to be false - it would not be knowledge.

If I am referring to inductive arguments, and I say that even though my conclusion is highly certain (objectively) it is still 'possible' that I am incorrect - this would still be using the word 'possible' in the epistemic sense, not the modal sense. The modal sense of 'possible' (logically or metaphysically) does not have to be reality - that is, it doesn't necessarily have to obtain - only in some possible world.

So when we use the word 'possible' in reference to what is epistemically possible, this is a 'mere possibility' as opposed to what is 'logically possible,' which is used in a modal sense. The logically possible, if true, is a necessary truth as opposed to a contingent truth - the former is contradictory if false, and the latter is not.

All triangles have three sides is a necessary truth. It is contradictory to say otherwise, thus it is not possible (in the modal sense or any sense) that triangles have more or less than three sides.

On the other hand, if I say that the moon is X number of miles from earth, this is a contingent proposition - denying it does not involve a contradiction, since it is not necessarily true.

There is a lot more to this, but is this the gist of what you are saying?


0 Replies
 
 

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