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Peter Holmes
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:53 pm

Hi, everyone.

Post by Peter Holmes » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:22 pm

I'm an English graduate and taught the subject in the UK. Since then I've worked as an editor and trainer with Plain English Campaign. But now I'm semi-retired and live half the year in the UK and half in Rhodes.

Having been a 'later Wittgensteinian' for many years, I got around to writing a short paper on applying his ideas: 'Wittgenstein in Practice' or 'Track Taters, Log Ego, Fill Oesophagus', incorporating advice from Dr PMS Hacker, to whom I sent the first edition.

I've also written a paper on theism: 'Exorcising Religion: why belief in the supernatural is irrational' - a long-belated reaction to a narrow and lucky teenage escape from Christianity.

Criticised by theists for my epistemology, during a debate about the difference between testimony and evidence, I was motivated to clarify things in a short paper: 'Justified true belief: knowledge and the myth of propositions', which discusses the JTB definition and the Gettier problem.

These papers are freely available at www.peasum.co.uk.

uwot
Posts: 3166
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Hi, everyone.

Post by uwot » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:40 pm

Welcome, Peter. Stick around. This place could do with a few more people who know what they are talking about.
Off the top of my head, the issue that the Gettier problem highlights is that 'justified, true belief' is a near useless definition of knowledge. People believe things, regardless of truth or justification, and insist that it is 'knowledge'. Some things are the case, and occasionally we happen to believe them, whether or not the justification we claim has any merit.

Belinda
Posts: 1491
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Hi, everyone.

Post by Belinda » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:26 am

Welcome, Peter Holmes.

You wrote:
A belief is an attitude towards something, for example towards a factual assertion. And an attitude has no truth value. What we believe may be true or false, but the belief itself is neither. To put it grammatically: in the expression true belief, the modifier true is misattributed.
Believe can imply believe in and believe that. When the predicate is about God 'believe in' should imply trust or faith in God, but not matters of fact about God. True believers should be encouraged by their pastors to distinguish between history and religious devotions. If true believers were true trusters only then true believers would at least have some way to appreciate science while retaining their integrity.

We could still deplore at least some of the devotional material and ethics, however it would be a small matter to remove some of the more outdated ideas and sentiments while retaining the best of the poetry.
Do you think that 'belief in' is the same as 'belief that' except that 'belief in' implies that the object of belief has , or is a set of, trustworthy qualities?

The social context has the answer. When we are doing philosophy however we are trying to sharpen the terms, and that is why I asked you to comment.
I suspect that it might be possible to draw the teeth from supernaturalism while retaining it as a poetic trope or even as a ontic belief.

Walker
Posts: 4080
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Hi, everyone.

Post by Walker » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:30 pm

Greetings. An English graduate and teacher with a requisite keen sense of nuance should also be welcome to those seeking clarity of expression, if they are not already seeking something more worthwhile than kumbaya to express.

I think that if perception is reality, as any relativist worth his salt will assert, then form is also content, albeit sometimes to be deciphered by the perceiver for any meaning that pertains to the perceiver’s scope of comprehension.

What do you think of this, keeping in mind that the contradiction argument can be found in spectator-like reactions apparently accustomed to the entertainment of assessing the taste of food after being fed, rather than cooking up a stew?

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