Certain Knowledge

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

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Skepdick
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 8:57 pm No, unfortunately, it cannot be. Once someone insists they do not know anything for certain, they have made it clear they are not certain anything they think, believe, or say is true. The only thing one can do is take their word for it.

Of course, that also means you cannot be certain anyone else is wrong. Henry's right, but you'll never know it.
I don't need your apologetics, or your posse gang-up.

All I need you to address is your double standard.
RCSaunders wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 1:20 am It's like t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certainty. A proposition is either t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certain or it isn't. There is no such thing as almost t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certain. If it's not t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certain, even only .001% not t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certain, it's not t̶r̶u̶t̶h̶ certain at all. It's like purity. W̶a̶t̶e̶r̶ Knowledge is either 100% p̶u̶r̶e̶ certain, or it's i̶m̶p̶u̶r̶e̶ uncertain, even if it's only .001% i̶m̶p̶u̶r̶e̶ uncertain.
If 99% truth is not true, then 99% certainty is not certainty.

Why are you a skeptical about truth, but dogmatic about certainty? That's just schizophrenic.
Last edited by Skepdick on Sat May 23, 2020 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 3:53 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 8:24 am As human beings we are fallible thus need to be humble not claiming to be like God i.e. perfect in every sense, in this case, knowing perfectly with 100% certainty.
What's wrong with you? Do you have any doubts about whether you are alive? Does that mean you think you are God? There are some things you must be certain about. You can deny what you know, close your eyes to the truth (evading the responsibility and using ignorance as your excuse), but you know you are conscious, you know you make choices, you know whatever you do you are responsible for.

You be humble. I have no one else to answer to.
Certain yes, but not absolutely certain.
Do you have any doubts about whether you are alive?
I am certain the empirical-me is alive relative to my consciousness and observations.
When it is relative, it cannot be absolutely certain, i.e. totally unconditional.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by RCSaunders »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 7:49 am
Do you have any doubts about whether you are alive?
I am certain the empirical-me is alive relative to my consciousness and observations.
We've made progress.

Do you have any doubts that you are conscious?
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 8:42 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 7:49 am
Do you have any doubts about whether you are alive?
I am certain the empirical-me is alive relative to my consciousness and observations.
We've made progress.

Do you have any doubts that you are conscious?
Note I stated above;
"Certain yes, but not absolutely certain"

The point is, the overriding state is of not 100% absolute certainty but only relative certainty, thus,

99.999 certainty [I am 100% of this or that]
99.999 certainty [I am 100% I am conscious]

Whatever you claimed to be 100% certain it is always overridden by the default 99.999 certainty.
PeteJ
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by PeteJ »

RCSaunders wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:42 pm Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible.
The entire raisin d'etre of mysticism is certain knowledge. This is a very basic and public fact.

Certain knowledge is identical with its object, and this is a well discussed epistemological issue.

The idea that someone can be certain that certain knowledge is impossible is clearly muddled.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by RCSaunders »

PeteJ wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:51 pm The idea that someone can be certain that certain knowledge is impossible is clearly muddled.
Spot on!
Impenitent
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Impenitent »

muddled...

reminds me of a scene in Stripes...

-Imp
AlexW
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by AlexW »

RCSaunders wrote: Sat May 23, 2020 8:42 pm The philosophers and mystics that want to convince you certain knowledge is not possible do not mean what you and I mean by certain knowledge.
Yes, agree.

You are only talking about knowledge that can be expressed using language - it is knowledge based on concepts. In this world of concepts you can be certain of specifically defined knowledge - this is not surprising as we have built the conceptual framework in such a way that it can express conceptual knowledge with "absolute" certainty (first I define the concept "car", link it to a specific combination of form/color/sound that fits the concept and then I can be certain that whenever I recognise such a combination of percepts that "I see a car" - it doesn't matter if its a real car, a car on a TV screen or just a simplistic drawing of a 5y old - I know: this is a car).

But this is not what the mystic would call "knowledge" - for the mystic only what is directly experienced is true knowledge whereas the conceptual knowledge which is partially derived from basic impressions (and partially from other, pre-existing concepts) is not actually true or certain knowledge. It is only an interpretation, not the real direct experience - it is removed from the original impression and whatever can be said about it using concepts/language is at best an "approximation".
Peter Holmes
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Peter Holmes »

I agree with the OP. The idea that we can never know anything, or know anything for sure, is as fatuous and self-defeating as the idea that there's no such thing as truth.

What we mean when we say we know things - know-of, know-that and know-how-to - is what constitutes what we call knowledge. And what we call knowledge isn't an abstract thing that exists somewhere, somehow, and that can be described - because there are no such things. All we can do is explain how we use the word knowledge, its cognates and related words, in context.

And a relevant sidebar. The expression 'certain knowledge' is a misattribution or transferred epithet - because it's people who are certain or uncertain, not what we call knowledge. (This kind of misattribution is also evident in the expressions 'abstract noun' and 'true belief'.)
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