Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Philosophy Now
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Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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George Dunseth outlines basic principles for knowing whether or not ideas are true.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/124/Twelve_Principles_of_Knowledge
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

Post by Age »

How could 'truths' even be inaccessible to reason and/or be outside truths parameters?
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Philosophy Now wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:25 am George Dunseth outlines basic principles for knowing whether or not ideas are true.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/124/Tw ... _Knowledge
Oh my word, it was all reasonable until the final conclusion:-
Finally, a word on ‘mystical’ truth claims. Mystical experience is not in the above twelve principles of reason, since by definition conclusions based on it are not thereby supported by reason. However, I think it is wise to be open to the idea that there may be truths inaccessible to reason or outside its parameters.

"Mystical" refers to experiences, insights, or practices that involve a deep, spiritual, or transcendent connection with the divine, the sacred, or the hidden aspects of reality. It often involves a sense of oneness with the universe, a direct encounter with the divine, or the pursuit of profound spiritual knowledge and understanding beyond the ordinary or rational scope.

Scrub that. (beyond rational scope)

..and now many of the "Twelve Principles of Knowledge" can be applied to "mystical experiences".
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Angelo Cannata
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Imagine Adolf Hitler wanting to verify if and how much his ideas were reasonable and true. Specifically, he wants to verify if the idea that Hebrews are a plague, a ruin of humanity, and therefore they must be exterminated, is true and reasonable.

1. Non-Contradiction: Is this idea or set of ideas consistent, and therefore coherent? This is the first principle of formal logic.
Hitler: It is 100% consistent and coherent, absolutely no problems!

2. Observation: Is this idea verified by sense observation?
Hitler: Clearly it is! You must be blind not to see it.

3. Experimentation: Can this observation be repeated predictably?
Hitler: Of course it can, because it has already got a lot of confirmations in the past and in the present!

4. Testability: Is this idea in theory falsifiable, and can its truth value be put to the test? In other words, is it possible to think about this truth claim being wrong?
Hitler: Indeed it is! Imagine my idea is wrong; then everybody should be happy despite the presence of Hebrews and everybody should be not so happy, or at least unchanged, if they are not here. But nobody is happy; on the contrary, everybody is clearly much happier when there are no Hebrews around.

5. Comprehensiveness: That which explains the most. Is this the simplest explanation of the most phenomena?
Hitler: It is definitely the most elementary explanation why we have a lot of unhappiness now.

6. Fit: Does this help a lot of related factors fit nicely into place?
Hitler: It helps an infinite number of factors: economy, morality, wellbeing, aesthetics, all social and personal activities.

7. Pragmatism: What works best? Does this work? If a set of ideas works, then it is likely that there is something true about them!
Hitler: Exterminating Hebrews works extremely well! I have just started and I can already see how this has improved already absolutely everything.

8. Intuition: Does this idea strongly inwardly demand assent?
Hitler: Obviously! Don’t you feel it spontaneously good and logic just by thinking of it?

9. Common Sense: Is this very widely, or perhaps almost universally, accepted as true? (Many philosophers cringe here, but may I suggest that a little regard for common sense is not unhelpful?! And like all the principles, it cannot stand alone.)
Hitler: My friends agree unanimously with me, no exception; those who disagree are clearly uneducated, ignorant, unaware: we just need to make them knowledgeable.

10. History & Tradition: Does this have historical warrant – meaning that it has stood the test of time?
Hitler: God has already hit them with a lot of punishments; God himself has already tried to cancel them from the face of the earth, many times.

11. Warranted Authority: Is this backed by a reliable testimony or source?
Hitler: Choose any testimony or source and I will show you how it backs my ideas.

12. Analogy: Does this idea cohere with a related idea which is seen to be true? Then this similarity could imply its own truth.
Hitler: Indeed it coheres, for example, with the fact the people have elected me as their beloved dictator!

I think that this shows how dangerous the very idea of truth is. Truth is just interpretation, there is no truth that cannot be denied and criticized. Whenever we look for truth we are looking for power, mastering, control, that is, ultimately, dictatorship.

George Dunseth, like Descartes with his quest for some indestructible certainty, has fallen, like many others, under the instinct of dictatorship that is inside each of us, including me writing this post. We can try to explore ways to make some difference, if possible, and I think an essential and radical way is to deconstruct the concept of truth.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Angelo Cannata wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:09 am Imagine Adolf Hitler wanting to verify if and how much his ideas were reasonable and true. Specifically, he wants to verify if the idea that Hebrews are a plague, a ruin of humanity, and therefore they must be exterminated, is true and reasonable.

1. Non-Contradiction: Is this idea or set of ideas consistent, and therefore coherent? This is the first principle of formal logic.
Hitler: It is 100% consistent and coherent, absolutely no problems!

2. Observation: Is this idea verified by sense observation?
Hitler: Clearly it is! You must be blind not to see it.
Angelo, I only made it to point 2 and found fault.

What did Hitler see re 'Hebrews' that formed Hitler's opinion that they are 'a plague, a ruin of humanity, and therefore they must be exterminated, is true and reasonable."?
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Whatever he saw, what is important is how he interpreted it; the same way happens to you and me: we interpret whatever we see and we decide its meaning. Nietzsche said that there are not facts, only interpretations. We don’t need to find facts that should show us how Hitler was able to think that Hebrews were a plague: any facts work once you interpret them the way you want.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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Angelo Cannata wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:23 am Whatever he saw, what is important is how he interpreted it; the same way happens to you and me: we interpret whatever we see and we decide its meaning. Nietzsche said that there are not facts, only interpretations. We don’t need to find facts that should show us how Hitler was able to think that Hebrews were a plague: any facts work once you interpret them the way you want.
No actually, I think we as intelligent beings can discern whether Hebrews were a "plague, a ruin of humanity, and therefore they must be exterminated" - as FACT or NONSENSE.

Since you brought Nietzsche into the discussion, provide if you can a point of view from his perspective in relation to this, that you quoted of him:- "there are not facts, only interpretations." with respect to "Hebrews were a "plague, a ruin of humanity, and therefore they must be exterminated"

What "non-factual interpretation" would support the extermination of 'Hebrews', such that a society would agree?
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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You have already behaved like Hitler in point n. 9, by saying
attofishpi wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:35 am ...we as intelligent beings...
This way, if somebody agrees with you, then he/she is intelligent, if somebody doesn’t, then he/she isn’t so intelligent. I am not blaming you: I am the same, with a tendency to consider not so intelligent those who disagree with me.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

Post by nemos »

1. Non-Contradiction: Is this idea or set of ideas consistent, and therefore coherent? This is the first principle of formal logic.
Or is it just me, or does it seem that this is a very subjective criterion, because it is based on an induvidual experience and understanding that can be influenced by whether I am hungry or not ?

2. Observation: Is this idea verified by sense observation?
Can our senses really be relied upon so much? Not to mention the fact that our mind will immediately try to convert them into subjective interpretations. In the forest at night, every stump can be a fabled monster.

3. Experimentation: Can this observation be repeated predictably?
A good way to try to exclude the subjective component, but only if we do not forget that our mind will certainly try to correct it.

4. Testability: Is this idea in theory falsifiable, and can its truth value be put to the test? In other words, is it possible to think about this truth claim being wrong?
Can anyone name something that is theoretically unfalsifiable based on the mind's propensity to interpret (actually falsify).
Although the repeatability of the experiments is essential to make sure that there are no errors in the conditions that affect the result.

5. Comprehensiveness: That which explains the most. Is this the simplest explanation of the most phenomena?
Well, the laws of nature have a limited number, so the same laws are reflected in different natural phenomena, which is quite wonderfully revealed by the mathematical description of the processes. So it can be, of course without forgetting about the interpretations.

6. Fit: Does this help a lot of related factors fit nicely into place?
We live in a world where things are interconnected and consequential. So even if we fail to observe it, it would be unwise to think otherwise.

7. Pragmatism: What works best? Does this work? If a set of ideas works, then it is likely that there is something true about them!
Hard to disagree.

8. Intuition: Does this idea strongly inwardly demand assent?
As far as I understand intuition is based on associations with previous experiences. Of course, it is useful, especially since it happens subconsciously, so it can be assumed that it is objective. But still don't let consciousness fix it.

9. Common Sense: Is this very widely, or perhaps almost universally, accepted as true? (Many philosophers cringe here, but may I suggest that a little regard for common sense is not unhelpful?! And like all the principles, it cannot stand alone.)
I respect common sense, even if it is not very healthy, because I have nothing else ... However, the generally accepted does not indicate the truth - the earth is flat and rests on whales.

10. History & Tradition: Does this have historical warrant – meaning that it has stood the test of time?
As you know, time puts everything on the shelves. I agree.
But history is written by the victors, what is effectively a political tool. What can be more lying than politics.

11. Warranted Authority: Is this backed by a reliable testimony or source?
Faith again, it seems that there is nowhere without it. Who are you ready to trust, still land on whales, ... ?

12. Analogy: Does this idea cohere with a related idea which is seen to be true? Then this similarity could imply its own truth.
If, while putting the puzzle together, you find a piece that does not have any other pieces in its neighborhood, then this definitely does not mean that it is not part of the puzzle. Well, the absence of something is always harder to prove than its existence.
Try to prove the non-existence of god.

Finally, a word on ‘mystical’ truth claims. Mystical experience is not in the above twelve principles of reason, since by definition conclusions based on it are not thereby supported by reason. However, I think it is wise to be open to the idea that there may be truths inaccessible to reason or outside its parameters..
I want to share my ideas about mystical or maybe mythical thinking and perception. If there is some natural phenomenon that behaves as a whole, for example, echoe in the mountains, or increased fog in certain regions, or creating a special mood (perhaps infrasound), ... then there is nothing unnatural in giving it a name. However, as soon as we have named something, our consciousness will make sure that we personify it and include it in the overall world picture, creating a mythical world picture. In fact, it is all based not on fiction, but on real natural and interconnected processes, it is viable, it means that it helps to navigate and survive.
Last edited by nemos on Thu Dec 07, 2023 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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attofishpi wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:35 am
Angelo Cannata wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:46 am You have already behaved like Hitler in point n. 9, by saying
...we as intelligent beings...
That is nothing like behaving like Hitler. If I had said something like "we of the superior intellect of the Aryan race..", then you would be correct.

We as intelligent beings simply means humanity on the whole, being intelligent beings.

Angelo Cannata wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:46 amThis way, if somebody agrees with you, then he/she is intelligent, if somebody doesn’t, then he/she isn’t so intelligent. I am not blaming you: I am the same, with a tendency to consider not so intelligent those who disagree with me.
None of that is relevant nor accurate. If someone does not agree with me, I may still regard them more intelligent, just merely wrong on the point I was making.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

Post by Angelo Cannata »

This is Hitler again: thinking that things are as you think they are. What makes a difference is admitting that what we think is just our opinion.

This is, of course, just my opinion, otherwise I would be another Hitler as well.
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Re: Twelve Principles of Knowledge

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:roll: woteva cbf
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