• Banno
    14.3k
    So, if you were to take a hierarchy of truths that are less and less conditional and more and more complete in ascending order, then the "absolute" truth would be at the top.Apollodorus

    I can make sense of a hierarchy of believe, or of justification. Not so much a hierarchy of truth. Isn't something either true or false?
  • Cheshire
    911
    ....varying levels of certainty in a collective sense.Cheshire
    I qualified certainty to mean a public matter so that;
    ...but thats a curious piece of biography, not a conceptual distinction.Banno
    Doesn't reduce my position to a matter of personal tastes. So, if it's going to be dismissed, then it should be for a different reason.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Then I think the same question I put to APo, goes to you"
    I can make sense of a hierarchy of believe, or of justification. Not so much a hierarchy of truth. Isn't something either true or false?Banno
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k
    Not so much a hierarchy of truth. Isn't something either true or false?Banno

    You could think of it this way. There is a truth in the sense of a set of, say, scientific or political facts.

    Now the uneducated have some knowledge of that truth, the educated have more, and the highly educated have most of it.

    But a small elite group of specialists or experts know all of it. The latter group hold the "absolute" truth.

    This can also apply in terms of time and space. If a truth is truth over a larger area of time and space than all others then it would qualify as "absolute" in relation to them because it is less conditional upon time and space than other truths (or than other versions of itself).
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    I can make sense of a hierarchy of believe, or of justification. Not so much a hierarchy of truth. Isn't something either true or false?Banno

    In pre-modern philosophy there was an implicit acceptance of a hierarchy or degrees of reality.

    In contrast to contemporary philosophers, most 17th century philosophers held that reality comes in degrees—that some things that exist are more or less real than other things that exist. At least part of what dictates a being’s reality, according to these philosophers, is the extent to which its existence is dependent on other things: the less dependent a thing is on other things for its existence, the more real it is. Given that there are only substances and modes, and that modes depend on substances for their existence, it follows that substances are the most real constituents of reality.Internet Encyc. of Philosophy, 17th C theories of substance

    I think this is a remnant of the belief in the 'great chain of being'. In that world-view, God or the One is the source or ground of being, the one true reality. It is a 'top-down' cosmology, unlike today's, which is mainly 'bottom-up'. Part of what happens in the transition to modernity is the 'flattening' of this view, which is the loss of the sense of there being anything higher or lower. 'Cosmos is all there is', said Carl Sagan, and the cosmos comprises matter-energy. Within that picture, the only absolutes are physical constraints, like the speed of light, or the second law of thermodynamics.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Interesting. Should we be advocating a return to levels of reality?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Now the uneducated have some knowledge of that truth, the educated have more, and the highly educated have most of it.

    But a small elite group of specialists or experts know all of it. The latter group hold the "absolute" truth.
    Apollodorus

    That looks like degrees of knowledge, not of truth.
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k
    That looks like degrees of knowledge, not of truth.Banno

    But truth depends on our knowledge of it. And the OP title says "understanding of reality." So it seems to imply knowledge or perception. Otherwise, how do we know it is there?
  • Cheshire
    911
    ↪Cheshire Then I think the same question I put to APo, goes to you"
    I can make sense of a hierarchy of believe, or of justification. Not so much a hierarchy of truth. Isn't something either true or false?
    — Banno
    Banno

    Well, there lies my issue. You called a truth necessary and claim not to understand a hierarchy of truth. Things are modeled and labeled true or false, so in principle they ought to be considered that way. However, things are nuanced and complicated as well so believing the model is accounting for everything is unreasonable. I would agree the variance might be immaterial, so the model stands. But there is more to things than true or false in practice. My question is whether you are affirming it(the hierarchy) with the term necessary or denying it by dismissing the 'absolute' as a meaningful qualifier.
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Should we be advocating a return to levels of reality?Banno

    That's why I've always been interested in the reality of intelligible objects - like numbers. They are real, in the sense of being the same for all who think, but are not existent in the same sense as material objects. Hence the battles over Platonic realism in mathematics - the empiricists fight tooth and claw against any such idea of Platonic realism, as it indicates that there is a kind or level of reality different to that of naturalism, namely, that of mathematics. (See this article.)There have been and are still Platonist mathematicians, notably Roger Penrose). But integrating that into an overall worldview is a very difficult task indeed.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    But truth depends on our knowledge of it.Apollodorus

    Oooo I don't think so. Quite the reverse. There can be true things we don't know. but there can't be things we know that are not true.
  • khaled
    3.1k

    I can make sense of a hierarchy of believe, or of justification.Banno
    but there can't be things we know that are not true.Banno

    So at what level on the hierarchy of belief are these things we know? How much justification do we need to reach this state of "knowing", where we are 100% sure that our belief can not be false?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    You called a truth necessary and claim not to understand a hierarchy of truth.Cheshire

    You think this implies that a necessary is true in a way somehow different to a contingent truth?

    So set out what that difference would be.

    Take a look at my About page. I set out there the different uses I make of Truth, Knowledge, belief and Certainty. And that's what needs to be done with the OP - clear up the conceptual stuff therein.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    You tell me. You seem to be working with probabilities. Not something I'm keen on.
  • khaled
    3.1k
    there can't be things we know that are not true.Banno

    Is the same as "Once we know something, we are 100% sure our belief can not be false" no? That's what I interpreted it as.

    You accept a hierarchy of justification. You also propose a state (knowing) where the belief in question cannot be false. So where, on that hierarchy of justification, is that state? How much of what kind of justification do we need to get to that state?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Is the same as "Once we know something, we are 100% sure our belief can not be false" no? That's what I interpreted it as.khaled

    Of course not.

    You also propose a state (knowing) where the belief in question cannot be false.khaled

    Only because if something we thought we knew turned out to be false, we only thought we knew it.
  • khaled
    3.1k
    but there can't be things we know that are not true.Banno

    Only because if something we thought we knew turned out to be false, we only thought we knew it.Banno

    So given some belief, how can I tell whether or not that belief is knowledge?

    It's just weird to me that you define knowledge such that if we know X, then X is definitely true. But then you also say that we can be mistaken about whether or not we know X (it can be the case that we only thought we knew it but in reality we didn't know it). So it seems you just took any doubt and moved it a "step up". Instead of doubting whether or not X is true, now we doubt whether or not "I know X" is true. I don't see the point of that.
  • Cheshire
    911
    You called a truth necessary and claim not to understand a hierarchy of truth.Cheshire
    I think the two are incompatible. One either calls some truths necessary or denies a hierarchy of truth.

    I'm not sure about.
    You think this implies that a necessary is true in a way somehow different to a contingent truth?Banno
    I'd rather not detour from the point above for obvious reasons.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    So given some belief, how can I tell whether or not that belief is knowledge?khaled
    How do you know that you know?

    SO do you have a different scheme?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    I'd rather not detour from the point above for obvious reasons.Cheshire

    But that seems to be the very thing you are claiming.

    Things that are necessarily true are not ever not true. Notice that "true" occurs on both sides of the definition? Truth is not being defined here, it is being used.

    You might argue for a hierarchy of justifications, from necessarily true down to pretty dubious. But that is a different thing.
  • Cheshire
    911
    I'd like to make note you quoted the part about not taking a detour and then responded to it with said detour.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    So what do you want?
  • Marchesk
    4.4k
    Does anyone have any absolute, objective understanding of reality?

    For example, does anyone continuously hold an absolute truth for how to speak? Does anyone continuously hold an truth for never robbing a bank? Etc.
    Cidat

    Kant did ... ;)
  • khaled
    3.1k
    How do you know that you know?Banno

    By your definition, I don't. At no point am I certain that my belief cannot be false.

    Then again, by your definition, you don't either:

    because if something we thought we knew turned out to be false, we only thought we knew it.Banno

    So you can be wrong about whether or not you know something. And you haven't given a method for telling the two apart.

    SO do you have a different scheme?Banno

    Instead of saying knowledge is a belief that cannot be false, just say knowledge is a belief that we have very good reason for believing is not false. Put it on the "justification scale". Because saying that knowledge is a belief that cannot be false doesn't net you any extra certainty when you also admit that you can't tell if a given belief is knowledge or not.

    But even if my scheme is whack (since it hasn't been scrutinized very much), you haven't told me what the point is still. Why move doubt "up a level"? What's different between saying that "knowing X means that X must be true, but I can't actually tell when I know X, I just think I know X" and just saying "I can't tell if X is true or not, I just think it's true"
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Instead of saying knowledge is a belief that cannot be false...khaled

    I didn't say that. I said
    There can be true things we don't know. but there can't be things we know that are not true.Banno
  • Cheshire
    911
    ↪Cheshire So what do you want?Banno
    A way to understand the qualification of "necessary" not creating a subcategory of "unnecessary". Or a way that creating the subcategory does not define the creation of a hierarchy of truth. Because, you have claimed there can be no hierarchy. I think you will have to admit there is in fact a hierarchy or necessary carries the same significance as terms you would easily dismiss. Thus winning my genius trophy and solving conclusively all that has or will vex the misadventurers we know as philosophers.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    A way to understand the qualification of "necessary" not creating a subcategory of "unnecessary".Cheshire

    These are categories of modality, not of truth.
  • Cheshire
    911
    These are categories of modality, not of truth.Banno
    Is this in the only known system of modality that isn't an implicit hierarchy?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    You've lost me. I don't see a hierarchy. Symmetry, maybe...

    ▢p ≡ ~♢~p
    ♢p ≡ ~▢~p
    ...and derivations thereof.

    Are you talking about the justification for assigning necessity or possibility to a proposition? SO your hierarchy has necessary truths at the top, necessary falsehoods at the bottom, and all sorts of contingencies in between?

    I don't see what the problem you are trying to solve is.
  • Kinglord1090
    137
    I have an absolute and objective understanding of reality.
    That understanding is that reality is the only real thing.
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