## Epistemic Responsibility

• 5.6k

Actually, forget that, this is just utter bullshit.

Vinay Prasad has written for the BMJ, the Lancet, Stat, Medscape, Oxford University, Nature and has been cited several hundred times in all of those plus more. If you seriously think you're a better judge of what should and should not be part of reasonable discourse than the editors of all those academic journals then you're even more messianic than I thought.
• 3.6k
Oh I'm sure his academic articles on oncology are useful, vetted and peer reviewed. Likewise many climate change doubters have published in peer reviewed journals. Just not on climatology, most of times...
• 3.6k
you were gagging them earlier,

I never gagged anyone. Stop the BS. Stop propping up what I say into some atrocious straw man or another. You do it almost systematically now; it betrays someone who feels cornered.

I'll bare in mind next time you cite anyone how strict a threshold you have for conflict of interest. We'll see how long that holds out.
It will hold out for eternity. I don't peddle the personal political opinions of some random folks here, nor any version of immunology, because I am not qualified, you are even less qualified, and this is a philosophy forum. It's written on top of the page.

If you want to add your voice to the cacophony of all those saying "I'm not a doctor but I think that X, and that guy Y agrees with me", be my guest, but don't count me in. I will continue to take my medical advice from qualified medical doctors as shared through official channels, thank you so very much.

An example?
The policies that were pushed by the left were policies that shielded principally the zoom class of worker—the upper middle class, highly educated laborer. Among these: school closures. What will soon be seen as the greatest policy blunder of the pandemic; One that will scar the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids. This policy was pushed by left of center cities, and cities with strong teachers’ unions. Progressives forgot about the poorest amongst us, while red states remembered. ...

That was the original sin. Closing schools for so long in Democratic stronghold cities, strong union cities, precisely after the President that many disliked pushed for it. But no matter how wrong he was about other matters, he was right on that issue. We should have reopened schools. And the net result has been devastation so catastrophic it will shape this country for the next 100 years, if we survive it. The damage is done; time will reveal it.
• 5.6k
I'm sure his academic articles on oncology

I'm not talking about his articles on oncology. I'm talking about his articles on the covid response. Something you'd know if you'd been following the academic debate in the slightest.

I never gagged anyone.

don't spread the unhelpful anti-science rhetoric of folks with an easily discernable political bias and no qualification in immunology. Thank you very much.

I don't peddle the personal political opinions of some random folks

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/607436 - opinion piece from the Washington post.

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/591819 - cartoon

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/607061

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/598711

https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/603582 - reposting a NYT opinion piece

nor any version of immunology

No one but you has even mentioned immunology... this is about epistemic responsibility, as befitting a

philosophy forum...
• 3.6k
It's fair to share news, like about the discovery of a vaccine. It's also fair to share cartoons, even political cartoons. What is unfair I think, would be to share a political cartoon as if it was the informed opinion of a specialist of the field being discussed. This is what you are doing with Prasad's cartoonish views.

I'm talking about his articles on the covid response.
The guy knows shit about it, he is an oncologist.
• 5.6k
What is unfair I think, would be to share a political cartoon as if it was the informed opinion of a specialist of the field being discussed. This is what you are doing with Prasad's cartoonish views.

Again, if you think you know better than the editors of most of the world's leading health journals then you're more megalomaniacal than I suspected.
• 5.6k
The guy knows shit about it, he is an oncologist.

He is a cancer drug and health policy researcher. He also studies the financial conflicts in drug approvals.

Oh and he's Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

From his fucking Wikipedia page. I thought you'd done all this diligent fucking background research on him.
• 5.6k

Let's be clear about what's happened here.

I've cited an article about the policy response to covid by an expert in health policy.

You didn't agree with it, so rather than mounting any actual counter argument, you quickly trawled a few previous posts for anything you can use to discredit him. (Despite apparently missing the fact that he's a well respected contributor to the world's top health journals on exactly this topic).

The irony being that's exactly the kind of response he was writing about...brilliant stuff.
• 3.6k
Tell you what: keep it coming. We're doomed by climate change anyway, so what do I care? Covid is actually helping on that front, slowing down emissions. Who knows? Maybe spreading disinformation that could help the virus and slow down the economy some more is the right thing to do, long term... It's cruel alright; it would kill a maximum number of people but there is a silver lining: that too would be good for the climate, and some pundits out there think about it as a way to reintroduce Darwinian incentives into our modern cushioned lives. Let the smartest survive, they say... This being all a matter of opinion, maybe they are right.
• 5.6k

So no intention of either defending, nor apologising for your slanderous baseless assertions. Just more childish hyperbole.
• 3.6k
I love you too, Isaac.
• 2.8k
The debate we're having (the one I'm having, anyway) is about whether my beliefs meet the threshold required of reasonableness.

I think it's reasonable, yes. Ultimately inaccurate, but reasonable.

Just to clarify (not that it matters, but I don't want to cause confusion later) I'm a professor of Psychology, not English. English is my nationality (put in so you know whose rules and regulations I'm talking about). Of course whether Psychology is one of the sciences is a matter of much debate!

Ah, okay. I misread. So it turns out we're in the same field. Go figure. (I'm not a professor, however.)

That standard is that - evidence should come from suitably qualified experts in the appropriate field who have no discoverable conflict of interest or pre-existing bias directly favouring one result.

Fully agreed.

do you have any insight into why you would gravitate towards this interpretation more than the other?

Firstly, in matters relating to the pharmaceutical industry majorities are often not indicative of true scientific consensus.

I have what I believe to be good reason to be suspicious of the weight of opinion in favour of a pharmaceutical product.

it is definitely enough to treat any apparent consensus with suspicion.

There's always good reason to be suspicious of products from nearly any industry, as their bottom line is ultimately that of maximizing profits. There's a long history of examples from tobacco to sugar to household products. Pharmaceuticals are an especially relevant one, given their size and lobbying power.

Secondly, I have a personal bias against artificiality.

All right. So I share both a suspicion of the pharmaceutical industry (and business generally) and a bias against many artificial things -- synthetic products, heavily processed foods, etc.

Appreciate the honesty. For myself, it's worth repeating that in addition I have a strong bias towards scientific/medical consensus. So I gravitate more towards these views than those of a minority, in general -- even if I grant that the minority view is reasonable. Obviously this isn't all the time; for example, I agree with most of Noam Chomsky's views about the evolution of language -- which is certainly a minority view, because I find it more convincing.

Anyway...

when you say reasonable alternatives exist, what are you referring to?
— Xtrix

Natural immunity (testing for), full hygiene precautions (masks, distancing, hand-washing), regular testing (coupled with a willingness to isolate in the case of a positive test), and natural existing immune systems (for those who are healthier than average - only to be combined with the previous two).

Natural immunity may well be a reasonable alternative, as I've conceded. That's one issue to perhaps explore in more detail. But...

what of the millions who have no yet had COVID?
— Xtrix

As I said above, alternatives are not limited to acquired immunity.

The other alternatives you mentioned are not about about acquired immunity, and include precautions and regular testing -- especially for people with healthier immune systems. As you know, some companies are offering these as alternatives already -- but not all.

So let's restrict the argument only to companies or organizations that mandate vaccines (1) for individuals without acquired immunity and (2) without offering testing/precautions as an alternative. This seems to be the issue.

This then becomes an issue about (a) whether these alternatives, on their own (without vaccines), are as safe and effective at slowing the spread of the virus as (b) the vaccines are, either on their own or in combination with the masks/distancing/testing.

I think the conclusion most experts have come to, and which many companies are using to guide their mandates, is that the vaccines add a significant layer of protection against spreading the virus to others in a workplace, especially when combined with other precautions (distancing, testing, etc). Where I work, we do all of the above -- and have had almost no cases. That's anecdotal, but it's an example.

Now is that enough to mandate that someone either gets vaccinated or loses their job? I think that, if the above is true (i.e., the expert opinion I'm referring to -- and still have to show), and we count the externalities of spreading the disease to co-workers and the effects that follow from this, it is still a legitimate use of power. If that individual still refuses, despite the safety of the vaccine, then they at least have the option to simply not work there (even though that's an unfortunate option); they're not being physically forced, in the same way they're not physically forced to abide by any decisions made by management or the board of directors.

So there's a lot to delve into there, but I figured I'd give the general argument first and try to narrow it down before going more in-depth.

For (a) and (b) - most articles combine the two...

For adults, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination are enormous, while for children, they are relatively minor.

Given all these considerations, the assertion that vaccinating children against SARS-CoV-2 will protect adults remains hypothetical.

I appreciate the references. However, again I'd like to separate the issue of children for the time being, as it's true there's not as much data on this as yet. I, as of yet, haven't read carefully or widely enough to have a strong opinion. If it turns out the risks of vaccinating children outweigh the benefits, then so be it.

— Xtrix

Sure - https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2101

Interesting, and again I appreciate it. This pertains to the question of natural immunity -- which is another topic which as I've said before I'm open to debating. But let's table this as well, because (as outlined above) I think we're getting a more precise formulation in our sights -- namely, regarding the mandates of adults without natural immunity who are not offered the alternatives of masking/distancing/testing.

I believe you have agreed with this, which is why the rest is a bit puzzling to me.
— Xtrix

See - the debate about children; the debate about long-term risks ("practically nothing is known about any long-term adverse effects..." - Professor Ruediger von Kries, of Germany's advisory vaccine committee), and the debate about trusting the pharmaceutical industry going forward (the GlaxoSmithKline contamination scandal)

The children question is being studied, and rightly so. I grant that -- and I grant the suspicion of the pharmaceutical industry.

The concern about potential long-term effects I find very unconvincing. True, there's little we know about them -- because it's only been 10 months. But given what we know about the biochemistry of how the vaccines work, I don't see this as much of a claim. We don't know the long term effects of the last meal we ate. I understand the sentiment but does this claim undermine the safety of the vaccines? I assume you think not, so I don't see the relevance....
• 5.6k
I think it's reasonable, yes. Ultimately inaccurate, but reasonable.

To be honest we could leave it there. I've no interest in convincing anyone of the rightness of my beliefs on this, but there may be some interest in exploring our differences further. It's not that I'm unconcerned about being wrong, only that I'm fortunate enough to be in a position to speak directly with experts in the field (through work and ex colleagues), so any concerns I have would be explored there, not on an internet forum. I don't doubt your mastery of the resources you've examined, it's just that's not the sort of conversation I'm interested in having here. That said, however...

it turns out we're in the same field.

...so I'd be interested in your insights from this perspective (being directly what I'm currently working on) and an alternative perspective is never wasted. Turns out psychologists agree about as often as philosophers (which is to say hardly at all). What would you expect to be the most significant long-term impacts on decision-making heuristics from this crisis? Do you think we'll see he unprecedented 'disillusionment' stage (Raphael - if you're not already familiar) of disaster recovery that some are predicting?

So let's restrict the argument only to companies or organizations that mandate vaccines (1) for individuals without acquired immunity and (2) without offering testing/precautions as an alternative. This seems to be the issue.

Agreed.

This then becomes an issue about (a) whether these alternatives, on their own (without vaccines), are as safe and effective at slowing the spread of the virus as (b) the vaccines are, either on their own or in combination with the masks/distancing/testing.

Here I disagree, and I think this is a shift we've seen in risk assessment rhetoric in public discourse with this crisis. We don't normally require that every lower risk strategy be adopted purely on the grounds that it lower in risk. Normal risk assessment heuristics are to compare remaining risks to a (often imagined, rather than calculated) threshold of risk which we deem it unacceptable to breach. It's how we handle the conflict between autonomy of ends and the rights of other affected by choice of means. It shouldn't matter if someone rejects the vaccine because they don't like the colour of the vial, so long as in doing so the risk they pose others is below a threshold of risk we consider acceptable for trivial personal preference. The less trivial that preference, the greater the threshold has to be to justify any mandate. Without this important feature of risk assessment, we end up with a homogeneity of response, which is a) an unnecessary and possibly damaging imposition on freedom, and b) simply bad risk management in the face of uncertainty.

For mandates (in the restricted cases we've already circumscribed) to be acceptable, they'd have to be both more safe and effective than the alternatives and be so to such an extent that the increased risk from not taking them exceeded this normal threshold.

The trouble is that this threshold is a psychological feature, not a strict number. It's not easy to directly compare. Analysts have come up with models based on population testing, figures such as 1 in a million per event and 1 in 5000 lifetime risk are typically used, but much higher figures are usually found in personal assessment (ie we expect our governments to me more risk averse than we expect ourselves to be, even with the well-being of others around us).

I don't think there's an easy solution to this, but I think we'd be reckless to ignore the potential psychological impact of imposing a risk threshold for personal behaviour that people felt was much lower than that they have previously been using. It's one of the reasons why ordinary adult vaccine mandates are a very different concern from childhood vaccine mandates (where there's very little chance they'll have acquired any strong sense of acceptable risk), or specific mandates such as travel or healthcare (where assessment of risk thresholds is typically relinquished to a higher authority for the specific activity). Mandating a specific risk threshold for ordinary life activities (such as one's normal job) that's seen as far outside a person's normal risk threshold is potentially extremely damaging.

I'd like to separate the issue of children for the time being, as it's true there's not as much data on this as yet. I, as of yet, haven't read carefully or widely enough to have a strong opinion. If it turns out the risks of vaccinating children outweigh the benefits, then so be it.

Fair enough, but bear in mind that the issue of children does affect the issue of adults quite significantly. If it ere shown that the risk/benefit calculation for a 16 year old was not sufficiently above the normal threshold to recommend the vaccine, then it is at least borderline for a 17 year old. It's not like something magical happens on one's 17th birthday which completely changes ow one responds to both virus and vaccine. Now how do we justify imposing extreme coercive measures on that 17 year old (threat of unemployment), if they know that the risk/benefit judgement for them is barely above that which has been assessed as insufficient?

The significance of the decision regarding children is not only about that age group. It has two very important consequences on people's psychology.

1. It shows that the risk/benefit assessment is sufficiently finely balanced that some ordinary groups (not obscure medical exceptions) fall the other side. That automatically makes people think "well what if I'm more like the average 16 year old than the average 25 year old?", and that's not even an irrational thought - as I said above, physiology is just not that age specific in this respect.

2. It shows that unforeseen consequences are being considered and so reminds people of them. The vaccines (in terms of known consequences) are perfectly safe for children - where 'safe' here means low risk. It's not the known safety that's a problem for the JCVI, it's the fact that the benefit is insufficient to justify the unknown risk.

So for the 25, or even 30 year old worker being coerced into taking a vaccine, they have in mind, not only that they might not even be on the right side of a normal risk benefit assessment (they might be physiologically more like the 16 year old), but they are reminded that the reason why we don't normally give prophylactic medicine 'on the off chance' is because of the unknown risk, thus rendering reassurances of current safety fairly redundant.

The natural immunity issue is relevant for a different reason. The more irrational the imposition, the more people become frightened of it (and not without good reason). The moment someone raises natural immunity and institutions say "nah, we'll just vaccinate everyone" the apparent irrationality of that decision makes people more resistant. It the considered the main mechanism behind mandates backfiring in the past. "why would they be so insistent on vaccinating me when they haven't even checked if I need it and they actively don't want to even find out?"

There's a serious underestimation of the psychological impact of saying to people "we're going to inject you with this drug, we don't even want to know if you need it or not, some people are better off not having it, but we 'reckon' you're probably not one of them based on your age - even though age is just a proxy for other metrics which we're also to going to bother checking. Oh and you'll loose your job if you don't". Think about it from an average Joe's point of view. It sounds extremely like they really just want to get the drug in his arm more than any other objective. Add that to a (again, completely justified) distrust of government and pharmaceutical companies - the two institutions involved here, both with a track record of lying, and putting the public a serious risk, for financial gain... Well, you've a recipe for serious discontent which weighs very heavily against the potential benefits.

I understand the sentiment but does this claim undermine the safety of the vaccines? I assume you think not, so I don't see the relevance....

See above basically. It's not really about undermining the safety because it's an unknown.It's about there being a reason to avoid it (unknown risk), but obvious alternatives not being considered. That just changes the trust relationship immediately, it sets up a institutional appearance of an alternate agenda, and that's just counterproductive and potentially very dangerous (if it stops people who need to take the vaccine from doing so).

In summary, we're facing an unprecedented health crisis, we really need people to take the advice of their healthcare professionals, take the precautions necessary. To achieve this people have to trust those institutions and believe the advice is in their best interests. People are not blank slates onto which we can just impose beliefs convenient to us, they have prior beliefs which need to be accommodated. Governments and pharmaceutical companies have behaved appallingly in the past. Ignoring alternatives and vilifying experts who disagree with policy exacerbates existing suspicions, and risks a serious breakdown of the relationship essential to public health.

Basically, there's limits to what you can push people to accept and we'd be better off staying within those limits and accepting a small increase in risk as a result, than trying to push them and so doing taking a much larger risk from the breakdown of that relationship.
• 2.8k
Governments and pharmaceutical companies have behaved appallingly in the past. Ignoring alternatives and vilifying experts who disagree with policy exacerbates existing suspicions, and risks a serious breakdown of the relationship essential to public health.

Basically, there's limits to what you can push people to accept and we'd be better off staying within those limits and accepting a small increase in risk as a result, than trying to push them and so doing taking a much larger risk from the breakdown of that relationship.

Restricted to a certain group, I agree. But this is simply reiterating the fact that the approach should be nuanced. That's very difficult to do in some situations. It may very well lead to a breakdown of relationships, and that's a shame -- but a part of me thinks the relationships are already broken down, and it is precisely this breakdown that leads to much of the resistance in the first place.

So let's restrict the argument only to companies or organizations that mandate vaccines (1) for individuals without acquired immunity and (2) without offering testing/precautions as an alternative. This seems to be the issue.
— Xtrix

Agreed.

In that case, as I said above, you're arguing for a much more targeted set of policies. If this can be done, I'd love to see it as well. It seems it is being put into place in a number of companies (regular testing, for example).

It shouldn't matter if someone rejects the vaccine because they don't like the colour of the vial, so long as in doing so the risk they pose others is below a threshold of risk we consider acceptable for trivial personal preference. The less trivial that preference, the greater the threshold has to be to justify any mandate.

For mandates (in the restricted cases we've already circumscribed) to be acceptable, they'd have to be both more safe and effective than the alternatives and be so to such an extent that the increased risk from not taking them exceeded this normal threshold.

The trouble is that this threshold is a psychological feature, not a strict number.

I don't think there's an easy solution to this

I think the first paragraph is basically what I was intending to say. If it were just a matter of an individual, I take the same attitude I do with drugs or suicide or smoking: it's personal choice. When the impact on others (I call these "externalities" because economics is an interest) is great, however, I change my mind. It's very true that there is no definite number for this, however. In a way, everything we do impacts the world around us to some degree.

So to put it into your terms, I believe the (1) that the choice to refuse vaccination is usually very trivial indeed because the decision is usually based on misinformation and politicization, and (2) that this choice almost always exceeds the threshold of risk to others. So I would say the second paragraph cited above is accurate, but that from what I've read that both have been demonstrated (safe/effective and threshold exceeded).

(2) Would be an argument worth going into deeper, involving transmissibility, threat of mutation, etc.

But I think we could end it here as well. Thankfully the numbers are coming down in the US, and so far the mandates have been effective. Whether the narrow cases you're discussing is justified or not we can leave as an open question, and I agree there is no "easy solution."
• 13.7k
Does the position I don't know incur epistemic responsibility?
• 2.8k

If you indeed don’t know, then it’s responsible to be honest about it yes.
• 13.7k
If you indeed don’t know, then it’s responsible to be honest about it yes.

As far as I know, epistemic responsibility is about beliefs and justifications for those beliefs. Does taking the stand "I don't know" amount to professing a belief?
• 3k
Beliefs don't require justifications because we've no idea what justification for any given myriad of beliefs there is.

Justification is really just a psychological analysis of what has happened and the degree to which one wishes to claim authorship over the actions that led to the result.

If a belief is fully justified in our minds then is it really a 'belief'? If it is then how does it differ from beliefs that possess little to no rational foundation?
• 13.7k
Beliefs don't require justifications because we've no idea what justification for any given myriad of beliefs there is.

One of them should do the trick, at least that's the way it's been for as long as I can remember. There's more than one way to prove the Pythagorean theorem.

Justification is really just a psychological analysis of what has happened and the degree to which one wishes to claim authorship over the actions that led to the result.

Psychological analysis?

1. $a - b = c$
2. $a = c + b$
3. $a + (-b) = c + b + (-b)$
4. $a + (-b) = c + 0$
5. $a + (-b) = c$
6. $a - b = a + (-b)$
QED

If a belief is fully justified in our minds then is it really a 'belief'? If it is then how does it differ from beliefs that possess little to no rational foundation?

The usual way it's done is beliefs are justified and then they become knowledge on the condition that the justification is up to the mark. Beliefs that are devoid of a good argument to support them stay as beliefs; they're not considered knowledge.

Epistemic responsibility has to do with attempting to gain knowledge i.e. it's, at the end of the day, a way of sorting one's beliefs into knowledge and non-knowledge. The former will, no doubt, be useful and sanguine while the latter will be like smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day, bad for overall wellbeing.
• 3k
I don't much care for the JTB view.

Epistemic responsibility has to do with attempting to gain knowledge i.e. it's, at the end of the day, a way of sorting one's beliefs into knowledge and non-knowledge.

I'd rather not pretend my beliefs are anything but beliefs. Knowledge is for set discernable limits only (ie. abstract).
• 777
Society might change, but people really don't. People are not rational. And I don't mean, "them". I mean you, me, and everyone on this board. Rational people take the time to examine data that contradicts their beliefs, and without letting passion get in the way, change their belief when clearly contradicted.

Rationalizing people have a belief, and seek to justify it. When contradictory evidence comes their way, they insist its wrong. They stamp their feet. Insult the other person. Rationality is just another tool, like lying, intimidation, expression of status, and all of the other ways we can "throw our weight around". We have to have some modicum of reason for our beliefs, so we can even fool ourselves so that we are in our happy emotional belief spot.

Being rational takes education, dedication, and ironically, an emotional belief that is the correct way of thinking. It is difficult, takes extra work, and requires a person who can handle the negative emotions of being proven wrong. Rational people lose all the time, have to keep adjusting their world view, tempering their emotions against people who are clearly rationalizing, and generally must accept they are a mortal and not some intellectual God. Many people are unable or unwilling to try doing this.

This human condition has never changed, and it NEVER will change. Despite this, we've done pretty well. Objectively, times are better than they've ever been. Hunger, disease, and poverty throughout the world are all down. Less wars, more education, and greater communication through the internet. We even found a vaccine for a pandemic in about a year.

But of course, your rationalizing brain will dismiss the positives if you don't want to believe that it addresses your emotional negativity about humanity. Those who are looking for positive beliefs about humanity will immediately accept the positives as if they are a given, and dismiss the considerations of the negative about humanity. And we'll all be fine for it, just like we have for thousands of years.
• 13.7k
I don't much care for the JTB view.

What is/are the alternative(s)? Do we have a choice? Plus, everyone seems to have given it their nod of approval. Not an argument I know but still.

I'd rather not pretend my beliefs are anything but beliefs. Knowledge is for set discernable limits only (ie. abstract).

Keep it simple. Ignotum per igntoius. Not helpful.

That said, I'm open to new ideas but they have to make sense at some level I suppose. Just sayin!
• 3k
That said, I'm open to new ideas but they have to make sense at some level I suppose. Just sayin!

Doesn't really matter. At the end of the day a 'belief' will overrule anything claimed by others to be 'known'. Nature will do as nature does regardless of what we call knowledge or belief. On top of that we're always going to lean towards justifying what we belief the most regardless of knowledge or we'd stagnate.

1. a−b=ca−b=c
2. a=c+ba=c+b
3. a+(−b)=c+b+(−b)a+(−b)=c+b+(−b)
4. a+(−b)=c+0a+(−b)=c+0
5. a+(−b)=ca+(−b)=c
6. a−b=a+(−b)a−b=a+(−b)
QED

The above has nothing to do with JTB Mathematics is an abstraction and within an abstracted set limit knowledge is discernible.

In justified true belief the 'truth' is just an attitude/emotion and this is clear in the need to justify it. It is just a belief and the more 'truth' people have towards it the more they'll justify it even if it costs them to do so.

True things can be known ONLY within a set limit with set rules (abstracted not real).

Belief in the context of the theory is more easily described as 'strong conviction'.

Justified is just to say not by luck.

The obvious argument against this theory is that it could all be a combination of luck and belief. The knowledge only comes through abstraction, but again this means we can be hoodwinked by belief into thinking we've got the method just because we have the desired outcome. Abstractions thankfully can be checked to a decent degree though due to set rules and limits.

Abstractions are not reality though so in day-to-day life we don't operate by way of knowledge we operate by way of beliefs and often bolster our beliefs by any justification that suits our beliefs. Rationality and reason are more or less a soft balm to sooth a first degree burn ... doesn't do a lot for us at the base human experience.
• 13.7k
Doesn't really matter. At the end of the day a 'belief' will overrule anything claimed by others to be 'known'. Nature will do as nature does regardless of what we call knowledge or belief. On top of that we're always going to lean towards justifying what we belief the most regardless of knowledge or we'd stagnate.

So, I can believe anything I want. That's a relief, sorta. However, what if my beliefs are false? Won't that impact my life and those of others (epistemic responsibility)? How do I determine if what I believe is true?

The above has nothing to do with JTB Mathematics is an abstraction and within an abstracted set limit knowledge is discernible.

If you say so.

In justified true belief the 'truth' is just an attitude/emotion and this is clear in the need to justify it. It is just a belief and the more 'truth' people have towards it the more they'll justify it even if it costs them to do so.

That's new. Sounds interesting but I'll stick with JTB if it's all the same to you. Oh, but it doesn't matter to you. I don't have to justify my beliefs to you and you would be perfectly ok with that, right?

Justified is just to say not by luck.

The not luck principle or something like that but then we need a positive definition, right? An apple is not a man isn't all that informative is it?

The obvious argument

It doesn't matter.
• 3k
That's new. Sounds interesting but I'll stick with JTB if it's all the same to you.

Stick to the old ways then. It is an abstract theory set in an abstract realm that has some parallels to human life. the problem is if you apply it to language as if it is a mathematical model you're working within an unlimited world where the rules are unknown. So it doesn't hold up in real life as anything other than a simple belief like any other belief. It cannot justify itself in a true or believed way in the real world because we're oblivious to the limits and rules of the world.

I don't have to justify my beliefs to you and you would be perfectly ok with that, right?

Yes. If they interfere with mine/others though we may have to negotiate. That is basically how the world works so no biggie.

If people hold rigidly to an abstract rule as a way of living in the world and it works for them so be it. Generally I'm more inclined to disbelief when it comes to bringing the abstract into the realm of lived lives.

JTB isn't a JTB if the limits and rules are unknown. Within known bounds (necessarily abstract) I'm ok with the theory of JTB.

TO repeat. 'Truth' is an attitude more than anything else ... that is my belief.
• 13.7k
Stick to the old ways then. It is an abstract theory set in an abstract realm that has some parallels to human life. the problem is if you apply it to language as if it is a mathematical model you're working within an unlimited world where the rules are unknown. So it doesn't hold up in real life as anything other than a simple belief like any other belief. It cannot justify itself in a true or believed way in the real world because we're oblivious to the limits and rules of the world.

I could be very wrong about this but it seems as though you're trying to justify your position but then you said that isn't any good? I don't mind contradictions but some say there's something terribly wrong with it. I dunno!

Yes. If they interfere with mine/others though we may have to negotiate. That is basically how the world works so no biggie.

But you leave out the specifics, the details and the devil, they say, is in the details. Last I checked, negotiations involved justifications/argumentations and when that failed, punches/kicks/bullets/bombs...you get the idea ("aggressive" negotiations). I hope you don't mean that by "negoitiations"

If people hold rigidly to an abstract rule as a way of living in the world and it works for them so be it. Generally I'm more inclined to disbelief when it comes to bringing the abstract into the realm of lived lives.

So, the JTB is an abstract rule? I fail to see how that diminshes its value when it comes to knowledge and, possibly, other matters.

JTB isn't a JTB if the limits and rules are unknown. Within known bounds (necessarily abstract) I'm ok with the theory of JTB.

Yep. JTB is JTB, as defined but it does have, like all things, limitations; I don't deny that. These limitations need to be known of course but there are situations in which the JTB is perfectly applicable/acceptable.

TO repeat. 'Truth' is an attitude more than anything else ... that is my belief.

Flesh that out for me, will ya?
• 3k
But you leave out the specifics, the details and the devil, they say, is in the details. Last I checked, negotiations involved justifications/argumentations and when that failed, punches/kicks/bullets/bombs...you get the idea ("aggressive" negotiations). I hope you don't mean that by "negoitiations"

I was insisting that JTB must leave out the specifics to work flawlessly (see below) because it is only fully effective in an abstract realm.

I did mean all of the above in terms of 'negotiations'. In the real world claim of what is believed to be 'the truth' or 'justified' is often why violence can ensue. This is because each party thinks they own 'knowledge' rather than viewing knowledge as a tool used to lever individual beliefs that suit them. We're not robots.

The more important (the greater the value attached to the disagreement) the 'negotiation' the more likely the belief will bypass reasonable argumentation by sheer will.

So, the JTB is an abstract rule? I fail to see how that diminishes its value when it comes to knowledge and, possibly, other matters.

Because with set abstract rules and limits we can differentiate between 'true' and 'false'. Outside of such set rules and limits (ie. real world situations where 'rules' and 'limits' are unknown) we cannot differentiate between 'true' and 'false' as we're not able to know anything for certain unlike in abstracted realms. Nature has a habit of showing us that what we took as a 'truth' here and there and in another place makes another 'truth' a mistake - too many variables/perspectives.

More simply put applying mathematical formula to the stock market will not guarantee profits only act as a tool to aid profits - that is diminished value. How diminished? Another layer of the problem cake.

Yep. JTB is JTB, as defined but it does have, like all things, limitations; I don't deny that. These limitations need to be known of course but there are situations in which the JTB is perfectly applicable/acceptable.

Sure. But I have a feeling we might disagree what and where these limitations are due to our different beliefs.

Flesh that out for me, will ya?

Nothing to flesh out. You will belief some things irrespective of any facts thrown your way, as we all will, because we're not robots.

There are little smudges in this area as Wittgenstein threw out. With the example of a game of chess two people playing what they believe to be the correct game of chess with the correct rules may not actually be playing the correct rules. Believing they are playing the game correctly is all that matters for them irrespective of whether they are or not. If they ever found out they had made a mistake they would still have been 'playing chess' but just not in absolutely the correct manner.

To relate more to what I said this needn't happen after the event. There could be one person arguing about a rule (and be correct) yet everyone else disagrees. People will follow their belief and they will still be 'playing chess' because they believe they are playing chess.

People can believe anything up to the point where they cannot deny it. I may believe that it isn't going to rain within the next 5 mins due to spotless blue skies yet if it did start to rain (by some freak occurrence) I would not question my initial belief but I would be intrigued as to why I was wrong and what freak occurrence caused the rain. This instance is completely different to chess though as we do not know the 'rules' or 'limits' of weather with absolute precision in the manner that I can know the rules and limits of chess.
• 13.7k
I was insisting that JTB must leave out the specifics to work flawlessly (see below) because it is only fully effective in an abstract realm.

I did mean all of the above in terms of 'negotiations'. In the real world claim of what is believed to be 'the truth' or 'justified' is often why violence can ensue. This is because each party thinks they own 'knowledge' rather than viewing knowledge as a tool used to lever individual beliefs that suit them. We're not robots.

The more important (the greater the value attached to the disagreement) the 'negotiation' the more likely the belief will bypass reasonable argumentation by sheer will.

You may not use the word "because".

The way I see it is people want to be right i.e. they want their beliefs to match facts. Clearly, a belief may not be true. How do we decide who's right and who's wrong? You reject justification (reason/rationality/logic).

The alternative to justification, as we found out, is violence - might is right. So, if I'm powerful enough, this line of reasoning goes, I can change facts/truths to suit my whims. Is this what you're proposing?

Because with set abstract rules and limits we can differentiate between 'true' and 'false'. Outside of such set rules and limits (ie. real world situations where 'rules' and 'limits' are unknown) we cannot differentiate between 'true' and 'false' as we're not able to know anything for certain unlike in abstracted realms. Nature has a habit of showing us that what we took as a 'truth' here and there and in another place makes another 'truth' a mistake - too many variables/perspectives.

More simply put applying mathematical formula to the stock market will not guarantee profits only act as a tool to aid profits - that is diminished value. How diminished? Another layer of the problem cake.

You may not use the word "because".

Nothing to flesh out.

Again, details, details, details. There are many things that can be said but not meant. If you can't expand and elaborate your position nobody can and will take you seriously, right?
• 3k
If you can't expand and elaborate your position nobody can and will take you seriously, right?

Maybe not nobody, but very few. Because.
• 13.7k
Maybe not nobody, but very few. Because.

You know what, I think I like your point of view for the following reason:

We stopped being as violent as we used to be because it dawned on us that a brawl actually didn't solve our problems. So, we switched to reason, argumentation, logic, you know what I'm talking about.

We were under the impression that logic would do the job of bringing resolution to our disputes. As it turns out, rationality fails at this task as evidenced by the innumerable times when words ended up in blows. We're back at square one.

Neither violence nor logic works. We need something newer, better! What that is is beyond me.

1. We want to be right.

Ergo,

2. It seems we care about the truth.

But,

3. When we're proven wrong, we go off the deep end.

Thus,

4. We care about the truth (we want to be right) & we don't care about the truth (we lose it when proven wrong).

Truth is...an attitude :chin:
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal