• Astrophel
    435
    They are the same, I suspect, or mutually entailed. That is, it is impossible to affirm something about the being or existence or reality (I won't make an issue of these terms differences unless someone wants to) in the world without this reality being, well, affirmed, and this is an epistemic term. I take a hard look at what IS and I am always led to the justification of positing it. And the great flaw in the traditional analysis of knowledge has always been the assumption that P is true, that is, "S knows P iff S believes P, is justified in believing P and P is true" has no business simply assuming "P is true" without itself having justification, and this too would require justification, and it never ends. And so I see that "P is true" entails the existence of P in an way that is supposed to be independent of justification which is an altogether nonsensical assumption. Can't be done. And this is because existence is part and parcel of justification itself.
    This is the REAL problem with those absurd Gettier problems.
  • Lionino
    1.4k
    has no business simply assuming "P is true" without itself having justification, and this too would require justification, and it never endsAstrophel

    For something to be true, there must be a reason why it is true — aside from the few brute facts out there, if there are any. That is one of the replies to Gettier cases (Gettier wasn't the one to find out about them but whatever), you are justified in believing something only if there is a true causal connection between P and your justification: https://iep.utm.edu/gettier/#H11
  • Astrophel
    435


    Well, that is the rub, for causality is not an epistemic concept. If it were, then the world would be a very different place. Does the dent on my car fender "know" the offending guard rail? Granted, mental causality, if you will, is a lot more complicated, but how does complexity make for causal conditions that are epistemic? They don't. Never did. It's just something analytic philosophers assume because they were sick of Kantian idealism. But it is such a ridiculous assumption.

    Objects in the world are, let's face it, transcendental in a physicalist or materialist description of things.
  • Lionino
    1.4k
    I don't understand what you are trying to convey with that reply.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    For something to be true, there must be a reason why it is trueLionino
    That does not look right.

    A sentence's being true is very different to it being justified. A sentence might be true, yet unjustified.

    Being true is different to being known to be true. There are unknown truths.

    "S knows P iff S believes P, is justified in believing P and P is true" has no business simply assuming "P is true" without itself having justificationAstrophel
    The "is true" in the JTB account simple rules out knowing things that are not true. It is distinct from the justification.

    One cannot know things that are not true.
  • Astrophel
    435


    You did say the Gettier problems had their possible solution " only if there is a true causal connection between P and your justification." So how is it that causality makes for a connection that satisfies the conditions for knowledge? All one has to do is examine causality for what it is, and it becomes clear that causality doesn't deliver knowledge. Unless you have something in mind that shows it does.
  • Astrophel
    435
    There are unknown truthsBanno

    No, not really. It is not as if there are conditions in the waiting for discovery that are true outside of discovery itself.

    The "is true" in the JTB account simple rules out knowing things that are not true. It is distinct from the justification.

    One cannot know things that are not true.
    Banno

    But ruling out thnigs that are not true presupposes what makes a thing true. To say truth is "distinct" from justification is question begging, for if I ask you how it is distinct, you will have to give an answer grounded in a justified propositional account in order to be "true," that is, doxastically compelling. There is NO way around this: truth is a property of propositions, and this brings the matter of truth right back to square one, with the condition of "P is true" entailing a requirement for justification. It is impossible to separate truth from the conditions that make thing true.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    No, not really. It is not as if there are conditions in the waiting for discovery that are true outside of discovery itself.Astrophel
    There are no unknown truths? Then I will bow to your omniscience, since you know everything that is true.

    truth is a property of propositionsAstrophel

    Indeed, but knowledge is a relation between a proposition and the knower, as is justification.

    Consider any proposition "P"; At a bare minimum,

    "P" is true if and only if P

    That is, it may be true, or otherwise, regardless of any relation to an individual knowing it to be true.

    You continue to confuse P being true with P being justified or being known.

    Your antirealism betrays you.
  • Astrophel
    435
    There are no unknown truths? Then I will bow to your omniscience, since you know everything that is true.Banno

    It is to say that truth occurs in the proposition, and there are no propositions "out there". Discoveries are events of constructing a truth. It seems pretty clear that conditions in the world are really impossible to speak of outside of the grid of logic and language.

    That is, it may be true, or otherwise, regardless of any relation to an individual knowing it to be true.Banno

    If it lies outside of any relation to an individual, then it lies outside of propositional possibilities.

    Your antirealism betrays you.Banno

    Antirealism? I am a realist when it comes to conditions that are real, and this goes to the palpably real, the real In the apprehending object event. But no, I certainly am not a "physicalist metaphysician" kind of realist. Such an idea is instantly refutable.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    It is to say that truth occurs in the proposition, and there are no propositions "out there". Discoveries are events of constructing a truth.Astrophel
    Yep, that's common, or garden, antirealism. It follows from Fitch that you know everything that is true.

    It seems pretty clear that conditions in the world are really impossible to speak of outside of the grid of logic and language.Astrophel
    So you can't say anything without using words, and so you cannot say anything? Or is it just that you cannot say anything true? What would you have us conclude here?
  • Astrophel
    435
    So you can't say anything without using words, and so you cannot say anything? Or is it just that you cannot say anything true? What would you have us conclude here?Banno

    It's not that there are no cows and trees over there next to the barn. But it is that when I acknowledge this as true, this true event is a logical construction that only comes into existence when in the acknowledging. To say the truth is over there IN the cows, or that it issues forth from the cows, and I am some alethic receiver is absurd, don't you think?
    And it is certainly NOT that I don't think there are real things over there by the barn. They are, outside of the propositional structures that make affirmation possible, transcendental.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    But it is that when I acknowledge this as true, this true event is a logical construction that only comes into existence when in the acknowledging.Astrophel
    So are you saying that the cows are only over there when acknowledged? That gives a vast power to acknowledgement.

    I suggest that the cows are over there, whether you say so or not; and that it is the sentence "The cows are over there" that is constructed. And further, we can use the term "...is true" in the following way:

    "The cows are over there" is true if and only if the cows are over there.

    Further, isn't it the case that the cows can be over there even if it is not the case that you, I or anyone else knows that they are over there, or has justification for claiming that they are over there.

    I don't have any idea of what a transcendental cow might be. Nor of what a cow might be, apart from the things we calls "cows". Some might maintain that had we not been raised in a culture that does nto use the word "cow", we might not be able to identify the cows from the trees. That might be so, but even if the cows might thereby cease to be spoken about, the cows would not thereby cease to be.
  • Astrophel
    435
    So are you saying that the cows are only over there when acknowledged? That gives a vast power to acknowledgement.

    I suggest that the cows are over there, whether you say so or not; and that it is the sentence "The cows are over there" that is constructed. And further, we can use the term "...is true" in the following way:

    "The cows are over there" is true if and only if the cows are over there.

    Further, isn't it the case that the cows can be over there even if it is not the case that you, I or anyone else knows that they are over there, or has justification for claiming that they are over there.

    I don't have any idea of what a transcendental cow might be. Nor of what a cow might be, apart from the things we calls "cows". Some might maintain that had we not been raised in a culture that does nto use the word "cow", we might not be able to identify the cows from the trees. That might be so, but even if the cows might thereby cease to be spoken about, the cows would not thereby cease to be.
    Banno

    No, no. You said, " the cows are only over there when acknowledged" and I said, "when I acknowledge this as true, this true event is a logical construction that only comes into existence when in the acknowledging."

    Think about the difference.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    Yes, the sentence is a construct, the cow, not so much.

    And..?
  • creativesoul
    11.5k
    For something to be true, there must be a reason why it is true
    — Lionino
    That does not look right.
    Banno

    My first thought as well...

    Perhaps by "reason" he means truth conditions must be met?
  • Astrophel
    435


    Do you honestly believe that propositions are somehow IN the things we talk about? I don't know why this is not clear. There are no propositions over there where the cows are. A proposition is where the observer is. The truth is a property of a proposition. Therefore truth lies IN the observer, jnot to put too find a point on it. Just as sight, sound, and many other things belong to the observer.

    It is a simple matter, really. You have trouble because you seem to insist that truth has a locality beyond its existence. The idea of a transcendental object is the best we can do when we leave the logical grid and try to talk about things.
  • Banno
    23.4k
    Do you honestly believe that propositions are somehow IN the things we talk about? I don't know why this is not clear. There are no propositions over there where the cows are.Astrophel
    I haven't claimed anything of the sort.

    Again, "the cow is over there" is a construct. It's presumably used in a speech act making a statement.

    But rarely will a statement be true simply because of the observer - if that is how "truth lies IN the observer" is to be understood. "The cows are over there" will be true entirely and only if the cows are indeed over there; and this will be so regardless of the status of the observer, be they convinced of the position of the cows or not.

    Let's try to regroup. I was struck by this:
    And the great flaw in the traditional analysis of knowledge has always been the assumption that P is true,Astrophel
    Everything you know is true. That's not an assumption. If you think you know something, but what you think you know is not true, then you are mistaken about your knowing it.

    And also, a seperate point, in the JTB account, a statement's being true is quite distinct from it's being justified.

    But having said that, there is indeed a close relation between epistemology and ontology. Statements being true or false is indeed dependent on what there is in the world.
  • Ludwig V
    784
    "S knows P iff S believes P, is justified in believing P and P is true"Astrophel
    This is a much contested theory. But what's the alternative? A logician can simply decide that "know" is primitive; but that's just abandoning the idea of defining it.
    And so I see that "P is true" entails the existence of P in an way that is supposed to be independent of justification which is an altogether nonsensical assumption. Can't be done. And this is because existence is part and parcel of justification itself.Astrophel
    I take the point in the first sentence. I don't really understand the last sentence. Do you mean that only true statements can act as justification (where "p is false" is true iff p is false).
    The hidden additional necessary justification for claiming that S knows that P is that S is competent to assess whether P - and being competent to assess whether P is not just a matter of knowing that certain propositions are true.
    This is focuses on first-hand knowledge. But a great deal, even most, of what we know is known at second-hand. Yet first-hand knowledge needs to be the basis of second-hand knowledge. One could insist that only first-hand knowledge counts as knowledge, but that seems unduly strict, unless you are happy to develop a specialized philosophical dialect. This needs a good deal of disentangling.

    Discoveries are events of constructing a truth.Astrophel
    Discovering something is revealing it, and makes perfect sense when applied to truths. One would need to explain what "constructing a truth" in a good more detail for it to make sense.

    The "is true" in the JTB account simple rules out knowing things that are not true. It is distinct from the justification.Banno
    It seems to me rather like a ceteris paribus clause, requiring us to withdraw our claim to know that p if it turns out that p is false.
    But it does have an important additional consequence. It means that I cannot pass on something that I have learnt from someone else without endorsing it. This makes knowledge quite different from belief.
    In logic, we can simpy stipulate a definition, which means that someone else can stipulate a different definition and there is no basis for argument.
    So I like to argue that "fallible knowledge" undermines the place of knowledge in the language-game. It becomes a fancy variety of belief. But it is useful to distinguish between what is established as true and what may be true, but is not fully established. The latter is the role of belief. (But I don't mean to apply some impossible-to-attain standard of proof here. We can always withdraw our claims if we need to.)

    But having said that, there is indeed a close relation between epistemology and ontology. Statements being true or false is indeed dependent on what there is in the world.Banno
    Yes, that's true. And, as your articulation of the point demonstrates, the possibility is built in to our language. Our language allows us - even requires us - to distinguish between language and the world,

    It seems pretty clear that conditions in the world are really impossible to speak of outside of the grid of logic and language.Astrophel
    That's true. But the grid of language (including logic and mathematics) does allow us to speak of conditions in the world. Truth would not be possible if it didn't. It is true that sometimes we need to develop or change the concepts that we apply to the world, and that seems difficult if you think of language as a grid - i.e. fixed and limited. But language is a hugely complex system which can be developed and changed - as is logic (as opposed to individual logical systems).

    quote="Astrophel;886488"]The idea of a transcendental object is the best we can do when we leave the logical grid and try to talk about things.[/quote]
    Can you explain this idea in a bit more detail? I don't quite get it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.4k
    Further, isn't it the case that the cows can be over there even if it is not the case that you, I or anyone else knows that they are over there, or has justification for claiming that they are over there.Banno

    Who would determine that the situation meets the criteria for being described with those words, if no one knows that the cows are over there? Are you arguing that the words automatically correspond with the scenario, without the requirement of having to be judged as corresponding? Isn't that hard core Platonism? Aren't you assuming that there is an independent idea signified by "the cows are over there", which the situation corresponds with in order for you to avoid the requirement of judgement?

    If you are not assuming Platonism, how else do you conclude that such a statement could be true without a mind of some sort to determine the meaning of the words? Isn't it a requirement for "truth", that the words have a specific meaning which corresponds with the situation? If the requirement is simply words, and a situation, then any words could be true of any situation. So how could those specific words be true of that particular situation unless there is a meaning for the words? And if the meaning is not within a human mind who knows, or existing as an independent Platonic meaning, where is that meaning?
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k
    I made a thread a while back on a related point. Essentially, I was looking for a formal way to state that it doesn't make sense to posit things/properties whose existence or non-existence is indiscernible for all possible observers.

    I think you get at a confusion that comes up with correspondence definitions of truth. We say a belief is true if it corresponds to reality. No problem here, beliefs can be true or false - same for statements.

    The problem comes when we try to switch to an external frame, outside the realm of beliefs, perceptions, statements, etc. Now we need new things to be true or false - abstract propositions that exist outside of any person who can make/hold propositions, beliefs, statements, etc.

    In virtue of what are such personless propositions true? In virtue of other abstract entities: facts, events, and states of affairs.

    I am not sure if there is a problem with this view, but I can see why people have a problem with it. It seems that, in a hypothetical lifeless universe, there should be no possibility of falsehood, and so no meaning in "truth." Truth, like good and bad, seems like it should only arrive on the scene with someone there.

    The proliferation of abstract entities is eyebrow raising while claims that we should treat propositions like they were abstract entities, as a useful fiction, doesn't seem to resolve the frame problem. How are things true or false outside the subjective/intersubjective plane where beliefs, statements, etc. have their existence?

    You might be interested in Husserl's zig-zag explanation of the emergence of correspondence truth in phenomenology.

    In general though, I think you might be confusing "justification" with what makes something true. Justification is what makes some person think something is true. The "truth-maker" is supposed to be the externally existing state of affairs in virtue of which a proposition is true. If there are problems with placing us into such an abstract realm, it wouldn't seem to be one of justification though.
  • Lionino
    1.4k
    What I meant by "For something to be true, there must be a reason why it is true" is if something is the case, there is a reason why it is the case, there are causes that took place in the past for the current subject-matter to be true — aside from brute facts.
    That notion plays a role in the causal account of justification.

    So how is it that causality makes for a connection that satisfies the conditions for knowledge?Astrophel

    It solves (presumably) the justification problem of Gettier and lets knowledge be JTB.

    All one has to do is examine causality for what it is, and it becomes clear that causality doesn't deliver knowledgeAstrophel

    This doesn't make sense.
  • Astrophel
    435
    But rarely will a statement be true simply because of the observerBanno

    Not simply because of the observer in the sense that "I love haagen dazs." Objective in the sense that there is agreement in language and gesture and, as the scientific method tells us, repeatability. There is an event in what we call a brain where truth occurs. But to say what this event is "about" in reference and meaning, is limited to language possibilities.

    Try not to "strawman" this argument by reconstruing what is said to say something it doesn't that is easily assailable. This is an informal logical fallacy.

    The cows are over there" will be true entirely and only if the cows are indeed over there;Banno

    Then you would have to explain how the cows over there make their way into the equation of the proposition. It is a pragmatic assumption made by science and our everyday handling of affairs that truth has this kind of objective status, but philosophy takes the matter beyond the mere assumption. This has to be shown to be accepted. But how does one demonstrate such epistemic connectivity?

    This kind of thinking in no way at all undoes or second guesses our general knowledge claims. It simply says that when you look closely, you find this absurdity that knowledge claims REALLY are pragmatic functions dealing with the world. They are more than this, for such a statement does not speak about the qualitative nature of what is there, but they are essentially this.

    So this should not be restated in another form. The onus is on you to explain this magical epistemic connectivity.

    Everything you know is true. That's not an assumption. If you think you know something, but what you think you know is not true, then you are mistaken about your knowing it.Banno

    Everything I know is true is true enough. But what is truth? A grand philosophical question, but here presented in the most basic analytical sense: how is it that any of those cows twenty-five meters from this brain of mine being in an entirely separate spatial locality make their way into my truth statement? There is this "chasm of epistemic distance" that needs to explained. It is a radical distance, and by radical I mean it takes a very strong turn away from familiarity.

    And also, a seperate point, in the JTB account, a statement's being true is quite distinct from it's being justified.

    But having said that, there is indeed a close relation between epistemology and ontology. Statements being true or false is indeed dependent on what there is in the world.
    Banno

    Yes, you are right about the JTB. My point is that the JTB is seriously question begging. Absurdly so. I know you would like to dismiss these concerns. Well, then you should say this.: it is impossible to demonstrate epistemic connectivity. All we have in the assumptions of truth bearing propositions is their being true and not false, but these conditions remain, in the physicalist's world, inexplicable because causality is simply not an epistemic concept. Not even remotely.

    Epistemology and ontology are the joined at the hip because it is impossible to imagine the one without the other. Not difficult. Impossible, apriori true.
  • J
    189
    This has been fun to watch from the sidelines. I more or less share Banno’s point of view on this, but I have a feeling some basic clarification might help. For starters:

    And the great flaw in the traditional analysis of knowledge has always been the assumption that P is true, that is, "S knows P iff S believes P, is justified in believing P and P is true" has no business simply assuming "P is true" without itself having justification, and this too would require justification, and it never ends.Astrophel

    Perhaps the problem here is that we’re not understanding what you mean by “simply assuming ‛P is true’”. As I read JTB, no such assumption is made. The truth of P needs to be independently verified, yes, but by using the term “justification” for this (presumably perceptual or scientific) process, we get unnecessary confusion, as if the whole thing were somehow circular. But, as has been pointed out, truth-makers aren’t usually the same things as justifications. Truth-makers are states of affairs, not propositions. JTB states a hypothesis: If P is true, and S has justification for this belief that P, then S knows P. So, could you clarify where the “assumption” comes in?
  • Astrophel
    435
    This is a much contested theory. But what's the alternative? A logician can simply decide that "know" is primitive; but that's just abandoning the idea of defining it.Ludwig V

    The alternative is to do a philosophical examination of truth, and unpack the notion of justified true belief.


    This is focuses on first-hand knowledgeLudwig V

    Yes, disentangling is the right word. First hand knowing is what is under review. No need to complicate the matter yet, simply because complications rest on assumptions of a more basic kind, and this is the first step in disambiguating "P is true": isolating what makes something true from things that are incidental, like there being ten coins in the pocket of someone you make a knowledge claim about, you know, those Gettier problems. Gettier didn't bother to question this essential connectivity.

    But the question is profound and foundational for basic epistemic connectivity is assumed in everything that is affirmed. If there is no possible way to make sense of this in familiar terms, like causality, then something unfamiliar is required. As Sherlock Holmes put it, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    And there is massive philosophical literature on this "improbable." It is just difficult.

    This is the place analytic philosophers fear to go!


    Discovering something is revealing it, and makes perfect sense when applied to truths. One would need to explain what "constructing a truth" in a good more detail for it to make sense.Ludwig V

    Ah, revealing it. This implies there is something revealed, of course. so all eyes are on this that is revealed, and for something to be revealed there are two parts, the revealing and the revealed. Now, if you thing the revealing is entirely unproblematic, then the revealed, those cows over there by the barn, make there way into the proposition in the most transparent way, that is, the receiving and revealing agency, me, is like an epistemic mirror, registering most accurately what is there, outside of the mirror's physicality. That is what mirrors do.

    But then, really?? Does this metaphor really work.....at all? I cannot think of anything more opaque than a physical brain.

    This is the way it goes when philosophy meets the simplicity it has been seeking all its life, so to speak. It goes into denial.

    That's true. But the grid of language (including logic and mathematics) does allow us to speak of conditions in the world. Truth would not be possible if it didn't. It is true that sometimes we need to develop or change the concepts that we apply to the world, and that seems difficult if you think of language as a grid - i.e. fixed and limited. But language is a hugely complex system which can be developed and changed - as is logic (as opposed to individual logical systems).Ludwig V

    So what is it to "speak conditions in the world"? One cannot just rocket by such a thing. Take the scientific method, a principle of, essentially, repeatability in experimentation. But how does this actually spell out in the defining of what a thing is, like, say, nitro glycerin? You provide a sufficient impact to this material and it explodes, speaking roughly. But not speaking so roughly, the scientist will quantify the hell out of this in varying event environments, and so we will get a "thick" definition of nitro.

    But what does this say about truth and knowledge? It says these are pragmatic concepts. Forward looking toward anticipated results, and this is an event of recognition that is localized in the perceiving agency, you or me. The object over there, the cow, "outside" of this is entirely transcendental because outside in this context means removed from the anticipatory temporality of the event.

    We bring into the world language and logic. Of course, there is a regularity in the way the scientific method reports about the world, but this certainly doesn't warrant knowledge claims about things being independent of the perceiver. Thick definitions (see above) require a "thick" account of perception, for language and logic is what WE do.
  • Astrophel
    435
    You might be interested in Husserl's zig-zag explanation of the emergence of correspondence truth in phenomenology.

    In general though, I think you might be confusing "justification" with what makes something true. Justification is what makes some person think something is true. The "truth-maker" is supposed to be the externally existing state of affairs in virtue of which a proposition is true. If there are problems with placing us into such an abstract realm, it wouldn't seem to be one of justification though.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    But there is nothing abstract about it. It might appear abstract based on the assumption that a pragmatic understanding vis a vis "a world" remains "about" something that is actually there and this abstracts from the real stand alone thing-in-the-world.

    Husserl "brackets" the world of transcendent objects of the "naturalistic" attitude. He says this in Ideas 1 (which I am coincidentally reading):

    What it comes to is this: we suffer all these perceptions, judgments, and so forth, but only on condition that they be regarded and described as the essentialities which they are in themselves; if anything in them or in relation to them is presented as self-evident, that we establish and fortify. But we allow no judgment that makes any use of the affirmation that posits a “real” thing or “transcendent” nature as a whole, or “co-operates” in setting up these positions. As phenomenologists we avoid all such affirmations. But if we “do not place ourselves on their ground”, do not “co-operate with them”, we do not for that reason cast them away. They are there still, and belong essentially to the phenomenon as a very part of it. Rather, we contemplate them ourselves; instead of working with them, we make them into objects; and we take the thesis of perception and its components also as constituent portions of the phenomenon.

    Now Husserl is not trying to be all that clear on this. He obviously struggles, and this is as it should be because the issue itself is difficult. And he gets very detailed. But speaking generally, he sees phenomenology not as an idealism, rejecting what we encounter as being truly real like Kant, nor does he dismiss these "really reals" ("we do not for that reason cast them away"),but is being simply descriptively honest about what stands before one in an account that is reduced to its essential presences. This opens up a very wide range of issues and complications that have to treated as they arise. But here, I am just being faithful to the simplcity of it: Naturalists (like Quine) place physics at the top of explanatory efficacy, and physics, even in its vast extensions into theoretical concepts, has causality as its foundational principle in describing reality. And this makes epistemology impossible. Phenomenology recognizes this, and in order to make it right, one has to conceive much more fully of the agency of perception.
  • Astrophel
    435
    All one has to do is examine causality for what it is, and it becomes clear that causality doesn't deliver knowledge
    — Astrophel

    This doesn't make sense.
    Lionino

    Yes it does. Just ask how a causal relation produces a knowledge claim. Can't be done, simply because there is nothing in the apodictic principle that an event in the world requires a cause that can deliver an "aboutness" in the mind TO an object. Knowledge is a relational issue and no model of causal relations demonstrates epistemic connectivity. You are welcome to try to conceive of this and let me know how you think it goes.
  • Astrophel
    435
    Perhaps the problem here is that we’re not understanding what you mean by “simply assuming ‛P is true’”. As I read JTB, no such assumption is made. The truth of P needs to be independently verified, yes, but by using the term “justification” for this (presumably perceptual or scientific) process, we get unnecessary confusion, as if the whole thing were somehow circular. But, as has been pointed out, truth-makers aren’t usually the same things as justifications. Truth-makers are states of affairs, not propositions. JTB states a hypothesis: If P is true, and S has justification for this belief that P, then S knows P. So, could you clarify where the “assumption” comes in?J

    There is a lot in this. When you say no assumption is made, I disagree. It is implicit in the premise "P is true" that being true is of a certain kind. The question about what it means to be true AT ALL is not taken up and it is just assumed that if P is right there before your waking eyes, you can affirm that, say, my cat is right before my eyes, and this is unproblematically true. But it is only unproblematic if the problems are ignored.

    The problem is basic and comprehensive to ALL possible affirmations in knowledge claims about the world. If the proposition "my cat is on the sofa" is true and justified by my witnessing the cat being there, three must be something that intimates the cat's presence on the sofa that warrants the proposition's truth. So one has to examine the basis for this intimation, that is, what IS it that makes the proposition true? And so there must be some connectivity between me and the cat, that makes the proposition "about" something "over there". Keep in mind that all those ridiculous attempts to address the Gettier problems, the severed hands and barn facsimiles, etc., try to reconnect S to P causally! As if causality just did the job. But it doesn't. Not even remotely, for there is nothing at all in a causal relation except causality. One will either have to redefine causality or look elsewhere to explain how it is that I "know" this about something.

    "Truth-makers aren’t usually the same things as justifications." This is interesting. What does it mean? How is a state of affairs outside of the logical grid of language and logic possible to affirm since any affirmation itself is weighed within that very grid?
  • Joshs
    5.2k


    Just ask how a causal relation produces a knowledge claim. Can't be done, simply because there is nothing in the apodictic principle that an event in the world requires a cause that can deliver an "aboutness" in the mind TO an objectAstrophel

    Otoh, a reciprocal , recursive, self-organizing model of causality can do the job that linear causality cannot. Reciprocal causality produces normative, goal-oriented sense-making consisting of anricipatory acting on and modifying a world that in turn feeds back to modify the cognizer, forming a loop of ‘aboutness’.
  • Sam26
    2.5k
    For me it's important to distinguish between claims (statements/propositions) and facts, i.e., states of affairs. If a statement is true, then it represents a fact or facts in reality. The idea that there is an ontology connected with the truth has some merit, i.e., we're referring to the existence of particular states of affairs or the possible existence of a state of affairs. A statement is true if it mirrors a fact, but facts exist apart from the statements themselves (at least many facts). A statement can be true quite apart from any justification, which is to say, I may not know the justification, in which case I don't know it's true. I may claim it's true as a matter of opinion or mere belief, but it's not knowledge. All of us have opinions, some of which are true, and some are false. A claim is never knowledge in itself unless we're referring to statements like "All bachelors are unmarried men." Of course, one could claim that the statement refers to linguistic facts based on the meanings of the words. So, even in this e.g., we could use a linguistic justification.

    Truth is always about claims, which come in the form of propositions. I can claim that X is true with little to no justification, but it's not knowledge unless it conforms to one of the many methods we use to justify a claim. I'm a Wittgensteinian when it comes to justification, i.e., we use several methods in our language-games to justify a claim—for example, testimony, reason (logic), linguistic training, sensory experience, and others. Justification is much broader in its scope than many people realize.

    I think there is an ontology behind the truth of our statements, and it's in the form of facts, the facts of reality.
  • Lionino
    1.4k
    Can't be done, simply because there is nothing in the apodictic principle that an event in the world requires a cause that can deliver an "aboutness" in the mind TO an object.Astrophel

    What do you mean deliver aboutness in the mind to an object? Aboutness stays in the mind, it doesn't go anywhere. It is not necessary that something delivers information to us, yet we know it does all the time. Light shines on a red cloth, the red cloth reflects it towards my eyes, my nerves capture the stimulus and my brain produces information. We equate that with real world objects.
    How about the converse: Is knowledge non-causal? If not, does it pop into existence randomly?

    This doesn't seem to relate to the OP either way. You were talking about justified true belief and now you are talking about intentionality (aboutness) or solipsism? I don't know for sure, I didn't fully know what the OP was about either.

    My original comment doesn't disagree with you, as a matter of fact; when you say "And this is because existence is part and parcel of justification itself", this sounds to me like a causal account of knowledge.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    It's very hard to give an account of knowledge that transcends the nature/mind, subjective/objective divide. I would imagine this is why recourse to propositions, states of affairs, truth-maker, etc. remain significantly more popular, even though the view where these are actually existent, eternal abstract objects has declined a good deal.

    This is a major concern of Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit," and the Logics. "The truth is the whole," being coming to know its self as self — a broader view.

    But "the fruit does not refute the bud nor the oak tree the acorn." I think it's asking too much of more conventional theories of truth to adapt themselves to the "speculative moment," i.e., that place where the mind/nature divide is transcended. Those theories are earlier moments.

    They have a significant pragmatic value in the same way the formal logic retains its utility and internal validity in the face of the dialectical. I think the speculative moment probably requires leaving truth-makers behind, rather than trying to reform them.

    So a project like:

    Consciousness is, on the one hand, consciousness of the object, and, on the other, consciousness of itself; consciousness of what for it is the true, and consciousness of its knowledge of the truth. Since both are for the same consciousness, this consciousness is itself their comparison; it is for this same consciousness to know whether its knowledge of the object corresponds to the object or not. (PhS 54/77–8)

    Hegel’s analysis continues until consciousness discovers that its understanding of its object does not actually correspond to the stated definition of an object
    of consciousness at all. An object of consciousness is stated to be something known by, but standing over against, consciousness. Consciousness eventually
    discovers, however, that it actually understands its object to have one and the same categorial structure as itself and so not simply to stand over against consciousness after all. At that point, consciousness realizes that it is no longer mere consciousness but has become speculative thought, or absolute knowing.

    Houlgate's commentary on the Greater Logic

    ...is simply working at different aims. Knowledge is simply no longer justified true belief, its a process being unfolding itself.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment