• Kaiser Basileus
    24
    Epistemology is all about certainty, not “Truth”. Real Truth is inaccessible to us because of physical and mental filters between us and the real world, namely biological, cultural, and psychological.

    There are only two ways of knowing, empirical probability and logical necessity.

    Some claim a third, revelation, but this cannot be tested or adequately expressed externally and cannot therefore be verified as reliable.

    Empirical probability is the realm of science. It is that things keep happening the same way. As we increase the resolution of our instruments, either outward/upward or downward/inward, we effectively increase the size of our reality as well as the level of certainty we can have about it. We increase truth, for all intents and purposes.

    Logical necessity is semantic - the words mean what they mean, but absolute. It is not possible for a circle with three sides to exist, by definition. The logical premise that makes this necessarily true is based on the identical foundation as science - it keeps working.

    Statistics is a way of quantifying our level of certainty, whether in science replicability or emotional anecdote.

    To the extent we use patterns internally, internal versions of words suffice and they need only be internally consistent sufficient for internal purposes. To be used externally, they must be externally consistent (that is, accurately represent the material/sensable/testable world sufficient for whatever purpose they’re being used toward), and the extent to which we agree on them is the extent to which we can communicate effectively.

    When making decisions, a certainty of 51% is as good as 100% because nothing may exceed it. However, certainty is not actually a percentage, but a range (for which a percentage may stand in at the average). You may be between 25-60% sure of one thing and 44-78% sure of another, contradictory explanation, for example. When you have an average level of certainty sufficient to outweigh other options, this is called epistemological warrant. It means that you are justified in making the decision or in accepting the fact as true.
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    not “Truth”. Real Truth is inaccessibleKaiser Basileus
    You're aware of the contradictions you have stepped into, yes?

    It means that you are justified in making the decision or in accepting the fact as true.Kaiser Basileus
    Huh?!

    Too many problems here. Start with something simple and work up. You can start by learning what truth is and what a fact is, and in particular how they differ, because, casual usage aside, they are not the same thing. Perhaps others will be kind enough to suggest some other areas you might profit from giving attention to.
  • Kaiser Basileus
    24
    I'm sorry you didn't understand but everything you mention is perfectly accounted for. I know there are better ways to explore the terminology but "truth" v "Truth" or "reality" v "Reality" is the best way I've found to express it. A fact is a piece of truth just as a choice is a piece of freedom. There is no difference otherwise.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    You're aware of the contradictions you have stepped into, yes?tim wood

    No.

    (Edit: a detailed critique of the OP starts at https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/199489)
  • Janus
    5.7k
    Real Truth is inaccessible to us because of physical and mental filters between us and the real world, namely biological, cultural, and psychological.Kaiser Basileus

    By saying there is an inaccessible "real world" you are reifying the determinacy of the experienced world as an absolute actuality. I don't think this is legitimate. If there is a reality independent of us it would seem to be a dynamic potentiality, not a determinate actuality. Determinate actuality exists only within the experienced world.

    So, if the real is a dynamic potentiality which we are part of, then the world of human experience is a "biologically, culturally and psychologically" actualized potential, not a "filtered" (and by implication possibly illusory) version of some absolutely independent actuality.
  • Kaiser Basileus
    24
    Determinate actuality exists only within the experienced world - to us. We have every reason to believe it exists prior to and beyond us. Empirical probability will get us as far as what we experience. Logical necessity can carry us the rest of the way.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    Determinate actuality exists only within the experienced worldKaiser Basileus

    Are you sure?
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    You're aware of the contradictions you have stepped into, yes?
    — tim wood
    No.
    Banno
    Real Truth is inaccessibleKaiser Basileus
    Is this a real truth?

    The logical premise that makes this necessarily true is based on the identical foundation as science - it keeps working.Kaiser Basileus
    Eh? No problems here, Banno? I think I know what he means, but it's up to him to say it. Until he does, I don't really know what he means.

    Statistics is a way of quantifying our level of certaintyKaiser Basileus
    Certainty? Not probability? Or perhaps lack of certainty?

    or in accepting the fact as true.Kaiser Basileus
    ...as accurate - maybe, but not "true."

    A fact is a piece of truthKaiser Basileus
    Everyone makes this mistake until they know better; it's an example of the ignorance we're all born with. They know better when they've been told and learned. Now you've been told and I'll guess not for the first time. Do a little research. And you can ask yourself what, exactly, a fact is. Answer that and you may discover for and by yourself something surprising about facts.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    The Tractatus thread would be a good place for @Kaiser Basileus to start.

    Compare
    A fact is a piece of truthKaiser Basileus
    against "The world is everything that is the case".
  • StreetlightX
    2.9k
    The OP is a fine series of entirely unargued-for assertions. Shame there is nothing to discuss as a result.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    It's what the author does next that counts. Do they stop and think or blunder on?
  • StreetlightX
    2.9k
    Sweet summer lamb, you think there is hope!
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    Would you accept that every fact is an historical fact (and no fact is non- or a-historical)?

    "The world is everything that is the case".Banno
    I do not pretend to understand Wittgenstein. But I find this online italics are my added comments:

    "There are seven main propositions in the text. These are:

    The world is everything that is the case. What do we call this sentence? Part of everything that is the case? A fact? True?

    What is the case (a fact) is the existence of states of affairs. What, exactly, establishes something as being "a case"? From this it would appear to be "the existence of states of affairs. States? Of Affairs? Does this mean that some particular "states of affairs" underlie "the case (a fact)"? And where does "fact" come in? Or does the case=the fact=the states of affairs?

    A logical picture of facts is a thought.
    A thought is a proposition with a sense. A logical picture of facts comes with a sense? Is the sense an added ingredient that is baked-in? Or is it added by the logic? Or the thought? DId we figure out what a "fact" is?

    A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions. (An elementary proposition is a truth-function of itself.)
    The general form of a proposition is the general form of a truth function.This seems to be arbitrary mechanics - a matter of definition, yes?

    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.I know this is the positivist's mantra and rule, but what does it mean to be unable to speak of something? I, myself, understadn it to mean that when you've run out of sense, it's best to shut-up!

    I am not asking you to clarify Wittgenstein for me - there is neither time nor beer nor wine enough for that. But I do suppose that a decent respect for the limitations of most of us (i.e., me) would place some restraint on your instinct for irony
  • Banno
    3.3k
    There are only two ways of knowing, empirical probability and logical necessity.Kaiser Basileus

    Is that you know you are writing in English a logical necessity or a mere probability?

    I suggest it is neither, and that as a result, there are more than two ways of knowing.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    It's what I do.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    But I do suppose that a decent respect for the limitations of most of us (i.e., me) would place some restraint on your instinct for ironytim wood

    Damn. Can't find the ladder to climb back down to your level. :wink:

    Shouldn't have thrown it away.

    I didn't say the Tractatus would be easy; I said it might be one place from which to proceed. Of course, there are others.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2k

    Have a look at the SEP article on Formal Epistemology

    Here's the first paragraph:

    Formal epistemology explores knowledge and reasoning using “formal” tools, tools from math and logic. For example, a formal epistemologist might use probability theory to explain how scientific reasoning works. Or she might use modal logic to defend a particular theory of knowledge.

    certainty is not actually a percentage, but a rangeKaiser Basileus

    This might be trouble though. I think it turns out that to go this way, you need confidence to be quantifiable. Ramsey argues for this view in "Truth and Probability", which you should read as soon as possible. The principal arguments are based on wagering, but there's also this, which I cannot resist quoting:

    I am at a cross-roads and do not know the way; but I rather think one of the two ways is right. I propose therefore to go that way but keep my eyes open for someone to ask; if now I see someone half a mile away over the fields, whether I turn aside to ask him will depend on the relative inconvenience of going out of my way to cross the fields or continuing on the wrong road if it is the wrong road. But it will also depend on how confident I am that I am in the right; and clearly the more confident I am of this the less distance I should be willing to go from the road to check my opinion. I propose therefore to use the distance I would be prepared to go to ask, as a measure of the confidence of my opinion
  • Banno
    3.3k
    Would you accept that every fact is an historical fact (and no fact is non- or a-historical)?tim wood

    No.
  • Janus
    5.7k
    Determinate actuality exists only within the experienced world - to us. We have every reason to believe it exists prior to and beyond us. Empirical probability will get us as far as what we experience. Logical necessity can carry us the rest of the way.Kaiser Basileus

    Is anything determinate beyond its being determined? Perhaps you are thinking instead of something else:determinability. I'd say that what is potential becomes actual in the act of being determined. It is not only humans that determine; all life does, so when I referred to 'the experienced world" I was not confining that to the humanly experienced world.

    So, if determinate actuality exists only in the experienced world; it is determinable potentiality that gives rise to it. It is determinable potentiality that "exists prior to and beyond us". I don't see what logical necessity has to do with: I think the idea of logical necessity is bogus. Logic is a purely formal abstraction from determinate actuality.
  • Kaiser Basileus
    24
    I'd call that part of "Spiritual Math" (tiny.cc/ontology)
  • Kaiser Basileus
    24
    Simpler to stick with the human context for this, otherwise it's a bog. I'd say you "observe things into being". All things are a pattern with a purpose and the resolution of the purpose determines the resolution of the pattern. In other words, The stuff is there, but ti becomes things when we contextualise it into our phenomenology. As for logic, it "just works", and that's as good as you can ask a system to be.
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    Can you think of one that isn't? Keeping in mind it's facts in question, here.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    Why are we doing this?

    five is less than six; iron oxidises in the presence of oxygen; animals with hearts also have kidneys.
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    Five is less than six is true. Iron oxidises in the presence of oxygen is a fact. Were I the sort of person whose business it was to know that iron oxidises & etc., I should have observed and described it. Subsequently the only way to know is to know the historical fact that such a person did observe and describe it. As such, no one observes facts. One only becomes aware of historical propositions taken to be accurate.

    Does anyone care in casual usage? No. Should people who are attempting to think about what is true and what is a fact know the difference? I think so. Likely you think so too, in that setting.

    Suppose I say Collingwood beat Essendon in 2002 by a score of 66-33. True? No inspection of the proposition itself will answer that - or ever will. The best to be hoped for is accuracy based on research sufficient to compel a reader to say that the evidence in his possession allows him to say that the proposition re-presents a fact.

    Why are we doing this? Because at some moment in the discussion it made a difference.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    Would you accept that every fact is an historical fact (and no fact is non- or a-historical)?tim wood

    Five is less than six is true. Iron oxidises in the presence of oxygen is a fact. Were I the sort of person whose business it was to know that iron oxidises & etc., I should have observed and described it. Subsequently the only way to know is to know the historical fact that such a person did observe and describe it. As such, no one observes facts. One only becomes aware of historical propositions taken to be accurate.tim wood

    Your suggestion was that facts are historical. But what you have argued is that knowledge of facts is historical.

    Not the same thing.

    at some moment in the discussion it made a difference.tim wood

    Where?
  • tim wood
    1.1k
    Your suggestion was that facts are historical. But what you have argued is that knowledge of facts is historical.Banno
    Thank you for the point!

    At the moment I'm thinking the set of known facts is just exactly the set of facts.

    Obviously there are things that no one knows. No doubt that once known, they would be facts. But can an unknown something be a fact, even an unknown fact? To be a fact requires particularity and specificity (sez I). The unknown fact has neither; it has never been observed and described. - it's unknown. So, unless you can carry it a bit further, I have to rule your objection out-of-court.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    To be a fact requires particularity and specificity (sez I).tim wood

    Yeah - we are choosing a grammar here.

    I go with facts as such things as are true. Then we can have facts we don't know.
  • jkg20
    220
    Obviously there are things that no one knows.
    Do you mean to say that there are things which 1) are the case and which could be known, but which 2) no one currently knows? I presume not, since that would quickly lead to those unknown things being facts. So, how do you fill out the idea of a "thing that no one knows"? Are you a realist about such things?
  • BrianW
    151
    Real Truth is inaccessible to us because of physical and mental filters between us and the real world, namely biological, cultural, and psychological.Kaiser Basileus

    I'm not so sure about this. I think what you call filters are channels through which knowledge comes to us. They seem like filters because of their limitations but, through generations of human evolution, we keep expanding them and they maintain their service.

    There are only two ways of knowing, empirical probability and logical necessity.Kaiser Basileus

    This I think is an over-simplification. Usually, intuition gets the first bite long before the scientific method is applied.

    When making decisions, a certainty of 51% is as good as 100% because nothing may exceed it.Kaiser Basileus

    You may be between 25-60% sure of one thing and 44-78% sure of another, contradictory explanationKaiser Basileus

    Doesn't knowing the percentage of certainty imply an idea of what the absolute truth is. Can you know that you have 26% without an idea of 100%? Because, then, the 26% would be arbitrary and not necessarily significant.

    I do believe there is no absolute knowledge but there is comprehensive knowledge for a particular stage in life. Also, I think knowledge applies to all levels of life, including galaxies, stars, planets, animals, plants, even atoms and beyond, the differences being the modes of life and the degrees of application.
    For me, one of the signs of knowledge is the awareness/response mechanism, another is differentiation and utility, all of which are expressed by all of life. I believe every life partakes of its share of knowledge.
  • BrianW
    151
    Instead of a percentage of certainty, perhaps a level of confidence in our expectations...?
  • Kaiser Basileus
    24
    I'd say percentage of certainty and level of confidence are identical. In any case, it's a fuzzy number so to think of it as numbers isn't really important anyway. Level of certainty is the point. Things in the sensable, replicable world that keep being replicable we call truth/fact. When there is no evidence to the contrary, the tiniest shred of evidence is actionable. If you believe there is additional information available then the salience of the decision determines how much you delay the decision in favor of gathering additional information.
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