• creativesoul
    3.7k
    How's that?

    :wink:
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    I do not agree with Sam regarding what counts as justified belief. It does not require being argued for(the act of justification) on my view.
    — creativesoul

    It has to arguable, but doesn't have to have been argued?
    Cheshire

    No.

    It always has to be well-grounded, and it doesn't always have to be argued for.
  • Cheshire
    57
    According to you, they are still knowledge.creativesoul

    Did you mean to say this the way you said it?
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    According to you, they are still knowledge.
    — creativesoul

    Did you mean to say this the way you said it?
    Cheshire

    Yup.
  • Cheshire
    57
    Yup.creativesoul

    Oh, I would say it was knowledge and had since been falsified. It doesn't make sense to have falsified knowledge. Knowledge intends to be true. I thought you would claim it never was knowledge, but just totally treated the exactly the same as if it were knowledge. But, remember its not actually knowledge, only completely indistinguishable from knowledge(At the time).
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    ...we cannot tell the difference between what we actually know and what we think we know until it's proven wrong.Cheshire

    Sure we can. It's the difference between belief and knowledge. The former presupposes it's own truth, and the latter is true.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Oh, I would say it was knowledge and had since been falsified. It doesn't make sense to have falsified knowledge...Cheshire

    There's the nonsense and/or self-contradiction.

    :wink:
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    ... Knowledge intends to be true.Cheshire

    Knowledge is not the sort of thing that is capable of intention.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    You have never known something and then later found out it was incorrect?Cheshire

    No.

    I have believed something and later found out that I was wrong. I believed that things were a certain way, and it turned out that they were not.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Set out the difference between belief and knowledge.

    That will set you straight.
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    I do not agree with Sam regarding what counts as justified belief. It does not require being argued for(the act of justification) on my view.creativesoul

    As I've explained before, this is not quite accurate, i.e., that I believe that justified belief is what's argued for. What I disagree with Creative about has to do with justification being a pre-linguistic concept. Justification can happen in several ways (linguistic ways), argument, inference, and proof is just one of those ways. Justification is used in other ways, viz., through sensory experience, linguistic training, testimony, and it can be tautological. So to say that I think JTB only happens through argumentation is a misrepresentation of my epistemology. When I use the word argument, I'm speaking in terms of logical argumentation. However, for me justification goes beyond logic. That is to say, logic is only one way of justifying a belief.

    As I understand Creative he wants to say that knowledge is something that can occur apart from language, i.e., that prelinguistic beliefs can be justified. It happens in our metacognition according to Creative. However, this makes no sense to me. It's akin to saying we can have a private language, which is nonsense, at least from my perspective. Epistemology is a linguistic endeavor, not a private endeavor. To see this one need only look at the role doubt and skepticism play within our epistemological constructs. It happens necessarily in a social environment.

    I don't disagree that there is a metacognitive reality, I just disagree about what's going on in that private world. Creative wants to bring in things that only happen within a linguistic and social context. Specifically he wants to bring in the idea that rule-following, which is necessarily linguistic, and necessarily part of epistemology, can happen privately. This follows from what he says because of his idea that justification can happen to prelinguistic humans.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    ...his idea that justification can happen to prelinguistic humans.Sam26

    Not my idea... Actually against the position I've been arguing for...
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    When someone states that he or she knows that something is the case, as in JTB, someone else may come along and ask, "How do you know?" - and it's at this point that you demonstrate your knowledge. If it turns out that you cannot demonstrate, i.e., justify your claim, then it's not knowledge.Sam26

    :yikes:
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    I do not agree with Sam regarding what counts as justified belief. It does not require being argued for(the act of justification) on my view.creativesoul
  • SophistiCat
    587
    I greatly appreciate the charitable read and I agree. So long as JTB isn't meant to actually describe the real world and is only maintained for the purpose of an exercise I suppose I no longer object. Thank you for the reference to Gettier; I'm aware my arguments or causal assertions must appear quite naive.

    Do you think you could produce an example of these two different types of knowledge? The general and the technical?

    I suppose I'm agreeing with Gettier in a sense, but avoiding his objection. He's saying hey your system doesn't work because it can produce mistaken knowledge. I'm saying some knowledge is mistaken.
    Cheshire

    Yes, Gettier's counterexamples are where all three of the JTB criteria seem to be satisfied, and yet the result doesn't meet our intuitive, pre-analytical notion of knowledge. Your examples are where our intuitive notion of knowledge does not meet the JTB criteria. How damaging are such attacks? That totally depends on the context.

    Like I said, if the goal was to just give an accurate account of how the word "knowledge" is used in the language, you probably can't do better than a good dictionary, together with an acknowledgement that such informal usage is imprecise and will almost inevitably run into difficulties with edge cases like Gettier's.

    But philosophers define their terms in order to put them to use in their investigations, so I think the best way to approach the issue is not to latch onto one bit taken out of context, but see what work that JTB idea does in actual philosophical works. Maybe the JTB scheme is flawed because it doesn't capture something essential about knowledge, or maybe the examples that you give just aren't relevant to what philosophers are trying to do. I haven't done much reading in this area myself - I am just giving what I hope is sensible general advice on how to proceed.
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    "Not my idea... Actually against the position I've been arguing for..."

    Then I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't think anyone else does.
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    If you don't understand this point, then you don't understand the difference between a claim to knowledge, and having knowledge. One's claim is not equivalent to, or amount to knowledge. So l don't follow your reaction.
  • Cheshire
    57
    Set out the difference between belief and knowledge.creativesoul

    Gladly, if you'll set out the difference between a belief of knowledge and knowledge.
  • Cheshire
    57
    Like I said, if the goal was to just give an accurate account of how the word "knowledge" is used in the language, you probably can't do better than a good dictionary, together with an acknowledgement that such informal usage is imprecise and will almost inevitably run into difficulties with edge cases like Gettier's.SophistiCat

    I'm not so much interested as how its used 'in language', but rather how it's used in reality. I know exactly zero people that actually consider an idea based on a JTB scheme or accept an idea because it fulfills one. And before you object, I mean to say especially philosophers, when I say people. My primary reason for making JTB a target is just because it's so well guarded from criticism and taught as if were a law of thought; when as Gettier showed in nearly satirical fashion the emperor has no cloths.

    I suppose the way to proceed is abandoning the notion there's a set of criteria which knowledge contains and disqualifies all else or change JTB, or change the philosophical definition of knowledge. It's a bit Gettierish, but saying all knowledge is JTB or Not would technically silence my objections.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    If you don't understand this point, then you don't understand the difference between a claim to knowledge, and having knowledge. One's claim is not equivalent to, or amount to knowledge. So l don't follow your reaction.Sam26

    I would concur that a claim to knowledge is not equivalent to having knowledge..
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    Set out the difference between belief and knowledge.
    — creativesoul

    Gladly, if you'll set out the difference between a belief of knowledge and knowledge.
    Cheshire

    It's one in the same difference.

    I've already set it out. Have a look for yourself.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    creativesoul Then I don't know what you're talking about...Sam26

    I think that how we're using the term "justify" is the root of our misunderstanding.

    When one justifies his/her claims, they provide the ground(s) to another.

    All I'm saying is, and you've agreed with me before, that one need not provide their ground to another in order for the belief to be well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the criterion for being justified. It is not providing that ground to another.

    Right?
  • javra
    698
    I suppose the way to proceed is abandoning the notion there's a set of criteria which knowledge contains and disqualifies all else or change JTB, or change the philosophical definition of knowledge. It's a bit Gettierish, but saying all knowledge is JTB or Not would technically silence my objections.Cheshire

    Maybe this will help. The way I view things: There are two types of knowledge, the ideal, purely conceptual standard by which all practicable knowledge is appraised—I’ll call this “ontic knowledge”—and that which is within our capacity to hold and engage in—I’ll call this “subjective knowledge”. The former is that by which the latter is measured against as means of appraising the latter’s validity.

    A leading issue with knowledge is with the notion of truth. To believe that something is is to believe ones notion/idea/conceptualization/etc. to be true (other types of belief are however possible). However, so doing, of itself, does not signify that any given belief of what is true is in fact true/accurate. In these statements there are two implicit concepts: in parallel, an ideal and conceptual understanding of truth—call it “ontic truth”, or the factual state of being wherein that believed accurately conforms to that which is real—and, secondly, our awareness-based appraisals of what is and is not true—call this “subjective truth”, or the subjectively, and sometimes tacitly, made appraisal that that which is maintained accurately conforms to that which is real. It might be subtle, but the two concepts are distinct.

    Most implicitly interpret in JTB is the notion of ontic truth—which, by its very idealized property of being ontic, or factual, cannot ever be mistaken in any way. And it is this notion of ontic (factual) truth which brings about our ideal notion of ontic knowledge. Yet this can only be a conceptual model of that which is aspired for; that which “knowledge intends” as you’ve mentioned. Yet the knowledge in this latter statement is not the conceptual standard of ontic knowledge—which is ontically true belief that can thereby be justified upon request—but is, instead, the only form of knowledge that can be had in practice: subjective knowledge.

    Subjective knowledge, then, can be defined as: a notion that is believed to be true and which can be justified at will in so being true. If that which is believed is in fact ontically true, then it will in deed accurately conform to that which is real. Yet this is where ontology plays a crucial role: Where that which is real is itself factually interconnected in coherent manners (for example: physics, chemistry, biology, and awareness are all coherently related in some manner—this despite our lack of full understanding regarding these coherent interconnection), then there will always be means of justifying that which is in fact real. Where contradictions are found in one’s justifications, for one example, this will then illustrate that one cannot account for what one believes to be true, for one cannot provide how it accurately conforms to what in fact is real.

    The just stated would take a lot to unpack—particularly in regard to the nature of reality (an aspect of ontology) and to the nature of valid, ontology-contingent justification in general (an aspect of epistemology). Doubtless there would be much contested in any such account, but I yet find the overall relation to reality and to reality-contingent justification to be rather intuitively valid for most, if not all, people.

    So there’s JTB, our conceptualized ideal form of knowledge (which cannot be had in practice unless one were to evidence one’s belief of what is true to be infallible); and there’s validly justifiable believed truth—I’ll term this JBT—the only form of subjective knowledge possible to hold in practice when lacking truths that have been demonstrated to be perfectly secure from all possible error (i.e., when lacking truths that have been infallibly demonstrated to so be).

    Now, for all practical purposes, our knowledge that the sky is blue, as one example, is absolute (also that 1 + 1 = 2; etc.). But these instances of knowledge are not (perfectly) infallible in technical philosophical jargon; their truth is not proven to be perfectly secure form all possible error via means that are themselves perfectly secure from all possible error.

    More concretely, though, the way I view things is that those people that once asserted knowledge of the sun circling the Earth can, presently, be confidently stated to not have held knowledge of this. This is so because their JBT did not conform to JTB; their subjective knowledge did not conform to ontic knowledge.

    When we say, “I thought I knew,” we affirm that we once held our JBT to be an instance of JTB—but that we were wrong in so thinking. (It’s telling to me that we don’t say “I believed I knew”—though we can say “I believe I know”. I’m thinking we don’t say the former because it’s redundant without rhetorical purpose and because upon discovering our mistake we acknowledge it to be due to faulty justifications then held (our beliefs of what is true, of themselves, not being at fault; for they are not knowledge in themselves). We can say the latter because, until we consciously discern we hold justifications for what we believe to be true, we do not hold a conscious awareness of the given belief being knowledge—though we can intuitively sense that it is. Hence, we can believe we know.)

    To sum things up: Any validly justifiable belief of what is true (JBT) can well be an instance of a belief that is ontically true and thereby justifiable (JTB). If inconsistencies are lacking, then there’s no justification by which to assume that an instance of JBT is not an instance of JTB. Nevertheless, until we can infallibly prove ontic truths (something which fallibilists will uphold cannot be done by us), we could, hypothetically, be mistaken in our upholding any instance of JBT to be JTB. But: until evidence presents itself to the contrary, because all our JBTs could all (or at least mostly) well be instances of JTB, we then are justified in proclaiming that we hold knowledge (JTB).

    I’m still working though some of the connotative facets of this myself—making a concept simple and unambiguous from multiple vantages if sometimes harder than it should be. However, I again find that this outlook does justify why the guy who “knew” that the Earth is flat didn’t in fact hold knowledge of this: we currently have ample means by which to evidence that his JBT did not conform to JTB.

    So JTB stays, imo, at least in the ways just outlined.

    --------------

    I'm appending this in attempts to be clearer: I understand and agree with all our held knowledge being fallible, and that we thereby (to incorporate the semantics I previously used) can only hold onto JBT that has so far not been falsified in being JTB—and which, thereby, can very well be JTB (as here interpreted: ontically true belief that is thereby justifiable).
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't think anyone else does.Sam26

    A badge of honor. The price of novelty.

    Many more do today than did a decade ago. What I'm talking about hasn't changed much at all.
  • SophistiCat
    587
    I'm not so much interested as how its used 'in language', but rather how it's used in reality.Cheshire

    Knowledge is a word, language use is its reality. It's not like there is some celestial dictionary in which the "real" meanings of words are inscribed once and for all. Knowledge is what we say it is. So one way to approach the question is to do as linguists do when they compile a dictionary: see how the word is used "in the wild." Philosophers and other specialists extent the natural language in coining their own terms, which they can do in ways that narrow the colloquial meaning or diverge from it. However, it is considered to be a bad and misleading practice to diverge too far, in effect creating homonyms.

    While @javra attempted a conceptual justification of the JTB knowledge, I'll stick to natural language for a moment. How much does the JTB knowledge differ from common sense knowledge? One thing you can say about the JTB definition is that, at first glance, it does not appear to be an operational definition (this parallels both your critique and @javra's notes above). If you wanted to sort various propositions into knowledge and not knowledge, you could plausibly use the first two of the JTB criteria (setting aside for a moment legitimate concerns about those two), but you cannot apply the criterion of Truth, over and above the criterion of Justification. For how do you decide whether a proposition is true, if not by coming up with a good justification for holding it true?

    But think about what happens when we evaluate beliefs that we held in the past, or beliefs that are held by other people. They are Beliefs, and they could be Justified as well as they possibly could be, given the agent's circumstances at the time. And yet, when you consider those beliefs from your present perspective, you could judge the Truth of those beliefs differently. And since it would not be in keeping with the common sense to call false beliefs "knowledge," it seems that there is, after all, a place for the Truth criterion.

    And before you object, I mean to say especially philosophers, when I say people. My primary reason for making JTB a target is just because it's so well guarded from criticism and taught as if were a law of thought; when as Gettier showed in nearly satirical fashion the emperor has no cloths.Cheshire

    Well, how familiar are you with contemporary epistemology? Even from a very superficial look, it is hard to see where you got this idea - see for instance SEP article The Analysis of Knowledge.
  • Cheshire
    57
    Well, how familiar are you with contemporary epistemology? Even from a very superficial look, it is hard to see where you got this idea - see for instance SEP article The Analysis of Knowledge.SophistiCat

    Well, that is excellent news. Tell me, do you believe JTB is the best description for knowledge in a non-general sense? I know you can justify it, but I'm curious as to whether you believe it.
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    All I'm saying is, and you've agreed with me before, that one need not provide their ground to another in order for the belief to be well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the criterion for being justified. It is not providing that ground to another.creativesoul

    The confusion may be in the following: I learn through the language-game of epistemology, i.e., what it means to justify a belief. Once I learn it in the proper setting, then I'm able to apply it privately. I don't learn it privately, but I can apply it privately. Just as I learn mathematics within the language of mathematics (socially again), and then I can do it privately.

    It's in the private setting, after I learn it in a social setting, that I don't have to state it. I know what it means to justify, so in this sense I don't need to state anything. Unless someone asks for the justification, then I can give it. The social, or the language part comes first though.

    Are you saying that it can be done totally in private? Just trying to clarify.
  • SophistiCat
    587
    Well, that is excellent news. Tell me, do you believe JTB is the best description for knowledge in a non-general sense? I know you can justify it, but I'm curious as to whether you believe it.Cheshire

    I am ambivalent about it. The advice that I gave you about seeing how it works in a philosophical context is the advice I would take myself. I haven't read enough, haven't burrowed deep enough into surrounding issues (partly because I didn't find them interesting) to make a competent judgement.

    .
  • Sam26
    1.2k
    And before you object, I mean to say especially philosophers, when I say people. My primary reason for making JTB a target is just because it's so well guarded from criticism and taught as if were a law of thought; when as Gettier showed in nearly satirical fashion the emperor has no clothsCheshire

    This idea that Gettier somehow showed that JTB is flawed is just not the case. It's as if Gettier performed a slight of hand, and people think it's an actual picture of reality. It's true that some philosophers think this, but I would consider that all Gettier pointed out is the difference between a claim to knowledge, as opposed to actual knowledge. So if I make a claim, and that claim appears to be JTB, but in the end turns out to be false, then it's simply not knowledge. There is nothing difficult here. No amount of thinking something is JTB, amounts to something actually being JTB.

    There are very few absolutes when it comes to JTB. Much of the time what we believe is justified is based on what's probable, not what's absolute. I can perform all the experiments in the world that confirm a theory, but that doesn't mean that that one chance in a million cannot occur and flip your theory on its head. Depending on how you take your theory of course, if you understand that's it's just based on probability, then it won't have much of an affect on your theory. However, if you think that what you know is an absolute, then it might turn your theory on it's head.

    There are a lot of variations, but I would say that JTB fits about as well as one might expect, given how we use the term.
  • creativesoul
    3.7k
    I think that how we're using the term "justify" is the root of our misunderstanding.

    When one justifies his/her claims, they provide the ground(s) to another.

    All I'm saying is, and you've agreed with me before, that one need not provide their ground to another in order for the belief to be well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the criterion for being justified. It is not providing that ground to another.
    creativesoul


    The confusion may be in the following: I learn through the language-game of epistemology, i.e., what it means to justify a belief. Once I learn it in the proper setting, then I'm able to apply it privately. I don't learn it privately, but I can apply it privately. Just as I learn mathematics within the language of mathematics (socially again), and then I can do it privately.

    It's in the private setting, after I learn it in a social setting, that I don't have to state it. I know what it means to justify, so in this sense I don't need to state anything. Unless someone asks for the justification, then I can give it. The social, or the language part comes first though.

    Are you saying that it can be done totally in private? Just trying to clarify.
    Sam26

    One cannot provide the ground of a belief to another privately. Providing ground is existentially dependent upon language. Language is social. That's irrelevant to the point being made.

    I'm saying that one need not provide the ground in order to have the ground. Providing the ground doesn't matter at all with regard to the quality of the ground. It's the quality of the ground that determines whether or not the belief is a justified belief. This is obvious. Not all instances of offering one's grounds result in us concluding, saying, and/or recognizing that the belief is justified. If offering one's grounds justified one's belief, then all belief would be justified by virtue of the person offering the ground. That's just not the case.

    This is common sense, I would think.
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