• Sam26
    1.1k
    One cannot provide the ground of a belief to another privately. Providing ground is existentially dependent upon language. Language is social.creativesoul

    Yes, we seem to agree here, providing you're using ground as a synonym for justification, as I am.

    I'm saying that one need not provide the ground in order to have the ground.creativesoul

    Which seems to be another way of saying the following:

    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.Sam26

    I can have the ground without stating the ground, but learning the ground is social.

    It may be obvious to you, some of this, but I'm still trying to get clear on how you're using the words ground and justification. For me, to say a belief is well-grounded is essentially the same as saying, the belief is justified. Are you also thinking of a grounding as in bedrock?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    I can have the ground without stating the ground, but learning the ground is social.Sam26

    Is it?

    Stating the ground is social. Learning another's ground is social.

    Fire causes discomfort when touched. That doesn't require language to learn. Is it not the ground for believing that touching fire caused pain?
  • Cheshire
    57
    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.SophistiCat

    Well, shouldn't JTB be able to meet it's own criteria? If you can't believe it, then it isn't knowledge right?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    It may be obvious to you, some of this, but I'm still trying to get clear on how you're using the words ground and justification. For me, to say a belief is well-grounded is essentially the same as saying, the belief is justified.Sam26

    When one justifies their belief to another, we say that that belief has been justified. We do not say that that belief has been well-grounded. We say that it is well-grounded, for we've just come to realize that. It was already well-grounded prior to another justifying it to us.

    The point here is that providing the ground does not make the belief well-grounded. It shows that it is.
  • Cheshire
    57
    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.Sam26

    If I recall it wasn't simply a matter of knowledge being subject to time, but rather a case where JTB criteria was met but the matter still found to not be knowledge. I think the slight of hand is ignoring that our understanding of things is the result of what we know and what we know in error. The 'truth' element to JTB makes J&B largely irrelevant. And it creates a concept of knowledge that is untenable when it's placed in the context of humans subject to error. To me it seems self evident and if you prove it wrong then you prove it right. It's not my theory of knowledge anyway. Karl Popper laid it out as the basis for critical rationalism which is really an excellent approach to revisiting quite a bit of tired dogma.
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    Fire causes discomfort when touched. That doesn't require language to learn. Is it not the ground for believing that touching fire caused pain?creativesoul

    There are causal beliefs. For example, my belief that snakes are dangerous was caused by the bite of the snake. But I would take issue with the idea that the cause is a ground or justification, as in an epistemological ground. Why would you think that causal effects are a grounding. Moreover, to answer the question why I believe something, it may take into account both causality and reasons/evidence, but there is a big difference in terms of epistemology. If a cause is the same as a justification, then we can justify all kinds of weird things. When I talk about justification or a grounding, I'm talking about reasons/evidence, and I think most philosophers are talking about reasons/evidence.
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    If I recall it wasn't simply a matter of knowledge being subject to time, but rather a case where JTB criteria was met but the matter still found to not be knowledgeCheshire

    Yes, I understand that, but what I said still holds. For example, let's say that I see what I think are five red barns in a field at time T1. I justify my belief based on my general belief that my sensory perceptions are generally accurate. So I believe that I'm justified in believing that I see five red barns, i.e., JTB. However, later at T2, I see that they aren't barns at all, but something else. So the question arises, were you justified (justified in the sense that you have knowledge) at T1? The answer is, no. Why? Because the justification was not warranted in that instance, because of what we found out later.

    The error idea is a point in my favor. Basically it says that the instance above is only probable knowledge, i.e., it takes into account that I could be wrong about my claim; and we know this based on past experiences. If you were to ask the person who claims to see the five barns, "Is it possible you're wrong about your claim?" - They would probably respond, "Yes." It often happens that people think or belief they're justified when they're not. Again, because one thinks one is justified, and has indeed followed the rules of justification, that doesn't mean they are justified. There is a difference between the definition of knowledge, which necessarily is JTB, as opposed to your belief that you have knowledge. One is true by definition, the other not.

    It doesn't make JTB untenable. In fact, it just shows that not all claims amount to JTB. You seem to be applying some absolute sense to our claims of knowledge. What would be the point to challenging someone's claim to knowledge (a justified claim), if one couldn't be wrong about the claim. This goes directly to the idea of a doubting a claim.

    There is more to this, but this is a start.
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    Another point of emphasis, is that you can be justified in believing that something is true, but that doesn't mean it is true. It not only must be justified, but the belief must be true for it to be knowledge. Justification alone isn't enough.
  • Cheshire
    57
    There is more to this, but this is a start.Sam26

    I get it, I just don't thinks its correct. It's the "later on..." part that bothers me because there's always a "later on..we find out..." about one thing or another. I was working on a thought experiment sans farm structures that might better make my point, but it eludes me presently. I'll be back.
  • javra
    609
    Fire causes discomfort when touched. That doesn't require language to learn. Is it not the ground for believing that touching fire caused pain?creativesoul

    There are causal beliefs. For example, my belief that snakes are dangerous was caused by the bite of the snake. But I would take issue with the idea that the cause is a ground or justification, as in an epistemological ground. Why would you think that causal effects are a grounding. Moreover, to answer the question why I believe something, it may take into account both causality and reasons/evidence, but there is a big difference in terms of epistemology. If a cause is the same as a justification, then we can justify all kinds of weird things. When I talk about justification or a grounding, I'm talking about reasons/evidence, and I think most philosophers are talking about reasons/evidence.Sam26

    A reason, by definition, is a cause, motive, or explanation. It then naturally renders reasoning as the process of providing causes, motives, or explanations for. To justify a belief as true, I then argue, is to provide valid reasoning (a set of valid, i.e. consistent, causes, motives, and/or explanations) for a belief being true.

    The argument can be made that most of our justifications are non-linguistic at any given time. We could linguistically express them, but we generally don’t. It is only when we want to convey these to others or else deliberate upon some issue internally that we make use of language. For example: When playing a sport, one knows to move left instead of right at a certain juncture—for example—without need for linguistic expression of beliefs, truths, or justifications; this while one yet holds a justifiable true belief that so moving is optimally advantageous at the given moment.

    A lesser animal pet can thus be argued to know what its name is—for example—for it holds a pre-linguistic believed truth which is to it justifiable via its experiences of causes and motives (with explanations here being deemed to always be linguistic for the sake of simplicity. Although, when defined as “to make something understandable”, explanations then will not necessarily contain human language: e.g., an animal’s body language (which sometimes can be intentionally deceptive in more intelligent lesser animals) explains its states of mind to other like—and often unlike—animals; or, an animal’s memories of motives and causes will serve to explain to the animal the meaning of some given).

    An animal can then be upheld to know that fire burns—especially when it is an acquired belief of what is true that is itself in keeping with the animal’s set of learned causal relations and motives for actions (i.e., with the animal’s non-linguistic reasoning regarding what is). Here especially thinking of the more intelligent lesser animals: canids, corvids, dolphins, elephants, great apes, etc.

    But here things can get complex very quickly: an ant innately knows its cast and what to do for the colony (just as we innately know how to suckle when birthed, among other forms of our innate knowledge). And in such instances, the issue of JTB becomes murky—although, imo, not necessarily invalid (especially when the property of justification is not conceived as entailing human language: e.g., a human baby is justified in holding a pre-linguistic belief that suckling will satisfy its pangs of thirst/hunger, thereby knowing it must suckle in order to live).

    While I’m at it: Knowledge by acquaintance, broadly defined, can be deemed in similar enough fashions to be believed truth justified by first-person experience. Example: I am justified in holding the believed truth that I am psychologically certain by my experienced feeling that I am—which is itself the valid reason (cause, motive, or explanation) for my belief being true. Thus, one can validly affirm, “I know I’m certain (or happy/sad; etc.).

    as a sub-quote taken from the one above:

    If a [presumed] cause is the same as a justification, then we can justify all kinds of weird things.Sam26

    Yet this is how we get to certain people knowing that the Young Earth model of the universe is true. Or that eliminative materialism is true. What stands in the way is that their specified causes, motives, and explanations for so believing will not be fully coherent and, thereby, will contain contradictions. This, at least, in principle wherever the justified believed truth is in fact false.
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    I get it, I just don't thinks its correct.Cheshire

    I'm always presenting knowledge, by definition. :nerd:
  • Cheshire
    57
    My definition....
  • Cheshire
    57
    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.javra

    If the only knowledge that can be had in practice is 'subjective knowledge' then what is the point of calling it subjective, beyond differentiating it from a bad definition. Ought the knowledge we have be called knowledge and anything else be better qualified. I understand that we can posses ontic knowledge but not necessarily know when we do.

    Here's my attempt at a thought experiment, I don't know that's going to be coherent but I might post it anyway in hopes of highlighting the error in my thinking that makes me subscribe to a non-JTB framework. I might need to borrow a philosophy demon to help me out in this one. Which is oddly fair game.

    At a particular moment in time let's suppose you know 10 things. And then, my philosophy demon informs you that one of the things you know is wrong, but not which of the things you know is wrong. So, you turn and tell me you in fact know 9 things. I argue that, no you know 10 things because you can't tell me which 9 are actually correct or you know zero things because 1 of the ten is wrong and it could be any of the 10.
  • javra
    609
    I'll try to better clarify my position:

    The issue of terms is the very semantic facet that I’m yet trying to better specify. One could just as readily say “X knowledge” and “Y knowledge” instead of the “ontic knowledge” and “subjective knowledge”—but this is far less descriptive.

    The point is that one is a fully conceptual ideal—that is thereby non-operational as knowledge. It presents a knowledge that is infallibly justifiable and infallibly true—this not being possible to obtain in at least current practice. The other form is the only type of knowledge that can be had in practice. This, I’m thinking, is again best exemplified by the criterion of truth; there is the fully conceptual ideal of absolute truth which can never be wrong; and then there is the only operational form of truth that can be found: that which we believe to conform to the former type of ideal truth.

    So—the thought just came to me, with the help of previous posters—scratch “ontic” and “subjective” and replace with “ideal” and “operational”, respectively. (seems to do a better job at describing what’s intended).

    Operational knowledge, then, can only be evaluated via use of ideal knowledge. Without it needing to conform to ideal knowledge, any claim to have a justified believed truth will be knowledge. E.g., I know that it will be sunny today because—i.e., due to the cause of; or, on grounds that—my cat is out in the backyard and there are satellites in the sky. Now, in everyday life, were someone to tell you this, you’d think them to be, well, ignorantly mistaken. To not in fact know that it will be sunny today. But why come to this verdict if it’s a believed truth that has just been justified to the satisfaction of the bearer?

    The answer I’m giving is that this believed truth does not conform to ideal knowledge—here, because it is deemed to not be validly justified. And, hence, is then judged to not be knowledge.

    >>> At this point I should ask: If someone were to tell you it’ll be sunny today for the reasons just mentioned, and whether or not it’ll be sunny today holds some degree of risk/importance for what you do today, would you then yet hold their belief to be knowledge? And, therefore, act in accordance to this known?

    Compare the aforementioned with: I know it will be sunny today because my cat has the odd habit of only going outdoors on days that are perfectly sunny, and he is now outdoors, and because the weather forecaster has picked up from satellites the depiction of weather patterns that nearly always entail that a sunny day is in store.

    Here, while yet not being ideal knowledge—which is perfectly justified to be an absolutely true belief—the given justified believed truth nevertheless does conform to ideal knowledge (to our ideal of what perfect knowledge should be). And, because of this, can now be deemed to be operational knowledge. Hence, here, we will deem this person to in fact know what he is talking about—and will hold no reason to question this knowledge unless we hold other data or reasoning that appear to us to conflict with it.

    So, I’m arguing, we can only appraise what is and is not operational knowledge by appraising whether or not it conforms to ideal knowledge. If it’s falsified in potentially so being, then we deem it to not be knowledge.

    At a particular moment in time let's suppose you know 10 things. And then, my philosophy demon informs you that one of the things you know is wrong, but not which of the things you know is wrong. So, you turn and tell me you in fact know 9 things. I argue that, no you know 10 things because you can't tell me which 9 are actually correct or you know zero things because 1 of the ten is wrong and it could be any of the 10.Cheshire

    It’s an interesting thought experiment, but I think it obfuscates the primary issue. Here, we’re trying to apply (meta-)operational knowledge to what is and is not particular instances of operational knowledge given the circumstances. How do we know if we only know nine or none of the ten formerly thought to be know givens? The question of what knowledge is to begin with still remains.
  • Cheshire
    57
    >>> At this point I should ask: If someone were to tell you it’ll be sunny today for the reasons just mentioned, and whether or not it’ll be sunny today holds some degree of risk/importance for what you do today, would you then yet hold their belief to be knowledge? And, therefore, act in accordance to this known?javra

    It's a bit of straw-man isn't it? If an individual told me something absurd I wouldn't confuse it with the subject of knowledge.

    So, I’m arguing, we can only appraise what is and is not operational knowledge by appraising whether or not it conforms to ideal knowledge. If it’s falsified in potentially so being, then we deem it to not be knowledge.javra

    We have an ideal concept of circles, but we don't call the one's we draw operational circles. Because we never draw ideal circles, so the operator is redundant.

    It’s an interesting thought experiment, but I think it obfuscates the primary issue. Here, we’re trying to apply (meta-)operational knowledge to what is and is not particular instances of operational knowledge given the circumstances.How do we know if we only know nine or none of the ten formerly thought to be know givens? The question of what knowledge is to begin with still remains.javra

    It would obfuscate if in fact the demon was necessary. In actuality, suppose all the things you know. I'm asserting 1 of them is wrong and you don't know which one.

    It was a false choice. In this experiment we know 11 things and 10 of them are subject to error.
  • javra
    609
    It's a bit of straw-man isn't it? If an individual told me something absurd I wouldn't confuse it with the subject of knowledge.Cheshire

    No, not a straw man: Why do you appraise it as nonsense—this if it is a believed truth that is justified to the satisfaction of its bearers?

    We have an ideal concept of circles, but we don't call the one's we draw operational circles. Because we never draw ideal circles, so the operator is redundant.Cheshire

    Yes, because here we clearly know that no drawn circle is an ideal circle—and so there’s no implicit equivocation involved.

    Same with knowledge, from where I stand at least. You do recognize, however, that some hold their knowledge to in fact be infallible? Be this within religions, philosophies, or out in the everyday world. Here, there is equivocation between the operational and the ideal that is confused with unequivocal states of affairs which are in fact obtained ideals.

    It would obfuscate if in fact the demon was necessary. In actuality, suppose all the things you know. I'm asserting 1 of them is wrong and you don't know which one.Cheshire

    In which case, why should I believe you in lieu of proper justifications for this? Due to an authoritarian commandment?

    It was a false choice. In this experiment we know 11 things and 10 of them are subject to error.Cheshire

    Yes. Well, you’re discussing this with a fallibilist—i.e., a philosophical skeptic in the tradition of Cicero and Hume, among others (not Pyrrhonian and not Cartesian): a very broad, but different, matter. As I’ve indicated in my previous posts on this thread, all our held beliefs of what is true are—I argue—susceptible to error, hence to being wrong. Though this in no way entails that they are. Until they’re falsified in so being, there’s no reason to believe that they are wrong.

    Hence, following your specifics, we fallibly know 11 things, all of which are subject to error.

    At any rate, that we know 11 and not 10, 9, or 0 givens still does not answer the question of what knowledge is.
  • Cheshire
    57
    Hence, following your specifics, we fallibly know 11 things, all of which are subject to error.javra

    Not according to this novelty, If you ever prove that things are not subject to error you have to prove that something is subject error. Specifically, the statement in question. So, if you could hypothetically disprove it you in turn prove it. So, 11 things, 10 subject to error.
  • javra
    609
    If you ever prove that things are not subject to error [...]Cheshire

    Right. I hear that Descartes once tried it. Turns out he didn’t succeed. But his methodology also produced such philosophical questions as BIV scenarios. Meanwhile me and a few others are worried about the outcomes of increased global warming, a possible future politics of global Orwellianism, and other such philosophically trite things.

    Look, to be less sarcasticalish, in the absence of proven infallible truths (and, thereby, infallible knowledge), we’re left with what we realistically have. We’re not discussing what knowledge is to aliens in some alternative parallel universe of our imagination, but what it is in the world in which we live.

    I’ll grant that operational knowledge, unlike ideal knowledge, can hold degrees of strength. To intuitively know that the planet is round is not as strong a knowledge as to know so due to well justified empirical evidence—though both are fallible and both could be instances of ideal knowledge. So, if this makes sense to you, then you’re eleventh know could be stronger than the ten knowns it addresses. But you’d have to provide for why this is so.

    Still, I’m not big on when I give replies without having my honest questions answered in turn. A personal quirk wherein I typically find other things I’d rather be doing. Again, why do you find some believed truths justified to the satisfaction of its bearers to be nonsense rather than knowledge?
  • Cheshire
    57
    Still, I’m not big on when I give replies without having my honest questions answered in turn. A personal quirk wherein I typically find other things I’d rather be doing. Again, why do you find some believed truths justified to the satisfaction of its bearers to be nonsense rather than knowledge?javra

    That's fair, I wanted to give your replies more consideration, so I just replied to the aspects I had already thought through. I'll return in kind.
  • javra
    609
    That's fair, I wanted to give your replies more consideration, so I just replied to the aspects I had already thought through. I'll return in kind.Cheshire

    Cheers. We haven’t chatted before and it’s sometimes fuzzy what the other’s character is like. But, yea, if you can find a viable alternative account of what knowledge is—this as per the question asked—or else find faults with my reasoning, I’d love to hear bout it. Nice talking with you, btw.
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    A reason, by definition, is a cause, motive, or explanation. It then naturally renders reasoning as the process of providing causes, motives, or explanations for. To justify a belief as true, I then argue, is to provide valid reasoning (a set of valid, i.e. consistent, causes, motives, and/or explanations) for a belief being true.javra

    There is an important distinction that needs to be made in reference to justifying a belief by giving reasons as opposed to citing a cause for a belief. First, causes happen before their effects in time, i.e., they precede their effects. Reasons on the other hand may or may not precede a particular belief. Second, causes have nothing to do with purpose or intention, but reasons do. Third, reasons can be good or bad reasons, but causes are not good or bad in the same way, i.e., my judgment about a cause is different than my judgment about your reasons. This has to do with intentions, or with choices made by persons.

    Again, as I said before, there are beliefs that are caused, but to justify a belief, as in JTB, we're not referring to causes but good reasons.
  • javra
    609


    In all fairness, the precise definition of reasoning is a fuzzy issue in philosophy, granted. But I’m hoping that some linguistic ambiguity might be the reason for our partial disagreements.

    It might be that you’ve misinterpreted me as saying that to justify something one must provide for the cause of the very belief’s manifestation. This, however, would be a very incorrect interpretation of what I said/intended to say. What I was/am thinking is that justification requires reasoning and that reasoning sometimes consists of contemplated or expressed causal relations.

    To keep this example simple, if person A asks person B to justify the truth to the eight ball being in a particular corner pocket, one valid justification could be as follows: It’s in the specific corner pocket by the cause of person C hitting it with a cue ball on the right. Less formally: it’s there because person C hit it with the cue ball.

    Of course there are countless other ways to justify this, such as by having person B take a look into the corner pocket. But each different form of possible justification would likely be best suited to different particular contextual factors, such as that of why person A want’s to know.

    If it’s a linguistic ambiguity that is the principle reason for our current disagreements, then our current disagreements have been caused by a linguistic ambiguity. In this case, the reason equates to that which has caused—and not to a motive, intention, etc. To justify the truth of our current disagreements, one could provide data to some other. But where this is not feasible, an alternative means of justifying this truth is by the causal reasoning just mentioned, by specifying that a linguistic ambiguity was the cause for it.

    More complexly, since it’s the first thing that now comes to mind, to justify that change is real and not unreal as per the conclusion of Zeno’s paradoxes, data of itself will not suffice. So, here, one could try to justify this truth via causal reasoning: e.g., awareness, which is ever changing, is the reason, the cause, for Zeno’s being at all familiar with his paradoxes—for his being at all familiar with what logic and reasoning are, for that matter. Hence, due to Zeno’s conclusions being dependent upon awareness’s presence—i.e., due to awareness being a/the cause to the effect of Zeno’s conclusions—Zeno’s conclusion that change is not possible can only be somehow flawed. OK, this does not of itself find any fault with the specific reasoning that he used. But it does provide a valid (regardless of it being to whatever measure imperfect) justification for change being real.

    I’m thinking this could unfold into what is meant by causation. Here, I simply intend the property wherein the existential presence of X (the effect) is determined by Y (the cause)—such that the cause produces the effect in due measure to which the presence of the effect is determined by the cause. It’s on the generalized side as definitions go, but it does encapsulate efficient causation fairly well, imo. This delineation can apply to physical entities but is in no way limited to physicality. Example: my thought of a freshly cut lemon causes me—is the reason for—my unexpected extra salivation; for, in this case, the presence of a watery mouth has been determined by the thought of a freshly cut lemon.

    Again, I’m not saying that all reasoning consists of causal reasoning, but that some of it does—to me, a fairly good portion. And we justify things by use of reasoning—including, at least at times, that of causal reasoning.

    If disagreement persist, I’m honestly unclear as to the reasons (not motives, but causes). So I’ll stop here and see what replies I get.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    I am drawing and maintaining the crucial distinction between belief and reports thereof. JTB is about reports thereof. I am claiming that well-grounded true belief exists prior to language.

    Since offering one's ground for belief does not make the belief well-grounded, that should tell us that a belief does not necessarily need argued for in order for it to be justified. The same is the case with a belief being true. It need not be argued for in order to be true.

    One need not know that they know in order to know that touching fire caused pain.

    Seems to me that all of the valid problems regarding JTB are dissolved by virtue of getting thought and belief right to begin with.

    Blah, blah, blah...
  • Sam26
    1.1k
    What I was/am thinking is that justification requires reasoning and that reasoning sometimes consists of contemplated or expressed causal relations.javra

    I understand, but I think this is an error. I was trying to point out that reasoning is separate from causality because it involves intention and choice. Causality, as I see it, is quite separate in terms of reasoning, but not separate in terms of some beliefs. Not all beliefs are a matter of reason. However, the beliefs I'm specifically referring to, are those beliefs that are connected with JTB.

    Also, there are no prelinguistic JTBs, but there are prelinguistic beliefs. Justification is a linguistic endeavor, and always has been. There is no medium for justification apart from language. It necessarily involves others within a linguistic setting.
  • javra
    609
    I understand, but I think this is an error.Sam26

    Then illustrate how none of the three examples I provided for justification via causal reasoning is in fact a form of valid justification. Otherwise, if any of my examples of justification are valid, they prove my position's validity.

    Also, there are no prelinguistic JTBs, but there are prelinguistic beliefs. Justification is a linguistic endeavor, and always has been. There is no medium for justification apart from language. It necessarily involves others within a linguistic setting.Sam26

    What you’re saying is mainstream. Right up there with all concepts being dependent upon language, rather than vice versa. But I disagree with this popular believed truth that you too uphold. To get a better understanding of your stance:

    1) If the pre-linguistic child cannot discern via reasoning was is true from what is false by means of some form of implicit, non-linguistic justification applicable to its various empirical experiences and imaginations, then how—in your opinion—can such child come to know any particular language to begin with?

    2) When we are not linguistically justifying out beliefs to ourselves or to others, do we know anything? If you answer that we do, how so? (Remembering of a linguistic justification seems to me to count as an instance of consciously apprehended linguistic justification for something—so I’m not here addressing recollections.)

    Our views are likely to differ even after you provide answers for these questions, but I am sincerely interested in how you view the world in this regard.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    Who would deny that when a creature is learning that fire hurts when touched that that creature's belief is not well-grounded?

    Learning how to use language is experience, as is getting burned. Why privilege the former and not the latter?

    Is it more important that one be able to talk about the reasons they believe something or other, or is it more important that those reasons are good ones; that they warrant belief?
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    The act of justification does not make a belief well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the criterion for being justified. The act of justification is unnecessary for the belief to be well-grounded.
  • javra
    609


    Not sure who you’re addressing this to, but so it doesn’t go un-replied:

    Once you get to the roundabout point you address, the ensuing issue is:

    >>> How does a belief become well-grounded in the absence of actively manifesting language.

    For example, what makes surprise—be it on the part of an intelligent lesser animal, a human infant, or an adult human—warranted and, thus, well-grounded?

    Surprise is the act of finding our concepts of what is true to be unwarranted—this typically as they apply to expectations of what was, is, or will be, expectations assumed to be well-grounded. We adults will often linguistically warrant—i.e., linguistically justify—our surprise by explaining that we had good reason to think we knew that which we then discovered we didn’t. All the same, the act of being surprised precedes any and all linguistic justifications for so being. It is entwined with non-linguistic evaluations of what in fact is. Hence, surprise for the animal or toddler, for example, is the expression of a discovery assumed to be well-grounded that that which has been so far assumed to be warranted/well-grounded in fact isn’t.

    Or, alternatively, what to a specific (intelligent) lesser animal or toddler warrants—makes well-grounded—that a specific sound is what they are intentionally called by? That the sound is made in representation of their personal being?

    It certainly isn’t linguistic justification via linguistically classified abstract concepts. But it is, I uphold, a non-linguistic means of evaluating what in fact is from what isn’t, one that makes use of, at least, a very rudimentary reasoning—a far less developed reasoning that nevertheless remains true to the laws of thought.

    Hence, my current position: the non/pre-linguistic believed truth is thereby believed well-grounded via some system of non-linguistic justification*. One which—among more intelligent sapience which adult humans are—becomes expressible via linguistic means and, thereby, certainly vastly more complex (by comparison to infants and to lesser intelligent animals). Yet one which—as we all experience when not linguistically justifying our beliefs and actions—does not stand out consciously as do our linguistic expressions of concepts. … But this, I acknowledge, gets a little deeper into hypotheticals of how the mind works (ones that are in keeping with biological evolution); all this likely not being a proper subject for this thread.

    * By “justification” I here roughly intend “to reckon or surmise that that concerned is warranted due to interrelations between obtained data and, hence, due to some form of reasoning, be the reasoning linguistic or not (with “warrant” as verb here roughly meaning: to guarantee as true). Please let me know if this intended concept is better expressed by a term other than that of “justify”, as in “to evidence just/correct/right”. I’ll then use that term instead, if it indeed is more fitting of the concept.

    As a heads up, I’m currently in no position to properly argue all of this stuff out. Just presenting it here as my upheld current opinion—which I hope I’ve to some small degree justified. All the same, the matter of explaining the occurrence of surprise in non/pre-linguistic beings still seems to me to be pertinent to the issue of well-grounded beliefs being knowledge.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k


    The issue I've been at pains to point out goes unnoticed more often than not. Treating the terms "justified" and "well-grounded" as equally interchangeable synonyms is a mistake if one also holds that being justified requires justification. It's a mistake because being well-grounded does not. That is always the case. Always. I mean think about it...

    The act of justification is when a speaker provides the ground for his/her belief statement to another person. It can be the case that the ground is insufficient/inadequate. They would be insufficient and/or inadequate prior to being given to another, and they would be insufficient and/or inadequate after. The same is true of ground that is sufficient. From this common sense understanding we can glean something significant about the notion of justification.

    The act of justification is not required for well-grounded belief.
  • creativesoul
    3.5k
    There is no way to sensibly talk about pre-linguistic justification. There is also no need.
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