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how do we "know" something?

Started by kevin, July 24, 2022, 04:59:43 PM

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kevin

there have been some useful posts lately here on the forum from eyeshaveit that deal with "knowing" things about god.

whats the answer to the genel question as to how we know things?

what does it mean to know something?

when i say i know something, do i mean that i believe what a credible authority told me is factual?

do i mean that i believe something to be true because it appears likeliest through persuasion, logic, or reason? (i am distinguishing deduction from induction and rhetoric here)

do i mean that i know something to be true because i have personal experience that demonstrates that no other explanation is possible?

i know, for example, that there is a cup of water on the desk next to me. i filled the cup, put it there, and can see it now. of course, i may be hallucinating, but if i cannot trust my senses to demonstrate that the cup of water exists, then there is no way to know anything about anything,and so questions about knowledge become meaningless.

what does it mean to know something? what does it imply?
dare to know.

Kiahanie

Quote from: kevin on July 24, 2022, 04:59:43 PM••••
what does it mean to know something?

when i say i know something, do i mean that i believe what a credible authority told me is factual?

do i mean that i believe something to be true because it appears likeliest through persuasion, logic, or reason? (i am distinguishing deduction from induction and rhetoric here)

do i mean that i know something to be true because i have personal experience that demonstrates that no other explanation is possible?
••••

Yes. I might even be able to think of other ways of knowing.
"If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet ... maybe we could understand something." --Federico Fellini....."Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation" -Jellaludin Rumi,

kevin

dare to know.

Kiahanie

#3
Quote from: Kiahanie on July 24, 2022, 05:15:15 PM••••.
Truth is to be found in relationships between facts, not in the facts themselves. Knowing can mean more than accepting a fact to the exclusion of all other possibilities.

There is the "knowing" that comes from accepting as true the one acknowledged "possibility" of many that is overwhelmingly most probable. Gray knowledge. The personal experience that this is the only highly probable explanation.

This is knowledge we act on, the knowledge that while it is possible my steering linkage will fail, I know it will not fail if I make this sharp turn.

There is knowledge that does not so much explain experience as frame it, providing perspective. A lot of religious knowledge is like that, particularly religious mythologies.

In this vein we would not be discussing the truth of Babel in terms of dates and "isness" but in terms of what the mythology conveyed to the people of the myth. Therein lies whatever truth is to be found in that myth.
"If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet ... maybe we could understand something." --Federico Fellini....."Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation" -Jellaludin Rumi,

kevin

#4
Quote from: Kiahanie on July 24, 2022, 09:45:13 PMThis is knowledge we act on, the knowledge that while it is possible my steering linkage will fail, I know it will not fail if I make this sharp turn.

i would not be able to know that, because i have had steering linkages fail without warning. i never know that my steering linkage is sound, and just trust to probability that is okay to use. likewise i have wheels break off my truck and go rolling down the road, twice. and come loose but not break off perhaps five times.

so every time i feel a shimmy i look in the mirrors to see if i have all my wheels, because i never know whether they are still there.


Quote There is knowledge that does not so much explain experience as frame it, providing perspective. A lot of religious knowledge is like that, particularly religious mythologies.

In this vein we would not be discussing the truth of Babel in terms of dates and "isness" but in terms of what the mythology conveyed to the people of the myth. Therein lies whatever truth is to be found in that myth.

^^^this i dont understand.

to me, "knowing" something is separate from it being true or factual, which is a distinction that i dont understand how to make. for example, i may know that i put my pencil in a drawer. i am completely certain of it. yet i actually put it somewhere else.

so i can "know" things that arent factual, although a way that i would rather frame it is that i thought that knew it, but was actually mistaken.

QuoteKnowing can mean more than accepting a fact to the exclusion of all other possibilities.

^^^this doesnt make sense to me. i equate knowledge with factuality, and dont distinguish truth.
dare to know.

Kiahanie

Thanks. I understand why it does not make sense to you.
"If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet ... maybe we could understand something." --Federico Fellini....."Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation" -Jellaludin Rumi,

kevin

well sure

im a hardcore materialist with very black and white views about lots of ideas

its how i compartmentalize reality and the relationships between concepts.

but the idea of "knowing" doesnt have a right or a wrong definition or useage. what somebody "knows" is what they consider a true thing at some level.

i adopt a useage in which i know almost nothing, but work on a pragmatic basis of likelihood.

the only things that i can say i genuinely know are logical relationships. not their premises or conclusions, which may or may not be reasonable, but the manner in which premises lead to a valid or invalid argument of some sort.

knowing anything else is mostly impossible for me.
dare to know.

Kiahanie

Any discussion of knowledge should be seasoned with large portions of humility.
"If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet ... maybe we could understand something." --Federico Fellini....."Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation" -Jellaludin Rumi,

8livesleft

Know: be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.

There's a variance with the amount and type of factual info we require to consider something as "known," from person to person and from topic to topic.

Sometimes, first hand factual information isn't even necessary so long as the argument is compelling enough. And in this case, there's variance of acceptability from person to person and topic to topic. 

It really depends on an individual's value system. 

Generally speaking though, humans are more inclined to require more factual proofs when it comes to their survival. 

Lots of variation when it comes to well-being.