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  1. #21
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Suppose that before time t Bluewing believes P is true, and after t Bluewing knows P is true. Why is P more reliable after t?

    Would P let Bluewing down before t? Would P feel obliged to be more reliable after t? What does the history of Bluewing's subjective experiences have to do with P (supposing P is not about his experiences)? And why would those experiences be important?
    Statements don't feel obliged, Lee. Only people can feel obliged.


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Okay, so you're saying: if it's already right but we haven't verified it, it's useless. Verification might be useless to that specific event, but does that mean it's useless in general?
    I am saying that knowledge doesn't do anything. If I believe that P is true and it is actually true, then verifying it, justifying it, confirming it, or whatever else, will not make it more true, or more reliable, or more accurate.

    Success in action depends upon choosing right, that is, predicting truths, not on confidence, certitude, or justifications. Knowledge might as well not exist (and I do not think it does). Everyone can continue as they were, more or less.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Statements don't feel obliged, Lee. Only people can feel obliged.
    That's my point. Even talking about ideas as though they can be reliable is unnecessarily anthropomorphising them. When we say that someone is reliable, we mean they can be trusted and try their best to live up to their word. Sometimes it's as though people think that an propositions will become more reliable, more likely to come through and be true more often, if only they invest their confidence or certitude in it.

    Most bizarre indeed.

    Propositions don't care though, and our belief, however strong, does not make them true (another interesting use of language. Note how earlier in this thread Bluewing wrote about his hypothesised Chinese depression of 2040 as though his documentation of it in 2041 made it true).
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #24
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Success in action depends upon choosing right, that is, predicting truths, not on confidence, certitude, or justifications. Knowledge might as well not exist (and I do not think it does). Everyone can continue as they were, more or less.
    Yeah, but what I'm telling you is that success in action isn't the only measure of value. You're saying that it's valueless because your ideas don't matter if your choice is the same. Fine. But your future choices and beliefs are going to be affected by the information you have now, which you can gain through verification. You use information to calibrate and optimize decisions you make later. Therefore, it has value.

  5. #25
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Except he wasn't wrong; he was right. The point is that once he is right, it doesn't matter if he has knowledge or not. Knowledge doesn't do anything which true belief doesn't do quite a well.

    All that you have stated is that false belief is not as useful as true belief (and by extension, justified true belief), but so what? Did anyone say otherwise?
    One question. Do you think it is easier to stand by your true belief if you have a rational argument to support it, rather than if it is simply a castle in the air?

    For example, do you think it is easier for me to be confident in my belief that if I take I-94 to Chicago, I will arrive there if I have studied the map and based on that see reasons to believe that 94 leads to Chicago, rather than if someone I dont know told me that if I take 94 I will end up in Chicago, and for some strange reason I believe in this?

    In essence, I do agree that what is useful is the true belief in itself, not the process of reasoning that we have used to support such a belief. However, it is much easier to hold on to a belief that you have supported with argument than to a belief that you have not supported with argument.

    Thus, if the utility is knowledge in itself, our goal should be to hold on to this knowledge, supporing what we know with rational argument helps us to remain in tune with our true beliefs. Thus, the reasoning process that we use to support our beliefs is not an end in itself, but means to an end.

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Suppose that before time t Bluewing believes P is true, and after t Bluewing knows P is true. Why is P more reliable after t?

    Would P let Bluewing down before t? Would P feel obliged to be more reliable after t? What does the history of Bluewing's subjective experiences have to do with P (supposing P is not about his experiences)? And why would those experiences be important?

    This goes back to our earlier example concerning economical predictions.

    Suppose an economist has a formula to predict that there wil be a depression in China at 2040. Today he can say that he knows this because he has good reasons to believe in this. At 2041, he could say he knows it better as he has more and better reasons to believe that a depression would occur in 2040 in China.

    Thus knowledge is to be equated with propositions that could allow a rational person to be confident in his beliefs. On this note, a blind guess should not be considered knowledge because it does not offer a rational person a reason to believe in the proposition we have in mind.

    Therefore the term justified true belief is inseparable from the term knowledge, they are synonymous.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Yeah, but what I'm telling you is that success in action isn't the only measure of value. You're saying that it's valueless because your ideas don't matter if your choice is the same. Fine. But your future choices and beliefs are going to be affected by the information you have now, which you can gain through verification. You use information to calibrate and optimize decisions you make later. Therefore, it has value.
    Of course, but only if the experiences with which you calibrate and optimise decisions are true (or more precisely, your interpretations of your experiences are true). If they are not, then "justifying" them by such experiences might make things worse.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #27
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Of course, but only if the experiences with which you calibrate and optimise decisions are true (or more precisely, your interpretations of your experiences are true). If they are not, then "justifying" them by such experiences might make things worse.
    Eh. I think you're playing with the word justification now. Justification should be thought of more as testing rather than straight justifying or rationalizing. If you have a belief, testing your belief (justifying or verifying) is the only way to distinguish between true beliefs and false beliefs, which you've already conceded have merit.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    One question. Do you think it is easier to stand by your true belief if you have a rational argument to support it, rather than if it is simply a castle in the air?
    Why would I want to make it easier for what I believe to be true? You are beginning to sound like a theologian.

    If I wanted to make it easier to stand by my beliefs, then I could do so easily. I could, for example, dismiss all contrary evidence as fallible, inconclusive, or reinterpret it away. Then I might decide that contradictions are acceptable after all, and that truth is not very important. My beliefs are whatever they are, cannot be held to any standard, and thus, are easier to "stand by."
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #29
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Why would I want to make it easier for what I believe to be true? You are beginning to sound like a theologian.."


    The answer to that question is, as I have interpreted, your claim was the only thing that has utility is knowledge in itself. (Perhaps I misinterpreted what you meant). As for example, if I want to get from point A to point B, knowledge of how I could do so is what will help me the most.


    Therefore, if we are sure that we have knowledge, and we know that knowledge is of foremost utility, we should hold on to it.

    However, in order to make sure that what we regard is knowledge truly is knowledge, we must logically analyze the matter first.

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    If I wanted to make it easier to stand by my beliefs, then I could do so easily. I could, for example, dismiss al contrary evidence as fallible, inconclusive. Then I might decide that contradictions are acceptable after all, and that truth is not very important. My beliefs are whatever they are and cannot be held to any standard, thus are easier to "stand by."

    The problem with this is, you would not be doing logical analysis of your beliefs, therefore you do not know if what you regard as knowledge truly is knowledge. Because of this, it does not make sense for you to hold on to your beliefs at this point.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  10. #30
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I like these threads. We should start a new subforum in Philosophy called "Lee takes a ridiculous position that he doesn't believe and justifies it for hours to your chagrin."

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