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  1. #11
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    The problem here isn't outer versus inner, but knowledge versus justification.

    David Hume proved that justification cannot be external. His error was concluding that empirical certainty is therefore impossible.

    Applied to this case, you're saying that justification is both external and internal. I realize that you didn't mention that, only "knowledge" and "information." But what if justification is desirable, and what if it has to be either internal or external and not both?

    You're right in that knowledge and information are necessary epistemic conditions of certainty. But they are not sufficient. With only external information, your internal knowedge is reduced to uncertainty, or even dreams in the vat-brain that only thinks the information is externally sourced. Without some form of
    a priori justification, you can't even have "external" and "internal" distinctions.
    Right, but that "a priori" knowledge is in conjunction with other processes which it cannot be removed from. I'm suggesting the demarcation between a priori and a posteriori is q bit of a false dichotomy.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    Right, but that "a priori" knowledge is in conjunction with other processes which it cannot be removed from. I'm suggesting the demarcation between a priori and a posteriori is q bit of a false dichotomy.
    I don't believe knowledge is processed information. And that idea isn't necessary to provide justification.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #13
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    i must admit,

    i have no earthly idea what this conversation is about.

  4. #14
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I don't believe knowledge is processed information. And that idea isn't necessary to provide justification.
    I'm not arguing that per se. I'm saying causation is non-linear.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    I'm not arguing that per se. I'm saying causation is non-linear.
    Causation is a non-linear what?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #16
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    That site is really confusing and hard to read. The color scheme is also not very comfortable.

    With that said, I think I agree with it.

    I seem to get what it says about a priori, of a given definition for 'a priori'.

    Edit:
    Also I'd like to point out that the most a priori math is 1+1 = 11.

    That's not a joke, that's unary notation, probably the first math system ever made. If you have a 1 and a 1, you have 11 - it's a tally of the number of 1's. Similarly, 11 + 111 = 11111

    Unary is vary basic and easy to grasp. Even children often get it immediately.

    The second easiest notation is binary. 1+1 = 10. Binary makes multiplication easy to understand because the only significant operations are 1*1 and 1*0 with obvious results.

    For example
    10*10 = 100

  7. #17
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    That site is really confusing and hard to read. The color scheme is also not very comfortable.

    With that said, I think I agree with it.

    I seem to get what it says about a priori, of a given definition for 'a priori'.
    The logical a priori, the mathematical a priori, and the ethical a priori.

    The "logical" is the easiest to get, perhaps that's why Owl started with it. Logic is not justified or induced empirically, therefore it is a priori knowledge.

    The "mathematical" is a bit harder, but readily approachable through his examples. It depends on the problem of induction, in which an impossibly infinite number of examples would be required to necessitate a true mathematical proposition. A single exception alone is sufficient to negate its universality and necessity. But universality and necessity are the very definition of a priori knowledge, and moreover, of mathematics.

    The "ethical" consists of a much longer argument. It revolves around the is/ought dilemma, or, how to derive a moral "ought" from an ontological "is." The "is" in this case is equivalent to the empirically inductive form of justification mentioned above, and the same problem develops. Owl's form of proof in this section is by modus tollendo ponens; in other words, P is false therefore Q is true by default (viz., ethics must have an a priori justification).

    [A bit edited for clarity.]
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  8. #18
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @Mal+

    Yeah it makes sense when I can get around the formatting.

    This is kind of nice really because a while ago I didn't really believe in a priori knowledge, but it just turns out that I didn't understand what a priori really is.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    @Mal+

    Yeah it makes sense when I can get around the formatting.

    This is kind of nice really because a while ago I didn't really believe in a priori knowledge, but it just turns out that I didn't understand what a priori really is.
    Those old sites always have bad formatting, don't they? Well I'm glad one person here got something out of that page. The part on universals is also pretty good.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #20
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Gah!

    Where knowledge is defined as justified true belief, a priori knowledge is the set of true beliefs that are justified without appeal to sensory experience. In contradistinction, a posteriori knowledge is the set of true beliefs that depend on sensory experience for justification. In this view, all true beliefs must be justified to count as knowledge--the a priori/a posteriori distinction concerns the manner of such justification.

    The true belief that every bachelor is an unmarried man can be justified without needing to round-up all bachelors to see if they're unmarried, because the fact just follows from the meaning of 'bachelor'. This is a classic example of a priori knowledge. However, a priori knowledge need not always be as trivial as this. For example, consider the true belief that no highest prime number exists. Few people find this obvious, but it follows as surely from the nature of numbers as being unmarried follows from being a bachelor. Certainly, an infinite set of prime numbers is not something we can experience via the senses, but we nonetheless know it must exist.

    For a long time, the big controversy in philosophy was whether there exists synthetic a priori knowledge. Both examples of a priori knowledge mentioned above are analytic rather than synthetic, i.e. they must be true on pain of contradiction. In contrast, a priori synthetic knowledge is conceivably false but still justified without appeal to sensory experience. This was important because many of our fundamental beliefs about reality are synthetic but appear impossible to justify with sensory experience. For example, a principle of induction seemed indispensable for the justification of scientific theories, yet neither was it true on pain of contradiction nor knowable a posteriori. The problem then, was that if the principle of induction is justifiable, then it must be justifiable a priori, and that would require a priori synthetic knowledge.

    In any case, the a priori/a posteriori distinction is not so popular these days. It has been relegated to a pragmatic distinction rather than two fundamentally different kinds of knowledge. The main reason for this has to do with the underdetermination problem. When confronted with a mismatch between our expectations and experience, we must have erred somewhere, but where? The recalcitrant evidence entails that at least some of our assumptions are false, but the arrow of refutation doesn't point to anything in particular. Perhaps, then, so-called a priori knowledge is at fault. For example, there is no purely logical reason why we should not decide to "falsify" the law of excluded middle and reject classical logic in favour of intuitionist logic. In this case, the strong distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge is dissolved.

    My own take is that the a priori/a posteriori distinction is mostly, but not entirely, pragmatic. However, my reasons are quite different from the more popular argument mentioned above. In fact, I am an non-justificationist. That is, I do not believe that true beliefs are justifiable at all, in any way, shape, or form. Strictly speaking, I deny the existence of both a priori and a posteriori knowledge. Indeed, the most interesting things about knowledge, in my view, are not our subjective beliefs at all, but the objective occurrence of knowledge as an emergent and evolving process.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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