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  1. #11
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Well, seeing as we can only ever be certain of the truth of a theory in degrees, precluding knowing what's absolutely "the truth", it seems more logical to me to avoid wrongful thinking.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #12

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    Well, considering that I have changed my own beliefs many times, and considering that I have seen others change their beliefs many times. I think it is definitely possible to do so.

    I think beliefs should be flexible. How else can one function in new environments?

    Epistemology is something I think about often.

    As far as avoiding falsehood, and pursuing truth, a qualitative understanding (as is the case with many things) will be superficial at best. I think the main issue that most philosophers have is that they eschew the richer styles of thinking given by quantitative reasoning.

    If the only way you can model something is in an "either this or that or something in between", you can do mental gymnastics for ages and never conclude anything meaningful. Consider how much more information a sliding scale (with an ability do distinguish values on the scale) gives you as opposed the the binary or ternary thinking style one has while using words alone.

    "Fuzzy Logic" or "Fuzzy Sets" may not be absolutely necessary for thought, but it certainly makes thinking easier. Yes, a continuum, can, in some sense, be represented through a finite configuration of symbols. But that is not the point.

    Bayesian inference, statistical reasoning, stochastic modeling, ... all give much more rich theories of epistemology in a few sentences than the meaningless pages of mental gymnastics I have found in books on philosophy.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  3. #13
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Well, seeing as we can only ever be certain of the truth of a theory in degrees, precluding knowing what's absolutely "the truth", it seems more logical to me to avoid wrongful thinking.
    Yeah. I tend to err on this side. I can believe everything in a way, but it's complicated. To be on that side of things you have to be aware of proper boundaries and conditions and disclaimers and all that, like certain things exist only in people's minds, and having explanations for how things would work and such.

  4. #14
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Well, considering that I have changed my own beliefs many times, and considering that I have seen others change their beliefs many times. I think it is definitely possible to do so.

    I think beliefs should be flexible. How else can one function in new environments?

    Epistemology is something I think about often.

    As far as avoiding falsehood, and pursuing truth, a qualitative understanding (as is the case with many things) will be superficial at best. I think the main issue that most philosophers have is that they eschew the richer styles of thinking given by quantitative reasoning.

    If the only way you can model something is in an "either this or that or something in between", you can do mental gymnastics for ages and never conclude anything meaningful. Consider how much more information a sliding scale (with an ability do distinguish values on the scale) gives you as opposed the the binary or ternary thinking style one has while using words alone.

    "Fuzzy Logic" or "Fuzzy Sets" may not be absolutely necessary for thought, but it certainly makes thinking easier. Yes, a continuum, can, in some sense, be represented through a finite configuration of symbols. But that is not the point.

    Bayesian inference, statistical reasoning, stochastic modeling, ... all give much more rich theories of epistemology in a few sentences than the meaningless pages of mental gymnastics I have found in books on philosophy.
    Yeah, I know. Sometimes in class I'll just get to the point where I think people are wasting their time and they should get out into the world and stop gazing at their navels. I haven't gotten that far into things, but my intuition and common sense says that not everything can be put into language and analytical terms, so binaries and continuum are only so useful. I say the answer is almost always either both or something off the scale. There's always an option C- you just have to find it.

  5. #15
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    I think every bit of 'knowledge' that we have is all based on perception, and as such, even what we 'objectively know' is, at least on some level, a belief; this is because we don't even know if we're perceiving our world with the right 'clarity of vision'.

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