How can you know that you can't know?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.

How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#1  Postby Toledoroy » April 16th, 2017, 10:32 am

How can you know that you can't know?
This is a question I'm exploring deelply lately for two reasons.
First is that when trying to discover new knowledge it seems imperative to be able to judge whether the thing you're looking for is possible to know. For obvious reasons, as that there's no point spending time and effort on trying to figure out things which can't be understood.
Second, is the reason that thinking about the unthinkable seems to be closely related to the mental phenomenon we call Anxiety.

For example, if you try to wrap our head around a paradox, or an infinite loop, and really force the mind to find a solution to a problem which has no solution, the feeling you'd get while frying your mental CPU is what AFAIK is a sort of anxiety.

So as I started looking deeper and deeper into this subject I came up with these two thinking patterns, paradoxes and infinite thinking loops, which will always lead to no result. Paradoxes I'm sure you're all familiar with and there's no need to elaborate. As to infinite loops, what I mean is thoughts in the pattern of "trying to think what do they think about what you think?" or "If I want to go I better stay, but if I want to stay I better go."

Can you think of any other similar thinking patterns which would never result in a conclusion?
User avatar
Toledoroy
 
Posts: 25 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

How can you know that you can't know?



Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login
 

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#2  Postby LuckyR » April 20th, 2017, 11:54 am

Toledoroy wrote:How can you know that you can't know?
This is a question I'm exploring deelply lately for two reasons.
First is that when trying to discover new knowledge it seems imperative to be able to judge whether the thing you're looking for is possible to know. For obvious reasons, as that there's no point spending time and effort on trying to figure out things which can't be understood.
Second, is the reason that thinking about the unthinkable seems to be closely related to the mental phenomenon we call Anxiety.

For example, if you try to wrap our head around a paradox, or an infinite loop, and really force the mind to find a solution to a problem which has no solution, the feeling you'd get while frying your mental CPU is what AFAIK is a sort of anxiety.

So as I started looking deeper and deeper into this subject I came up with these two thinking patterns, paradoxes and infinite thinking loops, which will always lead to no result. Paradoxes I'm sure you're all familiar with and there's no need to elaborate. As to infinite loops, what I mean is thoughts in the pattern of "trying to think what do they think about what you think?" or "If I want to go I better stay, but if I want to stay I better go."

Can you think of any other similar thinking patterns which would never result in a conclusion?


Many if not most "paradoxes" are really syntactical wordplay, that are just as susceptible to mental manipulation as any other issue/problem and thus are great for exercising one's mind. Your post reminds me of Star Trek episodes where Captain Kirk physically destroys a future computer by talking to it... Illogical...
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
LuckyR
 
Posts: 1937 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#3  Postby Toledoroy » April 20th, 2017, 1:29 pm

LuckyR wrote:Many if not most "paradoxes" are really syntactical wordplay, that are just as susceptible to mental manipulation as any other issue/problem and thus are great for exercising one's mind. Your post reminds me of Star Trek episodes where Captain Kirk physically destroys a future computer by talking to it... Illogical...


People can be destroyed by irrationalities as well, or at least become very angry :)
User avatar
Toledoroy
 
Posts: 25 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#4  Postby LuckyR » April 20th, 2017, 1:35 pm

Toledoroy wrote:
LuckyR wrote:Many if not most "paradoxes" are really syntactical wordplay, that are just as susceptible to mental manipulation as any other issue/problem and thus are great for exercising one's mind. Your post reminds me of Star Trek episodes where Captain Kirk physically destroys a future computer by talking to it... Illogical...


People can be destroyed by irrationalities as well, or at least become very angry :)


Various stressors don't create mental illness, though they can make preexisting mental illness worse
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
LuckyR
 
Posts: 1937 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#5  Postby Toledoroy » April 20th, 2017, 1:56 pm

LuckyR wrote:Various stressors don't create mental illness, though they can make preexisting mental illness worse


How does mental illness relates to this?
User avatar
Toledoroy
 
Posts: 25 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#6  Postby Spectrum » April 21st, 2017, 3:10 am

This issue is no other than 'Meno's Paradox'.


If it is a contradiction, it is certain one cannot know it.

What is knowledge to humans is always known within a box and in all cases it is a human-made box.

What is known is always things-by-ourselves [with a box] but never thing-in-itself [without a box].

So whatever one needs to know, build a box and if there enough consensus it will be accepted as 'knowledge' within the group and that box.

The question is, is that supposedly 'knowledge' [information] objective?

The Scientific box generate objective knowledge [i.e. verifiable, repeatable, testable, etc.] while the theistic box make illusion [God] as if real which cannot be empirically tested.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.
Spectrum
 
Posts: 3801 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#7  Postby LuckyR » April 21st, 2017, 2:18 pm

Toledoroy wrote:
LuckyR wrote:Various stressors don't create mental illness, though they can make preexisting mental illness worse


How does mental illness relates to this?


The OP mentioned anxiety in wording that implied an Anxiety Disorder as well as "frying your mental CPU".
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
LuckyR
 
Posts: 1937 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#8  Postby Toledoroy » April 21st, 2017, 2:32 pm

LuckyR wrote:The OP mentioned anxiety in wording that implied an Anxiety Disorder as well as "frying your mental CPU".


Sorry, didn't mean the disorder, just a temporary state of anxiety.
User avatar
Toledoroy
 
Posts: 25 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#9  Postby Felix » April 21st, 2017, 4:48 pm

Can you think of any other similar thinking patterns which would never result in a conclusion?


There is the the double bind, which has the logical form of the statement "I am lying," which is false if true and true if false. Between parents and children, it would take the form of a command to do what will be acceptable only if it is done voluntarily or spontaneously, as in "you must love me."

Gregory Bateson observed that schizophrenic children were commonly found in families that routinely used this psychological trick on them (perhaps unintentionally). Alan Watts observed that the double bind is characteristic of religious injunctions: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," "Be unselfish," "You must have grace; you cannot get it by seeking, you cannot get it by nonseeking," etc., but that it can also be used as a sort of psychic jui-jitsu to help someone become aware of the absurdity of their mental attitude and lifestyle. In Zen the koan is used for this purpose.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin
Felix
 
Posts: 1744 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: How can you know that you can't know?

Post Number:#10  Postby Toledoroy » April 22nd, 2017, 3:43 am

Felix wrote:There is the the double bind.


Perfect Felix, Thank you! That's exactly what I was looking for.
User avatar
Toledoroy
 
Posts: 25 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: October 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates


Return to Epistemology and Metaphysics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST