Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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tommarcus
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Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by tommarcus » August 8th, 2018, 11:36 am

Does knowledge have to be perfect in order to be real?

Some maintain that because we are imperfect beings our knowledge is imperfect and therefore we can never truly know anything. If you define knowledge as something that must be absolute and perfect, then tgat position is true. However there is nothing that says that knowledge must be perfect. There can be different shades of knowledge allmof which can be used to gives us a picture of reality. As those shades become clearer so does our knowledge.

Human knowledge can be represented by three concentric circles. In the early stages of human development There was no science or mathematics and there was no philosophy. But there was plenty of superstition and religion. Early cave drawings of prehistoric man reveal that they showed the first vestiges of some kind of spiritual thinking to explain their world. That is all they had, and like Stonehenge, it provided some theory of knowledge of the universe. So religion is one circle.

In the sixth century B.C., the Greeks developed philosophy. They used logic and observation to try and explain their world instead of superstition or religion. But this could not explain all of it. So the circle of philosophy takes a piece out of the religious circle,

Finally when the scientific method is establish by Galileo and his contemporaries, much the explanation of the universe that was previously explained by philosophy was now explaind by science. So a portion of the circle of philosophy was now absorbed by the circle of science.

All three of these circles are part of our knowledge. They work together as opposed to against each other. It is very unlikely that one of the three will ever be completely eliminiated. Therefore our knowledge may be imperfect but also growing.

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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by Fooloso4 » August 8th, 2018, 10:04 pm

tommarcus:
Does knowledge have to be perfect in order to be real?
No, if it did there would be no knowledge.
But there was plenty of superstition and religion.
What are superstition and religion are knowledge of? If superstition is a form of knowledge is there no difference between knowledge and superstition?
… it provided some theory of knowledge of the universe.
This is ambiguous. A theory of knowledge has knowledge as it object. A theory of the universe has the universe as its object. A theory is not knowledge for then any and every theory would be something known, but this blurs the distinction between theory and knowledge as well as the distinction between a correct and incorrect theory.
In the sixth century B.C., the Greeks developed philosophy. They used logic and observation to try and explain their world instead of superstition or religion. But this could not explain all of it.
An unsuccessful attempt to explain something is not knowledge. Thales said that water is the archê of all things. Heraclitus that all things are fire. Anaximenes that all things are air. Empedocles that there are four basic elements, earth, air, fire and water. Democritus that there is only atoms and the void. Anaxagora that there are infinitely divisible elements set in motion by Mind. Parmenides denied motion and change. Heraclitus said all things are flux.
All three of these circles are part of our knowledge. They work together as opposed to against each other. It is very unlikely that one of the three will ever be completely eliminiated.
How does superstitious opinion work together with science? How does the belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old work together with the scientific evidence that refutes this claim?

We have always told ourselves stories, believing them to be true, and treating them as things known, but what we now accept as things known refutes much of what was previously held to be things known. It makes no sense to say that they are all things known. What we take to be known changes over time as does the criteria by which we take them to be things known.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by Hereandnow » August 9th, 2018, 11:14 pm

Fooloso4:
What are superstition and religion are knowledge of? If superstition is a form of knowledge is there no difference between knowledge and superstition?
Or knowledge and superstition are separated by the mere presumption of the one over the other. The judgment that something is superstitious assumes a standard makes this judgment possible, but the question is begged: how does this standard stand up as it does? Is it "closer" to reality being well regarded int his standard? Or is just pragmatically superior, that is, assuming it rather than a competitor solves problems better. I think this to be the rcase, and if pragmatics decides the matter of the distinction between superstition and knowledge, and both serve as pragmatically viable at one time or another, and at some former time when a given superstition was active and influential, or, in some setting past or present in the context of some dynamic individual consciousness the superstition was very important and decisive in thought and judgment, then the criterion for a superstition vs knowledge is undone. In other words, what really matters is not the viability of one over the other in any given period, but the fact that superstition was (or is, in the case of those for whom such things are taken seriously) or even will be functioning AS knowledge. This follows because talk about some immutable knowledge is nonsense, and the matter of what is more pragmatic over competitors is decided indeterminable factors.

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Greta
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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by Greta » August 9th, 2018, 11:57 pm

You've been reading Heidegger again, haven't you, HaN? There's an 80-word sentence embedded within that challenging paragraph. It's not as long as the first sentence of Narciss and Goldmund, nor the intro to one of Mum's stories, but there's a decent flow going on there nonetheless :)

What of those claiming a flat Earth? What of their "knowledge"? Is it "pragmatically superior" to value the knowledge of astronauts over those of flat Earthers, or is it a matter that competing ideas can be closer of further from the actual truth? That is entirely what science is about, testing to establish which claim is closest to the truth. We have a body of knowledge which no doubt could do with some re-interpretation here and there, but there is otherwise no reason to doubt its veracity, only its completeness.

The situation in a nutshell: X says this, Y says that. Okay, let's find out [testing is done] ... sorry Y, the experiments conclusively favoured X ... Not fair! The experiments were rigged! Fake news!

Such is the increasingly postmodern Brave New World approach to truth today, where the Overton window has not only been kicked open, the entire Overton wall has been knocked down. What is truth in such a climate? Whatever the loudest and most aggressive say it is, at least until the flimsy edifices self destruct.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by Hereandnow » August 10th, 2018, 11:09 am

Greta:
You've been reading Heidegger again, haven't you, HaN? There's an 80-word sentence embedded within that challenging paragraph. It's not as long as the first sentence of Narciss and Goldmund, nor the intro to one of Mum's stories, but there's a decent flow going on there nonetheless :)
I knew it was long, and likely a little off putting, but I read through it and it seemed ok so I left it alone.
What of those claiming a flat Earth? What of their "knowledge"? Is it "pragmatically superior" to value the knowledge of astronauts over those of flat Earthers, or is it a matter that competing ideas can be closer of further from the actual truth? That is entirely what science is about, testing to establish which claim is closest to the truth. We have a body of knowledge which no doubt could do with some re-interpretation here and there, but there is otherwise no reason to doubt its veracity, only its completeness.
Modern science is pragmatically superior to the flat earthers' thinking, and it has a stronger knowledge claim. But then, no knowledge claim is THE knowledge claim, and will be duly displaced by the next paradigm, which will be duly displaced and so on (until it is finally realized that knowledge itself is the problem). That makes the flat earth idea one of many displaceables, each having their celebrated moment in some culture's zeitgeist. Sure, now we no longer call X knowledge, and there are uncountable things that could be X....

Also, there is the argument, and this may seem a bit odd, that there is only one reality that is confirmed in a nondiscursive and intuitive way, and that is the self--the egoic center, the unseen actuality that endures when all other knowledge claims are decimated by inquiry. Knowledge as a social concept is about shared thinking, and it is argued by many that this IS knowledge, and I would agree: when I look upon myself, I am a mirror of the social media, using concepts and behavior i learned. I wonder, even as I write these words, where I begin and where conditioning ends. As you likely know, postmodern thinking simply allows the self to fall away, here. But I am a Kierkegaardian: the self is the truly real, and I find the evidence for this in the nature of being a self in and of itself. But to the point regarding knowledge: since I make this strong statement about what is Real, and I think there IS something Real in what Kierkegaard calls the eternal present, then the social concept of knowledge finds its mark: the self. All else is, as K would say, guesswork (i.e., a body of evolving ideas that cannot find their home). This doesn't change the social nature of knowledge, but it does admit that such knowledge can discover, through its own utility, what is not social at all. If this is acknowledged as the Real, then all knowldge claims have their critical grounding, which is the self. 'X is true' means x is true in the context of a self, and it is the proximity to the self, one could say (Heidegger talks of regions of though that becomes proximal when summoned) ,that determines true knowledge.

I know this is a bit convoluted, but I am pressed for time right now and can't give it the conciseness it needs.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 10th, 2018, 11:15 am

tommarcus wrote:
August 8th, 2018, 11:36 am
Does knowledge have to be perfect in order to be real?
Knowledge is ideas.
Reality is concrete.
Ideas are not concrete
You question is not meaningful.
You are asking if chalk were edible would it be cheese.

tommarcus
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Re: Does Knoweldge Have To Be Perfect In Order To Be Real

Post by tommarcus » August 14th, 2018, 12:11 pm

The realism of the self and its existence distinct from the physical world and therefore my physical body is important to understanding our total existence. And I agree that this is how self-awareness works.

However, the existence of both is not mutually exclusive nor is one less real than the other. I will use the empirical evidence of myself. I am just as aware of my arm as I am of my self-awareness. If I deny the reality of one, then I can just as easily deny the existence of the other or anything that I want to for that matter.

How does this relate to knowledge? My purpose in starting this discussion to broaden the definition of human knowledge and to show that knowedge is an evolving thing which has three basic categories which are constantly evolving among themselves, religious, philosophical and scientific. In order to understand all forms of our existence, we need to make use of all of these forms of human knowledge because each form has its limitations or has not been sufficiently developed.

Now, as I expected, many would take issue with calling religion or superstition a form of knowledge. Granted it does not have the logical certitude of science but it may represent the first stages of understanding. For example, let's take the religious or superstition beliefs of the American Indians, many of who believed that everything had a spirit. Their beliefs were not based on science nor a structured philosophy. There were based on what they saw and felt in nature. Why couldn't these beliefs lead into the philosophical discussions of a non-physical dimension of our existence or self-awareness? Or the mathematical theories of a multidimensional universe? Maybe they had much greater knowledge of reality than we give them credit for.

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