Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

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Sam26
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Sam26 » November 6th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Since my definition of knowledge is justified true belief, I want to address the Gettier problem since many believe that Gettier demonstrated that there are inherent weaknesses with the definition of knowledge as justified true belief. I always believed that there were problems with Gettier's examples, and Lozanski illustrates these problems in the following quote:

This is found at the following link: https://philosophynow.org/issues/63/The ... _a_Problem

The first example Gettier comes up with has to do with Jones and Smith applying for a job. If Smith had strong evidence that Jones will get the job (for example if the boss said Jones will get the job) and also that Jones has ten coins in his pocket (for example, Smith counted the coins in Jones’s pocket), then he might assert the following proposition:

A) Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket.

This proposition entails that:

B) The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket.

If Smith sees this entailment and accepts proposition B on the grounds of proposition A, then with the given evidence, Smith is justified in believing proposition B. It turns out that Smith himself will unexpectedly be offered the job, and by random chance Smith also has ten coins in his pocket. Now B is true even though A is false. Thus, proposition B is true, Smith believes that B is true, and Smith is justified in believing B is true. However, Smith does not know that proposition B is true. He doesn’t even know how many coins he has in his own pocket. He bases his belief on the number of coins in Jones’ pocket. So, says Gettier, Smith has a justified true belief in proposition B, but he doesn’t know proposition B.

Even if we allow Gettier to make proposition B (a very broad statement) on the grounds of proposition A(a very specific statement); and even if we allow Smith’s evidence to be sufficient for true knowledge (basing his beliefs on what someone says without any further proof or evidence for that claim), other problems arise which cannot be overlooked.

Gettier makes a very specific statement (Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket), and from that he deduces a very generalized statement, (The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket.) However, it is not clear who ‘the man’ refers to here. If ‘the man’ refers to Jones then the statement is false, because Jones is not the man who gets the job. If ‘the man’ refers to Smith, then Smith would be making a statement without any justification, since he believes that Jones will get the job. The first possibility violates the truth requirement for justified true belief, while the second case violates the justification requirement. Gettier has tried to use semantic obscurity to trick the reader into believing that justified true belief is not enough for knowledge. However, it can be seen that in this case the ‘knowledge’ was either not justified or false, and thus never constituted knowledge in the first place.

Gettier’s second example starts with Smith having strong evidence for the following proposition:

C) Jones owns a Ford.

Then we are told that Smith has a friend, Brown, whose whereabouts he does not know. Smith then selects three locations at random to construct the following propositions:

D) Either Jones owns a Ford, or Brown is in Boston;

E) Either Jones owns a Ford, or Brown is in Barcelona;

F) Either Jones owns a Ford, or Brown is in Brest-Litovsk

Propositions D, E and F are all entailed by C. Smith realizes this entailment and accepts D, E and F on the basis of C. Smith is justified in believing all of these propositions because he’s justified in thinking that Jones owns a Ford, even though he has no idea where Brown is located.

It turns out that Jones no longer drives a Ford, and by coincidence Brown is in Barcelona. In this case Smith does not know that proposition E is true, even though proposition E is true, Smith believes E is true and Smith is justified in believing E is true by having strong evidence for Jones owning a Ford.

Again, ignoring the fact that we cannot be sure Smith has adequate evidence for Jones owning a Ford (in the original paper Gettier says Jones has owned a Ford his whole life – in my opinion not much evidence at all), a serious problem arises.

This second example cannot be accepted because it contains an inherent logical flaw. Gettier uses an example in the form of ‘either a or b, not a, therefore b’. However, this form of logic can ‘prove’ an infinite number of impossibilities. For example, I have reason to believe that Brown is in Barcelona, so I say “Either cows fly or Brown is in Barcelona.” It turns out Brown is now in Amsterdam, therefore, cows fly. This is obviously impossible, thus showing that the formula can’t be used to prove anything ­– or else it could be used to prove everything! You cannot claim here to know a proposition which randomly happened to be true just because its complementary proposition which you thought was true wasn’t. This is the wrong ‘justification’. Conclusions derived using this logical sleight-of-hand cannot be considered knowledge.

One problem that it isn’t necessary to look at in order to undermine Gettier’s paper still deserves to be considered; this problem being what constitutes adequate justification. In both cases, justification for Smith comes from empirical evidence. Now, if someone has 100% (irrefutable) evidence for X and believes X is true, then that person is justified in believing X and is considered to have knowledge of X. On the other hand, if the person has 25% evidence for X and the person believes that X is true, then the person is not (adequately) justified in believing X and does not have knowledge of X. Justification depends upon evidence, and where we draw the line of when something is adequately justified based upon sufficient evidence is unclear (would 51% evidence for X be sufficient justification?). Gettier makes the assumption that the evidence presented justified Smith’s beliefs. However, Gettier makes no attempt at saying how strong the evidence is, and if we can infer anything it is that the evidence is quite weak, and it could be argued that in both cases Smith was not justified in making the statements of knowledge he made.

The problem of reference-muddling in example one and the inherent logical flaw in example two show that Gettier problems are no threat to ‘knowledge as justified true belief’. The classical definition of knowledge as justified true belief doesn’t have to be changed, and no extra premises have to be added.

© Lukasz Lozanski 2007

This is found at the following link: https://philosophynow.org/issues/63/The ... _a_Problem

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Sam26 » November 6th, 2018, 10:59 pm

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 1:43 am
Sam26 wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 8:12 pm
Two two things here: First, one of the consistencies of the testimonial evidence is that people meet deceased relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc., that have been deceased for years.
Exactly how consistent is this part? 50%? 5%?
Second, if someone's heart stops beating and there is no measurable brain activity, then I agree with many of the doctors, they're dead.
I’m pretty sure being not dead after being dead is miracle territory. Again, pretty sure that most doctors would say that if you are resuscitated, you weren’t “really dead”. Also, when you say there is no measurable brain activity, how is that being measured? What percentage of these cases are having their brain activity measured when the NDE happens?
... even if you want to stick with that definition, there is plenty of evidence in the testimonials that demonstrates that we survive as who we are after we're dead.
What kind of evidence would that be? I still don’t see evidence that consciousness survives more than, say, two hours after “death”.
I'll give you a link to the study, but in terms of how many, or what percentage of people see their deceased relatives, it's about 27%, but that's literally millions of people. This is based on the Gallop poll that says appoximately 5% of the population has had an NDE.

http://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Gr ... 69-375.pdf

As to the use of the word dead, many doctors, not all, but many, do talk about NDEs in terms of death, but this isn't something that would affect my argument. Call it dead, near dead, whatever you want.

No measurable brain activity, classic example is Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA, a well-documented example (its on Youtube). She had an aneurysm deep in her brain, so they had to drain the blood from her brain and stop her heartbeat so they could get to the aneurysm without it bursting. During the operation they monitored her brain activity, she had none. However, she was able to recount some of what happened in the operating room, including conversations, how the operation was performed, and what kinds of instruments were used. This is also an example of the testimony being verified by doctors and nurses who were in the operating room, which is an example of objective corroboration.

My conclusion is not based on any one NDE, but is based on the consistency of millions of testimonials, and the corroboration involved.

Your last question is answered based on what people are seeing as they have an NDE. So, if people are seeing their deceased relatives who have been dead for many years, then that must be included in the testimonial evidence. Unless you reject all such experiences as NOT veridical out-of-hand, i.e., based on a particular world view.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Burning ghost » November 6th, 2018, 11:30 pm

Sam -

I know what veridical means I said “obscure use” not an obscure word. Big difference! It is these kind of nuances you seem to miss when you read and write.

Your deductive claim is unsound. No one here appears to agree with it other than you. Surely that should make you question how you’ve presented the premises?
So far though Ghost you haven't given a good argument against my main argument. I understand that you don't believe the premises are true, but saying that isn't an argument.
I think uou seriously need to do better than this:
All veridical means, as used here, is that the perception is a direct perception as it exists, i.e., that it's not a hallucination, illusion, dream, etc. This is what I'm claiming, viz., that the experiences are veridical experiences, not just a kind of hallucination.
This doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. The kind of experiences you’re talking about ae hallucinations by definition. People see and experiences things that are not there. This doesn’t mean they are “delusional” they are only delusional if they believe they are there without question - and throw themselves off of roof tops etc. Reports of DMT show clearly that people could see an entire other world overlying this reality. They were not “high” though and in many cases reported feelings of what hey described as “dying.” None of the experiences or worlds these people saw were the same but they had common aspects to them.

It is VERIDICAL (true to reality that) these people had experiences. It is not true to say that they “experienced death,” only that many of them apparently experienced something similar they label “death.”

It might be worth looking at alien abduction here too. Many people who’d taken DMT reported something more or less like alien abduction. These reports only started to happen after the event of UFO movies. Prior to this the physiological phenomenon still existed and we’ve learnt anout how fear relates to sexual arousal and such that would coincie with people being probed. Also, as the phenomenon existed prior to UFO the explanation was different - they referred to Incubus and Succubus as an explanation.

I’ve just actually woken up from a number of dreams. I am telling you I had a dream. Everyone dreams, it is veridical. The details are not anything I woudl call veridical though, even though there are often common themes among humans.

This is gamesmanship:
No measurable brain activity, classic example is Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA, a well-documented example (its on Youtube). She had an aneurysm deep in her brain, so they had to drain the blood from her brain and stop her heartbeat so they could get to the aneurysm without it bursting. During the operation they monitored her brain activity, she had none. However, she was able to recount some of what happened in the operating room, including conversations, how the operation was performed, and what kinds of instruments were used. This is also an example of the testimony being verified by doctors and nurses who were in the operating room, which is an example of objective corroboration.
Do you think doctors kill patients and then operate on them?

There are also PLENTY of reports of shamans in trances dancing around with their eyes shut and being able to navigate and pick up various objects whilst not looking. Just because certain things cannot easily be explained it does not mean whatever you wish/hope it to mean. She clearly wasn’t “brain dead,” as in dead. Some people wake up during surgery but they’re paralyzed and can do nothing to let the surgeons know about it. Obviously her brain was still functioning and she heard conversations - maybe she floated out of her body had a chat with Elvis and then returned to earth too. Just because we don’t know something it is not hard evidence for any explanation you wish to throw at it.
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Burning ghost » November 7th, 2018, 12:54 am

Sam -

Just so you don’t misunderstand me as a resolute skeptic when it comes to these things I’ll mark what I have experienced in bracket within the quote below:
Consistency is also important to the establishment of the truth of the premises. We have a high degree of consistency across a wide variety of reports. What are these consistent reports?

1) Seeing one's body from a third person perspective, i.e., from outside one's body, and hearing and seeing what's happening around their bodies. (NO)
2) Having intense feelings of being loved, and also intense feeling of peace. (Kind of. Not really easy to put it into words.)
3) Seeing a light or tunnel in the distance and feeling that one is being drawn to the light, or moving through the tunnel towards the light. (Not exactly. In the sesne I think this is meant NO.)
4) Seeing deceased loved ones. (NO.)
5) Seeing beings of light that one may interpret as Jesus, Mary, Muhammad, an angel, or just a loving being that one may feel connected to. (NO)
6) Heightened sensory experiences, viz., feeling that one is having an ultra real experience, as opposed to a dream or a hallucination. (YES)
7) Communication that happens mind-to-mind, not verbally. (Not sure what this means. Something that eludes verbal articulation, that slips away as you grasp for it - YES)
8) Seeing beautiful landscapes. (NO)
9) Seeing people who are getting ready or waiting to be born. (NO)
10) Having a life-review by a loving being who is not judgmental in any way, but simply showing you how important it is to love, and the importance of your actions on those you come in contact with. (NO. Although it gave me a new perspective on life in general.)
11) Feeling as though one has returned home. This is also confirmed by people who were told they chose to come to Earth. (Err ... doesn’t work quite, but I guess so? “Home” is the wrong word.)
12) A feeling of oneness with everything, as though consciousness is at the bottom of everything. (YES)
13) Memories of who they really are return, as though they temporarily forgot who they were, and where they came from. (YES)
14) There are also reports of knowledge returning, and many questions being answered. (YES)
15) Understanding that ultimately we cannot be harmed. (YES)
16) That we are eternal beings simply entering into one of many realities.(NO, but can see how this can be insinuated by those who struggle to hold the experience in mind and pick the right words.)
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Burning ghost » November 7th, 2018, 1:43 am

Sam -
It is true that NDE reports are accurate, just as any veridical experience is.
An example of a “veridical experience” and a non-veridical experience would be extremely useful here. My assumption is you cannot actually come up with a “non-veridcal experience” given how you’ve chosen to frame the term “veridical experience” - which leaves gives the the “veridical” no applicable meaning, hence why I said you’re were saying nothing more than “I have an experience.”

On to knowledge. There are different types of knowledge. Some are rigidly defined and others less so. Generally speaking arithmetic, and systems with strict rules, always give purely “veridical” answers (if no error is make during the computation.) A child may do the sum 7+3 and come up with the answer as 9. They will believe they are correct and likely move on to the next question. Once they look over their answers, or even if they’re given the same sum at a later date, they may put down the answer as being 10 with just as much conviction.

Understanding rules of a system does not mean we’re fortified against making errors due to overconfidence in our ability to apply them to a given problem.

Once we step outside of rule based systems we’re in the real world of experience. When it comes to personal experiences we’re limited in how we can apply abstract logical rules and given that language is extremely complicated and full of examples of interpretation and reinterpretation, and that no matter how hard I try to describe to you a painting I’ve seen I still fall short, it is appropriate to take great care with what we think as opposed to what it is we’re actually saying. We overcome this difficulty by referencing common experiences; for example if we were friends and had both shared time ni art galleries I may describe one painting to you by referring to seversl others in order to give you some impression of what it was I felt, and by this you can perhaps speculate what it was you felt about the pictures I refer to and then guess at what sort of feeling would be induced in you if you saw the picture I was describing. What is more, if you’re exposed to my redition you’re in some way influenced by it due to certain expectations you may have of it (I may exaggerate and by doing so dull or sharpen the experience you have when you first come to gaze upon the picture.)

If there is to be evidence of consciousness surviving after bodily death then we’d either need some physical evidence for this (which would necessarily despute the premise of “consciousness” being physical or that by some physical means consciousness moves out of the body to another physical place, or we’ll need to create a “new science” that adheres to the natural sciences yet doesn’t dispute them - something with the kind of rigidity of the “mathematical world” by way of which we come to have a fuller understanding of the physical world by using it to combine and investigate human experiences and measure phenomenon in a physical way to formulate “patterns” and “rules” varified by experiment.

I don’t pretend to know what is around the corner. I can make some guesses but they’re empty guesses. I can at least say with some reasonable justification that we’re going to need a paradigm shift akin to that of the past 1000 years in order to break open a new set of conceptual terms that most of the populace are able to grasp.

I have the ame issue when people talk of “conscious computers” because often the concept of human consciousness is being stretched beyond its bounds. People talk of “higher consciousness” that we cannot experience. I woudl say such use of language is a self-deceit because if we’re talking about some “other” consciousness we cannot experience then what the hell does that mean? Nothing. It means nothing because we only have human consciousness because we’re human. We only have human intelligence because we’re human. Some “other kind of X” is something people talk of a great deal on forums like this and they’re often unware and end up eating up the lie they tell themselves because the strings of words look convincing enough to them.

Logic and semantics are used to fortify against this, but even they are limited because they only work because they are set up within a rigid system of rules. Change the rules of the game and you’re not playing the same game you were before - that is something everyone mistakenly does from time to time and that mistake ironically seems to bear unexpected fruits from time to time.
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Sam26 » November 8th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Burning ghost wrote:

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Sam26 » November 8th, 2018, 8:21 pm

I would continue to reply, Burning ghost, to your posts, but you haven't followed the argument. In fact, you don't understand the argument. I can see that by your responses. It's not rocket science. It's a basic inductive argument that follows the rules of inductive arguments. It's basic logic. The proof at the end is really not relevant to the main conclusion, you could throw the proof out, and the argument would still stand.

I can't even make sense of some of what you said, so it would be ridiculous to continue this discussion. It also appears to me that you're blinded by your dogmatism, or your world view.

I don't know where you learned philosophy, and I especially don't know where you learned logic, but it's clear that you are not well-versed in these subjects. If you did learn logic at a university, I would suggest you get your money back. It sounds to me like you've picked up the jargon, probably in these forums, but don't have a clue about what the concepts mean.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Atreyu » November 8th, 2018, 8:37 pm

There could never be any convincing evidence that consciousness survives bodily death, but the general idea can be supported by reasoning it out...

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Burning ghost » November 8th, 2018, 10:19 pm

Sam -

Okay ...

I dreamt of flying and I am convinced I was flying therefore I can fly. I know many other cases where people have had the experience of flying too.

I had a NDE. I am convinced I died. I know of many other cases where people have had the experience of dying too.

I’ll ask ONCE more. Do you think your deductive conclusion is SOUND? There is no need to go all the way back to the inductive argument because it starts out with a nonsense premise from the outset.
My claim is that there is sufficient testimonial evidence to reasonably conclude that consciousness survives the death of the body.
There is no serious evidence here. Ancedotal evidence doesn’t make much sense you in the way you’re using it here.

Note: good luck finding someone else to who is not going to say something VERY similar to what I’ve said. We’re probably all dogmatic right?
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Sam26 » November 8th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Atreyu wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:37 pm
There could never be any convincing evidence that consciousness survives bodily death, but the general idea can be supported by reasoning it out...
I love the way you people come in here and just make pronouncements, as if the strength of your pronouncement is enough to defeat an argument. Out of all the philosophy forums I've been to, this has got to be the worst, at least from what I've seen so far. I used to be a member of Ephilosopher years ago, and even though I disagreed with people, at least they would put forth a decent argument. Philosophy is about good arguments, not about making pronouncements, as though the mere weight of your opinion is enough to defeat the argument.

If you're going to attack the argument you have to go after the testimonial evidence, i.e., you have to say why it's not good, and give reasons why my criteria for good testimonial evidence is incorrect. You also have to attack the idea that these experiences are veridical, and if they're not, then why they are not. Give specific examples. Not just proclaim they're not true, but give good reasons why they're not true. Where is the counter-evidence?

It's as if you've learned your debating skills from Trump, or from Maxine Waters. I expect politicians to not have a clue, but this, again, is a philosophy forum where logical debate is supposed to part of the how you make an inference.

Anyway, I'm moving on, this is just disappointing.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Burning ghost » November 8th, 2018, 10:52 pm

I cannot honestly argue against this:
Anyway, I'm moving on, this is just disappointing.
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » November 9th, 2018, 9:32 am

Sam26 wrote:I love the way you people come in here and just make pronouncements, as if the strength of your pronouncement is enough to defeat an argument.
Sam, don't take it personally, but these type of inductive arguments can never yield proofs or certainties. These are nothing more than just 'speculations', wishful thinking, or educated guesses at best. That's all we can get from these type of discussions.

...and hardly seems worthy of deep discussion on a philosophy forum, - might as well be discussing your favorite sci-fi flick, imo ...again, nothing personal.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Present awareness » November 9th, 2018, 1:02 pm

Testimony of personal experience is not “evidence” of anything but personal experience. If I have a dream of meeting some of my deceased relatives, it would not be “evidence” that they are out there and that I meet them, only evidence that my personal experience of meeting them in my dream, was real.

Our physical bodies, seemingly know how to be born, how to grow, how to get old and how to die and our consciousness seemingly goes along for a free ride. Although we form attachments to our body, our memories and our feelings, and form a self identification based on those experiences, all things will pass with nothing to hold on to as the body dies. No physical body= no experiences and no experiences = no consciousness.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by RJG » November 9th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Present awareness wrote:No physical body= no experiences and no experiences = no consciousness.
Bingo! ...P.A., I like the way you think. My view is similar:

1. Experiences -- are (physical) bodily reactions.
2. Conscious experiences -- are those bodily experiences/reactions that are 'recognized' (known/felt).
3. Consciousness (aka "consciously experiencing") -- in essence, is the 'recognition' (the knowing) of said bodily reactions (experiences), made possible by memory.

Therefore, Consciousness cannot succeed, nor survive, the death of the physical body. Without a reactive (experiential) physical body, i.e. without bodily experiences, there is 'nothing' to be conscious of, and hence no 'conscious experiences'; nor 'consciousness'.


As a side comment -- also without 'memory', there can be no 'recognition', and without recognition, there can be no 'consciousness'. Therefore those entities/beings without memory, (i.e. without the ability to 'recognize'), are considered 'non-conscious' entities/beings.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by ktz » November 10th, 2018, 7:02 am

All I have to add to the substance of the previous two posters is to encourage anyone interested in questions of consciousness to watch some youtube videos of modern researchers in the field with some interesting ideas -- Tononi, Greenfield, Blackmore, and then more recently it's come to the attention of physicists like Tegmark and Kaku who have some interesting thoughts as well. There's so much we don't understand about the mechanisms of consciousness, and a discussion like this one relies on certain definitions of consciousness that may in fact not hold within a few decades.

Outside of that, I'd like to take a more meta approach to criticizing the OP than engaging with the substance of this argument, since I think the previous two posters have injected reasonable opposition to the somewhat poorly constructed inductive approach. Because even though I have some degree of interest in NDEs, I tend to lack respect for those who don't operate under a modicum of Habermas-style communicative action, seeking mutual understanding and the recognition of a spectrum of validity claims. Having followed this discussion I've felt like the OP is merely seeking validation for his own views and aggressively discounting alternative viewpoints rather than engaging with them in good faith.

Showing off a first year course in propositional logic is not really an adequate path to the truth when your argument relies on an axiomatic tautological construction for an antecedent, which itself relies on a bit of a tenuous grasp of what constitutes veridicality. Like, first of all the tools offered by modus ponens, modus tollens, syllogistic inference and other operators from propositional calculus are generally only referenced by name in constructions for deriving theorems in the context of Zermelo-Frankel set theory and certain classes of thought experiments, and their basic forms are generally quite under-equipped to handle the complexities of evidence-based argument. I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find a philosophy paper written after the year 2000 that contains the words modus ponens, or otherwise uses affirmation of the antecedent in its primary thesis. If you can I'll stand somewhat corrected, although it's second of all fairly trivial to point out that it's a bit of a dumb argument to make if you construct the antecedent as a tautology.

I also want to take a second to reference e.g. Popper for a reasonable case against the use of induction in epistemology, as well as his issues with JTB's -- Gettier isn't the only one you need to refute -- which got thrown into the mix here as well. I wasn't familiar with Lozanski, and that article was a fairly interesting read so thanks for that. But to follow up, Lozanski's article has also been the subject of criticism, as he seems to have taken an important thing for granted in the second case of Gettier. What makes H proposition true is not because Jones owns a Ford, rather, it is because Brown lives in Barcelona. Gettier argues that one cannot claim that Smith has this knowledge because, though he has uttered a true proposition, it is a product of guesswork, and is only correct by accident. The entire proposition H is therefore correct because one component of the disjunction is true, implying the truth of the proposition. So the Gettier Problem, contrary to the claim of Lozanski, remains a genuine problem in epistemology.

I'm not trying to be a bully, but I simply am trying to strongly express my distaste for unnecessarily argumentative behavior that doesn't acknowledge a range of potentially valid oppositional claims, as it clouds our collective pursuit of truth. The negative emotional contagion is a real thing, so we must always try to generate a bit less of it when we can. I do actually applaud the OP for taking an interest in this class of unpopular problems, sort of pseudo-spiritual problems that may in fact have interesting answers, though I cannot even imagine what kind of physical or philosophical tools we will have developed to explore and answer them. Maybe some kind of Inception-style team-based research chemicals with consciousness cameras recording the results. Another problem in the same class as out-of-body experiences is that of children who seem to be able to remember remarkably accurate and verifiable details of a past life -- that one I think can be a bit mindblowing as well, if the reports and articles I've read are true.

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