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Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

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Consul
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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Consul » March 4th, 2017, 2:28 pm

Fcacciola wrote:I still don't understand what can possibly mean that something "is true" and at the same time "you're not justified in saying that its truth is known for certain or with (100%) certainty", other than "is decided to be true", but, we're now just repeating ourselves in my opinion, so is best stop that sub-part of the digression I think.
Well, isn't it obvious that the truth/falsity of a proposition or belief—its being true/false—is one thing, and the ascription or attribution of truth/falsity to it—its being taken as true, its being called true—is another thing? (And whether the latter is epistemically justified or warranted is yet another thing.) You may say we decide what we take as or call true/false, but it is not the case that we decide what is true/false. (Note that "what is true/false" is not synonymous with "what we say is true/false"!)

[Footnote: To take a proposition as true is to believe it, but there's an interesting question concerning the relationship of belief and decision: Can we decide to believe something? Have we decided to believe what we believe? Do we have voluntary control over our beliefs? (See: Doxastic Voluntarism!]
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:What you call "the subjective truth value" is simply the truth-value a proposition is thought/believed to have in the light of the evidence (perceptual evidence in your example); and being thought/believed to be true/false is not the same as being true/false. What you think is true needn't be true just because of your thinking so; and if your evidence or your reasons for thinking that p (is true) are inconclusive, then you cannot be objectively certain that p (is true). That's our epistemic situation or predicament in the case of fallible knowledge.
Exacty. And I can't see how "P is true" is a condition (which is required to be satisfied) when "you cannot be objectively certain that p (is true)"
But you tried to respond to that already I think. I just still don't get it, and I don't think I will.
The truth-condition of knowledge is an objective and external condition, its satisfaction or non-satisfaction being a matter of objective fact. As such it is different from an internally, (inter)subjectively available and usable truth-criterion that enables us to decide whether or not a belief is true.
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:"Epistemic certainty is often accompanied by psychological certainty, but it need not be. It is possible that a subject may have a belief that enjoys the highest possible epistemic status and yet be unaware that it does."
Really? how so?
By the subject's being unaware that the evidence for his belief that p is actually conclusive, such that—unbeknown to him—it is objectively certain that p.
Of course, when the subject is aware, knows that his evidence for p is conclusive, and thus that it is objectively certain that p, he will also be subjectively certain that p.
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:The truth-condition says nothing about how to ascertain truths, and it isn't meant to do so.
Which is why I fail to see how is that a "condition". We are to satisfy the truth-condition, but not to ascertain the truth... what can that possibly mean...
No, it is not the case that "we are to satisfy to the truth-condition," because it is or isn't satisfied independently of our epistemic activities, of our pursuit of truth and knowledge. Again, the truth-condition is not a practical truth- or knowledge-criterion in terms of which we can ascertain truths or acquire knowledge.
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:There aren't two different kinds of truth; there is only a difference between (A) being true and (B)being known (to be true), between being true and ascertaining/being ascertained as true.
Exactly! Which is why I keep failing to see the sense in demanding that (B) requires as a condition (A), being these two different, for fallible knowledge without at the same time simply disqualifying pretty much all fallible knowledge as actually such (and demoting it to the degree of belief)
Fallible knowledge is (merely) possibly false belief, but it isn't actually false belief. It is actually true belief, since if it were actually false belief, it wouldn't be knowledge at all. Infallibilists object that a statement such as "I know that p—but possibly I don't, because it is possibly false that p", which fallibilists cannot help but accept, sounds very odd. It really does.

Note that the scope of the modal operator <possible> (logical symbol: <>) matters here, because <>(Kp & ~p) is logically different from Kp & <>~p. According to both fallibilism and infallibilism, the former is false; and according to fallibilism (only), the latter is true.
Fallible knowledge is possibly not really knowledge but only false knowledge-belief. So, strictly speaking, it's just putative or presumptive knowledge, Vermutungswissen (conjectural knowledge), as Popper calls it. Infallibilists object that this imperfect or suboptimal epistemic status is not good enough for genuine knowledge, claiming that genuine knowledge mustn't possibly be false knowledge-belief. In their opinion, only infallible, objectively certain knowledge is genuine knowledge.
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:The truth-condition of knowledge is totally neutral with regard to the question of the possibility of (certain) knowledge. It is perfectly compatible both with epistemic optimism and with epistemic pessimism (skepticism), since all it states is that necessarily, if a proposition is known, it is true. It is silent on whether (certain) knowledge is possible at all, and if it is, on how to achieve it.
Indeed. Which is why I think the truth-condition is has the effect of limiting the proper instances of knowledge.
No, it doesn't! Without it the number of "proper instances of knowledge" is zero, and with it there is no limit to the number. (God with his "infinite mind" could even know infinitely many truths/facts.) What determines the number isn't the truth condition but the evidence or justification condition. If inconclusive evidence or fallible justification is not good enough for belief to become knowledge, then the number of known truths/facts is much lower than if it is.
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:The big problem fallibilists have is to determine some threshold 50% < T < 100% below which we have mere belief and above which we have knowledge, i.e. to determine exactly how high "very high" has to be in order to elevate belief to knowledge. Infallibilists have argued that there is no non-arbitrary way of doing so. Why should a 95%-justified belief suddenly be knowledge when a 94%-justified belief is not?
Precisely. So I propose to regard knowledge itself as "Dependable Certified Belief" on the one hand, then push the problems of certainty (such as the one you mentioned above) as a condition on the process of knowledge construction, not on knowledge itself.
Similarly to how I can put conditions on the way I build a house, which are not the same as the conditions on the built house.
The methodology of "knowledge-construction" is one thing, and the ontology of knowledge is another. The truth-condition is part of the latter, and truth is discovered, not "constructed".
What are "constructed" are practical criteria for truth and knowledge that are more or less demanding, epistemologically speaking.
Fcacciola wrote:I agree with [BonJour's] analysis, and I propose that (part of) the solution is to separate knowledge from knowledge construction, specially, since as I mentioned in other parts of this thread, knowledge as a "possession" people have (the mental state you mentioned) is for the most part unrelated to any such justifications (and all the associated problems you mentioned above) since that pertains to the ones "constructing" the knowledge (say, the scientists), not the ones "possessing" it (say, lay people)
The scientific knowledge of lay people (who aren't doing any scientific observations or experiments themselves) is based on testimony: Scientists have told and taught them that p is (scientifically known to be) true.
Testimony is epistemologically problematic, but it is an important and indispensable source of belief-justification and knowledge, even though testimony-based knowledge is "secondhand" knowledge. Note that this doesn't mean that we have a separation of knowledge and justification here, because testimony is what justifies the beliefs based on or grounded therein.
Robert Audi calls testimony "the social foundation of knowledge."

"If our only sources of knowledge and justified belief were perception, consciousness, memory, and reason, we would be at best impoverished. We do not even learn to speak or think without the help of others, and much of what we know depends on what they tell us. Children in their first years of life depend almost entirely on others for their knowledge of the world. If perception, memory, consciousness, and reason are our primary individual sources of knowledge and justification, testimony from others is our primary social source of them. This is why it is a primary concern of social epistemology. The distinctive situations in which testimony yields knowledge and justification are social: in each case one or more persons convey something to one or more others. There are various kinds of testimony, however, and there are many questions about how one or another kind yields knowledge or justification.
……
Testimony is a pervasive and natural source of beliefs. Many testimony-based beliefs are justified or constitute knowledge. They may even constitute basic knowledge or basic belief, both in the sense that they are not grounded in premises and in the sense that they play a pivotal role in the life of the believer. We might thus say that testimony-based beliefs not only constitute some of our basic knowledge but also are psychologically and existentially basic. These beliefs are, however, not unqualifiedly basic epistemically. They are basic only in the sense that they are not inferentially dependent on knowledge or justified belief of prior premises. They are epistemically dependent, in a way perceptual beliefs are not, on one’s having grounds for knowledge or justification, and they are psychologically dependent on one’s having some ground—such as hearing someone speak—in another, non-testimonial experiential mode. Testimony-based beliefs, then, are not premise-dependent but do depend, for their epistemic or justificational status, on the basic experiential sources of knowledge and justification considered in Chapters 1–6 [= perception, memory, introspection, reason/intuition – my add.]. As a source of knowledge and justification, testimony depends both epistemically and psychologically on these other sources. This is entirely consistent, however, with its playing an incalculably important role in the normal development of our justification and knowledge."


(Audi, Robert. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2011. pp. 150+167)
Fcacciola wrote:Agreed. Is not, but it formalizes the (temporary) attribution or consideration that is understood to be true.
It is important to connect this with what I mentioned in the previous post.
There is a fundamental difference between constructing knowledge and having it (IMO).
This account refers to knowledge as we have it, such that the conditions related to its veracity is pushed as conditions on the process of knowledge construction, but not on knowledge acquisition.
We can distinguish between (1) making knowledge, (2) getting knowledge, and (3) having knowledge. Since knowledge is a mental state, to make knowledge is to bring about this mental state in a certain way (e.g. through observation and experimentation), to get knowledge is for this mental state to begin to be, and to have knowledge is for this mental state to have begun and to be.
However, knowledge-making mustn't be understood as truth-making. Scientists do not make truths, they just reveal them, making them known.
Regarding the aspect of belief-justification, "knowledge-making" is a process of warrant-giving through evidence-finding. Scientific inquiry or research is precisely such an epistemic process.
Fcacciola wrote:While I maintain that "is true" is not a valid requirement *if stated as that*, that's not to mean that knowledge construction is not required to do it's best to approach truth as close as possible.
But then, I consider this requirement to correspond to the process of knowledge construction, not to knowledge itself, as I said before.
I never got in this thread to elaborate on this distinction (and their different conditions) I draw between knowledge construction and acquisition.
What you call "the process of knowledge construction" is basically the process of belief justification or confirmation and the process of the detection of evidence it involves. If the end-product of this process is to be genuine knowledge, it must be true belief. Once again, the truth-condition is an absolutely necessary condition of any form of (propositional) knowledge.
The scientific process is an attempt to construct true theories on the basis of empirical evidence, and it may be that the best we can have are "approximately true" theories. Alas, the very concept of approximate truth is unclear and very problematic. If approximately true or truthlike belief is false, strictly speaking, then it cannot amount to more than "quasi-knowledge".
Fcacciola wrote:
Consul wrote:Moreover, a belief may have positive practical effects, but this alone doesn't epistemically justify you in holding it, let alone in regarding it as knowledge. For example, a religious belief may prevent a depressed person from committing suicide (because he thinks he'd be punished by God for doing so), but this certainly doesn't justify that belief epistemically.
If we distinguish between holding and constructing knowledge, these have different epistemic justifications.
My stance is that dependability is the epistemic justification to hold knowledge, as in, "I'm told electricity run through wires (yet I don't care if that is really true, how it does it, what is electricity to begin with, etc...)"
While a valid measure of evidential veracity is the epistemic justification to construct knowledge, as in, "I think it is electricity what is causing this effect on this coil, so I set out to see if I'm right."
Generally, the objects of justification are beliefs, opinions, judgments, assumptions, assertions.

To hold knowledge is simply to be in the mental state of knowledge, to know something; but I'm not sure what you mean by "to construct knowledge". For instance, when a physicist tells or teaches me that copper conducts electricity, then I thereby get and then have knowledge whose source is scientific testimony. Gaining knowledge in this way is different from gaining it firsthand through one's own observations or experiments. What we have here are different sources of justification and knowledge: testimony vs. (sensory) perception.
(The acquiring of knowledge through testimony is of course perception-involving insofar as my being told or taught that something is the case involves auditory or visual perceptions, hearings of spoken language or seeings of written language.)

———

By the way, like David Lewis (see this previous post!), Nicholas Rescher (whose neo-pragmatist philosophy may interest you) wants to circumvent both "the rock of fallibilism and the whirlpool of scepticism" (Lewis).

"Pace the many complicated analyses now on offer, it seems as if the concept of knowledge is simple enough for small children to master. I suggest that the complicated phenomena we have observed arise from the interaction between a very simple analysis and the complex pragmatics of context-dependent ignoring. 'S knows that P' means simply that there is no possibility that S is wrong that P—Psst! except for those possibilities that we are now (properly) ignoring."

(Lewis, David. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Introd., pp. 6-7)

Similarly, Rescher "pragmatizes" (objective) certainty and (objectively) certain knowledge by distinguishing between "the certainty of logic" and the "certainty of life". Given his account, one can say (paraphrasing Lewis) that…

"S knows that P" means simply that there is no realistic or "non-far-fetched" possibility that S is wrong that P.

Strictly speaking, knowledge in this sense is quasi-certain and quasi-infallible; and it is rationally indubitable in spite of there being some remote logical possibilities or error.

"[T]he certain is that which has been established beyond reasonable doubt[.]"

(Quinton, Anthony. The Nature of Things. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973. p. 148)

"THE CERTAINTY OF LOGIC VERSUS THE CERTAINLY OF LIFE

It is not possible to overemphasize that the certainty of knowledge is the certainty of life—realistic certainty and not that of some transcendentally inaccessible realm. It is the certainty that precludes any realistic possibility of error: any possibility of error that is “worth bothering about,” the closing of every loophole that one can reasonably ask for. This is, and must be so because knowledge claims are asserted and denied here, in this world—and not in some transcendentally inaccessible one, so that the norms and ground rules governing their use must be appropriately applicable (at least in principle) here and now. Accordingly, there is no contradiction in terms involved in saying that the absolutistic aspect of a knowledge claim is compatible with an element of (claim-externalized) qualification.

As we have seen, the “epistemic gap” between available evidence and asserted content means that the falsity of our objective factual claims is always logically compatible with the evidence at our disposal. But this undoubted fact remains epistemically irrelevant.To be sure, the evidential gap is real and undeniable. And since it exists, it is always possible to insert an hypothesis into it to sever what we ourselves think to be the case from “the real truth of the matter.” But there are hypotheses and hypotheses—sensible ones as well as those which cannot but strike us as strained and bizarre. An hypothesis capable of undoing “There are rocks in the world” (to take an ordinary-life example) or that in the present cosmic era s = 1/2gt^2 (to take a scientific one) would illustrate the latter, far-fetched variety. That either thesis is false is “unthinkable”—any hypothesis capable of undoing the thesis at issue is too peculiar and “unrealistic” to afford a real possibility of error. Admittedly there are such (far-fetched) hypotheses and such (implausible) possibilities. But their very far-fetchedness and implausibility mean that the possibilities of error they pose are not realistic. The upsets at issue are simply too drastic—the whole demonology of deceitful deities, powerful mad scientists, and so on brings our entire view of the world crashing down about our ears. Such possibilities cannot be ruled out from the domain of the imaginable, but we can and do exclude them from the arena of the practical politics of the cognitive situation.

There is no changing the fact that the person who claims to know something also becomes committed thereby to its implications (its logical consequences and its presuppositions). But a claim to knowledge can be made reasonably and defensibly even by one who realizes that it involves commitments and ramifications that may not stand up in the final analysis to the challenges of a difficult and often recalcitrant world. No assurances that extend beyond the limits of the possible can be given—or sensibly asked for. The absolute certainty of our knowledge claims is not and cannot be the sort of thing which one is in principle precluded from realizing. (Ultra posse nemo obligatur. To reemphasize: the certainty of knowledge is the certainty of life!)

After all, the “certainty” of knowledge claims can seemingly be understood in two very different perspectives:

1. as an unattainable ideal, a condition at which a knowledge claim aims but which in the very nature of things it cannot attain—to its own decisive detriment.

2. as an assurance, a promise, a guarantee that everything needful has been done for the ascertainment of the knowledge claim, and this must be construed in socially oriented terms as a real-life resource of the operative dynamics of communication.

Various philosophers—and most skeptics—insist on the former interpretation, an insistence which is as unnecessary as it is unrealistic. For it is clearly the second, mundane or realistic interpretation that is operative in the conception of knowledge we actually use within the setting of real life.

It is thus tempting to speak of a contrast between “the hyperbolic certainty of the philosopher” and “the mundane certainty of the plain man” in the setting of the actual transaction of our cognitive business. Philosophers have often felt driven to a conception of knowledge so rigid as to yield the result that there is little if anything left that one ever be said to know. Indeed, skeptical thinkers of this inclination launch on an explication of the “nature of knowledge” which sets the standards of its attainment so high that it becomes in principle impossible for anything to meet such hyperbolic demands. Against this tendency it is proper to insist that while what is known must indeed be true—and certainly true—it is nevertheless in order to insist that the conceptions at issue can and should be so construed that there are realistic and realizable circumstances in which our claims to certainty and to knowledge are perfectly legitimate and altogether justified. A doctrine which admits the defeasibility of quite appropriate claims to knowledge need involve no contradictions in terms."


(Rescher, Nicholas. Epistemology: An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. New York: State University of New York Press, 2003. pp. 41-2)

-- Updated March 4th, 2017, 1:36 pm to add the following --

By the way, as for the fundamental epistemological Problem of the Criterion:

"THE PROBLEM OF THE CRITERION

We cannot, however, escape the challenge of the ancient "problem of the criterion." The problem may be put briefly as follows.

We may distinguish two very general questions. These are "What do we know?" and "How are we to decide, in any particular case, whether we know?" The first of these may also be put by asking, "What is the extent of our knowledge?" and the second by asking, "What are the criteria of knowing?"

If we know the answer to either one of these questions, then, perhaps, we may devise a procedure that will enable us to answer the other. If we can specify the criteria of knowledge, we may have a way of deciding how far our knowledge extends. Or if we know how far our knowledge does extend and are able to say what the things are that we know, then we may be able to formulate criteria enabling us to mark off the things we do know from those that we do not.

But if we do not have the answer to the first question, then, it would seem, we have no way of answering the second. And if we do not have the answer to the second, then, it would seem, we have no way of answering the first.

Is there a way out? There are two possibilities.

(1) We may try to find out what we know or what we are justified in believing without making use of any criterion of knowledge or of justified belief. Or (2) we may try to formulate a criterion of knowledge without appeal to any instances of knowledge or of justified belief. In the first case, we would be "particularists" and in the second "generalists" or "methodists."

I have assumed that we can know something about our beliefs. I can know, for example, that I believe that there are dogs. But in order to find out that I believe that there are dogs, I did not need to apply any criterion stating how one can know that one believes that there are dogs.

And so, it would seem, we begin as "particularists": we identify instances of knowing without applying any criteria of knowing or of justification. Given what we have presupposed, we may say, in the words of D. J. Mercier, that the concept of epistemic justification is objective, internal, and immediate. It is internal and immediate in that one can find out directly, by reflection, what one is justified in believing at any time. And epistemic justification is objective in that it can itself constitute an object of justification and knowledge. It is possible to know that we know and it is possible to be justified in believing.

Now, I think, we may characterize the concept of''internal justification" more precisely. If a person S is internally justified in believing a certain thing, then this may be something he can know just by reflecting upon his own state of mind. And if S is thus internally justified in believing a certain thing, can he also know, just by reflecting upon his state of mind, that he is justified in believing that thing? This, too, is possible—once he has acquired the concept of epistemic justification."


(Chisholm, Roderick M. Theory of Knowledge. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1989. pp. 6-7)

"'The problem of the criterion' seems to me to be one of the most important and one of the most difficult of all the problems of philosophy. I am tempted to say that one has not begun to philosophize until one has faced this problem and has recognized how unappealing, in the end, each of the possible solutions is.

What is the problem, then? It is the ancient problem of 'the diallelus'—the problem of 'the wheel' or 'the vicious circle.' It was put very neatly by Montaigne in his Essays. So let us being by paraparaphrasing his formulation of the puzzle. To know whether things really are as they seem to be, we must have a procedure for distinguishing appearances that are true from appearances that are false. But to know whether our procedures is a good procedure, we have to know whether it really succeeds in distinguishing appearances that are true from appearances that are false. And we cannot know whether it does really succeed unless we already know which appearances are true and which ones are false. And so we are caught in a circle.

Let us try to see how one gets into a situation of this sort.
The puzzles begin to form when you ask yourself, 'What can I really know about the world?' We all are acquainted with people who think they know a lot more than in fact they do know. I'm thinking of fanatics, bigots, mystics, various types of dogmatists. And we have all heard of people who claim at least to know a lot less than what in fact they do know. I'm thinking of those people who call themselves 'skeptics' and who like to say that people cannot know what the world is really like. People tend to become skeptics, temporarily, after reading books on popular science: the authors tell us we cannot know what things are like really (but they make use of a vast amount of knowledge, or a vast amount of what is claimed to be knowledge, to support this skeptical conclusion). And as we know, people tend to become dogmatists, temporarily, as a result of the effects of alcohol, or drugs, or religious and emotional experiences. Then they claim to have an inside view of the world and they think they have a deep kind of knowledge giving them a key to the entire workings of the universe.

If you have a healthy common sense, you will feel that something is wrong with both of these extremes and that the truth is somewhere in the middle: we can know far more than the skeptic says we can know and far less than the dogmatist or the mystic says that he can know. But how are we to decide these things?

How do we decide, in any particular case, whether we have a genuine item of knowledge? Most of us are ready to confess that our beliefs far transcend what we really know. There are things we believe that we don't in fact know. And we can say of many of these things that we know that we don't know them. I believe that Mrs. Jones is honest, say, but I don't know it, and I know that I don't know it. There are other things that we don't know, but they are such that we don't know that we don't know them. Last week, say, I thought I knew that Mr. Smith was honest, but he turned out to be a thief. I didn't know that he was a thief, and, moreover, I didn't know that I didn't know that he was a thief; I thought I knew that he was honest. And so the problem is: How are we to distinguish the real cases of knowledge from what only seem to be cases of knowledge? Or, as I put it before, how are we to decide in any particular case whether we have genuine items of knowledge?

What would be a satisfactory solution to our problem? Let me quote in detail what Cardinal Mercier says:

If there is any knowledge which bears the mark of truth, if the intellect does have a way of distinguishing the true and the false, in short, if there is a criterion of truth, then this criterion should satisfy three conditions: it should be internal, objective, and immediate.

It should be internal. No reason or rule of truth that is provided by an external authority can serve as an ultimate criterion. For the reflective doubts that are essential to criteriology can and should be applied to this authority itself. The mind cannot attain to certainty until it has found within itself a sufficient reason for adhering to the testimony of such an authority.

The criterion should be objective. The ultimate reason for believing cannot be a merely subjective state of the thinking subject. A man is aware that he can reflect upon his psychological states in order to control them. Knowing that he has this ability, he does not, so long as he has not made use of it, have the right to be sure. The ultimate ground of certitude cannot consist in a subjective feeling. It can be found only in that which, objectively, produces this feeling and is adequate to reason.

Finally, the criterion must be immediate. To be sure, a certain conviction may rest upon many different reasons some of which are subordinate to others. But if we are to avoid an infinite regress, then we must find a ground of assent that presupposes no other. We must find an immediate criterion of certitude.

Is there a criterion of truth that satisfies these three conditions? If so, what is it?
[Mercier, Désiré-Joseph. Critériologie générale ou théorie générale de la certitude, 8th ed., 1923, p. 234]"


(Chisholm, Roderick M. The Foundations of Knowing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982. pp. 61-3)

"We can formulate some of the philosophical issues that are involved here by distinguishing two pairs of questions. These are:

A) "What do we know? What is the extent of our knowledge?"
B) "How are we to decide whether we know? What are the criteria of knowledge?"

If you happen to know the answers to the first of these pairs of questions, you may have some hope of being able to answer the second. Thus, if you happen to know which are the good apples and which are the bad ones, then maybe you could explain to some other person how he could go about deciding whether or not he has a good apple or a bad one. But if you don't know the answer to the first of these pairs of questions—if you don't know what things you know or how far your knowledge extends—it is difficult to see how you could possibly figure out an answer to the second.

On the other hand, if, somehow, you already know the answers to the second of these pairs of questions, then you may have some hope of being able to answer the first. Thus, if you happen to have a good set of directions for telling whether apples are good or bad, then maybe you can go about finding a good one—assuming, of course, that there are some good apples to be found. But if you don't know the answer to the second of these pairs of questions—if you don't know how to go about deciding whether or not you know, if you don't know what the criteria of knowing are—it is difficult to see how you could possibly figure out an answer to the first.

And so we can formulate the position of the skeptic on these matters. He will say: "You cannot answer question A until you have answered question B. And you cannot answer question B until you have answered question A. Therefore you cannot answer either question. You cannot know what, if anything, you know, and there is no possible way for you to decide in any particular case." Is there any reply to this?

Broadly speaking, there are at least two other possible views. So we may choose among three possibilities.

There are people—philosophers—who think that they do have an answer to B and that, given their answer to B, they can then figure out their answer to A. And there are other people—other philosophers—who have it the other way around: they think that they have
an answer to A and that, given their answer to A, they can then figure out the answer to B.

There don't seem to be any generally accepted names for these two different philosophical positions. (Perhaps this is just as well. There are more than enough names, as it is, for possible philosophical views.) I suggest, for the moment, we use the expressions "methodists" and "particularists." By "methodists," I mean, not the followers
of John Wesley's version of Christianity, but those who think they have an answer to B, and who then, in terms of it, work out their answer to A. By "particularists" I mean those who have it the other way around."


(Chisholm, Roderick M. The Foundations of Knowing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982. pp. 65-6)

-- Updated March 4th, 2017, 2:22 pm to add the following --

I forgot to mention that Rescher too accepts the truth-condition:

"The fundamental features of propositional knowledge are inherent in the modus operandi of knowledge discourse—in the very way in which language gets used in this connection.

1. Truth Commitment. Only the truth can be known. If someone knows that p then p must be true. It simply makes no sense to say “I know that p, but it might not be true.” or “X knows that p but it might not be true.” Only if one accepts p as true can one say of someone that they know that p . If one is not prepared to accept that p then one cannot say that someone knows it. Otherwise one has to withdraw the claim that actual knowledge is at issue and rest content with saying that the individual thinks or believes that he know that p."

(p. xvi)

"[O]ne cannot be said to know something if this is not true. Let “Kxp” abbreviate “x knows that p.” It than transpires that we have:

* The Veracity Principle: If Kxp, then p.

This relation between “x knows that p” and “p is true” is a necessary link that obtains ex vi terminorum. Knowledge must be veracious: The truth of p is a presupposition of its knowability: if p were not true, we would (ex hypothesi) have no alternative (as a matter of the “logic” of the conceptual situation) to withdraw the claim that somebody know p.

Some writers see the linkage between knowledge and truth as a merely contingent one. But such a view inflicts violence on the concept of knowledge as it actually operates in our discourse. The locution “x knows that p, but it is not true that p” is senseless. One would have to say “x thinks he knows that p, but . . .”. When even the mere possibility of the falsity of something that one accepts comes to light, the knowledge claim must be withdrawn; it cannot be asserted flatly, but must be qualified in some such qualified way as “While I don’t actually know that p, I am virtually certain that it is so.”"

(p. 10)

(Rescher, Nicholas. Epistemology: An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. New York: State University of New York Press, 2003.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by -1- » March 11th, 2017, 4:48 am

All knowledge is knowledge.

Knowledge of the truth is true knowledge.

Knowledge of not the truth is false knowledge.

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To know knowledge is true, you need justification for it.

In the a priori realm of truth, knowledge can be know to be true.

In the a posteriori (empirical) realm of truth, we can never know whether our knowledge is true knowledge or false knowledge. (1)

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(1) is so because we need external justification; and after we got that, we need justification of the justification; and after we got that, we need justification of the justification of the justification; this leads to establish truth on the bases of either axioms, or of infinite regress, or of circular reasoning, none of which are feasible and fool-proof.
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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Rr6 » March 11th, 2017, 12:27 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:And yes, these both came off of google, but they do illustrate my point that: knowledge is what you learn, it is your experience and has a lot to do with your perception, while truth is already there and is unchanging, despite one's perception.
This above rings true. We have knowledge of this, or that, absolute truths and relative truths.

I have knowledge that, the sky is blue even tho it is not always blue, and not blue for all observers.

I also like this above by lark because it is simple to grasp and not a bunch of philosophical mind games that appear to be sort of loopy circles of contradiction, paradox and misleading mess of words.

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Peter Holmes » July 19th, 2017, 9:48 am

Hi. I agree that the JTB truth condition is misleading - which doesn't seem to have been much noticed. But I've been coming from a different angle: truth is an attribute of factual assertions about features of reality, given the way we use the words or other signs involved. So there's a sharp distinction between what we can know about features of reality, which have no truth value, and what we say about them, which does. I want to mull over your argument more carefully, so thanks.

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by TIME MAN » July 19th, 2017, 3:09 pm

Wisdom requires discrimination between true and false, to understand/comprehend what is true/what is false and to differentiate between them. Knowledge is the accumulation of learning facts which are true and facts that are false, by observing the world we exist in. 2 Corinthians 10... "our fight is against false speculation and against every lofty thing held up against the true knowledge of God." Truth is ONE valid requirement for knowledge. Understanding what is false allows you Wisdom from your knowledge that you gain over a period of TIME.

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Fcacciola » July 27th, 2017, 10:18 pm

Peter Holmes wrote:Hi. I agree that the JTB truth condition is misleading - which doesn't seem to have been much noticed. But I've been coming from a different angle: truth is an attribute of factual assertions about features of reality, given the way we use the words or other signs involved. So there's a sharp distinction between what we can know about features of reality, which have no truth value, and what we say about them, which does. I want to mull over your argument more carefully, so thanks.
Indeed I agree that truth is an attribution (something that we decide). While there are simple cases in which that attribution directly correlates with something objectively independent of us, such as the truth of a mathematical correlation, is not at all easy to apply that to "factual assertions about features of reality".

For what is worth, I started the line of thought that ended in the ideas I presented in this thread after I was faced with the following conflict: the steady but slow pace of scientific research gradually allows us to figure more and more about the features of reality in a way that makes the resulting assertions trustworthy (i.e. true within the limits of the provisional conclusions of factual science), but there are always domains that fall short of any current scientific "knowledge" and which is filled, at best, with rational informed believes. While most people, specially hard-core scientists, opt to simply dismiss anything not properly backed by "proper" science, some of us prefer to consider such believes as "valid" approximations even if less than scientific knowledge. But then, how do you "value" or "measure" that? is easy enough to judge the statement "this is 2 inches tall", but the statement "you have been born 10 times before this life" is not.
The usual approach would be to try to establish whether that is the "truth" based on the evidential justifications that might exist for stating that, but, if that is not (currently) possible or way too difficult, is the statement useless? What if there is another, "equally useless" statement that says, "you have been born 5 times before"... is there a way to compare the two and pick one to believe in? (adding the statement "there is only this life" to the choices)

What I figured when I faced the conflict of trying to "compare" rational informed believes about the same thing but which lack "scientific background", in order to make a stance about the subject, is that when the condition of truth is relaxed (or just delayed if you like), it becomes possible to take "assertions about features of reality" and use them (for instance to pick one and discard another in the process of building a personal belief system--which I argue we all do, and is always much larger than any current scientific knowledge) by applying other criteria than just the truth. That other criteria is sort of roughly summarized in what I proposed about "certified dependable belief" as an account for knowledge.

--

[I just got back to this forum in a long while and I found you started a nice thread on the subject.. I'll make sure to read it and get involved soon]

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by TIME MAN » July 27th, 2017, 11:35 pm

Too many words.
Epistemology suggests.
The science of Etymology;existence/being.
1. a fact of living 2. a fact of objective reality 3. a state of living 4. state of objective reality
Objective Reality is required in both fact and state for intelligent existence to occur.
It seems you live in Albert Einsteins Relative Reality like most people on Earth.
Relative reality precludes intelligent existence by definition of the words existence and being.
Relativity allows anything to be true, because of the (psyche') psychical abstract constructs it allows you in your mind.
Truth is required for knowledge.
Objectivity is required to objectively observe facts observed in objective external reality.
Intellectual property of Michael Alan Chapman ChapmanMetaphysics California USA

NicoL
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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by NicoL » July 28th, 2017, 10:20 am

Fcacciola wrote:[...] what if the connection to the truth is always accidental [...]
It may be so (perhaps not always), but why is that a problem? Truth is but one necessary condition for knowledge; this does not mean there is no further necessary condition for knowledge which establishes the relevance of the truth of a proposition to the causal process through which one may came to have that piece of knowledge.

I think of knowledge as a standard for beliefs. We know what that standard is a priori, and we can have beliefs that satisfy that standard (through a combination of chance and sound empirical inquiry methods), but we cannot know with certainty whether any particular belief we hold satisfies it.

Furthermore, to know a proposition, you do not have to know that that proposition is true. You have to justifiably believe the proposition in a suitable way, and the proposition has to be true.

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Fcacciola » July 28th, 2017, 2:09 pm

NicoL wrote:
Fcacciola wrote:[...] what if the connection to the truth is always accidental [...]
It may be so (perhaps not always), but why is that a problem? Truth is but one necessary condition for knowledge; this does not mean there is no further necessary condition for knowledge which establishes the relevance of the truth of a proposition to the causal process through which one may came to have that piece of knowledge.
Is not a sufficient condition but only necessary indeed, but, how is not a problem to necessitate something that comes in accidentally?
NicoL wrote:I think of knowledge as a standard for beliefs. We know what that standard is a priori, and we can have beliefs that satisfy that standard (through a combination of chance and sound empirical inquiry methods), but we cannot know with certainty whether any particular belief we hold satisfies it.
I agree that knowledge is basically just a classification on the class of believes. And I much advocate the idea that propositions only have a degree of certainty rather than being simplistically known or not.
My problem is with the details of the classification procedure implied by the JTB account. In particular, the use of the "truth" condition in that classification.
NicoL wrote:Furthermore, to know a proposition, you do not have to know that that proposition is true. You have to justifiably believe the proposition in a suitable way, and the proposition has to be true.
So, "the proposition has to be true", but, "you do not have to know that it is true".... how does that work?

Isn't that like saying that "you have to wear a red hat" but "you don't have to know the color of the hat your are wearing"? How can you make sure is red then?

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Re: Is "Truth" really a valid requirement for Knowledge?

Post by Synthesis » July 28th, 2017, 6:49 pm

Truth is unknowable because it is in constant flux. Even if were not, then you could only know a relative truth, that is, each coordinate in the Universe would lend to a unique reality [perspective].

In that the human intellect can only "understand" reality in fixed moments, this analysis is studying something other than how life works. Thinking constantly changes as does a particular moment's truth. So, the closest you can get to truth is to 'go with the flow' and stop worrying about figuring it out. The truth is unknowable.

Knowledge must submit to the same master and can not be understood in any accurate manner. Knowledge, like all things, has a birth, life, and death, each an every moment. How can we possible understand this?

The good news is that we don't have to. The bad news is we keep trying [a condition that produces most of the hell that takes place on this Earth].

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