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There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Wmhoerr
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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Wmhoerr » February 1st, 2019, 4:58 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 4:00 pm

I agree fully with what is said above except for the conclusion that most human knowledge is genetic.
Thanks, I needed some support. All the previous replies were on the negative side. I'm not sure about the genetic proportion but it is probably quite high. Maybe we would like to think we are making more choices than we really are.

I am sure there is a genetic side to walking too. In humans, the desire to walk is also genetic as you can see the young child trying to get up again and again even after it falls over. The art of walking comes from practise (in Australia we use "s" instead of "c" when practice is a verb). Walking ideas are accumulated in the brain (or probably brain stem) over time. Here genetic and cultural ideas are so interwoven that walking eventually becomes effortless. I think it is more like 50/50 than all cultural.

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Burning ghost
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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Burning ghost » February 1st, 2019, 10:48 pm

Wmhoerr wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 2:37 pm
I'm using words in the normal way. Let's say someone says "I am hungry". That is, s/he knows that s/he is hungry. The desire for food is real. The person has knowledge of hunger. The hunger desire comes before birth. The blank slate idea of the mind is no longer believed. Well, if it is no longer believed, what comes before birth then? All those innate, inborn, etc. characteristics like hunger, envy, jealousy ... as mentioned earlier.

Anyone reading the responses so far to my post would think you are all "blank slate-ists", if there is such a thing. When the brain grows the information of the genes becomes knowledge in the mind. A baby that cries KNOWS that it is hungry. It does not need to learn it. The baby has knowledge that came befofe birth.

What I am saying is that some knowledge comes before birth. Now you might not agree with this, but at least try to understand what I am getting at here.
The nature nurture dichotomy is no longer held by most behavioural biologists. It is a convenient marker, no more. At the lowest level the line between the organism ans the environment blurs.
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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Belindi » February 2nd, 2019, 9:51 am

Wmhoerr wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:44 pm
Belindi wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 2:42 pm
The issue is that there is no such thing as objective thinking, except in the case of tautological systems i.e. mathematics and formal logic.
You seem to be complaining about clarity in my post yet in your sentence above I have no idea what you are talking about. "Water is wet" is a tautology but tells us nothing as wetness is part of the definition of water. Mathematics and logic are anything but tautological. Most maths is subjective, as in engineering, not objective.
"Water is wet" is not tautological . Water is not all that is wet, and nobody can know that water is wet until they have tested water to know what it feels like. A tautology is for example 2-1=1. Within mathematics 2-1 is the same as 1.

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Wmhoerr » February 2nd, 2019, 3:41 pm

Belindi wrote:
February 2nd, 2019, 9:51 am
Wmhoerr wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:44 pm


You seem to be complaining about clarity in my post yet in your sentence above I have no idea what you are talking about. "Water is wet" is a tautology but tells us nothing as wetness is part of the definition of water. Mathematics and logic are anything but tautological. Most maths is subjective, as in engineering, not objective.
"Water is wet" is not tautological . Water is not all that is wet, and nobody can know that water is wet until they have tested water to know what it feels like. A tautology is for example 2-1=1. Within mathematics 2-1 is the same as 1.
"Water is wet" is a standard example of a tautology used in all the junior schools. Look it up on the net. There are countless examples. I will quote from https//brainly.in/question/2266700. "The statement "water is wet" is true by definition. It is a tautology. The proof is by viture of the definition of the word water and the definition of the word wet."

Please go back to the original post above and reread it. I am looking for some informative feedback.

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Consul » February 4th, 2019, 5:29 pm

Wmhoerr wrote:
February 2nd, 2019, 3:41 pm
Belindi wrote:
February 2nd, 2019, 9:51 am
"Water is wet" is not tautological . Water is not all that is wet, and nobody can know that water is wet until they have tested water to know what it feels like. A tautology is for example 2-1=1. Within mathematics 2-1 is the same as 1.
"Water is wet" is a standard example of a tautology used in all the junior schools. Look it up on the net. There are countless examples. I will quote from https//brainly.in/question/2266700. "The statement "water is wet" is true by definition. It is a tautology. The proof is by viture of the definition of the word water and the definition of the word wet."
There are two kinds of analytic truths: logical or formal truths & semantic or conceptual truths.

* A sentence is logically/formally true iff it is true by virtue of its form. Logical truths (e.g. p v ~p) are called tautologies (All theorems in logic are tautologies.)

* A sentence is semantically/conceptually true iff it is true by virtue of its meaning/the meaning of its components. Semantic truths (e.g. "Bachelors are unmarried") aren't logical tautologies.

The sentence "Water is wet" is not logically true, so it's semantically true at most—but is it really?

Semantic truths are analytic truths, and analytic truths are knowable a priori/non-empirically. For example, you don't have to do any empirical inquiry or research in order to find out whether bachelors are unmarried.

But what about "Water is wet"? First of all, what does "wet" mean? It means "consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (such as water)" (Merriam-Webster), so "Water is wet" means "Water consists of/contains/is covered or soaked with water". Does this make sense? It doesn't, because it makes sense to ascribe wetness to other things (e.g. "a wet stone", "a wet towel"), but not to water itself. So it seems that "Water is wet" is not a semantic truth either, because it's not true at all—as opposed to "Water makes wet" and "Water is H2O". (That water is H20 is certainly not knowable a priori/non-empirically.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Consul » February 4th, 2019, 5:37 pm

Consul wrote:
February 4th, 2019, 5:29 pm
But what about "Water is wet"? First of all, what does "wet" mean? It means "consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (such as water)" (Merriam-Webster), so "Water is wet" means "Water consists of/contains/is covered or soaked with water". Does this make sense? It doesn't, because it makes sense to ascribe wetness to other things (e.g. "a wet stone", "a wet towel"), but not to water itself. So it seems that "Water is wet" is not a semantic truth either, because it's not true at all—as opposed to "Water makes wet" and "Water is H2O". (That water is H20 is certainly not knowable a priori/non-empirically.)
If the adjective "watery" is used with the meaning "resembling water or watery matter", then "Water is watery" is a semantic truth (providing resemblance is a reflexive relation such that everything resembles itself), which is very close to the logical truth "Water is water".
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Consul » February 4th, 2019, 5:41 pm

"Many philosophers have used ‘Water is wet’ as an example of an obvious truth about water. When I first encountered the example, I thought it was part of a joke the punch line of which I missed. I have since become used to seeing it in the philosophical literature but am still unable to shake a semantically uneasy feeling toward it. Liquid water is what makes other things wet, but it itself is not wet. A shirt soaked in water is wet, but the water in which it is soaked is not wet. A wet shirt can be dried, but liquid water cannot be dried. Even solid water, ice, is not wet when not melting. When it is melting and sits in a pool of liquid water, it may be said to be wet. But even then, it is the ice that is said to be wet, not the liquid water surrounding it. It is never true literally to call liquid water wet."

(Yagisawa, Takashi. Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. p. 52n8)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Belindi » February 5th, 2019, 8:00 am

Consul wrote:
But what about "Water is wet"? First of all, what does "wet" mean? It means "consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (such as water)" (Merriam-Webster), so "Water is wet" means "Water consists of/contains/is covered or soaked with water". Does this make sense? It doesn't, because it makes sense to ascribe wetness to other things (e.g. "a wet stone", "a wet towel"), but not to water itself. So it seems that "Water is wet" is not a semantic truth either, because it's not true at all—as opposed to "Water makes wet" and "Water is H2O". (That water is H20 is certainly not knowable a priori/non-empirically.)
If 'wet' is intended as a noun then I can see that water and wet are synonymous, but even then "water is wet" is subjective because other things besides water are wet, for instance salt solution, blood, wine, snow, sweat and so on.

However "water is wet" is usually intended as a replaceable attribute of water. While water usually is wet, as I said that is a subjective sensation and if the subject is numb the water won't feel wet.

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Burning ghost » February 5th, 2019, 8:38 am

I believe “wetness” is an emergent property of a certain number of molecules arranged in a certain state.

Liquids at room temerpature are generally “wet” and feel “water-like”. Emergence is a problem in and of itself too.

Regardless, I don’t understand how the OP can talk “knowledge” as being “innate”. To me that is contradictory as experience is required to possess knowledge about/of something. We certainly have a “starting position” (foundation upon which consciousness emerges). A rock doesn’t have knowledge and neither does DNA. The latter does possess information that has been passed on from it’s parent/s.

Then it gets cybernetic and messy!
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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Consul » February 5th, 2019, 5:25 pm

Belindi wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:00 am
If 'wet' is intended as a noun then I can see that water and wet are synonymous, but even then "water is wet" is subjective because other things besides water are wet, for instance salt solution, blood, wine, snow, sweat and so on.
However "water is wet" is usually intended as a replaceable attribute of water. While water usually is wet, as I said that is a subjective sensation and if the subject is numb the water won't feel wet.
There is something it feels like to touch water (or some other kind of liquid)—e.g. soft and warm—, but water itself neither is nor feels wet. Other things covered or soaked with water are and feel wet; but water doesn't, since it's not covered or soaked with water.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Consul » February 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:38 am
I believe “wetness” is an emergent property of a certain number of molecules arranged in a certain state.
Liquids at room temerpature are generally “wet” and feel “water-like”. Emergence is a problem in and of itself too.
Wetness doesn't belong to liquids such as water but to nonliquid things covered or soaked with some liquid. Water or any other kind of liquid isn't wet, and being/feeling water-like is not the same as being/feeling wet.

The "emergent" property of liquids in question isn't wetness but liquidity, which is explainable in terms of molecular structure.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by JosephM » February 5th, 2019, 6:38 pm

Wmhoerr wrote:
January 31st, 2019, 1:26 am
For me there appears to be two different types of knowledge. I will outline my reasoning.

The “nature” verses “nurture” debate will probably never end. Similar words used in past discussions for “nature” could include: innate, inborn, instinct, á priori, and id. The nature part is taken as that with which we are born. As the carrier of information from one generation to the next is the genes, then it seems that the nature part can only be the genetic part.
Say someone says “I am hungry”. Hormones from the neural network around the stomach are sent to the brain. This idea starts in the stomach and ends in the brain. The person knows genetically s/he is hungry. If this reasoning is correct, then hunger is a genetic idea; it is not learnt after birth. The “I am hungry” is actually a real idea in the mind. Hunger can vary considerably as can be seen at a buffet where people choose different foods at a restaurant.

The mind is no longer considered a blank slate and so other genes beside hunger, such as those for our emotions, desires and behaviors, are also found in the mind. Examples could be envy, jealousy, hate, musical desire, desire to run, and all manner of other things. To varying extent (just as we all differ in height and appearance, so do all these genetic ideas differ as per bell curve distribution) these ideas are part of the brain before birth. (The nasty parts were called original sin by the church. They had to use a metaphor as chemistry was in its infancy.)

But not all genes end in the mind. Genes that make and regulate the body or genes for the immune system will not end up in the brain. Therefore these processes cannot be influenced by the mind. Some genes are in the mind and others not. The genetic ideas in the mind could be called genetic knowledge.

On top of this comes cultural knowledge (the “nurture” part); that which we learn during our lifetime. We can control hunger, envy, and hate with cultural knowledge. (A society makes you limit some behaviors through laws). Genetic knowledge comes before birth, cultural knowledge after birth. Genetic and cultural ideas interact in the mind with this interaction called thought and the direction of the interaction called the will.

I would like to suggest that genetic ideas play a part in every thought. People debate the influence of these background ideas. Is it 50/50, 20/80, 80/20, and so on. I think most of our thoughts are genetic.
The position that there are two types of knowledge -A priori knowledge , and A posteriori knowledge, is not a novel idea. Plato and Kant both handle this dichotomy from their own perspectives, so I don't see that this needs much defending, it stands on its own as being accepted.

So the important part is at the end of the OP, where you posit that all thoughts are of genetic origin , at least , in part. I would counter that while we do have propensities which are the direct result of our genetic complement , the A posteriori material is described to be outside our abilities to generate independent of experience.


EX:Who the King of England was in 1352 is an example of a thing you cannot be born knowing. ( at least - if you are not a reincarnation )


Since our physical experience , impacts most of our thoughts , I think it would be fair to say that our genetics affect much of our mindset, but I dont think it could be meaningfully calculated to a percentage.

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by Burning ghost » February 5th, 2019, 11:57 pm

Consul wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm
Burning ghost wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:38 am
I believe “wetness” is an emergent property of a certain number of molecules arranged in a certain state.
Liquids at room temerpature are generally “wet” and feel “water-like”. Emergence is a problem in and of itself too.
Wetness doesn't belong to liquids such as water but to nonliquid things covered or soaked with some liquid. Water or any other kind of liquid isn't wet, and being/feeling water-like is not the same as being/feeling wet.

The "emergent" property of liquids in question isn't wetness but liquidity, which is explainable in terms of molecular structure.
Oops! Yeah, but “wetness” is certainly an emergent feature off molecules on skin. A singular molecule of anything surely doesn’t “feel” wet - you’re right though, a change in airflow, skin sensitivity or such can lead to a “wet” sensation.
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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by cavacava » February 6th, 2019, 12:15 am

Isn't 'wet' a lot like 'red', if you have not experienced it for whatever reason, you don't really know what it is like to be wet or to see red.

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Re: There appears to be Two Types of Knowledge

Post by JamesOfSeattle » February 6th, 2019, 12:23 am

Consul wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 5:25 pm
There is something it feels like to touch water (or some other kind of liquid)—e.g. soft and warm—, but water itself neither is nor feels wet. Other things covered or soaked with water are and feel wet; but water doesn't, since it's not covered or soaked with water.
I don’t feel strongly about this, but an argument can be made that water is wet. The connotation of something being wet is that is has a liquid sticking to it, and if you touched it, you would become wet because the liquid would stick to you. In that sense a puddle of water is wet. Contrast that with say, a puddle of mercury. [Some of us remember playing with a blob of mercury. Maybe that explains a few things ...]

*
Last edited by JamesOfSeattle on February 6th, 2019, 1:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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