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How does one find True 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.
Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 8:38 am

RJG wrote:If I claim my hearsay (my "read and heard"s) are truer than your hearsay, then that is just my 'opinion', not objective fact. If my opinion is that global warming is a hoax, it doesn't mean that it is objectively true. It just means that my "read and heard"s (hearsay) was more convincing to me than your hearsay.
(I'll deal with the rest of your post in a later post of mine.)

What were your criteria for finding it more convincing? From the way in which you use the word "opinion", you seem to me to equate it with personal taste with no argument to support it.

Here is an argument you started to make in another topic:
RJG wrote:It seems to me that most Trump haters hate Trump because of what they've read and heard about Trump. But when you look at his 'actual' words and actions (not the media spin and interpretations, i.e. propaganda), he seems to be a pretty nice guy with good intentions for our country.
Of course, the things people say about what Trump has said/done and his actual words and actions are all, to you, just hearsay, of precisely equal status to each other. Right? Your philosophical position (as I understand it) is that the statement "there is no such person as Donald Trump" has precisely the same truth value as the statements "Trump does and says bad things" and "the anti-Trump press report that Trump does and says bad things" and "the Earth has the same shape as a banana" and "it is raining". Yes? And that quantity of truth value is zero. Yes?

Yet you seem to make the beginnings of an argument, above, as to why we should trust information that we receive more directly more than we trust information that we receive more indirectly, from partisan sources. It's not a bad argument. It's one of the various techniques that we use to distinguish between different things that we've heard and read and glean objective truth value (minimising the effect of the subject on the propositions that he claims to be objective) from them.

But, given your philosophical position, why do you make this argument? Why not just say: "I have no idea whether a person called Donald Trump exists, whether a body of people called 'The Press' exists or, if either of them exist, whether what they say on any subject is true."

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 8:55 am

Steve, I don't understand your point. My opinions of Trump or Global Warming are just opinions. I have no problem admitting that. Hearsay is just hearsay. I am not claiming that these opinions are objective truths. They are not, they are just opinions.

If you look at all the discussions on this forum, it is mostly "regurgitations" of what people have "read and heard"s, which is just hearsay. And we can't get real truths from hearsay.

Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:00 am

Steve, I don't understand your point. My opinions of Trump or Global Warming are just opinions. I have no problem admitting that.
My point is what I said in the post.
Steve3007 wrote:What were your criteria for finding it more convincing?
Steve3007 wrote:Yet you seem to make the beginnings of an argument, above, as to why we should trust information that we receive more directly more than we trust information that we receive more indirectly, from partisan sources. It's not a bad argument. It's one of the various techniques that we use to distinguish between different things that we've heard and read and glean objective truth value (minimising the effect of the subject on the propositions that he claims to be objective) from them.

But, given your philosophical position, why do you make this argument?
etc.

Why do you construct rational arguments which appear to be designed to distinguish relatively objective hearsay from relatively partisan hearsay?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 9:15 am

Steve3007 wrote:Why do you construct rational arguments which appear to be designed to distinguish relatively objective hearsay from relatively partisan hearsay?
That which I've "read and heard" is not necessarily more true (or objective) than what you've "read and heard". Your belief that it "appears" more 'objectively' true, is your problem, not mine.

Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:21 am

RJG wrote:That which I've "read and heard" is not necessarily more true (or objective) than what you've "read and heard". Your belief that it "appears" more true, is your problem, not mine.
As I said, you constructed a rudimentary argument that contradicts this philosophical position. Your argument was that partisan sources of information are likely to contain less objective information content than non-partisan sources. As I said, it's a valid argument. The fact that it is a valid argument is not simply my opinion. You have demonstrated one of the objectively valid methods for distinguishing one source of hearsay from another. Good! That's what I have been trying to persuade you to do.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 9:31 am

Steve, if you wish to concede that my subjective "opinion" is 'objectively true', then hey, I won't argue with you against that! :wink:

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:35 am

RJG wrote:If you wish to concede that my "opinion" is 'objective truth', then hey, I won't argue against that! :wink:
As I asked in a previous post, could clarify whether you use the word "opinion" as a synonym for "personal taste"? Are all the various arguments that you have made on this forum merely your personal tastes, with the same status as a statement like "I like apple pie"?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 9:41 am

Steve3007 wrote:As I asked in a previous post, could clarify whether you use the word "opinion" as a synonym for "personal taste"? Are all the various arguments that you have made on this forum merely your personal tastes, with the same status as a statement like "I like apple pie"?
"Opinions" and "personal tastes" are just 'forms of 'subjectivity'. And we can't get 'objectivity' from 'subjectivity'.

My arguments (in most parts) are based on deductive logic, and not on "opinions/hearsay" nor necessarily "personal tastes".

Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:43 am

Do you use the word "opinion" as a synonym for "personal taste"? If not, what is the difference between the two, in your view?

Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:45 am

RJG wrote:My arguments (in most parts) are based on deductive logic.
You made an argument earlier that partisan sources of information are less reliable than non-partisan (objective) sources. Was that particular one based on deductive logic? If not, what form of logic was it based on?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 9:53 am

Steve3007 wrote:Do you use the word "opinion" as a synonym for "personal taste"?
No.
Steve3007 wrote:If not, what is the difference between the two, in your view?
They are different forms of subjectivity. One is emotion and the other is belief based on hearsay (subjective observations).

Steve3007 wrote:You made an argument earlier that partisan sources of information are less reliable than non-partisan (objective) sources. Was that particular one based on deductive logic? If not, what form of logic was it based on?
Logically, objectivity does not equal subjectivity. If we want objectivity, then subjectivity is not what we want.

Steve3007
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 9:58 am

OK, I think we've been shuffling our few pieces through the same small set of moves across the board for long enough. I'll leave it there again for now.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Tamminen » December 4th, 2019, 9:23 am

Concerning the title of the topic:

Normally we have the natural attitude where we see the world around us and assume that everything we see is real and “out there”. But as philosophers we can adopt a new attitude and start reflecting on our seeing the world. This is what Descartes did. In this way we begin to see a priori truths like the existence of experiences. But we need not stop there. We can also see other essential features of reality, like the necessity of the subject as an ontological precondition of all being, but also the necessity of the objective world. So we can say that only by means of the reflective attitude we can be certain of the existence of objective reality, i.e. that our natural attitude is justified.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » December 4th, 2019, 10:41 am

Tamminen wrote:...but also the necessity of the objective world...
What do you mean by the word "necessity" here? Do you mean it in the sense of a logical necessity? i.e. something that it would be logically self-contradictory to deny, as in the expression "all bachelors are necessarily unmarried"? Or do you mean that the idea of an objectively existing world is something that is necessary for a particular purpose, as in the expression "to avoid starving it is necessary to eat"?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Tamminen » December 4th, 2019, 11:02 am

Steve3007 wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 10:41 am
Tamminen wrote:...but also the necessity of the objective world...
What do you mean by the word "necessity" here? Do you mean it in the sense of a logical necessity? i.e. something that it would be logically self-contradictory to deny, as in the expression "all bachelors are necessarily unmarried"? Or do you mean that the idea of an objectively existing world is something that is necessary for a particular purpose, as in the expression "to avoid starving it is necessary to eat"?
I mean it in the same sense as Descartes found that it is impossible to doubt his experiences and therefore concluded that he exists, or in the same sense as I have found the necessity of the subject. In the phenomenological analysis of consciousness, also known as reflection, there may be more or less certain features of our existence, but this is the method I use in my philosophy. The 'necessity of the objective world' was a bit provocative, but I think we can reach a clear intuition of this. I do not think formal logic helps here.

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