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Uses of epistemology.

Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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9/15/2013 7:39:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What uses does epistemology have in a practical sense? I know that Lordknukle can say incredibly stupid things that demonstrate his lack of knowledge in ethics, but how would I know if I, too, were ignorant? What is there to suggest that I'm not? If I make certain assumptions about my own position vis-a-vis experts in the field, or come to a basic conclusion that seems superficially obvious but is rejected or seemingly unknown to professionals, I infer my own relative knowledge (or lack thereof). If I don't, or fall prey to my own biases, I might think of myself as some sort of incomparable genius (which I did, back in my early teenage years, because I had never realized that there was an entire field that dealt with those kind of issues). Yet the probability of me, with zero training, being the first to have thought of a new or unprecedented concept is infinitesimally small. I can extrapolate from that, can't I? I could, for instance, use statistical analysis of certain normative factors (like an estimate of the amount of humans that have ever existed, or simple scientific consensus) to derive conclusions about where I, or the human race, or our Galaxy stands in essentially every way. It's incredibly helpful to keep in mind all the time, because it helps enormously in avoiding biases. One can even draw conclusions (with a Fermi calculation) about the implications of even knowing about this. How many humans today realize it and is it correlated with any other factors? What percentage of humans/philosophers/sapient beings have ever realized it? If you don't know if someone is lying to you, just factor in his/her ability to maintain a convincing lie, his/her motives in lying, etc. It may seem like common sense, but icy logic in these circumstances will help you overcome emotions and other cognitive biases (and I wish I had would have known this years ago). These questions should always be at the forefront of your mind.

Ok, I realize that I'm rambling. You just wait until I learn Bayesian techniques. ;p
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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9/15/2013 7:49:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have explained your biases to you and you do seem just rather dumb. Thanks for the consideration, though.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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9/19/2013 1:32:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Wow, I just read this again. Complete fvcking nonsense. I'm being serious, wtf was I on?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."