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Rationalism > Empiricsm :P

popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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8/15/2016 4:13:41 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Obviously the title is very tongue in cheek - even though it's true ;) - but this is a very interesting paper:

"We selected three effects of knowledge attribution recently reported about English speakers, i.e., (1) ceteris paribus people are less willing to ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for true beliefs based on perceptual evidence; (2) ceteris paribus people are less willing to ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on apparent evidence than for true beliefs based on authentic evidence even in Gettierized scenarios; and (3) ceteris paribus people are more willing to attribute knowledge to a protagonist when she engages in harmful activities than when she engages in beneficent activities even in Gettierized scenarios. And we translated the materials used in these existing studies into Chinese and Korean and then ran the studies with participants in China and South Korea. Strikingly, all three of the effects that had been found with Western participants also emerged with participants from these other cultures. Drawing on these results, we argue that it is time for a pivot in our more meta-philosophical discussions, namely, we should start systematically theorizing about the rather extraordinary cross-cultural similarities (instead of unfounded divergences) in people"s epistemic intuitions."

http://philpapers.org...

This figures into the Rationalism/Empiricism debate because rationalism relies heavily on intuitionism:

" The Intuition/Deduction Thesis: Some propositions in a particular subject area, S, are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions.

Intuition is a form of rational insight. Intellectually grasping a proposition, we just "see" it to be true in such a way as to form a true, warranted belief in it. (As discussed in Section 2 below, the nature of this intellectual "seeing" needs explanation.) Deduction is a process in which we derive conclusions from intuited premises through valid arguments, ones in which the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. We intuit, for example, that the number three is prime and that it is greater than two. We then deduce from this knowledge that there is a prime number greater than two. Intuition and deduction thus provide us with knowledge a priori, which is to say knowledge gained independently of sense experience."

http://plato.stanford.edu...

And intuitionism has often been criticized for relying on such a "subjective" (culture-variant) basis. Take that empiricists! :D

Also this MAY have some import for ethical intuitionism....
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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8/15/2016 7:25:26 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 4:13:41 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
" The Intuition/Deduction Thesis: Some propositions in a particular subject area, S, are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions.

Intuition is a form of rational insight. Intellectually grasping a proposition, we just "see" it to be true in such a way as to form a true, warranted belief in it. (As discussed in Section 2 below, the nature of this intellectual "seeing" needs explanation.) Deduction is a process in which we derive conclusions from intuited premises through valid arguments, ones in which the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. We intuit, for example, that the number three is prime and that it is greater than two. We then deduce from this knowledge that there is a prime number greater than two. Intuition and deduction thus provide us with knowledge a priori, which is to say knowledge gained independently of sense experience."

http://plato.stanford.edu...

This makes me wonder if you're familiar with Sellars or the "myth of the given"? Since what you're proposing here seems to be basically a wholesale acceptance of the rationalist variant of the "given".

Sellars' critique (if I can interpret correctly) would be something like, that first of all you are taking this "rational seeing" to be an intuition of a propositional fact. This can be reduced to contradiction if you hold the view that our ability to recognize propositional facts is acquired. But if you hold the other, more difficult and seemingly untenable view that we have an established set of facts in our minds which are already structured into propositions from the beginning of our existence, I think this view also runs into problems. Part of this argument would involve the more complicated criticism of the imaginary walls that many philosophies build between elements which are artificially separated by linguistic structure, such as "subject" and "predicate" and so on. Ultimately, though, I think there is a major obfuscating premise in the rationalist's Cartesian assumption of some form of "internal" world which can be directly known, as opposed to the "external" one which is only susceptible of "probabilistic" analysis. This latter false dichotomy was already destroyed by Kant, since he showed that the knowledge constituted by such an "internal" intuition can only play a regulative role and not become positive knowledge of some object in reality.

And intuitionism has often been criticized for relying on such a "subjective" (culture-variant) basis. Take that empiricists! :D

Also this MAY have some import for ethical intuitionism....

The post was a little confusing - I don't understand what the study was proving, or what an "effect of knowledge attribution" is but maybe I need to look into it a bit more carefully. Basically though, I am skeptical of any kind of "intuitionism" since it would seem to take for granted the mediation which linguistic structures impose upon such knowledge, in a way that only nominalist theories can really address.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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8/15/2016 1:09:53 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 4:13:41 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
" The Intuition/Deduction Thesis: Some propositions in a particular subject area, S, are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions.

Intuition is a form of rational insight. Intellectually grasping a proposition, we just "see" it to be true in such a way as to form a true, warranted belief in it. (As discussed in Section 2 below, the nature of this intellectual "seeing" needs explanation.) Deduction is a process in which we derive conclusions from intuited premises through valid arguments, ones in which the conclusion must be true if the premises are true. We intuit, for example, that the number three is prime and that it is greater than two. We then deduce from this knowledge that there is a prime number greater than two. Intuition and deduction thus provide us with knowledge a priori, which is to say knowledge gained independently of sense experience."

http://plato.stanford.edu...

And intuitionism has often been criticized for relying on such a "subjective" (culture-variant) basis. Take that empiricists! :D

Also this MAY have some import for ethical intuitionism....

It is important to note however that the I/DT only applies to a single subject area at once. While it might seem plausible to be a rationalist in say metaethics, I highly doubt anyone would claim to be a rationalist when it comes to reaction kinetics. The point being the vindication of I/DT in one area does not vindicate it in others.
The paper does not support the I/DT (although further research might), since they lack the empirical research needed to decide which of their suggested explanations (if any) is true. Out of the three they consider, social pragmatism does not qualify as rationalism of any kind and innate pragmatism and non-pragmatic nativism qualify as naturalist versions of the innate knowledge thesis (although I am not sure I understand the latter one correctly).
Fortunately for "rationalist" metaethics the IKT is good enough.
Personally I'll wait for further research before I accept rational insight into the working of the world. But then again, I don't think I/DT is at all troublesome as long as this minds eye (as Brown put it) can be explained in a less ambiguous way, that is without metaphors and quotation marks.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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8/15/2016 2:29:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Although I might sound quite critical, I think this is by far the most interesting thread here since, um, when was the last time I started one? jk
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
keithprosser
Posts: 1,895
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8/15/2016 3:05:42 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
The paper considers responses to questions like this one;

"Bob has a friend, Jill, who has driven a Buick for many years. Bob therefore thinks that Jill drives an American car. He is not aware, however, that her Buick has recently been stolen, and he is also not aware that Jill has replaced it with a Pontiac, which is a different kind of American car." The question asked after the case is, "Does Bob really know that Jill drives an American car, or does he only believe it?"

The results were that the breakdown of responses was similar for different cultures, apparently contrary to some other studies.

It seems to me that this has very little to do with truth or the nature of knowledge and everything to do with the way ordinary people use words like 'know' and 'believe'. The people asked these questions were social media users, not philosophers so were not overburdened with technical defiitions such as 'knowledge is justified true belief'.

Everyone who reads through the question will appreciate what the situation 'on the ground' is, namely Bob doesn't know Jill had her car stolen and that she now drives a different car from before, both of which happen to be American makes.

No one would argue that is a fair description of the scenario.. If some one says 'Bob knows' and another says 'No, Bob only believes' they don't have a different understanding of the pertinent facts - they only differ on the most appropriate word to describe it, a difference that reflects the imprecision of the way words are used informally and the manufactured ambiguity of the scenario.

Philsophy can degenerate into semantic quibbling, and I think this is a case in point. There is nothing deep about the nature of reality or truth or knowledge being revealed here - only the problems of using natural languages, especially in artificial settings deliberately designed to expose those problems.

Philosophical arguments are word based and the ambiguity of meaning can produce faulty arguments by a subtle shift in the meaning of a term. Mathematics avoids this by using terms like 'set' and 'point' ony in a carefully pre-defined sense mututally agreed upon by convention, and if a philosopher wants to present a rigorous argument ambiguity also has to be avoided, but as far as I can see it is entirely arbitrary whether we say 'Bob knows' or 'Bob only believes' in the given context, as long as the usage - once defined - is consistent and the usage is accepted by writer and reader.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,861
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8/15/2016 3:24:11 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 3:05:42 PM, keithprosser wrote:
The paper considers responses to questions like this one;

"Bob has a friend, Jill, who has driven a Buick for many years. Bob therefore thinks that Jill drives an American car. He is not aware, however, that her Buick has recently been stolen, and he is also not aware that Jill has replaced it with a Pontiac, which is a different kind of American car." The question asked after the case is, "Does Bob really know that Jill drives an American car, or does he only believe it?"

The results were that the breakdown of responses was similar for different cultures, apparently contrary to some other studies.

It seems to me that this has very little to do with truth or the nature of knowledge and everything to do with the way ordinary people use words like 'know' and 'believe'. The people asked these questions were social media users, not philosophers so were not overburdened with technical defiitions such as 'knowledge is justified true belief'.

Everyone who reads through the question will appreciate what the situation 'on the ground' is, namely Bob doesn't know Jill had her car stolen and that she now drives a different car from before, both of which happen to be American makes.

No one would argue that is a fair description of the scenario.. If some one says 'Bob knows' and another says 'No, Bob only believes' they don't have a different understanding of the pertinent facts - they only differ on the most appropriate word to describe it, a difference that reflects the imprecision of the way words are used informally and the manufactured ambiguity of the scenario.

Philsophy can degenerate into semantic quibbling, and I think this is a case in point. There is nothing deep about the nature of reality or truth or knowledge being revealed here - only the problems of using natural languages, especially in artificial settings deliberately designed to expose those problems.

Philosophical arguments are word based and the ambiguity of meaning can produce faulty arguments by a subtle shift in the meaning of a term. Mathematics avoids this by using terms like 'set' and 'point' ony in a carefully pre-defined sense mututally agreed upon by convention, and if a philosopher wants to present a rigorous argument ambiguity also has to be avoided, but as far as I can see it is entirely arbitrary whether we say 'Bob knows' or 'Bob only believes' in the given context, as long as the usage - once defined - is consistent and the usage is accepted by writer and reader.
"Jill drives an American car" is actually ambiguous as you point out because it isn't time specific like "currently" or "usually". One could argue that Jill drives an American car is factual because it's not addressing whether or not it's currently or usually or still or whatever. With no time being an issue the ambiguity allows for interpretation as to the context of what point is being made or proclamed. Jill simply might be driving an alternative car but she herself believes the Buick will be recovered so she is temporarily using another vehicle. Or Jill simply knows Jack stole it and is fetching a pale of water.