Is knowledge necessary to understand truth?


china
#1
Just wonder , is knowledge necessary to the understanding of truth? When I say “I know”, the implication is that there is knowledge. Can such a mind be capable of investigating and searching out what is reality? And besides, what is it we know, of which we are so proud? Actually what is it we know? We know information; we are full of information and experience based on our conditioning, our memory and our capacities. When you say “I know”, what do you mean? Either the acknowledgement that you know is the recognition of a fact, of certain information, or it is an experience that you have had. The constant accumulation of information, the acquisition of various forms of knowledge, all constitutes the assertion “I know”, and you start translating what you have read, according to your background, your desire, your experience. Your knowledge is a thing in which a process similar to the process of desire is at work. Instead of belief we substitute knowledge. “I know, I have had experience, it cannot be refuted; my experience is that, on that I completely rely; these are indications of that knowledge. But when you go behind it, analyse it, look at it more intelligently and carefully, you will find that the very assertion “I know” is another wall separating you and me. Behind that wall you take refuge, seeking comfort, security. Therefore it seams that the more knowledge a mind is burdened with, the less capable it is of understanding.
Your point of view.....
 
Niflmir
#2
Knowledge does not imply certainty, of that I am certain. This seemingly self refuting statement brings me to my next point: it depends what type of knowledge you speak of. Of purely conceptional entities, knowledge or truth is certainty. Of the physical entities, there can be no such certainty but there can still be knowledge.

The belief that knowledge implies certainty is the wall in front of the truth. Not the knowledge itself.
 
Ariadne
#3
I always had the impression that you were young, but your avatar suggests otherwise. Philosophical issues such as truth, belief, and the meaning of life always seemed to me to be popular issues to contemplate between the ages of 16 and 24. Have you read Descartes? He suggests that we don't know anything to be true other than the fact that we have thoughts. Beyond that, all information is received through our senses. If we deny that what we know through our senses is true, we are left with thought ... therefore his statement "I think, therefore I am." From there Descartes, and other philosophers, begin to reconstruct their world based on the fact that thought exists. As far as truth goes, we don't even know whether the real world exists, or whether it is a figment of our imagination. Truth can be constructed based on knowledge. I touch the table, I have a sensation, I have knowledge of the table, therefore it is true that there is a table in front of me. That's a simple example, but if you read through Descartes and some of his followers, they construct truth from knowledge.
 
china
#4
Niflmir
Quote:

The belief that knowledge implies certainty is the wall in front of the truth. Not the knowledge itself.

Is there a difference between a knowledge and/or belive ?
Just wondering.......
 
Niflmir
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

Niflmir
Is there a difference between a knowledge and/or belive ?
Just wondering.......

Sometimes. It depends what you are talking about and who you are talking to. There can be no separation of context from the human experience when you discuss semantics. One must understand the limitations of knowledge in order to distinguish the two.
 
captain morgan
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

Niflmir
Is there a difference between a knowledge and/or belive ?
Just wondering.......


You have used a very important and pivotal word here and that is 'believe'. In the end, our understanding (belief) in what we consider truth, reality and therefore knowledge is wholly based on what we believe to be truth, reality, etc..

You can appreciate that the above represents a balancing-act in that our beliefs evolve over time. I'm certain that you can generate many circumstances that exemplify this evolution.
 
YukonJack
#7
Not at all!

The less informed you are, the more you are inclined to swallow crap fed to you by a biased media.

Witness the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections.
 
china
#8
Thanks all of you' , 2300 HR CHINA TIME ,GOOD NIGHT
 
Niflmir
#9
Pleasant dreams.
 
L Gilbert
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

Just wonder , is knowledge necessary to the understanding of truth? When I say “I know”, the implication is that there is knowledge. Can such a mind be capable of investigating and searching out what is reality? And besides, what is it we know, of which we are so proud? Actually what is it we know? We know information; we are full of information and experience based on our conditioning, our memory and our capacities. When you say “I know”, what do you mean? Either the acknowledgement that you know is the recognition of a fact, of certain information, or it is an experience that you have had. The constant accumulation of information, the acquisition of various forms of knowledge, all constitutes the assertion “I know”, and you start translating what you have read, according to your background, your desire, your experience. Your knowledge is a thing in which a process similar to the process of desire is at work. Instead of belief we substitute knowledge. “I know, I have had experience, it cannot be refuted; my experience is that, on that I completely rely; these are indications of that knowledge. But when you go behind it, analyse it, look at it more intelligently and carefully, you will find that the very assertion “I know” is another wall separating you and me. Behind that wall you take refuge, seeking comfort, security. Therefore it seams that the more knowledge a mind is burdened with, the less capable it is of understanding.
Your point of view.....

If you don't know what 2 stands for and what an apple is, someone could tell you that 2 + apple = blue and you wouldn't have the knowledge to say that's untrue. Jeeeeeeeeez, China, THINK.
 
Dexter Sinister
#11
What could truth possibly be if it's not some kind of knowledge about something? Might as well ask if knowing the truth is necessary to understand truth, for which the answer seems self-evidently yes to me.
 
TenPenny
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

If you don't know what 2 stands for and what an apple is, someone could tell you that 2 + apple = blue and you wouldn't have the knowledge to say that's untrue. Jeeeeeeeeez, China, THINK.

When I look at something that is 'blue', I see a particular colour, and have been taught that this colour is blue.

How do I know that the colour I see in my brain is the same one that you see in your brain when you look at something blue? We have all been taught that this colour is 'blue', but how do we know that it appears the same in our brains?
 
L Gilbert
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

When I look at something that is 'blue', I see a particular colour, and have been taught that this colour is blue.

How do I know that the colour I see in my brain is the same one that you see in your brain when you look at something blue? We have all been taught that this colour is 'blue', but how do we know that it appears the same in our brains?

What color would you say the link bar on this page is? I'd say it was blue. Our brains are the organs that process the information that we sense. If each of us (except for the liars and color-blind people) agree on a particular definition of the color and the name of it, then that's the way things will work. When we arbitrarily decide on something else, then we go for that. if we have 6 billion people disagreeing with everyone else about colors and other things, then everything is nonsense.
 
darkbeaver
#14
When something feels good you know it when it feels bad you know that as well. If the truth be told the question is kinda skewed. (Necessary knowlege to understand truth.) We have a problem with understand don't we? At the subconscience level the organism has knowlege of truth (temp speed weight spin position chemical environment light etc; maybe millions of stimuli and none of it understood at the rational level, right, things get done, you understood but you slept. somthin like that mebe, it's my missing yellow cones, the result of a horrible nukyoular esplosun
 
china
#15



ARIADNE ,


Descartes said "I think therefore I am" as a proof for his own existence. Extrapolating from that, can any individual prove that a second individual exists? How can one prove to themselves that another person exists beyond their imagination?

Quote:

I always had the impression that you were young, but your avatar suggests otherwis

e
PS , Yes I,m young , I,m 58 today
 
china
#16
Dexter Sinister

Quote:

What could truth possibly be if it's not some kind of knowledge about something? Might as well ask if knowing the truth is necessary to understand truth.....

I know few things and that includes people and I'd be lying if I said that I understood them .
 
china
#17
It is a very interesting thing to watch how in our life these two, knowledge and belief, play an extraordinarily powerful part. Look how we worship those who have immense knowledge and erudition! Can you understand the meaning of it? If you would find something new, experience something which is not a projection of your imagination, your mind must be free, must it not? It must be capable of seeing something new. Unfortunately, every time you see something new you bring in all the information known to you already, all your knowledge, all your past memories; and obviously you become incapable of looking, incapable of receiving anything that is new, that is not of the old.I,m not talking about the kowledge of how to get to work or the knowledge of what bus to take home . What I'm saying is that knowledge that is used as a means to security, the psychological and inward desire to be something. What do you get through knowledge? The authority of knowledge, the weight of knowledge, the sense of importance, dignity, the sense of vitality and what-not? A man who says “I know”, “There is`’ or “There is not” surely has stopped thinking, stopped pursuing this whole process of desire
 
Ariadne
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post


ARIADNE ,


Descartes said "I think therefore I am" as a proof for his own existence. Extrapolating from that, can any individual prove that a second individual exists? How can one prove to themselves that another person exists beyond their imagination?

e
PS , Yes I,m young , I,m 58 today

It seems to me that he starts his argument by questioning knowledge. He continues questioning everything he knows, and if it cannot be deductively proven as true, he assumes it is false. Eventually he has discarded everything (all knowledge) and is left with nothing more than the knowledge that he exists. This he knows to be true. Based on knowing that to be true (self-existence), other philosophers went on to argue truth about the existence of other things, eventually leading to the big question about the existence of God. You are indeed young at heart to be questioning these things. I don't remember all the details, as it has been a very long time since I studied them - so I'm severely summarizing.

"I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I too do not exist? No: if I convinced myself of something then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind. (Med. 2, AT 7:25)"

After analyzing his world, he concludes that he cannot believe even his own senses, but he does know that he exists. He denies knowledge in search of one truth, that truth is that he exists. I don't think the entire exercise was to validate his own existence ... it was maybe a bit more about knowledge, belief, and truth.

ref: Descartes' Epistemology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 
L Gilbert
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post


ARIADNE ,


Descartes said "I think therefore I am" as a proof for his own existence. Extrapolating from that, can any individual prove that a second individual exists? How can one prove to themselves that another person exists beyond their imagination?

e
PS , Yes I,m young , I,m 58 today

Happy birthday, China. I hope you had an awesome day.
 
china
#20
Thanks LG .
Don't forget the next year .LOL
 
L Gilbert
#21
lol I'll try but I need reminders, though.
 
china
#22
Ariadne ,

Quote:

After analyzing his world, he concludes that he cannot believe even his own senses, but he does know that he exists

An analysis implies an examination of an element of the "whole". But if the "whole "
was to be understood ,there would not be any need for an analysis.
Perhaps Descartes did not see the "whole ".

Obviously he can not believe his own senses ; he functions in knowledge ,past , thought ,memory .On the other hand senses are an awareness and always in the present ; from moment to moment.(I smell now , I feel now , I see now etc) .
Can one be aware of one self ?.....only when one discards the past , the dead .
 
L Gilbert
#23
Perhaps he got into peyote or something.
 
Ariadne
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

Ariadne ,
An analysis implies an examination of an element of the "whole". But if the "whole "
was to be understood ,there would not be any need for an analysis.
Perhaps Descartes did not see the "whole ".

Obviously he can not believe his own senses ; he functions in knowledge ,past , thought ,memory .On the other hand senses are an awareness and always in the present ; from moment to moment.(I smell now , I feel now , I see now etc) .
Can one be aware of one self ?.....only when one discards the past , the dead .

Knowledge, belief, and truth are not related to wholes unless you want to sell religion (any denomination). The sum of the parts being greater than the whole argument is not related to Descartes ... he subtracts everything, arrives at zero, and then begins to rebuild ... all the way to God.

It's not obvious that Descartes cannot believe his senses. He says that he sees/hears/tastes/feels/smells/senses something, but he cannot be sure that what he senses is real or a figment of his imagination. He cannot deductively prove that it is real, other than what he perceives through his senses (which may be deceptive), so he assumes that his senses, one by one, are false - or cannot be verified/validated. Eventually he argues that the only thing he can verify (knowledge) is his own existence (truth). The exercise was not intended to prove his existence (belief). Many west coast philosophers liked his ideology and built on it. Bertram Russell came later, but the origin of the argument is the same.

To fully appreciate his argument about knowledge, belief, and truth, you have to read his discussions.
 
Dexter Sinister
#25
I think Descartes, like most philosophers, took himself way too seriously. I've always liked Samuel Johnson's response to such sophistry. If you really think the only thing you can prove the reality of is your awareness of your own thinking, try kicking a big rock, or jumping off the roof of my house, and claiming your injuries and pain aren't reality. Kicking the rock was Johnson's example, and he said, "I refute it thus." 90% of the philosophy I've read strikes me as utter BS.
 
Ariadne
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister View Post

I think Descartes, like most philosophers, took himself way too seriously. I've always liked Samuel Johnson's response to such sophistry. If you really think the only thing you can prove the reality of is your awareness of your own thinking, try kicking a big rock, or jumping off the roof of my house, and claiming your injuries and pain aren't reality. Kicking the rock was Johnson's example, and he said, "I refute it thus." 90% of the philosophy I've read strikes me as utter BS.

Maybe he took himself too seriously, and maybe he was a self-absorbed schizophrenic, but at the very least he gave people something to think about. Isn't Samual Johnson a politician? As mentioned perviously, I thought philosophy was interesting between the ages of 16 and 24 ... but was being generous when I said 24. The truth is that by 19, I was finished with that pursuit. As a child, I took knowledge, belief, and truth very seriously, but now ... I agree ... it's a bit of utter BS ... mental masturbation ... mind fcuk ... brainfart ... and not dignifying for a person that claims to be 58 year old.
 
china
#27
Quote:

The truth is that by 19, I was finished with that pursuit. As a child, I took knowledge, belief, and truth very seriously, but now ... I agree ... it's a bit of utter BS ... mental masturbation ... mind fcuk ... brainfart

Why the heck do you go and visit Philosophy forum; don't tell me ....a mental masturbation .
Quote:

... and not dignifying for a person that claims to be 58 year old.

Dignifying ;my foot ,I enjoy what I'm doing.Any how , it's kind of silly to "talk" with a brain fart.
Last edited by china; Jun 6th, 2009 at 08:59 AM..
 

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