New Atheists are branch of atheists "apologetics" that grabs my attention. That is they claim proving EDIT: ALMOST CERTAIN non-existence of God or deity using scientific method which is the epistemology that is reliable and broadly accepted (I wouldn't be discussing philosophical part such as morality or ontological arguments or arguments from design). This applies Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens (R.I.P), while Dawkins is probably most famous and also a known scientist. I read thus "God Delusion" and I have few thoughts.
I will focus on short discussion of Miracle of The Sun starting page 94, and then "Ultimate 747 Gambit" which author considers his most important argument against God.
First page 94:
"On the face of it mass visions, such as the report that seventy thousand pilgrims at Fatima in Portugal in 1917 saw the sun 'tear itself from the heavens and come crashing down upon the multitude', 49 are harder to write off. It is not easy to explain how seventy thousand people could share the same hallucination. But it is even harder to accept that it really happened without the rest of the world, outside Fatima, seeing it too - and not just seeing it, but feeling it as the catastrophic destruction of the solar system, including acceleration forces sufficient to hurl everybody into space. David Hume's pithy test for a miracle comes irresistibly to mind: 'No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.'"
Summing up: even if many people have seen this and confirmed seeing "dancing sun" it is impossible that Sun really moved relative to earth without rest of world notice. Numerous other skeptical investigators say phenomena was local and visible in radius of 5-15 km so probably this was related to refraction or scattering of light (cloud, sundog etc) - this thinking shows immediate flaw in Dawkins argument. Nonetheless he points to David Hume for epistemology and considers it done. For the record Hume may be considered fringe anti inductionist and first philosopher who went after errors of overgeneralization in early inductive approaches.
Then goes "Ultimate 747 Gambit" which is supposed to prove that almost certainly there's no God. It is structured as follows.
Is the project of coming up with theories of justification is to show the commonsense beliefs are justified or do epistemologists already think that commonsense beliefs are justified and try to come up with an adequate theory of HOW they are justified? The reason I ask is that until we find the true theory of justification without any objections, are our beliefs unjustified?
In quite a few books that I have read, Locke's epistemology is portrayed as inadequate and rejected wholesale. In the Oxford Very Short Introduction itself, Dunn seeks to make the case that Locke should be seen as a 'tragic figure'. In other books his theories are often called 'rather naive'.
So, what I would like to know is:
What is it precisely about Locke's epistemology/theory of cognition that it is so rejected by contemporary philosophers? Is the advance of the sciences since his time the main reason?
What is the standing of Locke among contemporary philosophers? (I.e. his epistemology, not his politics)
Imagine there's a disease (not COVID) that is currently contaminating 1 person in 1000 in your town.There's a test that is reliable at 99%.You go take the test for no other reason than curiosity (you are not a contact case, nor have symptoms).The test result is positive. Are you more likely contaminated or not?
If we go the standard SE route, we can see that the test itself is 99% reliable. In and of itself, this would be reliable enough to justify a belief that you are contaminated.
However that is not the whole truth, the probability "a priori" is missing in the equation here.
If we ask the exact same question but differently: Is the probability of being contaminated higher that the probability of a false positive?
The probability of being contaminated "a-priori" is 1/1000, whereas the probability of a false positive is 1/100. When comparing those two probabilities, we can see that the chance of a false positive is higher than the chance of being contaminated.
Even though the test was 99% reliable, you are in fact 10 times more likely to be a false positive.
I've seen multiple people in SE discussing that "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence" and this is absolutely the concept that I am trying to address. Most of the SE discussing that, then goes on to say "God is extraordinary". But is that a justified assumption? For the eyes of the believer, God is absolutely ordinary. The fact that there would be no God would be the extraordinary claim in their eyes. They see order, and they don't get to witness order appearing out of chaos.
Because of that, the believer requires evidence that would be seen as unreliable for the non-believer, but for them, the perceived probability of a god existing is higher than the perceived probability of the evidence being wrong.We are in the case where a picture of somebody with a dog would be sufficient evidence to justify the belief that this person has a dog. Because the probability of just anyone having a dog is higher than the probability of the photo being fake.
This is why, only questioning the justification of the specific claim isn't always enough, you need to bring them to question their perceived probability "apriori".
Let's say we are discussing the claim that "Hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19".Questioning the reliability of the studies is one thing. But we mustn't forget to ask them :
Practical epistemology is essentially the study of how to know what is real. It is a civic necessity in a self-governing society.
When it comes to epistemology I'm looking for books about the history of different epistemic positions and how they developed over time as well as covering what are the most recent debates on the topic.
Philosophy of science is a pretty new topic to me so I'm looking more for a good introduction on the topic.
Examples are appreciated.
Let's say, hypothetically, that every historical claim in the Bible, the predictions, the resurrection, etc, were correct. Would this prove the supernatural? I suppose you could call this a gap argument, but isn't everything a gap argument? Even if a theory consistently makes accurate predictions and explains relevant facts better than any other theory, do we really know that this theory is truly correct? Or are we just assuming it's correct due to inductive reasoning? If such reasoning is valid for scientific theories, why would it not be valid for supernatural ones also?
This was worded poorly so I'm now editing this to clearer state what I mean. I suppose my questions, most simply, are these: what evidence would justify a belief in the divine claims of the Bible (or in general, really), and why? Is there any possible evidence for divine claims that could not be written off as a gap argument? What would this evidence look like?
I've watched a number of videos of street epistemology in action and was hopeful that it was the useful method that it's purported to be. Unfortunately, in my estimation thus far (having watched perhaps a half a dozen or so videos) it essentially fails to in any way convince a person of the fallacy of their ideas. All it really does is make them look even more ridiculous to people who already (attempt to) think critically. It allows us to proclaim, "Aha! See?? You have no real reason you believe in god!" But it doesn't actually seem to get them to see things differently. At best, they may admit that they mainly believe because of faith, but they still feel just as strongly that they're right at the end of the conversations as they do at the beginning. Now, of course, who knows? Perhaps that conversation plants a seed in their mind that germinates possibly years later and leads them to see that their belief was baseless. But, at least in the videos, street epistemology accomplishes very little besides making the person feel attacked (which is one of the things it supposedly avoids doing as far as I understand it). What are your thoughts?
In case you haven't heard of street epistemology and are interested in this pretty cool technique, here are two example videos:
I've found quite a few papers on the situated knowledge thesis, but I have found it harder to find literature on epistemic privilege (or Advantage, as Wylie (2003) calls it).
Basically, I'm interested in the ways in which oppressed people get more access to / higher quality evidence about the social relations making up society, or can recognise verdictive illocutions where others just hear locutions etc.
Would anyone have any recommendations?
It would be great if you also recommend websites, youtube channels, etc.
I’ve been learning German for a while and now I want to learn German Words, phrases, terms in the fields of science and philosophy, I would greatly appreciate it if there is a detailed database somewhere that does this. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
So I recently had a Uni course for my BA on the philosophy of science. I started thinking about the philosophy of how we know things - that’s called epistemology, right? Anyways I started thinking and ran into a problem. How do we know that we know something? There are two ways of verifying the validity of a way of knowing things:
I’m not a philosophy student so I was wandering what writings in philosophy talk abt this issue. Are there any resolutions?
Doing a historical reading of Epistemology-Metaphysics. I made the mistake of starting in the modern period with Descartes.
Not quite sure which Platonic dialogues tackle his world of forms. So far, I have read Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus and Republic.
Street Epistemology is a conversational style that aims at unveiling what reasons people can provide for believing the things they believe. It has its roots in atheist culture where it was conceived as a way to make religious people doubt their faith. The goal of the method is not to convince the person you are speaking to that they are wrong and that you are right, but rather to show how hard it is to be right and know what is true, and that faith is not a reliable way to get there.
It seems very effective when dealing with people who believe in supernatural things or conspiracy theories due to its non-confrontational style. It tries to make the person you are speaking to realize that they could be wrong by themselves instead of having to listen to someone tell them they are wrong. The method also teaches that you should not expect instant results, but rather to sow seeds of doubt that grow over time.
Anyway, here are a couple of links to videos and the subreddit.
I am posting this here because I am moved by your stories and think that it might help you. As a European it has been scary and fascinating to watch what has happened in the USA since 2016, by this point it seems like you need all the help you can get.
Maybe this post can serve to create some discussions on how to adapt the method to deal specifically with claims related to the Q-anon/Trump cult.
A comprehensive list of books that might be of interest to people whom want to, or do practice SE.
They can also work as book recommendations for people whom you have spoken to, that want to read something that might improve their thinking or as gifts.
I have not read most of these, thus I can not personally vouch for them or recommend one over the other.
But if you do read any of them, or have any opinion it would be nice if you could create a post.
I'm not affiliated with Goodreads, but linked to them since they have links to several sources including libraries if you want to get any one of these, and often some quality reviews.
How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43885240-how-to-have-impossible-conversations by Peter Boghossian (Goodreads Author), James A. Lindsay (Goodreads Author)
3.99 · Rating details · 928 ratings
"This is a self-help book on how to argue effectively, conciliate, and gently persuade. The authors admit to getting it wrong in their own past conversations. One by one, I recognize the same mistakes in me. The world would be a better place if everyone read this book." -- Richard Dawkins, author of Science in the Soul and Outgrowing God
In our current political climate, it seems impossible to have a reasonable conversation with anyone who has a different opinion. Whether you're online, in a classroom, an office, a town hall -- or just hoping to get through a family dinner with a stubborn relative -- dialogue shuts down when perspectives clash. Heated debates often lead to insults and shaming, blocking any possibility of productive discourse. Everyone seems to be on a hair trigger.
In How to Have Impossible Conversations, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay guide you through the straightforward, practical, conversational techniques necessary for every successful conversation -- whether the issue is climate change, religious faith, gender identity, race, poverty, immigration, or gun control. Boghossian and Lindsay teach the subtle art of instilling doubts and opening minds. They cover everything from learning the fundamentals for good conversations to achieving expert-level techniques to deal with hardliners and extremists. This book is the manual everyone needs to foster a climate of civility, connection, and empathy.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
4.10 · Rating deta... keep reading on reddit ➡
If you're familiar with the empirical philosophy of David Hume, then there is a chance that the contents of these epilogues have caused you to remember his epistemology, especially his epistemology of causality and power/necessary connection. For those of you unfamiliar with David Hume, he was a Scottish philosopher who lived during the better portion of the 18th century. Philosophy is generally divided pretty broadly into rationalist and empirical philosophy, the former believing that knowledge derives from reason alone, the latter believing that knowledge derives from experience; David Hume is today considered to be one of the most impressive of western empirical philosophers, for reasons we'll explore shortly. I do not know if Tolstoy was familiar with Hume's philosophy, and if he was familiar with it, I am not sure of the extent to which that was the case--however, once you've considered Hume's epistemology re: causality, it's hard to shake the idea that there is some connection between what Tolstoy writes about in War and Peace and what Hume writes about in his 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'. So I am going to discuss Hume's epistemology from his Enquiry in two parts. If you are really interested in this subject, read both parts; if you're a little leery about getting in too deep, I would recommend just skipping on to part 2 and reading from there on to the end. This is going to be a long post, but if you read it all and understand it, then you should come away with a greater appreciation for War and Peace as well as with a nuanced understanding of a very difficult philosophical subject--namely, David Hume's epistemology!
Hume wrote his Enquiry partially with the intention of "freeing learning" from the abstruse questions that compose the larger part of metaphysics and which is so obscure that Hume calls them "the fruitless efforts of human vanity". Insofar as the sweetest path through life is that of science and learning (all of this according to Hume) we should eschew obscurity in natural philosophy because it leads unto error and uncertainty. This is all well and respectable, I think.
In pursuit of his goal, Hume develops his empirical epistemology (epistemology being the general study of knowledge, or, as in this case, a particular system or theory of knowledge). Hume argues that everything contained in or experienced by the human mind can be classed in 1 of 2 different classes... keep reading on reddit ➡
I'm not a native speaker nor have I studied philosophy outside of high school so I apologize in advance if my explanation seems a bit clunky. Say A is a phenomenon widely utilized and A² another phenomenon specifically originating from A. A² is progressively more utilized until becoming the norm, at the expense of A. At this point, A has to justify his legitimacy on the basis of A² being the norm despite having originated before it.
For example, on the subject of French literature, literary anonymity, aka the apparent absence of an author's name, is prevalent until the legislative birth of the author during the 16th century. Anonymity is then frowned upon, pointed at and eventually has to justify its existence in comparison to the modern norm necessarily associating a book and its named author. Basically it is some kind of inversion of domination between a phenomenon (literature being historically written first using relative anonymity) and its derivative (laws, rules and such encapsulating authorship): the derivative becomes the main phenomenon and the phenomenon bis perceived as being its derivative.
I have done some research and I read about Popper's evolutionary epistemology, as in knowledge evolving using natural selection, which could put some light on this. I also read about Kant's a priori and a posteriori. Thus it could illustrate an historical vision (literary anonymity precedes modern authorship) and a "practical" vision (modern authorship currently considers anonymity as an abnormality, etc.), however I may have misunderstood the whole thing!
What particularly intrigues me about Buddhism is its wealth of philosophical works that really get into the meat and bones of the metaphysical framework. However, I’m not exactly sure where to start. Yogacara’s metaphysical idealism is a place I’d like to start off but what about general epistemology? Any good books or translations to go off of?
I recently started reading a book by Hilary Kornblith called Knowledge and its Place in Nature. As far as I can tell it is more or less Nietzsche's line of thinking translated into analytic philosophy lingo. Can anyone confirm that?
I have a hard time squaring my atheism with presuppositionalist christian apologists who tell us our naturalism leaves us with extreme skepticism and Kornblith says in his book that some thinkers like BonJour and others said something to that effect as well.
Kornblith wants to talk of knowledge as a kind of animal cognition. When we do that, do we lose normativity in epistemology?
If we do, why is that a problem? And if there is no solution, should we really capitulate to theism or Platonism?
Why can't a biological theory of cognition suffice to cover all we need to know about knowledge? Why do we need philosophy at all? Why can't science suffice?
I am doing a historical reading of Epistemology-Metaphysics. I have never read an Aristotle text before. I only have experience of Plato when it comes to the Ancient Greeks.
Thus, I would like to ask for guidance about which texts to read. Obviously Metaphysics is one of them. But aside from that, I am clueless.
Obviously the election has ended and emotions/tensions are high. I wont say much about that because plenty has already been said by much more smarter and experienced people than I.
But I did want to drop a reminder here that the 4 years between presidential elections shouldn't be spent as an idle observor. Like it or not, Trump was/is a massively significant moment in American history. America is as polarized as its ever been, and misinformation is as rampant as its ever been. Now that Trump has lost, I LIKE to hope his cult of personality will die down, giving his followers an opportunity to listen to reason. Maybe I'm wrong.
Regardless, this is an opportunity that could fly by if we don't take advantage of it. Regardless of your political beliefs, the fundamentals of street epistemology provide a distinct way of thinking and questioning others' points of view. I know COVID makes things a bit more difficult, but engaging strangers, friends, and families by asking the questions that Peter Boghossian or Anthony Magnabasco would ask could set our country in a path of knowledge, logic, and becoming more united.
I probably don't need to say this in this community, but don't stop asking questions. Never stop asking questions.
Correct me where I am wrong, and if I am completely missing the mark, then correct me as due. But this is my shot at Lacan's epistemology, as I am writing a paper on it:
So start, Lacan states that we are speaking-beings. And as such, language is what traps us within discourse. Now there are times, and this appears to be most of the time, where language clouds our judgements when in pursuit of meaning and Truth. We can obtain knowledge about things, which I interpret Lacan means by this, is only what information we have gathered about objects, subjects, events, etc., but knowledge will not always lead us to the Truth of things. Science claims to have such powers of a connection between knowledge and Truth, but they cannot claim to have a lockdown on Truth, for science's discourse will always circle back to S1; they can only ever prove themselves right by staying within their own discourse.
Now, at least how I interpret Lacan, S1 seems to have a connection to Truth in that nothing can really be said about S1 except in terms of the signifiers that have apprehended by it. This essentially is the case for all signifiers, there is no inherent meaning within the signifier. Truth is a signifier, and thus, can only have meaning within a specific discourse.
So the Truth and Truth is that it is empty, waiting to be filled with signifiers. This locates Truth as something that emerges from the Real, which can also not be spoken of, as it is outside the Symbolic. I interpret that what Lacan is saying is that Truth, the abstract concept that philosophers have always been chasing, can never be caught but always has been replaced with a faux conception of Truth within a given discourse.
Am I close? Completely off the mark? What correction need to be made.
FIVE DAYS LEFT to submit concepts you think should be in a self-directed course on Street Epistemology.
Here is the link to the SE-themed form: https://forms.gle/omTqDmEn8VsPvJoF9
One of our team's goals is to make the SE Course a community-inspired creation, rather than some top-down, dictatorial kind of thing. And this can only happen if we hear back from a ton of people with varying degrees of understanding of and experience with the method. You can submit up to 20 suggestions at time, but please don't feel limited to that.
Share this form far and wide into groups where others who are familiar with SE gather (we created a similar, more generic form for people unfamiliar with SE who might still have suggestions for a course on effective dialogue--you can find a link to both forms in the #course-development channel).
The deadline to submit is 20 December 2020 at midnight for the deadline, so please do not delay.
Submissions will be used as the basis for a comprehensive training course on Street Epistemology. A course that could quite literally be used by thousands of people over the coming years to learn how to have better conversations with people on their potentially challenging claims.
I practice street epistemology when I can, and generally do a pretty good job helping people question their beliefs. In trying to explain to a friend how it works, I thought a good example would do, so I asked him to identify a strongly held belief. He came up with with a pro-choice position where a woman gets to decide if she should have an abortion.
I couldn't come up with any questions that challenged that belief as pretty much knew every response he'd make for every question I proposed. Completely stymied.
Questions for all of you:
What questions or statements would you propose that questioned my friend's belief?
What other situations have you encountered where you really couldn't come up with any questions and how did you handle it?
where should i start?
Anyone remember how insane politics has been in the last 8 years? One topic that fascinated me was how people analyze the world to determine what is true.
google it, watch vids on youtube, dm me if you have questions. tbh I'm not good at it, I have too much of a pompous ego ;)