Metaphorical line between knowledge and belief ?

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  • #51
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Huh? It's simply a fact that academic research is performed by societies of people. How close or far from perfect rationality the system is is totally beyond the point. I haven't said a single negative thing about academic research. The only thing I've said is that when doing research in a particular field, the terms of art and methods used by that field should be respected if not necessarily adhered to. If you want to have a discussion with yourself then use whatever definitions you want. Once you involve others, sociology is involved at least as far as your methods of communication. And that's okay, because it's necessary.
Society are not facts. They are images of sociality. Individuals are facts. Power and resistance in interactions between individuals are facts. Claiming "society is a fact" is just an expression of power designed to promote submission to conditions asserted for "societal belonging." If you want to subjugate an individual, it is more clever to say, "it is imperative in this society" than it is to say, "do this because I say." Those who don't like to take responsibility for their own actions like to attribute them to collective images like "society."
 
  • #52
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Well firstly racial classification needs to be broken down. Two different meanings, one generally accepted in society and one strictly biological.

People believe there are people that have different skin colour than they do. They could be justified in this belief. People do have different skin colour, therefore they know that people have different skin colour.

People believe that people with different skin colour are a different sub-species from their skin colour. They could feel justified in this belief. People with different skin colours are not sub-species from other skin colours, therefore the people with those beliefs do not KNOW that people of different skin colour are a sub-species.

They CAN'T know it because it's not true, they can only believe it. One of two possibilities, they don't know the science (which necessarily means they don't know... THINK ABOUT IT. 'They don't KNOW the science'. They just believe in non-sense) or they do know the science and just believe based on faith, (they still do not know anything and their beliefs are questionable now).
But they don't know that their beliefs are questionable. And they don't believe that the science that disproves the biological basis of race is valid. So, for themselves, they continue to "know" that race is a sociobiological reality - because in their minds the claims to knowledge that race is a fiction is nothing more than anti-racist propaganda. In other words, they no longer trust science to be objective and politically neutral. So in that sense, they know what they believe, the justify it by reference to their belief that they are not politically brainwashed to denying "truth" as they recognize it, and the social-reality of race is indiscernable to them from the attribute skin-color, or whatever bodily trait they are interpolating in order to racialize bodies.

I can certainly take a side and say that such people can't know someone's race in that it is not a valid classification, but I can also see how their regime of truth allows them to sincerely believe that it is. These two truths are not incommensurable, as relativists once liked to claim. They are certainly commensurable, but I think for many people, the stakes are such that they avoid commensuration. So it depends on which regime of truth you recognize what you can claim to "know," but from one authority you can also say that it's impossible for someone to know something at all because it's not true.

Basically, I think you have to decide whether one can know different regimes of truth or whether only true things can be known, and there is only one regime of truth that makes things knowable. If you decide to "know" that only one regime of truth exists, can you provide a defensible basis for going beyond "believing" it to "knowing" it? Are you capable of being proven wrong that things you know are true and knowable?

If you know something according to one truth-regime and you know its wrong according to another, is it possible to avoid reconciling the conflict by assertion of one truth as true and the other one as false? Or do you simply KNOW that one is false and the other is true based on whatever reason is available to you?

Now why is this important? Because you are using two different definitions of race in your description here. The general population does not use race in the biological sense of 'sub-species' to my knowledge at least, and if they do they you can see from above they have no knowledge of the science, they can't because it's not true. Then you talk about a specific biological word race and apply it to the social word race, two different meanings. You have to be more specific with your words if your going to use examples like this friend.
How else could "race" be used except as sub-species? What else would it be other than a biological classification? If it was simply a social category, would membership be conceptualized in terms of body traits? I will give you that I have actually noticed that it is possible for people to "belong" to a racial category despite body-trait deviance due to blood-ties, but that is highly disputed in everyday discourse. Many people see people who fail to pass "the brown paper bag test," "one-drop rule," or whatever other criteria is used to be lying about their race, since they see them as factually part of a different race than the one they claim. It is possible to know that such people are wrong, but they don't know they're wrong - nor are they planning to "know" anything except what they "know" aside from psychotherapy to "cure" their political epistemology.

This also questions accepting science as well. Are all the answers that science gives true??? Nope. Hence kote has told you that he doesn't know a whole lot of different things about reality.
He does, but he doesn't know what he knows because he denies recognition of his power to justify his own knowledge. So he wastes his power by using it to "know" that he doesn't know anything he doesn't justify to himself. If he would justify what he knows as knowledge, he might be able to engage other knowledge in evaluation and take steps toward greater truth. When you assert what you know and find out you're not justified in knowing what you knew, you learn something and evolve.
 
  • #53
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I have to disagree brainstorm, although I see what your seeing more clearly now what your describing to me are just faith-based beliefs. Not knowledge.

If they reject 'the science' then they must find out themselves, and when they do they will see that their beliefs are not true. Therefore they must adjust those beliefs, or continue believing but under faith. That does not satisfy knowing something, it satisfies being dishonest and making false claims about their knowledge.

As well, no what you claim to know, if you truly do know it, can not be disputed. It's impossible. The propositional beliefs can be disputed but not knowledge.
 
  • #54
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How else could "race" be used except as sub-species? What else would it be other than a biological classification? If it was simply a social category, would membership be conceptualized in terms of body traits? I will give you that I have actually noticed that it is possible for people to "belong" to a racial category despite body-trait deviance due to blood-ties, but that is highly disputed in everyday discourse. Many people see people who fail to pass "the brown paper bag test," "one-drop rule," or whatever other criteria is used to be lying about their race, since they see them as factually part of a different race than the one they claim. It is possible to know that such people are wrong, but they don't know they're wrong - nor are they planning to "know" anything except what they "know" aside from psychotherapy to "cure" their political epistemology.

Ask people who distinguish people based on race what they believe race to be. I'm willing to bet my house and my car that they'll answer with either, geographical basis or skin colour basis, maybe along with skin colour they'd go to phenotype basis (such as black people having larger noses).
This is not a biological definition of race, so you are comparing two different words pretty much.
 
  • #55
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I have to disagree brainstorm, although I see what your seeing more clearly now what your describing to me are just faith-based beliefs. Not knowledge.
No, I can tell you are completely situated in a single regime of truth and you are incapable of experiencing what it is like to know two or more conflictual regimes. If you had that experience, and you had some reasoning to address it differently than I do, I would be interested. But you are stuck in the mode of relegating knowledge into categorically invalid boxes, such as "faith-based beliefs" and avoiding critical reason that way. FYI, a faith-based belief can't be invalidated on the basis of its category - it has to be reasonably demonstrated to be unjustified or untrue. Categorizing something is not a reasonable argument about its truth-value.

If they reject 'the science' then they must find out themselves, and when they do they will see that their beliefs are not true. Therefore they must adjust those beliefs, or continue believing but under faith. That does not satisfy knowing something, it satisfies being dishonest and making false claims about their knowledge.
The three criteria for knowledge to be knowledge are basically measures of faith. Justification and truth are bases for faith, as is belief. Perhaps faith can take place in the absence of justification, but faith automatically assumes truth. How can you have faith in something you know to be false?

As well, no what you claim to know, if you truly do know it, can not be disputed. It's impossible. The propositional beliefs can be disputed but not knowledge.
This is the interpretation that I was afraid of. You're assuming that you can close knowledge off from critical challenges. That's simply impossible. Every piece of knowledge is subject to critical challenge by virtue of the nature of authority as consensual. In the absence of consent, authority is challenged and its knowledge questioned. That's when it resorts to justification and truth-power to validate its authority - or renounces it.

Of course, often times it just resorts to some form of intimidation, conflict-avoidance, etc. to repress the dissent - but that only replaces truth-power with some other form of power that resists truth. At that point knowledge becomes dogma.
 
  • #56
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Ask people who distinguish people based on race what they believe race to be. I'm willing to bet my house and my car that they'll answer with either, geographical basis or skin colour basis, maybe along with skin colour they'd go to phenotype basis (such as black people having larger noses).
This is not a biological definition of race, so you are comparing two different words pretty much.
What is biological classification based on except the appearance and shape of bodily features? Animals with odd-numbers of toes have one classification and those with even number of toes have another. It's superficial, yes, but much of biology seems to be pretty superficial.

Geography and skin color are both vague, unreasoned explanation for race. Skin color is somewhat biological, since pigmentation is part of the organ-functioning of your skin. Still, I have read that there is as much or more genetic variation among individuals classified as racially similar as there are among individuals classified as racially different. So there's just as much reason to correlate other biological and social attributes to any other bodily feature as pigmentation. Since many bodily attributes are not correlated with "race," it stands to reason that "race" is an arbitrary system of categories.

Geography can't have any effect on genetic variation except to the extent that people organize socially and territorialize geographical areas, policing genetic exchanges with "outsiders." So geography is just a tool for discrimination, and it is a euphemism to avoid acknowledging that, I think.

The only thing I've heard that would link geography to body-differences is climate-related. Specifically I heard that lighter-skinned humans faired better as they migrated north because their skin was better at manufacturing sufficient vitamin D from decreased amounts of sunlight. I don't know if this is true or just clever racist ideology.

The point is that people can breed by selecting certain aesthetic or other traits, and selection criteria can be distributed among multiplicities of individuals. That could certainly result in elite sub-populations of individuals that resemble each other in certain features, but does that make them a "race" or do they just look similar in certain ways?

Obviously some people would like to elevate their common features to the status of racial membership while others would prefer to see humans as individuals with various similarities and differences without organizing those similarities and differences into grouping-logics. Race is an art, not a science - and rarely a pleasant one, imo.
 
  • #57
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I'm trying to find the will power to type up a response brainstorm I have a feeling it will fall upon deaf ears however.

Just as a side note, I've seen you in recently mainly in 4 different philosophy threads. All the threads people have talked about you just using your own definitions of words. Hmmmmmmm...
 
  • #58
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I'm trying to find the will power to type up a response brainstorm I have a feeling it will fall upon deaf ears however.

Just as a side note, I've seen you in recently mainly in 4 different philosophy threads. All the threads people have talked about you just using your own definitions of words. Hmmmmmmm...

You talk about lacking will to power. Look at your own second paragraph. You basically are attempting to exercise the will to undermine me completely on the basis that meanings of words are contestable. Your implication is that people have to submit to common authority or one has to be wrong and dismissed. This is a (weak) authoritarian view of knowledge, imo. You need to realize that when their is conflict or discussion over meanings/defintions of terms, this is an avenue to deeper understanding of those terms, not an undermining of their very possibility of discussion.

My ears aren't deaf. You expect blind submission instead of critical discourse. Let me ask you a question: do you see knowledge as predefined or developed by each individual according to their own process of enlightenment? If you assume predefinition, then individual enlightenment is probably irrelevant to you. If, on the other hand, you measure knowledge in terms of individual enlightenment, knowledge is meaningless until it is truly comprehended beyond the level of dogma.
 
  • #59
apeiron
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My ears aren't deaf. You expect blind submission instead of critical discourse. Let me ask you a question: do you see knowledge as predefined or developed by each individual according to their own process of enlightenment?

I agree with zomgwtf. Your responses always seem to miss the finer distinctions present in people's arguements. This is what gets irritating very quickly. You aren't listening, just always seeking to impose some personal interpretation on what has just been said.

You may not be deaf, but you are not hearing. Are you here to learn or to teach? If teach, do you have the qualifications?

Knowledge is predefined in that sense. It helps to have mastered a corpus of work to actually get to the edge of things and find the genuinely new ideas.

It is of course a journey for every individual. But are you at the beginning or a long way down the track?
 
  • #60
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I agree with zomgwtf. Your responses always seem to miss the finer distinctions present in people's arguements. This is what gets irritating very quickly. You aren't listening, just always seeking to impose some personal interpretation on what has just been said.

You may not be deaf, but you are not hearing. Are you here to learn or to teach? If teach, do you have the qualifications?

Knowledge is predefined in that sense. It helps to have mastered a corpus of work to actually get to the edge of things and find the genuinely new ideas.

It is of course a journey for every individual. But are you at the beginning or a long way down the track?

Apparently I'm very far down the track, because I've long since reached the point where I realized that learning isn't a one-way process.

Learning occurs through critical interaction. When done well, both/all people engaged in the interaction learn something.

If I miss some finer nuance that you claim is irritating that I miss, my question to you is whether it was explicit? If it wasn't, then the "teacher" needs to learn to better explicate what was missed.

Now, as I say that, I think about the irritation I have experienced when trying to explain something explicitly to someone and having them miss the point, often repeatedly.

Either way, the option is either to be patient and remain communicative or get frustrated and give up. Once you give up, the learning/teaching process ends - and when you muster the patience to try again, it restarts.

This topic is an ad hominem diversion from the topic of the thread, though, so I think it could end up hijacking it if we get into it too much. Why don't you just stick with addressing specific points/nuances that you think I missed?
 
  • #61
apeiron
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If I miss some finer nuance that you claim is irritating that I miss, my question to you is whether it was explicit? If it wasn't, then the "teacher" needs to learn to better explicate what was missed.

If an issue appears repeatedly in your interactions with people, then it is likely to be your issue.
 
  • #62
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If an issue appears repeatedly in your interactions with people, then it is likely to be your issue.

"likely" isn't good enough to establish certainty. Provide an example for analysis and I'll apologize if I was at fault.
 
  • #63
apeiron
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"likely" isn't good enough to establish certainty. Provide an example for analysis and I'll apologize if I was at fault.

Try https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2664214&postcount=20

Originally Posted by brainstorm
You can measure an imaginary unicorn...

Yeah, you can't measure imaginary things. You can pretend to, but that's totally irrelevant to anything we're discussing.

I'm trying to keep this on track here. I think we'd all appreciate a little effort.
 
  • #64
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Try https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2664214&postcount=20

Originally Posted by brainstorm
You can measure an imaginary unicorn...

Yeah, you can't measure imaginary things. You can pretend to, but that's totally irrelevant to anything we're discussing.

I'm trying to keep this on track here. I think we'd all appreciate a little effort.

The point was that no proof of existence is necessary for the act of measurement. All that is necessary is a unit of comparison, an object to represent the unit, and a logic for comparing the unit object with the thing to be measured.

People were arguing that for something to be measured it had to be real, or that measurability proves that something is real. The unicorn example was to show that reality-status has nothing to do with measurability.
 

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