What do I know?

heusdens

When asking myself basically, what do you know, then I can only come up with the following.

Space.

Well what is space? Is it anything at all? We can measure distances between material objects, and we call the distance between them as the 'space' between them. Space is not realy something, which does not contradict the fact that it contains things. Abdolute everywhere in space there is something. Space has properties. They are the dimensions of space. There are three dimensions, cause there are three dimensions you can go in space. Any other direction you fo in space can be expressed in terms of these dimensions. How large is space? Well in fact, there is no end to space. Suppose there would, what would then be on the other side? That is not thinkable (space being finite), space must therefore be endless.

Existence.

Well I know about a lot of things that exist. So many, and with so many properties, I can not name them here. But how do I know they exist? In fact, I do not, at least I do not know if I know that everything exists, but the hypothese is workable, and never left me in the dark. I can try to assume that nothing is existent.
But no matter how hard I try, I still come up with the fact that there is me there, thinking this. The hypothese of everything being just an imagination is therefore something ridiculous. If there would be nothing existent, then also there could be no thinking. Who would be imagining the things then?

Knowing

How do I know if I know something? I do not know that. I can try to find out if I know something. How can I say something? The moment I realy try to know that, and realy dig into it, all that I can find out is that I can not speak. I feel it is just impossible to conduct my muscles and all that is involved in speaking in such a consciouss way, that I know what speaking is all about. Yet I am able of speaking, when I am not wanting to know how I can speak. Do I know how to speak when I am speaking? I know I can speak. Only I do not know how I am speaking when I speak.

What more needs one to know?

Last edited:
Related General Discussion News on Phys.org

Mentat

Originally posted by heusdens
When asking myself basically, what do you know, then I can only come up with the following.

Space.

Well what is space? Is it anything at all? We can measure distances between material objects, and we call the distance between them as the 'space' between them. Space is not realy something, which does not contradict the fact that it contains things. Abdolute everywhere in space there is something. Space has properties. They are the dimensions of space. There are three dimensions, cause there are three dimensions you can go in space. Any other direction you fo in space can be expressed in terms of these dimensions. How large is space? Well in fact, there is no end to space. Suppose there would, what would then be on the other side? That is not thinkable (space being finite), space must therefore be endless.

Actually, there would be no other side. This has a lot to do with the concept of existence, but I guess it's not really important that I bring it up.

Existence.

Well I know about a lot of things that exist. So many, and with so many properties, I can not name them here. But how do I know they exist? In fact, I do not, at least I do not know if I know that everything exists, but the hypothese is workable, and never left me in the dark. I can try to assume that nothing is existent.
But no matter how hard I try, I still come up with the fact that there is me there, thinking this. The hypothese of everything being just an imagination is therefore something ridiculous. If there would be nothing existent, then also there could be no thinking. Who would be imagining the things then?
Sounds like Anthropic Principle.

Knowing

How do I know if I know something? I do not know that. I can try to find out if I know something. How can I say something? The moment I realy try to know that, and realy dig into it, all that I can find out is that I can not speak. I feel it is just impossible to conduct my muscles and all that is involved in speaking in such a consciouss way, that I know what speaking is all about. Yet I am able of speaking, when I am not wanting to know how I can speak. Do I know how to speak when I am speaking? I know I can speak. Only I do not know how I am speaking when I speak.

What more needs one to know?
And you even seemed to doubt the things that you do know .

steppenwolf

mmm, how can so many questions be any kind of knowledge? inquiry=knowledge, mm, maybe i supose.

do you know montaigne? one of his famous quotes was 'que sais-je?', literaly 'what do i know?', his answer, well, nothing.

heusdens

Re: Re: What do I know?

Originally posted by Mentat
Actually, there would be no other side. This has a lot to do with the concept of existence, but I guess it's not really important that I bring it up.
The fact that every supposed edge/boundary/limit would raise the question of what might be there on the other side, which can only be concluded as that there would be space there too, is therefore a conclusion that there can be no such edge/boundary or limit to space.

Sounds like Anthropic Principle.
The Anthropic Principle is a kind of inverted upside-down/inside-out logic, which states the facts from the other way around, in which the purpose/reason/meaning of the world is that there is me (us) there, otherwise there would not be a world. Yet this is only how I myself would see purpose/meaning/reason of the world. I can not detect what purpose/meaning/reason is without me detecting it, and without this purpose/reason/meaning being significant to me (wether directly or indirectly, substituting me for the thing/person it is concerned to).

Is there a world, because I am there, or am I there because there is a world?

When I state the first, then my reasoning is somehow inverted. Yet, I am not or can not be a cause to the world, if somehow I (not I as me in person, but of some existing entity that can reflect on itself as I) caused this world to be. Yet in a way this is what the world in total in fundament is, it is being that can refer to and or reflect on itself as being, else it would not be being, it would be nonbeing. Nonbeingness can not be, so therefore beingness must be. Therefore being, which is I, can not state something else as that it exists. It can not state it's nonbeing, it cannot fail to exist.

(note: Even if I (as a person) state that I am not existing, I can not fail to state my existence, cause the statement itself made by me could not exist, without my existence.)

That I am there, because the world is there, means that I can not asumme my own existence to be there, without also and necesseraliy therefore stating and acknowledging that the world is there. Cause the assumption made, that the world could fail to exist, necessitates me to conclude that me being I, would also necessarlity fail to exist. Which I can not possibly state. Therefore my assumption, that the world could fail to exist, was wrong. The world can not fail to exist, because the world can not state it's own inexistence, because anything the would can and does state, proofs it's existence.

And you even seemed to doubt the things that you do know .
It was stated in an way in which knowing can be not knowing, that is no profound knowledge. I know I can speak, cause I can hear me speak, and others confirm me speak. But at the same time, when I consider for myself all the things that must be involved for me to be able to speak, I know I do not know that in all it's details.

In the same way you can state, I can drive a car. But when I ask, then tell me how the engine of the car works, I could state, I do not know that, while I know the ability to drive a car is amongst others dependend on the engine itself.

Last edited:

Mentat

Originally posted by steppenwolf
mmm, how can so many questions be any kind of knowledge? inquiry=knowledge, mm, maybe i supose.

do you know montaigne? one of his famous quotes was 'que sais-je?', literaly 'what do i know?', his answer, well, nothing.
Inquiry doesn't equal knowledge. Renee Descartes' makes that point rather clear in his second Rule for the Direction of the Mind.

steppenwolf

Originally posted by Mentat
Inquiry doesn't equal knowledge. Renee Descartes' makes that point rather clear in his second Rule for the Direction of the Mind.
pff, i was simply questioning heusdens' post, it was simply a musing on my part as a response to the confusing nature of the mentioned post, oh never mind...

wuliheron

Originally posted by heusdens

What more needs one to know?
Virtue is its own reward, to have a friend you must first be a friend.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last edited:

Ben-CS

"Virtue is&hellip;etc." Thank you, Mr. Quotes!

I would simply like to point out that the universe could be finite without having any edges.

heusdens

Originally posted by Ben-CS
I would simply like to point out that the universe could be finite without having any edges.
Could be, in theory. But then you would have to bend all of space onto itself in a 4-D hypersphere. Which means space must have curvature. This has not been detected, space looks very flat.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving