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My Philosophical Writings by Scott S Forster

My Philosophical Writings by Scott S Forster

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Published by Scott Forster
amateur philosophical writing by Scott S.Forster. Topics covered include the self,agnosticism,atheism,theism,mysticism,religious experience,epistemology,ethics,happiness...
amateur philosophical writing by Scott S.Forster. Topics covered include the self,agnosticism,atheism,theism,mysticism,religious experience,epistemology,ethics,happiness...

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Published by: Scott Forster on Jul 27, 2011
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My Philosophical WritingsBy Scott S. Forster2011
I waiver all copyright of my writings herein. Ideas are the product of the whole of humanity and noone person can claim to have come up with the idea of a certain view .I would out of courtesy likeattribution, however.My writings contained here are by no means my final words on the topic.They are my sharing of aconversation of ideas with the world. My modest aim is to inspire thought.
 
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Notes on my Epistemology as of 23/7/2011
May be improved upon or changed at a later date.
y
 
I
owe much of my new epistemology to a mix of ideas from Kant,Hume andPragmatism.
y
 
I
don't think
I
really ever accepted the empiricist/rationalist split. We know a lot byexperience but not everything.Reason is limited too.Much of the time both reasonand experience are proving things because we cannot have an experience and notreason about it possibly at the same time.
y
 
I
've come to reject large parts of the enlightenment view of epistemologyexemplified with Descartes.
y
 
Descartes and enlightenment views: - certainty,doubt everything then proveit,unlimited ability to know,typically direct realism (until Kant) clear and distinctideas,seeking completeness etc.
y
 
How do we know reality we experience is real: we have nothing else to compare itto.We cannot get out of it- as far as we know- and we have no reason to doubt it.
 
y
 
Piecemeal: one aspect of a theory can be true while another part is false.There's noreason to reject a whole theory or philosophy if one part is true while the rest isfalse or if most of it is true while a part of it is false.
I
t's not either all correct or allfalse in accepting theories.We can take a pick and choose approach.
I
n doing that just be sure you don't accept a piece which relies on a false part and watchconsistence and coherence.
y
 
We cannot prove
I
dealism false, so we must be agnostic about it however it seemslikely it's false.
y
 
A
bsolute Skepticism- the idea "We do not know anything"- is false.The idea "wecannot know anything" is likewise false. Both because they are self-refuting.
y
 
Skepticism leans on the idea of certainty as knowledge.
A
little bit of Skepticismlimits us to not claiming too much as Cartesians did.
y
 
E
xperience is influenced by expectation, theory and our interests/motivations.
 
y
 
I
nquiry is moving from doubt to knowledge.
y
 
I
reject theory/practice dualism. Thus there is a strong like between praxeology andepistemology.
y
 
We learn of concepts by experience (concept empiricism) this is knowledge byaquaintance.There can be no such things as innate ideas or concepts learned bysheer reasoning alone.
y
 
Knowledge is tied to learning. Learning is a never ending communal process.
y
 
Knowledge by acquaintance is justified by the sheer fact that you are aware of something.
y
 
O
ur sense perception is just knowledge by acquaintance and so does not require ahuge proof.
y
 
I
t is only when we try to express our knowledge from sense perception aspropositions that it requires justification to others (we do not need to justify it
 
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 toourselves) and maybe at the point it is justified by the fact you have awareness of what you perceive- thus refuting Skepticism?
y
 
we have to ask what would prove something to be true if it were true.
y
 
A
claim is true if it can be justified i.e. proven. That which is true becomespropositional knowledge.
 
y
 
I
f it later becomes unjustified then it becomes untrue.
y
 
Fallibilism: There is no final truth we reach. Truth is provisional and subject tochange.
O
ur knowledge is always increasing and becoming more nuanced.
y
 
Due to this there is always incompleteness and imprecision in our knowledge.However we should still keep improving knowing we will never end this quest.
y
 
Humans have bounded rationality.
y
 
G
aining knowledge is limited by the times in which we limit our interests, ourculture,our geography,our experiences,our lifespan etc.There is no such thing ascomplete knowledge of everything and no such thing as knowledge lackingimprecision.
y
 
I
t's doubtful whether we can be certain of anything.
y
 
Y
et some claims seem impossible or near impossible to doubt e.g. 2+2=4.
y
 
Perception involves some level of interpretation by our brain. There is no such thingas unfiltered uninterpreted perception.
y
 
The Kantian distinction of Things in themselves and things as they appear is valid- it'sa matter of different understandings not different realities. We cannot get at thingsas they are in themselves however so it is irrelevant to our lives.
y
 
N
aive aka direct realism- the idea we experience reality exactly as it is with nointerference from our brains or anything else- is plainly false.
y
 
When a situation or perception is ambiguous, it can be interpreted in many wayseither consciously or involuntarily.
y
 
There are layers of meaning along with experience.
A
man strangling someone canbe seen purely physically, ethically etc. This allows for spirituality looking at things ina cosmic or bigger picture sense.
y
 
Beliefs are motivated. We are led to belief things either by soundevidence/reasoning or by flimsy suggestions and the like.
y
 
E
motion does motivate (to some extent) us to believe and act, but this doesn't meanwe're irrational.
 
y
 
I
reject the reason/emotion dichotomy as often if not always false.
y
 
We can only ever know things as they appear to us filtered by our brain- we cannotget at 'things as they are in of themselves' even if such a thing exists which isdoubtful.
y
 
Doubt too must be motivated. We do not doubt unless something challenges ourbeliefs.So it makes no sense to try to force ourselves to doubt when it doesn't feeldoubtful.
y
 
Doubt as a method is crazy.
Y
ou don't need to start from a place of assumingeverything is false or asking how do we know anything or doing a Cartesianexperiment and evaluating every single belief. BUT we should still be willing tochange our beliefs when they are shown wrong when we are motivated to do so.

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