"Nothing can be known, not even this"

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Haven

"Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #1

Post by Haven »

Carneades wrote:Nothing can be known, not even this!
In 159 BCE, ancient Greek skeptical philosopher Carneades made this statement in an attempt to refute the possibility of human beings having knowledge of anything, with knowledge defined as "belief that precludes the possibility of error." Carneades believed claiming knowledge of any sort was dogmatic.

For the skeptic, certitude of anything (even this statement) is impossible for humans to obtain. Instead, skeptics believe that humans can only assign degrees of probability to any proposition, granting higher probabilities to seemingly plausible propositions and granting lower probabilities to seemingly implausible propositions.

The principles behind skepticism are the fallibility of the human brain and the uncertain nature of reality. Science has demonstrated that the brain is capable of misinterpreting phenomena, creating hallucinations, and thinking irrationally.
Additionally, we do not even know what reality is: for all we know, we could be living in a computer simulation in which everything we can detect -- matter, energy, and other minds -- are all constructed from lines of computer code. Solipsism, the idea that nothing except one's own minds exists, could be true: after all, you could be a brain in a vat hooked up to a machine feeding you stimuli that causes your brain to react as if it were experiencing reality.

Skepticism appears the only truly rational response in the case of these considerations.

Debate question: is knowledge possible? Can anything be known with certitude? If so, how?

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Re: Re:

Post #51

Post by chilldude131 »

[Replying to Seek in post #40]
"I’m a philosophical skeptic and doubt anything can really be communicated since we sre bound to our inherently subjective perceptions of our realities." How do you know that?

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Re: Re:

Post #52

Post by chilldude131 »

Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:01 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:56 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:41 am I see. So you don’t want to admit you don’t know anything. Just because I exist doesn’t mean I know it. It requires perception by the mind, and I’m not certain I’m perceiving my own existence right now. I either know that I exist, or I don’t. I can’t tell you which is true right now.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They don’t represent knowledge of any kind.
If you are not certain you are perceiving your own existence right now, what would the alternative be? I can understand how something that doesn't experience awareness of self could exist but not know it exists. What I'm having trouble understanding is how something that does exist with self awareness could not know it exists. How is it logically possible for you to be self-aware but without knowledge of your own existence? Seems like a contradiction because I understand self-awareness to be knowledge of self existence. Please elaborate.
I don’t know that I’m self-aware. Maybe I am. It is entirely possible to exist without being consciously aware of that existence.
How do you know that you don´t know that you are self-aware?

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William
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Re: "Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #53

Post by William »

Haven wrote: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:13 pm
Carneades wrote:Nothing can be known, not even this!
In 159 BCE, ancient Greek skeptical philosopher Carneades made this statement in an attempt to refute the possibility of human beings having knowledge of anything, with knowledge defined as "belief that precludes the possibility of error." Carneades believed claiming knowledge of any sort was dogmatic.

For the skeptic, certitude of anything (even this statement) is impossible for humans to obtain. Instead, skeptics believe that humans can only assign degrees of probability to any proposition, granting higher probabilities to seemingly plausible propositions and granting lower probabilities to seemingly implausible propositions.

The principles behind skepticism are the fallibility of the human brain and the uncertain nature of reality. Science has demonstrated that the brain is capable of misinterpreting phenomena, creating hallucinations, and thinking irrationally.
Additionally, we do not even know what reality is: for all we know, we could be living in a computer simulation in which everything we can detect -- matter, energy, and other minds -- are all constructed from lines of computer code. Solipsism, the idea that nothing except one's own minds exists, could be true: after all, you could be a brain in a vat hooked up to a machine feeding you stimuli that causes your brain to react as if it were experiencing reality.

Skepticism appears the only truly rational response in the case of these considerations.

Debate question: is knowledge possible? Can anything be known with certitude? If so, how?
I think that perhaps what can be known with certitude is that we cannot think our self as 'a brain in a vat' because we cannot know for certain what that actually might mean.

My reasoning for this is that we have to define both 'brain' and vat' as "brain" = "self" and "vat" = "what self is contained within".

Therefore the certitude is that we cannot know what those things actually mean.

This is because we cannot observe either the brain [self] or the vat. [container].

In this reality experience we can observe what we call a 'brain' and the vat the brain is contained in can be observed as 'the rest of the universe' but as the OP points out, we might be in some kind of simulation and Solipsism comes into play, in that I might have been the one who created the simulation and then put my self into it.

But all the simulation can do is [perhaps] point to the imagery produced as representative of the brain and vat and I also have to consider that in reality there might not even be a vat in which I the "brain" am in...so I might not be a 'brain in a vat' but only a 'brain' ...

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Re: "Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #54

Post by JoeyKnothead »

William wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:43 pm I think that perhaps what can be known with certitude is that we cannot think our self as 'a brain in a vat' because we cannot know for certain what that actually might mean.

My reasoning for this is that we have to define both 'brain' and vat' as "brain" = "self" and "vat" = "what self is contained within".

Therefore the certitude is that we cannot know what those things actually mean.

This is because we cannot observe either the brain [self] or the vat. [container].

In this reality experience we can observe what we call a 'brain' and the vat the brain is contained in can be observed as 'the rest of the universe' but as the OP points out, we might be in some kind of simulation and Solipsism comes into play, in that I might have been the one who created the simulation and then put my self into it.

But all the simulation can do is [perhaps] point to the imagery produced as representative of the brain and vat and I also have to consider that in reality there might not even be a vat in which I the "brain" am in...so I might not be a 'brain in a vat' but only a 'brain' ...
It just kills me how William'll be walking down the road of ideas, then just take a detour - no blinker nor nothing, just flips the idea on its head.

I was following along behind, and when he veered, I crashed me right into a whole nother way of thinking.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

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Re: "Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #55

Post by William »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:55 pm
It just kills me how William'll be walking down the road of ideas, then just take a detour - no blinker nor nothing, just flips the idea on its head.

I was following along behind, and when he veered, I crashed me right into a whole nother way of thinking.
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Re: Re:

Post #56

Post by Seek »

chilldude131 wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:13 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:01 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:56 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:41 am I see. So you don’t want to admit you don’t know anything. Just because I exist doesn’t mean I know it. It requires perception by the mind, and I’m not certain I’m perceiving my own existence right now. I either know that I exist, or I don’t. I can’t tell you which is true right now.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They don’t represent knowledge of any kind.
If you are not certain you are perceiving your own existence right now, what would the alternative be? I can understand how something that doesn't experience awareness of self could exist but not know it exists. What I'm having trouble understanding is how something that does exist with self awareness could not know it exists. How is it logically possible for you to be self-aware but without knowledge of your own existence? Seems like a contradiction because I understand self-awareness to be knowledge of self existence. Please elaborate.
I don’t know that I’m self-aware. Maybe I am. It is entirely possible to exist without being consciously aware of that existence.
How do you know that you don´t know that you are self-aware?
How are thoughts self-aware? You need a thought to observe thought, but thought itself doesn’t necessarily observe itself. And How do you know your sentence is an intrinsically objective and direct perception and translation of truth into words?

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Re: "Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #57

Post by Seek »

Humans are humans. We can never be truly objective about anything. We rely on our intrinsically subjective perception, emotions and (in some situations) opinions.

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Re: Re:

Post #58

Post by William »

Seek wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:44 am
chilldude131 wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:13 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:01 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:56 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:41 am I see. So you don’t want to admit you don’t know anything. Just because I exist doesn’t mean I know it. It requires perception by the mind, and I’m not certain I’m perceiving my own existence right now. I either know that I exist, or I don’t. I can’t tell you which is true right now.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They don’t represent knowledge of any kind.
If you are not certain you are perceiving your own existence right now, what would the alternative be? I can understand how something that doesn't experience awareness of self could exist but not know it exists. What I'm having trouble understanding is how something that does exist with self awareness could not know it exists. How is it logically possible for you to be self-aware but without knowledge of your own existence? Seems like a contradiction because I understand self-awareness to be knowledge of self existence. Please elaborate.
I don’t know that I’m self-aware. Maybe I am. It is entirely possible to exist without being consciously aware of that existence.
How do you know that you don´t know that you are self-aware?
How are thoughts self-aware? You need a thought to observe thought, but thought itself doesn’t necessarily observe itself. And How do you know your sentence is an intrinsically objective and direct perception and translation of truth into words?
There is no practical reason why one cannot use thought to think about the thoughts one is having.

Consciousness is confined to the container it is placed within and can only view existence from a subjective view-point. Personality [ego] is that which decides what is acceptable as "truth or lies", for its own purpose - even if that means purposefully not thinking too much about what it thinks about and what it ignores.

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Re: Re:

Post #59

Post by Seek »

chilldude131 wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:13 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:01 am
bluegreenearth wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:56 am
Seek wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:41 am I see. So you don’t want to admit you don’t know anything. Just because I exist doesn’t mean I know it. It requires perception by the mind, and I’m not certain I’m perceiving my own existence right now. I either know that I exist, or I don’t. I can’t tell you which is true right now.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They don’t represent knowledge of any kind.
If you are not certain you are perceiving your own existence right now, what would the alternative be? I can understand how something that doesn't experience awareness of self could exist but not know it exists. What I'm having trouble understanding is how something that does exist with self awareness could not know it exists. How is it logically possible for you to be self-aware but without knowledge of your own existence? Seems like a contradiction because I understand self-awareness to be knowledge of self existence. Please elaborate.
I don’t know that I’m self-aware. Maybe I am. It is entirely possible to exist without being consciously aware of that existence.
How do you know that you don´t know that you are self-aware?
Begging the question. How do you know what you're writing is an intrinsically objective and conscious translation of objective truth into words? How do you know life isnt just a canvas of experiences you arent consciously aware of? If you don't know it, you just believe it.

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Re: "Nothing can be known, not even this"

Post #60

Post by Seek »

If 100% certainty is a requirement for knowledge, then nobody knows anything.

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