Worldview: Etiology Formation

According to Apostel, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

  1. An explanation of the world
  2. futurology, answering the question “where are we heading?”
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
  4. praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: “How should we attain our goals?”
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. “What is true and false?”
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks,” its origins and construction.

1. There are many explanations of worldly phenomenon, and therefore many worldviews, i.e. etiologies.
(The multiplicity of perspectives, variably determined by the union of direct experience and the influence of the prevailing ideologies within any given context of culture, render unique explanations for every individual; while similarities exist, no two perspectives are completely commensurable. Socialization, or more specifically enculturation, is the single most important determinate in shaping a subjective perspective.)

2. Each explanation contains its own end, or futurology. (Explanations may change when a subject recognizes and challenges the limits of their experience and the latent ideology maintained by their subjective perspective.)

3. Values and ethics are dependent on these ends and seek to preserve these ends.

4. The justification of ends, i.e. the methodology for their achievement, is dependent upon the content of these values and ethics.

5. A subjects epistemology is determined by their perspective, which in turn yields their explanations. (See 1)

6. A world view is domain constituted by the propositional content and functionality maintained by a subjective perspective. (See 1-5.)

Etiology Formation

According to Apostel, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

  1. An explanation of the world
  2. futurology, answering the question “where are we heading?”
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
  4. praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: “How should we attain our goals?”
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. “What is true and false?”
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks,” its origins and construction.

1. There are many explanations of worldly phenomenon, and therefore many worldviews, i.e. etiologies.
(The multiplicity of perspectives, variably determined by the union of direct experience and the influence of the prevailing ideologies within any given context of culture, render unique explanations for every individual; while similarities exist, no two perspectives are completely commensurable. Socialization, or more specifically enculturation, is the single most important determinate in shaping a subjective perspective.)

2. Each explanation contains its own end, or futurology. (Explanations may change when a subject recognizes and challenges the limits of their experience and the latent ideology maintained by their subjective perspective.)

3. Values and ethics are dependent on these ends and seek to preserve these ends.

4. The justification of ends, i.e. the methodology for their achievement, is dependent upon the content of these values and ethics.

5. A subjects epistemology is determined by their perspective, which in turn yields their explanations. (See 1)

6. A world view is domain constituted by the propositional content and functionality maintained by a subjective perspective. (See 1-5.)

Evidentialism

The Principle of Evidentialism states that a Subject is justified in believing p if the belief is proportioned according to evidence at a given time. That is, S is epistemically justified in believing a proposition at time t if and only if the belief is supported by S’s evidence at time t.

Suppose I maintain the belief that I will pass all my philosophy classes. The evidence I have for this belief is that I have received all passing grades through the semester, that there are no new assignments, there is no class curve, and it is now the last day of classes. I am justified in believing that I will pass because all the evidence supports this belief; namely that all my grades are undeniably above passing and there are no more opportunities to earn credit toward my grade.

This belief is justified because the proposition “I believe that I will pass all my philosophy classes” is supported evidence “it has been confirmed that all the grades I received in all these classes are undeniably passing” at the time the proposition was stated, i.e. at the last day of classes. It is important that all evidence is properly accounted for, including knowledge of a class curve and the relation of these grades to other students. Also vitally important is that the proposition is stated according to the evidence at time t. If it was stated earlier there would be insufficient evidence to uphold that belief because not all possible grades were completed.

Pragmatism and a priori Knowledge

Can a pragmatist accept a priori knowledge? Consider the following statements of a priori knowledge:

1) 4 beer cans and 3 beer cans equals 7 beer cans in total.
2) A can contains the properties metallic and cylindrical.

The mind has inescapable a priori knowledge that operates as an interpretative function for ordering and categorizing experience. A pragmatist can instrumentally stipulate any definition. If we take thought as a priori, i.e.capable of intuitions independent of experience,  one can stipulate necessary conventions for assimilating experience. In this way the self generates a priori thoughts that function as an interpretive structure brought to experience, but this a priori knowledge is uniquely exclusive to the self. Revisions to current a priori knowledge have no affect on past interpretations as they have already been interpreted as experience. All a priori stipulations provide a ‘perceptual gestalt’ or ‘interpretive lens’ composed of axioms that categorize experience into concepts to suit personal ends. The implications of a stipulation may even yield new insights about experience, as when two stipulated definitions render incompatible (contradictory or inconsistent) experience.

The two examples given illustrate concepts with definitions stipulated a priori that categorize experiences a posteriori. In this way the definition of a can brings classification to experience, so that experiencing the properties metallic and cylindrical classify an experience as a can.

While experience may provide material to stipulate categorical definitions, such as certain predications, it is not necessary for stipulating. Stipulations arise from the mind and are brought to experience as a priori categorical structures.

 

 

Reliablilism

Reliabilism is a form of epistemic externalism that generally states that a belief is justified when it results from a reliable belief forming process that is either doxastically dependent or doxastically independent. That is, S knows that p iff p is true, SBp is true, and S has a reliable process for arriving at p.  In this way, SJp (att) iff (1) it is not in other epistemic evaluative terms, (2) explains how SJp is justified is a function of SBp’s genesis. This principle emphasizes the virtue of the belief forming mechanism and the veridical historicity of the belief over the truth value in order to account for the possibility of a false belief.

Suppose that I claim knowledge of my age, 24. I believe that my age of 24 is true. The process I possess to justify my age is to check my birth certificate. As a notarized document of the government, I believe the process of checking my birth date to its data yields reliable knowledge. I justify this belief forming process from the fact that everyone verifies their age in this way and it is most accurate and consistent. Additionally, I believe the government would not falsify this data as a notarized document. This is an exemplary example of reliabilism because my knowledge is based on the virtue of the belief forming process, naming checking the birth certificate, that is historically reliable and still allows for the possibility of falsity if say, my birth certificate was lost, or doctored, and I forgot my real birth date.

Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science

Recently I’ve read a variety of essays on the topic of philosophy and the natural sciences. Some of the philosophers I’ve read include Kuhn, Popper, Thagard, Lakatos, Ruse, and Lauden, to name a few. Some of the topics include the demarcation of science and non-science, and the criteria for pseudoscience. Subtopics include astrology, biorhythms, and creationism.
I just read an essay written by Michael Ruse titled Why Creation Science is Not Science. I wanted to expunge on some thoughts…

Michael Ruse carefully defends his position that creation-science is indeed, not a science. He centralizes his arguments against creationism around key philosophical principles that act foundationally to support his notion of real science. At the crux of his argument is empiricism, the basic tenant of science, whereby sense experience and observation of consistency and order ultimately yield understanding which scientists distill as laws through rigorous standards of criteria.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science”

Pollack’s principle of objective epistemic justification

Pollack’s principle of objective epistemic justification, whereby objective epistemic justification entails justified true belief, states that:

S is objectively justified in believing P if and only if:
1. S is (subjectively) justified in believing P; and
2. there is a set of X truths such that, given any more inclusive set Y of truths, necessarily, if the truths in Y were added to S’s beliefs (and their negations removed in those cases in which S disbelieves them) and S believed P for the same reason then he would still be (subjectively) justified in believing P.

In an example similar to Pollack’s Tom Grabit case, it becomes evident that the structure of epistemic justification and the complexity of epistemic norms is the crux for objective epistemic justification:

Suppose I see a sign indicating that the home of particular neighbor Mr. Beech is for sale on my street. I am sure that I am familiar with this neighbor who is an economics professor at the local college and know he lives there. The following day I arrive at work and report that Mr. Beech’s home is for sale, on the account that I have met him and seen a for sale sign on my street. However, unbeknownst to me, my wife insists that Mr. Beech is not moving anywhere, on account that she spoke with him the day before and he made no indication of doing so.

However, my wife did not know that Mr. Beech was ashamedly the victim on a Ponzi scheme and lost all him money, and that he desperately wanted to move to save face and needed to sell his house to recoup money. In light of this evidence, it becomes apparent that I did know that Mr. Beech was moving.

This example supports Pollack’s principle of objective epistemic justification because S instantiated argument A that objectively justified P so that A prevailed undefeated in relation to the inclusive set of truths presented. In the example, S is objectively justified in believing P as a result of knowledge that was undefeated by true defeaters.

Pollock’s principle of objective epistemic justification

Pollock’s principle of objective epistemic justification, whereby objective epistemic justification entails justified true belief, states that:

S is objectively justified in believing P if and only if:
1. S is (subjectively) justified in believing P; and
2. there is a set of X truths such that, given any more inclusive set Y of truths, necessarily, if the truths in Y were added to S’s beliefs (and their negations removed in those cases in which S disbelieves them) and S believed P for the same reason then he would still be (subjectively) justified in believing P.

In an example similar to Pollock’s Tom Grabit case, it becomes evident that the structure of epistemic justification and the complexity of epistemic norms is the crux for objective epistemic justification:

Suppose I see a sign indicating that the home of particular neighbor Mr. Beech is for sale on my street. I am sure that I am familiar with this neighbor who is an economics professor at the local college and know he lives there. The following day I arrive at work and report that Mr. Beech’s home is for sale, on the account that I have met him and seen a for sale sign on my street. However, unbeknownst to me, my wife insists that Mr. Beech is not moving anywhere, on account that she spoke with him the day before and he made no indication of doing so.

However, my wife did not know that Mr. Beech was ashamedly the victim on a Ponzi scheme and lost all him money, and that he desperately wanted to move to save face and needed to sell his house to recoup money. In light of this evidence, it becomes apparent that I did know that Mr. Beech was moving.

This example supports Pollock’s principle of objective epistemic justification because S instantiated argument A that objectively justified P so that A prevailed undefeated in relation to the inclusive set of truths presented. In the example, S is objectively justified in believing P as a result of knowledge that was undefeated by true defeaters.

Meaning: Thoughts

I don’t have much experience in epistemology so it’s difficult for me to be certain about anything I think about ‘meaning’.
First of all, what is meaning?  An intention: an attitude held toward a proposition? Information? A sense: the intension or extension of a referent? The truth condition?
For the sake of clarity, lets say that meaning is the intention instantiated to a sign or symbol, such as a word or picture. We’ll say this intention is characterized by a purpose.

In the same way a coin losing its embossing due to usage and wear, so too does the meaning of language lose its power and force. Perhaps the repetition of a word can cause it to lose the meaning intended to it upon being coined- it’s original intended meaning- but I would argue that the meaning of any uttered word is ultimately possessed according to the present intentions of the speaker. I want to go so far as to say that a word’s meaning is possessed according to the present shared intentions of a speaker and hearer. If the speaker uses a word but no one else can understand it, can we conclude that the word is meaningless? Only when we extend the principle of rational accommodation can we understand the intention of the speaker. Only when there is a shared intention can we interpret the word and render it meaningful. Donald Davidson said that any partial failure of interpretation can be remedied with the principle of rational accommodation and Tarski’s convention-T to formulate a passing theory of meaning.  If we cannot interpret these noises with a passing theory, there is a total failure of communication and the noises are not translatable and meaningful.  (I have many more thoughts. This is a really challenging topic to think about and consider.)

However, there are social costs for using words outside normative standards and conventional usage. If a speaker uses the word ‘blue’ to refer to an apple instead of using the accepted standard usage of ‘red’, the hearer may be able to interpret what the speaker is saying (e.g. using convention-T: the sentence ‘apple is blue’ is true if and only if ‘apple is red’) but not without a certain social costs, e.g. credibility, intelligence, etc.

Freedom and Spirituality

Abstract
This essay explores the phenomenon of spirituality by delineating the rise of free will as a product of a reflective consciousness synthesized from conditioned responses resulting from external demands.

Contents

  1. Reflection as a starting point for analysis and reducibility
  1. Necessity of cause
  • Freedom
    1. Predictors of Demand
    2. Rise of Ideas
    3. Free will
    4. Reflection as Action
    5. Distance Defines Knowledge
  • Spirituality
    1. God’s Nature
    2. Conversions
  • The Rise of Spirituality
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