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11368.  Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:09 am Reply with quote

As I am aforementioned thirteen year old, I am loath to admit that I do not understand a word of that, but it`s true. Perhaps we could have a version for those of us who struggle with Physics, and had to look up metaphysics in the OED?

11383.  Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:19 pm Reply with quote


I thought this thread might flush you out of the woodwork and I wholly agree with what you say.

Hmm. I wondered too whether it would be judicious, but in small doses... Anyway, you agree with it, so thank God for small mercies!

11551.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:52 pm Reply with quote

This converstaion is lacking direction. Two summarise thus far i believe knowledge lies in two spheres as I said before:

There are two types of knowledge..that which is just imformation and is a type held in theory but to least for the present time for the self...has no physical reality.

The second type, true knowledge if you like, exists everywhere. Our mental capacities restrict us to knowing so little. The first type links to the this type by acknowldgement..i.e. realising that either this knowledge has a name (i.e. information knowledge becomes real) or that what we learned as information now has a connection to our perceptions of reality. This is the the perceptions of that real but i quote Einstein in that 'the difference between genius and insanity is marked only by success'.

Now I believe in the second instance the talk here is going tangental to the curve. If we trace a learning curve then the 4 phases of learning are:

1. Unconcious incompetence
2. Concious incompetence
3. Concious competence
4. Unconcious competence

And there we have true knowledge (given by the two latter stages) assuming that our perceptions are correct. But by what gauge do we measure success...that indeed is the real problem!

11558.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:35 pm Reply with quote

1. Unconcious incompetence
2. Concious incompetence
3. Concious competence
4. Unconcious competence

Like that, jme, but if you think the conversation lacks direction, you're just going to have to turn up more often.


11559.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:44 pm Reply with quote

Ooops...that wasn't my quote...

Um i think its fairly well known...some old famous guy noted it down i think when teaching his dog new tricks of all things!

Anyway..yes its good....true too.

11560.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:44 pm Reply with quote

no4 sums me up quite well.

11561.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:13 pm Reply with quote

Dotcom, if you struggle with physics (which has nothing to do with being thirteen or any other age), perhaps this thread is not for you. I am staying well out of it myself. Until now. I would do some reading up about it, but I have to write about the financial problems of Francis I of France.

11567.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:53 pm Reply with quote

Ah, but if I blame my stupidity concerning Physics on my age, I can look even more ignorant than I do anyway ;)

You`re right. I shall escape.

11568.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:55 pm Reply with quote

Excuse me Beehive but this thread has absolutely NOTHING to do with physics.

I think, even if you are only going to write about the financial problems of Francis I of France, you must read the whole of the rubric.

11596.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:37 pm Reply with quote

Post 11551 reminds me of the poetry of Donald Rumsfeld and his 'known knowns' and 'known unknowns' etc.

11597.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:41 pm Reply with quote

Well, yes, Jenny

By that I mean:

1. A definite yes
2. A qualified yes
3. A defcom yes
4. A diddley-squat yes.

11602.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:48 pm Reply with quote

No, you are right, come to think of it. That is what happens when you start re-reading threads starting on page 4.

11609.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:08 pm Reply with quote

E voila!

11614.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:32 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Pinky, when you say
constructivist and reductionist accounts of the nature of the mind-body problem
my eyes sort of glaze over a bit and I become aware of how little I really know. Would you care to expand on those a bit?

Hi Jenny,

Umm yes, this is a very common reaction! And I also glaze over at times when wrestling with the uncanny beast that is the philosophy of mind. And yes I regret to inform those about that I have an unfortunate side hobby of being engaged in, um, professional philosophy. (Stands back and goes 'ole' as showers of putrid fruit are hurled by friendly by-standers).

Whilst merrily skipping over virtually centuries of philosophical debate, I can inform you that:

Reductionism is an approach to understanding mind and body by breaking stuff down, and down and down, until we are staring at the smallest parts of the problem. This is central to biomedicine and most of western science at large. Peering down microscopes to examine the components of cells is a reductionist approach. The hope is that by deconstructing things in this way and explaining how the component parts work as we go down and down we will get closer to understanding how the bigger picture works. We almost inevitably end up in the murky world of physics, quantum physics and impenetrable mathematics.

Constructivism lies at the polar end of this specturm. Tish to reductionism it says, no point in looking harder and harder at smaller bits. Lets see how these things interact, and believe that reality is put together by interacting systems. For example, somebody is depressed. The psychiatrist says, he's depressed because he hasn't got enough serotonin (and other chemicals) in his brain. Ontological status is placed in the realm of the material and everything's super. The constructivist laughs. No, no. 'Depression' is a socially/cultural problem, a constructed term that we use to describe people who are a certain way. The problem isn't this guy's brain or lack of chemicals in it, it's because we've got this social object of depression and have labelled him 'depressed'.

11619.  Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:47 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
I would hazard that there are two kinds of 'knowledge'.

There is knowledge is the sense of 'general knowledge' or 'scientific knowledge' – a body of facts on which everyone can agree. Nearly all of these 'facts' have been told to us by someone else and we have almost no direct personal experience of them.

(I suppose we could call this stuff 'information')

But there is another kind of knowledge which is (I would argue) ultimately deeper and more meaningful.

As in: 'I know that I love my children'.

I think there is a third kind of knowledge (I have finished with the financial problems of Francis I of France) which is about how the world works, the sort of things we learn as babies and very young children; I know that if I drop something it will fall, how much force I need to exert in order to stand up, where my right arm is. I realise that the examples given above may not be in exactly the same category. Is this a third kind or does it fit into one of the two kinds above?


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