the only easy day was yesterday

Friday, December 21, 2007

new shits

okay first i think its probably good for my own purposes to review the justified true belief theory in proper form:

i know p (p being any given proposition) if and only if:

i. i believe p
ii. p is true
iii. i am justified in believing p

seems okay. my problem with this is only that it assumes that the world is impassibly separated from the mind, which is not an assumption im comfortable with making. it is displayed in western philosophy as the skeptical default, but im convinced that it should hold such a position. it is quite possible that we are so separated, but i am far more inclined to believe that my mind is more connected to what i experience, and as a matter of practicality it is a more useful assumption to make that the world is readily available to my mind, rather than it being disconnected, which has no practical use for me in my everyday life.

now, gettier. his problem is characterized by this example, which meets the requirements of JTB, but doesnt qualify as knowledge:

i go to a friends house and solicit his home phone number. a few months later i call this number, the same friend answers, and upon my asking him of he's home, he tells me that he is. from this, i form the belief '____ is home.' unbeknownst to me, my friend had moved in the time since id spoken to him, but it would seem that (i) i believe that he is home, (ii) he is in fact home, and (iii) i have good reason to believe that he is home, i am justified to believe this. but i dont know that he is home, because i have the home that i visited when i solicited his phone number in my mind, not his home. 

i have two problems with the gettier examples. the first one seems to be the one that he is trying to get at, rather than it being a problem with his objections; the JTB does not make any sort of practical sense, it doesnt account for temporality, things change too much. this raises the question of justification; what is it for a belief to be justified? my second problem is that this whole thing is a little overly concerned with language. my idea of home is vague, and because it is a vague idea, the objection works, my idea of 'home' is not that particular home, that idea would be 'that house which i visited when i got this phone number i am calling,' rather it is the idea of a comfortable and often used dwelling of an individual or family, which would make my belief knowledge. but, now, does knowledge account for this vagueness of concept of home? i think not, if there is an impassibly separated world from my mind, it would be common to accept that this world simply is, it is free of function predicates; thus it seems to me that any statement about 'home' cannot be true in any sense of that world beyond the understanding of the human mind because the world, if it is so far and different, does not have room for home, it is a function and a tool, if not, then we must be specific with factual words which pertain to what may actually be in that world, such as: "that house which i visited when i solicited this phone number.

i think that comfortably dispels that the word home can be used, and dispels that sophism that gettier used to try and analytically break down JTB. the next problem, though, is that theory, which i dont buy. so say we revert only to using the non-functino words, if there are any. specific to certain things, at least. i think we still cannot escape that we are human beings and perceive and judge through the human mind, we cannot make a statement about a house even, because in the "real world" that house is simply an arbitrarily sized spot in space and time, it is not a house, nor something that could be discerned from anything else if not for my minds ability to discern such things and make them uselful to me through their functions and relations to me.

it seems that i must  change my original idea. i had it in my mind to stick to skeptical views somewhat but i cannot. i find myself being lured towards the little i know about heidegger and ready to hand and at hand and etc, which im not sure quite what he means yet. 

so i originally wanted to say no, no we need to take temporality specifically into account , but that was before i cleared up my problems with gettiers sophism, and also with justified true belief being impossible given the nature of the skeptics {world} and the nature of the human minds understanding, where do i go with this? do i stick with it. i was gonna say that we need to take into account that someone may have moved, things change in time, and relative to the subject in question we must judge what level of justificaiton is needed. its dawned upon me that maybe i can apply jtb to our minds concepts. in this case the given phone call example does present the same problem at face value, but now it comes into play that i may in fact not have been justified in believing that my friend was home because i did not take into account that he may have mooved. because the concepts are vague, i suppose that we can allow the standards of justification to be so as well. all i need to do, because it had been a while since we last spoke, is ask, 'in the same place as i last visited you at on 44th and rivera?' if we look at more rarely changing things, on the same time scale, if i go and see a mountain and in a few months recall that there is a mountain next to a lake at tahoe, i am still justified in believing this beaue mountains rarely move. conversely, if i call my friend and ask do you still have a boyfriend, after having seen her boyfreind a week ago with her, she may answer yes, and i may form the belief that she has the boyfirend i met, but i am clearly not justified, she might just be quick in and out or couldve been having an affair of sorts and decided to go to this other man, but the point is, i was not justified. thus we must take this into account temporally, we must consider the likelihood of these things we are judging to change. 

still the story does not seem to end here. what of finding out if something is true? is it true if i perceive it to be? if i see my friend after out phone conversation and she is with the man i thought she was still dating, but who she was not actually dating anymore, in my mind do i know that this is her boyfriend? i suppose not. i need greater justification, but with the unclear standards for justification i cannot be sure ill ever get to the bottom of what is. but here comes again my taking that the world is separeate. if it is separete than it can easily deceive me, but if it is not separate can i be deceived? if it is as open to me as i think it may be where inlies the possibility for it to deceieve me?

i think i leave this here and think about that question and read up more thoroughly on epistemology...

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