People have said to me that without certainty and truth then all is anarchy. But in previous blogs I have outlined why we can't know any 100% truths, or have certainty. In my book Modelling Mind I argue this is an unavoidable part of our existence, and we should drop the whole idea of truth … Continue reading What Can We Do in an Uncertain World?
We all need to know what causes things to occur in order to survive. We need this information to avoid bad outcomes and achieve good ones. For example, if don't we accept that drinking foul water causes stomach upsets, then we are likely to suffer, if not die. However, the teasing out of what causes … Continue reading Of Correlation and Causation
In an earlier post, "How Can We Gain Knowledge" (May 2020), I argued that the primary, if not only, way we can justify our knowledge or belief is by the evidence that supports the knowledge or belief. However not all evidence is of equal worth, so what makes some evidence better than others. Confirmability: if … Continue reading Evidence for Evidence
I have previously outlined why we can't know any 100% certain truths. Also we all can remember some more embarrassing cases where we have rather crassly leap to totally unjustified belief. But what can we do about this reality of our existence? We can't know the certain truth about most things. I believe that, far … Continue reading Living in the Real Uncertain World
Vox Populi is literally the voice of the people and refers to attempts to ascertain what the people think about specific matters. It is also referred to as the opinion of the man in the street or the man on the Clapham omnibus. Presumably such formulations include women! This is a form of support for … Continue reading Vox Populi
Often analogies can be good ways of communicating. If it is raining heavily I could say “it’s raining heavily” or perhaps I could use an analogy “it’s raining cats & dogs”. This a perfectly reasonable use of analogy to underline the point I wish to make with perhaps greater force and imagery. However, analogies are … Continue reading Is an Argument from Analogy Helpful
It is a common human failing that we assume we have knowledge of facts that we can't possibly have. We often describe this is as our intuition. Sometimes we leap to a conclusion and when we look for evidence we find there is ample, well-founded sources to support this leap. In this way we could … Continue reading Intuition: Its Pros and Cons
How can we ever know the truth or validity of any claim? How can we gain knowledge? There would appear to be three potential sources to affirm the truth ofd any claim: Supporting evidence. Divine inspiration/revelation. Majority Opinion I know of no other ways to affirm the truth of claims, but if you can please … Continue reading How Can We Gain Knowledge
In daily life we act and assume that the truth is accessible and in many cases, we know it. We base our law enforcement and courts on the premise that the truth of any matter can be determined in court. Our politicians trade in truth, claiming they are bastions of truth whereas their opposition are … Continue reading Truth: A Figment of Our Imagination?
We can categorise ideas and statements into two types: Those that are falsifiable. Those that are not falsifiable. A falsifiable statement is one that it is possible, in principle, to be wrong. We may not be able to prove it right, but we can prove it wrong. For example, if I say "I have a … Continue reading Falsifiability