Friday, December 14, 2012

Interlude: A Confession and Summary

Some of these readings on epistemology after a while are just plain boring to me. Epistemology and so much philosophy, as much as I love it, seems either false or trivially true, and very very few times is it useful for its contribution to the sciences or in clarifying commonsense notions. And often philosophy aspires to such logical rigor but think, for example, about philosophers' formulations of knowledge. Do you think these formulations in any way would be adopted by anyone? It's as though analytic philosophy is so often informed by an outdated logicism.

Anyway, I will stop ragging on epistemology in particular and philosophy in particular, and I will instead review what I have written about so far, and what my views are basically. These are my views in summary form, and I would love to expand them in the future in terms of the arguments I have for each of these.

I. Skepticism: Any argument for Cartesian skepticism is either unsound or incoherent, but most likely unsound because of its false premises.
II. Defining knowledge: The word 'knowledge' is an honorific term, which could be given this definition or that to fill out an explanatory theory, but whatever the case the scientific usages of the word 'knowledge' are quite divergent from uses by philosophers, which cast doubt on the usefulness of philosophers' conceptualization(s).
III. Foundationalism versus Coherentism: If the argument is conceived as whether some beliefs are basic or not, the truth is it could be conceived as either depending on the purpose one is using the idea 'structure of belief,' but what looks to be most useful is to assume that some concepts and structures (their principles and parameters) are in some sense basic or a priori, thus in some ways vindicating foundationalism (although the beliefs here are not basic, just the concepts and structures) while the beliefs are what are generated by this innate, a priori organization (which for better or worse could be called 'knowledge'), and which produce beliefs that cohere--in some sense vindicating coherentism but providing that some parts of knowledge are more basic than beliefs.

And I don't know what I think about epistemic justification yet or the other areas, but my thinking bears with it just as much of a skeptical approach (not in the global sense, ha ha) of the arguments I will read as has my absorption of the arguments from the philosophers I have already reviewed. I am so surprised, really, to find that my view is far more sensible and far different than the philosophers' are. I realize that to think that I am right may be hubristic but I think I am. And perhaps when this whole journey is over, I could give you reasons why I think what I think. We'll see.

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