Saturday, May 22, 2010

Knowledge in an Uncertain World

Last December, Jeremy Fantl and Matt McGrath published Knowledge in an Uncertain World (OUP). I've just read a review at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (click here) and I'm sure the book will appeal to those familiar with contemporary epistemological discussions of skepticism.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, jonathan Speke Laudly here,

    If by knowledge you mean a statement or set of statements that is indubitable for everyone--I think there is no such thing.
    But knowledge being what is the case, yes, there is.
    The world is what shows up: thought, feeling, sense, all that arises and changes moment to moment, orginalities and recurrences and so on; what else could the world be?
    Something arises as the case, as the actuality, and tautologically it is actually what is the case-- and that is knowledge. For knowledge all we have is what arises as the case. In the next moment or the next week or next year, new thinking or doubt or information or experience may arise that refutes or invalidates or causes us to abandon the first knowledge--then this in turn becomes the knowledge until it too changes. Groups of people can and do agree on what is the case--until something else arises. This is all we have of surety and certainty.
    What else could knowledge be except what shows up as the case?
    What else have we got?
    In this light--yes, we do have knowledge, we know that x is, until such time as it is not. Thus everything which arises as the case, as the state of affairs, as the actuality, is actually the case. And this goes for the arising of a flat earth as well as quantum calculations.
    There is no other actuality but what arises as such, shows up as such, and it may be in conflict with other folks' actuality---but it is, in fact, all we have as actuality and as knowledge.
    The conventional view is that, if knowledge is later refutedor abandoned then it was not really knowledge. But you can say that about any anything that is the case--even that claimed proven.
    Knowledge is that which is the case---and it can change.
    The world is made up of what shows up--this alone is the actuality, the truth, and is what is the case. It is dynamic, not static.
    There is nothing else for individuals or societies.
    Perhaps the only fundamental and unchanging surety or knowledge, if there is such, is that stuff keeps arising and that something or other will be the case.