69

The objection to "I think, therefore I am" is that it presupposes the existence of an "I" doing the thinking. Possibly, "there are thoughts" is the true minimum statement that can be reached using Descartes' method; this does not presuppose the existence of some sort of unified consciousness having the thoughts. Bernard Williams and Søren Kierkegaard were ...


30

This is exactly what Descartes was trying to prove. He wanted to build philosophy from the ground up based on a series of rational observations. I think he must've been quite dismayed when he realized that it is possible to take a skeptical position on almost everything. His conclusion in his Meditations I & II was that this is the only truth, and the ...


13

The question you ask refers to what is known as Occam's Razor or the law of Parsimony (esp. psychology). It is not an unwavering principle but more of a general heuristic or "rule of thumb". Various formulations of this idea have been offered since ancient times and various justifications have been used to support it, despite the fact that it (historically) ...


12

Yes it may be false I think therefore I am is a logical conclusion, aimed at showing that something exists. It assumes that logic works and exists. How can you assume that before you even know if you or anything else exists? Well, you can't, of course. And famously logic is in itself impossible to prove. Therefore we can not say that Cogito is proven ...


12

Your (1) and (2) are not enough. Here is an example: suppose I have excellent reasons to believe that the earth is round (I've seen photos, listened to lectures, etc.), and that it is in fact true that the earth is round, but nevertheless I do not believe it (because I'm irrational). Clearly this is not a case of knowledge. There is a recent view, however, ...


11

"Knowledge" is the primary subject of Epistemology, one of the major branches of philosophy. Its importance cannot be overstated. I suggest that you look at some basic encyclopedia articles on the subject, such as the one from Stanford, the IEP, or Wikipedia.


10

Knowledge is a particular kind of belief, one that has (or has more) evidence, and justified at that (of course there is the classic Gettier problem with this definition). The picture you gave shows two axes, one from theism to atheism (the subject matter about what one knows/believes), and an orthogonal one or gnosis to agnosis, or what I take it, to be ...


10

Strictly speaking I believe definitive knowledge is never obtainable, as Karl Popper has convincingly argued. Simply put; Karl Popper argued that there can always arise occasions where that, that which we hold to be confirmed knowledge (truth), will be falsified by a new observation. In other words; what we accept as being knowledge is actually merely ...


10

As Michael points out, the notion of knowledge in philosophy is of great importance. The entire field of epistemology (which is essentially one of the top five fields of philosophy) focuses almost exclusively on knowledge: what it is, where it comes from and what it's limits are, for example. The primary difference between knowledge and truth in a nutshell ...


10

Clearly, art and ethics, subjects that tend to be highly subjective, don't necessarily require evidence for knowledge claims, do they? Of course they do. What would it mean to make a claim completely devoid of evidence? Do you think there is any philosopher who claims that murder is wrong, or that a work of art is beatiful, for no particular reason?


10

Heading into the library: The book awaits, retrieved from a 6.5 million book warehouse: Excitement as page 57 is present: Compared to the consecutive pages, the page itself is rather hard to read. My first thought was that when compiling the book, it had been retrieved from a different source. But there are more similarly unclear pages later in the book, ...


10

Key text here may be On opinion, knowledge and belief, CPR B 848-859. There is conviction [Überzeugung]. It is the subjective part necessary for knowledge: Taking something to be true is an occurrence in our understanding that may rest on objective grounds, but that also requires subjective causes in the mind of him who judges. If it is valid for ...


9

If you don't know what the core/essential texts are, in my opinion you are ill-equipped to read them alone, unless you are the next Einstein or something. Even otherwise very advanced readers who are new to philosophy can completely miss the subtleties of philosophical literature, particularly literature that is either not from our current era or writing ...


9

Yes, there are, though the general question as to what might be an intrinsic good has been controversial. In Plato's Philebus Socrates summarizes two views he is about to discuss with his interlocutor Portarchus: Philebus says that the good for all animate beings consists in enjoyment, pleasure, delight, and whatever can be classed as consonant ...


8

Knowledge, of the kind you're asking about, I think, usually requires evidence and reasoning. In extreme cases where such knowledge doesn't require both evidence and reasoning, such as in parts of symbolic logic, knowledge requires only reasoning. On the other hand, belief doesn't require any reasoning or evidence whatsoever. If I know that the sun burns ...


8

"Worth Knowing" is not an objective notion, it is entirely relative The notion of "worth knowing" is entirely dependent on circumstance. It is not worth knowing to me that there is 600 mbps of traffic going through Server X right now, but to the administrator of that server, that's probably a huge deal. Not worth knowing to me, very much worth knowing to ...


8

No. Lying implies an intent to deceive. To speak a falsehood is not necessarily to lie. As for the truth-status of the statement, it's not at all paradoxical; it's just temporally bound.


8

Well, if someone makes the assertion that "blueism is true," what they're generally claiming is that the those statements asserted by the blueist body of theory are, individually, true. Most people tacitly accept the notion of an individual, objective truth, and most ideologues believe that their view of reality is in accord with that objective truth. You ...


8

Husserl is perhaps the last truly classical figure in epistemology, he still believed in objective content of knowledge, the same for "angels and centaurs" as for humans, and the possibility of "apodictic certainty" at the end of eidetic and phenomenological investigations. He believed that by suspending ("bracketing out") stereotypes and presuppositions, ...


8

The answer lies in the Phaedo, not much after the passage on suicide, to which you referred. The issue of suicide arises in the context of the question, put to Socrates, why he seemed to favor death, rather than struggling to avoid it. And a part of his answer was, that the knowledge which the philosopher seeks all his life, seems to await him after death. ...


8

TL;DR: No, he did not! To be precise, things-in-themselves may be objects of thought, i.e. abstract concepts of the realm of logic, and therefore concepts of transcendental philosophy as logically necessary conditions of the possibility of experience. But they cannot be objects of knowledge, i.e. things that are particular objects of experience subsumed ...


8

It should be said that Husserl was philosophically averse to Kant's "creative" transcendental subject, perhaps due to the dominance of absolute idealist interpretations of him at the time, and preferred to derive his lineage from Hume, whom he credits as the principal forerunner of phenomenology. See Mall's Experience and Reason on their connection, which ...


8

According to Eric Schwitzgebel, Contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn't involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a ...


7

I know that every language must have undefinable/primitive notions/concepts* but aside from within formal systems in logic, set theory, and mathematics have I seen one. Has anyone been able to prove that a particular word is undefinable? You are using the word "language" to encompass very different kinds of languages, i.e. you are unduly mixing together ...


7

Does anyone know if the idea that something can't be proved, only disproved has a specific origin? It was brought to prominence in modern philosophy of science by Karl Popper, who proposed falsificationism. (I cannot recommend the latter wikipedia entry though.) I also take it that it applies to pretty much any belief, whether it's an untested hypothesis ...


7

I think it is very insightful of you to want to learn to be a better critical thinker. That action in and of itself makes me think you are already more of a critical thinker than many others -- as merely a freshman you are carefully thinking about and planning what will best help you in the future. Not the Answer You're Looking For Unfortunately, philosophy ...


7

No. Most human knowledge is not on the internet. Among the kinds of knowledge not available through the internet are: Our myriad individual observations and experiences [example: I know what I ate for breakfast. I know how many pages I read yesterday. I know how many times my houseplant has had white flies.] Forgotten knowledge. Scientist David Ehrenfeld ...


7

Frege is the founder of a program called logicism that aimed to reduce all of mathematics to logic. In order to reduce mathematics to logic Frege had to expand what is meant by logic. Before him Locke, Kant and others understood by logic only Aristotle's syllogistic, which is a manipulation of simple implications (syllogisms). Frege's Logic went much further,...


7

Not all inductive inferences are temporal, so the future "resembling" the past can be moot, a more general idea would be that various parts of nature are "uniform", "resemble" each other. But it is not logical to assume that the future will "resemble" the past, or that the nature is "uniform" in this or that aspect. In many cases such assumptions are ...


7

Aristotle, 'In the case of objects which involve no matter, what thinks and what is thought are identical' ('De Anima', III, 430a, 3-4). (J.A. Smith tr., Oxford.)


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