[lit-ideas] Re: Berkeleyiana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:26:55 -0400

There are certain expressions in English that have become acronyms. A few
start with "afai", -- and it may do to compare 'know' (as used by McEvoy)
with 'be concerned' (as used by Geary), and, into the bargain, with
'perceive' as used by Bishop Berkeley.

In a message dated 9/24/2015 3:05:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
I wouldn't say ["as far as I know"] was one of my favourite phrases, but
the more important points are: 1) This usage does not "prove" Popper is
right (that you can KNOW false things) anymore than the use of "know" as in
_proves_ that we can only KNOW true things" --

as far as _we_ know (if we want to be inclusive).

McEvoy goes on: "(Still less does usage _prove_ we are JUSTIFIED: even if
we assume we are when we use the JTB meaning of "knowledge", that assumption
is not proof.) It follows that I haven't, afaik, ever used 'afaik' to
prove that Popper is right."

This reminds me that since 'as far as I know' has become so _common_ (in
the good way of 'common') that it has originated its own acronym (cfr.
"LOLOTF"). I'm less sure as "twimc" will ever become the universal acronym (in
Tagalog) for 'to whom it may concern', or 'y.o.s' for 'your obedient

McEvoy goes on:

"2) As to whether we conceive of "knowledge" in JTB terms or in terms of
all knowledge being "conjectural", the important epistemic arguments go
well beyond appeals to usage (thankfully). 3) What the expression 'afaik' does
show is that there is a usage of "know" within ordinary language that
chimes with a view of "knowledge" as conjectural rather than as JTB."

-- and which may be compared with a non-otiose usage of Geary's 'as far as
I'm concerned' (I'm not implicating Geary's usage is otiose; indeed Helm
has convinced me it ain't necessarily so). Granted, 'to know' is ACTIVE,
while to 'be concerned' is passive.

McEvoy: "Such expressions surely bear consideration and must be taken to
counterbalance the over-egged examples of JTB theory - for example, that we
do not say "I know x and x is false" - since 'afaik' is an expression where
we claim knowledge that x without excluding the possibility of x being

It may do to compare with

i. As far as I'm concerned.

It seems to belong more to a realm Witters never touched: morality:

Consider the title of a novel by Malcolm Bradbury, from a song by Flanders
& Swann

ii. Eating people is wrong.

And now append Geary's colloquialism:

iii. As far as I'm concerned eating people is wrong.

It seems less harsh than a mere Tarskian scenario alla

iv. As far as I'm concerned, grass is green.

McEvoy goes on:

"4) Afaik Popper did not make use of expression 'afaik' to defend his idea
of "objective knowledge" as having a basis within ordinary usage; but
Popper did point out that we do, in ordinary usage, use the term "knowledge" in

a way that chimes with the view that knowledge is conjectural and objective
and not a species of JTB (e.g. "scientific knowledge"). 5) I think Popper
perhaps concedes more than is necessary in terms of the meaning of "know"
and "knowledge" in ordinary usage - i.e. concedes too much to the JTB view
of their meaning being often their ordinary meaning. I am sceptical as to
whether the sense of our ordinary usage always involves or entails a
commitment to a particular epistemic view of knowledge (as, say, either
or as JTB) rather than this sense being imposed by those with a commitment
to their particular epistemic view. As with children, we often use the
terms "know" and "knowledge" without clearly knowing what epistemologically is
involved by this use - afaik."

And then there's 'afair" -- acronym which "as far as I recall"

or remember, as in

What does AFAIR stand for? - Acronyms
_www.allacronyms.com/AFAIR_ (http://www.allacronyms.com/AFAIR)
3 meanings of AFAIR acronym and AFAIR abbreviation. Get the definition of
AFAIR by All Acronyms dictionary. Top Definition: As Far As I Remember.

According to Benjamin, if you remember that grass is green then grass is

Benjamin would then say that

v. afair it was raining in Dover.


vi. It was raining in Dover.

Grice was offended that Benjamin (an Australian philosopher) had the cheek
to expose those views in "Mind" no less!

So far as we may tell this may prove Popper right, but then it may also
prove that, as they colloquially say, the grice is right, too.



"Benjamin remarked: "One could generate a sense of the verb 'remember'"
that is 'factive' -- Benjamin, "Remembering," Mind.

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