[lit-ideas] Re: Berkeleyiana

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 06:42:39 +0000 (UTC)

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.">
It may be tacit knowledge here, but bears emphasis given the way some may think
the first-person present tense use of "know" is exclusively a JTB sense
(perhaps due to a reading or misreading of remarks by Wittgenstein): with
'afaik' we have a first person present tense use of "know" that chimes with
"know" being used as per conjectural knowledge rather than knowledge as JTB.
(Perhaps Wittgenstein and others were unaware of the expression 'afaik'?) It
might be interesting to know what philosophers gave any attention to the
expression 'afaik', especially as a potential counter-example to claims that
the sense of "know" (particularly in its first person present tense form) is
always a JTB sense.


On Thursday, 24 September 2015, 23:27, "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx"
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

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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