[lit-ideas] Re: The King is not a subject.

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2015 21:15:28 +0000 (UTC)

I am pretty sure that cats have considerable knowledge, even if they don't put
it into propositions>

Popper would agree: and the "knowledge" cats have - for example, as to climbing
trees - is not identifiable with a form of "justified true belief" (even if a
determined JTB-theorist could do enough violence to JTB terms, stretching them
on a conceptual rack so that JTB covered all 'cat-knowledge').
Trees may have considerable "knowledge" too and the stretching required to
bring them within the strictures of JTB-theory would take them to the moon.
[Trees do not have "beliefs" in the sense of JTB-theory.]

That trees and cats may have considerable knowledge is almost obvious from the
perspective of "evolutionary epistemology", though it is something that sits
ill with the dogma of JTB-theory (and also with any view that sees trees and
cats as mere automata e.g Cartesian or materialist views).

Manys a JTB-theorist will assert no life-forms have any "knowledge" except
humans - just so they can try, dogmatically, to keep "knowledge" within the
constraints of JTB-theory.

So much the worse for JBT-theory.


On Sunday, 26 April 2015, 20:37, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

I''ll leave it to exegetists to solve what W. said or did not say, but I am
pretty sure that cats have considerable knowledge, even if they don't put it
into propositions. Their sight and hearing are better than ours, for example.
Oh but I forgot that I am supposed to believe that my perspective, which was
supposedly taught to me by my 'culture', is correct in everything. Actually it
seems that some idiots somewhere already concluded that animals don't 'really'
have color perception, even if they seem to distinguish things better than we
do, based on some conceptual analysis.
On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 8:15 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Wittgenstein said that we really only know what we have words for>
I'd be interested to know where Wittgenstein said this, just so I could check
he really did.

On Sunday, 26 April 2015, 18:33, Ursula Stange <ursula@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Wittgenstein said that we really only know what we have words for.   Geary, I
suspect, knows a lot.  
I used to ask my students (I'm retired now) what they thought was outside the
walls of our lecture hall.  The answer they worked towards was 'my skull.'  
Except for the buzz of the game, nobody likes that answer.   But it's probably
Ursula, retiring at the edge of a still-frozen lakein North Bay, Ontario

On Apr 26, 2015, at 12:49 PM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Yes, but the blind know the world AS A BLIND PERSON, ditto for the deaf, ditto
for each of us, we know only within the framework of our particular culture. 
I'm sure that Omar is familiar with the joke about the 6 blind men describing
an elephant -- we are all such and will always be so even if we had five
thousand senses, still Knowledge -- of which meaning is made --  would always
be idiosyncratic and provisional.  I know nothing -- except what I know.  And
you, my fellow, know no more that what you know.  So saith I.  Amen.
On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 11:29 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Well, blind people usually know that they do not see, deaf people know that
they do not hear etc. With the stupid, admittedly, it is more of a problem.
On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 5:38 PM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>

Blue is the color of my true love's eyes, would I love her were they any other
color?  I would hope so, but I've often been suprised at just how shallow I am. 
So who knows?  Perhaps she's just wearing some color-correcting contact lenses
and that her irises are really orange.  I hope not.  My point in the last post
was , I think, that all our knowledge is provisional because intellectually we
are essentially just wads of varied bits of  intelligence gathered by our
senses which are not necessarily reliable and woven into supposedly meaningful
narratives of existene.  Be we blind, deaf or just plain stupid, our knowledge
of the world is uniquely our own and I maintain that it is highly speculative
and thus provisional.  Philosophy is a game of My World vs. Your World.  A fun
game, I think, but no more consequential than tennis. So saith me.   
 On Sat, Apr 25, 2015 at 8:41 PM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

It's really nonsense, I mean some people are blind and not just color blind, so
should we then conclude that vision is useless ? Blind people are dependent on
seeing people much or most of the time.

On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 2:57 AM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Perhaps we might want to know how color is different from some other kind of
visual perception then, since any visual perception can be plausibly presented
as: " the perception of wave lengths of  electromagnetic  radiation as
reflected onto the retina of a sighted creature." Such alleged illusions can
help to distinguish edible food from inedible e.g., or perhaps closer to the
concerns of modern materialists, the color of money. It might help in an

On Sun, Apr 26, 2015 at 2:45 AM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>

Omar writes: "If we were to conclude that all ascriptions of color were a
priori false we would have Tarski trying to derive a definition of truth from
an impossible proposition."   I would say that it is not a question of "truth
or falsity" but of assertability.  If color is the perception of wave lengths
of  electromagnetic  radiation as reflected onto the retina of a sighted
creature -- human or otherwise, then I contend that  "color" as an ens realis
doesn't exist -- a perception (a biochemical process occuring in the brain of
creature, endered as a response to a specific  stimulus occurs, yes, but we
have no way of knowing if  each person perceives the wavelengths  in the same
way. How one processes  stimuli need not necessarily  be the  is the same among
us all.  In fact we know of instances of "color blindness in which some people
perceive colors differently, such that my green is your red.  Who is correct?
What other demensions of reality might  we not be receptive of?  To make a long
story short, we don't know shit.      

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