[lit-ideas] Re: Understanding Why The Compressor Shorted To Ground

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 13:31:55 +0700

Eric Yost wrote:

"Otherwise you get the classical paradox of the knower."

There are a few of these.  For example, the Socratic problem that
Kierkegaard addresses is the problem of how one can learn something
without, in some sense, knowing in advance what it is that is to be

Eric offers the following as a possible example of a paradox:

A. I know that "the compressor shorted to ground" is false.
B. "I know that 'the compressor shorted to ground' is false" is true.
C. It can be both true and false because the "truth value" of the
statement, "I know that "the compressor shorted to ground" is false"
is not itself grounded in truth, but only in hearsay.

There are at least two different problems with Eric's example.  First,
we have an orphaned 'It' in C that appears to refer back to two
different referents.  In A, what is false is the sentence 'the
compressor shorted to ground' while in B, what is true is the sentence
'I know that ...'  I don't know how 'It' can be both of anything when
'It' is two different things.

Second, the conditions under which I could reasonably assert the
truthfulness of the sentence "I know that ..." would qualify as
knowledge, rather than hearsay.  I haven't been to Auckland, NZ but I
know that Auckland is in New Zealand.  I know, rather than simply
believe, that Auckland is in New Zealand because I can't imagine the
conditions under which I could be wrong.  Wittgenstein is right that
we can be mistaken about doubt.


Phil Enns,
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: