[ExI] What can be said to be "wrong", and what is "Truth"

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Oct 13 17:14:27 UTC 2008

Jef wrote (Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 10:29 AM)

>> Jef writes
>>> Lee, are you arguing with a selection of my words, or what you know of
>>> me (my structure of beliefs?)
>> I'm arguing with (a few of) the things you wrote, not what I know
>> of your structure of beliefs, which, sorry, is very vague to me.
>> (I can hardly be expected to remember all belief nuances of the
>> many individuals even on this small forum.)
> Lee, we've been around this loop already far too many times.  I'm a
> bit dismayed by your claim not to have built up much of a model of my
> point of view -- it seems to me a bit more facile than plausible, but
> I readily admit that I'm often dismayed by similar evidence from
> others, so my comment here is more to my dismay than to your veracity.

In that case, instead of perceiving "facileness" on my part, remember these

    Andrew Clough writes "Never attribute to malice what can
    be explained by stupidity.  Don't assign to stupidity what
    might be due to ignorance.  And try not to assume your
    opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you."
    -M.N. Plano

And you are *hardly* the worst offender regarding this sage advice.

>>  > **all** expressions of knowledge entail a subjective point of view
>> it does ring alarm bells, for even when I say "all knowledge is
>> conjectural" I recognize that some might well-argue that for
>> an individual, certain facts are not merely conjectural, e.g.,
>> "I am thinking", ...
> So many have followed the "obvious truth" of this Cartesian assumption
> of direct, immediate knowledge of, if nothing else, at least of one's
> own thoughts.  But ask yourself, isn't such thinking (about one's own
> perceived thoughts) necessarily removed in time, and subject to
> alteration -- and even  fabrication -- by the natural processes of the
> brain?

Oh, please don't infer from what I wrote that I *endorse* that
position at all. I was merely saying that some will debate (and
rationally and endlessly) that at least this one thing is certain. To
many prominent thinkers (e.g. Descartes himself), the claim did
seem unquestionable.

> I know you're well-read, much better than the average man on the
> street.  But why this death-grip with which you appear to hold on to
> superficially reassuring but superfluous concepts of absolute truth,
> or absolute personal identity,

I shun "Absolute Truth" especially when in capital letters. *All* knowledge
is conjectural, is the statement---as you must know---which I endorse as
I've said repeatedly.

I believe that my concept of personal identity is as real as the
concept of "species". For example, it's silly to deny that elephants
exist as a separate species, or that my car exists as a real assembly
of components, and so on. You may disagree with me, but to 
suggest that I have some sort of death-grip on these concepts 
is not correct: I believe in one's personal identity to the same
degree as I believe in elephants, and *all* knowledge is conjectural.


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