[ExI] Philosophy and philosophers

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Thu Oct 9 19:35:48 UTC 2014

On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 2:39 PM, Dan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

>>>> Scientists (and mathematicians) are the only ones who do come up with
>>>> great new philosophic ideas,
>>> >>> Such as?
>> >> SUCH AS?! Pick any great scientist or mathematician, any at all.
> > Again, such as? It should be easy to list two or three since there are
> so many.

Thermodynamics, Universal Gravitation, Genetics, Electromagnetism,
Probability Theory.... and none of this great philosophy was discovered by

 So, things like the Gettier problem are not "great new philosophical"
> ideas, in your view?

No I don't, it's just a question of linguistics, what you want the English
word "knowledge" to mean.  I haven't checked so the following story may be
apocryphal, no matter it's still a good story. On November 7 1918 several
newspapers in Boston ran a erroneous story that the First World War had
ended, on the same day two men set sail in a small boat. Having no
communication with the outside world they arrived in Bermuda on November 12
1918 certain that the war was  over. They had perfectly respectable
evidence to support their idea, copies of the newspapers, and their belief
was even true (the war ended on Nov. 11) but was it knowledge?  The answer
can be yes or no and depends entirely on what you want the word "knowledge"
to mean, but I'm not sure it matters because the war was definitely over
and their belief was true.

  John K Clark
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