When did knowledge exist?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Dogbrain, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    Socrates was traveling to visit his friend Xeno, when he came to a fork in the road. At the fork was a man.

    "Dear fellow," said Socrates, "I seek the home of my friend, Xeno. Do you know where it is?"

    Without speaking a word, the man flung out an arm, pointing along the left fork of the road. Socrates took the left fork, because he then knew which way Xeno's home was. Soon enough, he arrived at Xeno's home, on the left fork.

    When Socrates related his journey to Xeno, Xeno said, "Socrates, the man you spoke to is a deaf, blind spastic. He simply hurls his arms out at random times and in random directions."

    So, at what point did Socrates actually know which fork in the road to take in order to get to Xeno's home?
     
  2. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Knowledge for non-omniscient beings is good-for-the-time-being until someone/something come along and prove otherwise. It is work-in-progress, or so it seems to me.

    Specifically to your example, another person could come along and say Xeno was mistaken about the man that Socrates met.
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    ...When he actually arrived at Xeno's home... Prior to that it was speculation...;)
     
  4. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    Knowledge existed when Socrates saw the arm point to the left. Wisdom or certainty was there only at the goal.
     
  5. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    But what if Xeno had lived to the right? Nothing at all would have been different in Socrates's mind at that point. He would have had the exact same thoughts, based on the exact same evidence. In what specific way would Socrates's belief had been knowledge in the first instance but not knowledge in the second?

    I am not asking when Socrates "knew he knew" but at what point actual knowledge existed, to be distinguished from "belief that coincidentally happens to be true"?
     
  6. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    And then another other person comes along and says the other person is wrong about Xeno being mistaken.
    :D
     
  7. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    A safe answer, indeed.
     
  8. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    Can one have knowing or knowledge and yet be wrong? I say yes. Testimony (like the wave of the arm) is one of the pramanas or accepted forms of knowledge in Eastern thought. You seem to be saying that knowlege is always correct knowledge. I am saying correct knowledge qualifies as wisdom. But incorrect knowlege can based on testimony, perception, inference etc. and still be knowledge.

    For example, looking at the sunset today I know that when the last arc of the sun goes below the horizon that is sunset. Yet, thanks to our atmosphere which bends the light, sunset actually happened a little before I thought I knew it happened.

    So you are going to have to tell me what knowledge is and is not, to you.
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Logical, considering the circumstances. He did not know the man, did not know the man was debilitated, did not know he could have been on a wild goose chase.

    Only when he arrived at Xeno's home did he "learn" the truth of things. Everything prior was speculation, based on a kind of inherent trust...
     
  10. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    Conviction is not the same thing as knowledge. If it were, then there would be no basis for investigation. If one already knows all, no matter what, then there is no need to correct anything.
     
  11. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    There is a failure to communicate - but what else is new.
     
  12. TripleGem

    TripleGem New Member

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    Knowledge exists when awareness exists.
     
  13. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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  14. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    In Buddhism, knowledge AND ignorance/misknowledge exist when awareness exists.
     
  15. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    I wish all answers were that simple to give. Socrates and Xeno were friends. Friendship is not born at the first sight. It takes a span of time for it to bloom. It is only obvious that Socrates was aware of Xeno's residential address. His question to the deaf, blind spastic man, albeit unaware of his condition, was only his way to compliment or start a conversation or to make sure his friend Xeno still dwelt at the same place.
    That's my interpratation base on the letter of the allegory. Perhaps there is another lesson to learn from the metaphorical side of the issue.
    Ben
     
  16. Dookie Marcus

    Dookie Marcus New Member

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    Knowledge exist when we learn it, I remember back when I was a little kid and knowing nothing. Then progressing from phase to phase of learnt knowledge. Pure speculation... I am not a believer in just us being born with it. The wheels of The human mind and brain is a learning process.
     
  17. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    When did knowledge exist!!! I don't get it! Has knowledge ever ceased to exist? Knowledge exists as long as God exists. Knowledge is an immortal attribute of God, which in a relative manner has been shared with man. Hence the allegory of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden.
     
  18. littlebuddha

    littlebuddha New Member

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    Before Adam and his wive was eating the Tree of Good and Evil, because they already know if that is the Tree of Good and Evil.
     
  19. Shibolet

    Shibolet Member

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    So, why did they go for it, to die? Did they perhaps know also that the order not to go for it was only a Catch-22?
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    if the omniscient is omniscient then the omniscient would know they would eat when directed not to...but of course if the omniscient were omniscient the omniscient wouldn't be 'looking' for them after they did...

    of course none of it existed...so we gotta look deeper at the story...
     

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