• Polemics

    What Is Knowledge?

    Raphael’s School At Athens (Please read On the Nature of Truth and Reality first if you haven’t already.) What is knowledge, and how do we justify it? In The Theaetetus, Plato records a dialogue between Socrates and Theaetetus regarding the nature of knowledge. Socrates, just before his death, suggests three ideas: Knowledge is nothing but perception. This idea, attributed to Protagoras, is easily discounted by the two men (“things are to you as they appear to you, and to me as they appear to me”). Knowledge is true judgment. This idea is refuted because many people have true knowledge for the wrong reasons or have true knowledge without justification. This gave way to…

  • Polemics

    On the Nature of Truth and Reality

    Is there an objective nature or reality? Or is it subjective, dependent upon our perception of it? Such are the questions that fill sophomoric philosophy class essays. I will make no argument here other than to say that there is an objective reality. Anyone who says that there isn’t makes a statement that is incompatible with the world he imagines. Statements of truth belong only in a world where truth is absolute. Yet, schoolboy sophistry has little to do with the real problem. The problem is that we rarely, if ever, are able to know what reality is in an objectively verifiable way. In other words, the problem is not…

  • Polemics

    Perception Is Not Reality

    We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. – Anais Nin I’m sure someone has told you that perception is reality. It isn’t. This popular platitude is harmful and destructive. It is philosophically and logically false. It’s usually spoken by one person who wants another person to change something, but realizing that the “reality” doesn’t justifiably need to be changed, then the request is reframed to ask the person to change something that she likely has no control over. It is simply an ad hominem attack. There are two kinds of things that we commonly refer to as facts; one is an objective, reality-rooted fact; another is a subjective, bias-rooted…

  • Quotes

    Mediocrity

    Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes its fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way. – Blaise Pascal

  • Quotes

    Ad hominem

    An ad hominem attack against an individual, not against an idea, is highly flattering. It indicates that the person does not have anything intelligent to say about your message. – Nassim Taleb

  • Quotes

    And the days…

    And the days are not full enough And the nights are not full enough And life slips by like a field mouse Not shaking the grass. – Ezra Pound