Benedict Pictet on the natural knowledge of God, innate and acquired

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
I like Clark, but I'm not a Clarkian, if you follow.
I follow you; his discussion on Sense vs Perception is very practical; iniquity distorts (our perception of what we have sensed), we perceive the world, the physical world differently to other people. Sin is so dangerous because it deceives the mind. I have thought for a very long time that they way other people perceive the material world is identical to I, it is not, our minds "interpret" our senses. Just another reason we must live by faith, not by sight, not by senses, not our perception of our senses, only by the the word of God, the propositions therein.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
If they can't express it, they don't know it. They may have the affection without knowing it.


Yes, all knowledge is reducible to propositions. That's a truth that can't be gotten around. The moment a belief is formed (and knowledge is warranted, true belief), it can be reduced to a proposition.
This is gonna sound flipint but it's not than what good is the term knowledge? If we are gonna referee on people's commonsense experience, than we should do better. So how does this insistence on our couple not having knowledge of being in love because they cant express illuminate or advance our understanding of the epistemic situation? Because it seems without that than it's a tautologilogical circle to defend a particular philosopher's/philosophy POV but it doesn't get us outside that circle.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
This is gonna sound flipint but it's not than what good is the term knowledge? If we are gonna referee on people's commonsense experience, than we should do better. So how does this insistence on our couple not having knowledge of being in love because they cant express illuminate or advance our understanding of the epistemic situation? Because it seems without that than it's a tautologilogical circle to defend a particular philosopher's/philosophy POV but it doesn't get us outside that circle.
I honestly am not sure what you're getting at. Usually, when someone comes to love another person, he comes to know that fact very soon, perhaps immediately. Common sense, and not philosophising, is where most of our knowledge comes from.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I honestly am not sure what you're getting at. Usually, when someone comes to love another person, he comes to know that fact very soon, perhaps immediately. Common sense, and not philosophising, is where most of our knowledge comes from.
What I'm getting at is that it seems you're saying they have no "knowledge" of being in love if they can't express it even they and everyone else "knows" it. It can be intuitionso knowledge as well. But if you, and this is just how it seems, want to restrict knowledge to a very narrow field that's fine and philosophicaly relevant. But my point is that kind of knowledge or whatever you want is certainly no matter you qualify it a didn't kind of knowledge than say my knowledge. My knowledge of being in love is not the same as my knowledge of a cup.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
What I'm getting at is that it seems you're saying they have no "knowledge" of being in love if they can't express it even they and everyone else "knows" it. It can be intuitionso knowledge as well. But if you, and this is just how it seems, want to restrict knowledge to a very narrow field that's fine and philosophicaly relevant. But my point is that kind of knowledge or whatever you want is certainly no matter you qualify it a didn't kind of knowledge than say my knowledge. My knowledge of being in love is not the same as my knowledge of a cup.
Back to basics. How do you define knowledge? I define it as warranted, true belief.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
If they can't express it, they don't know it. They may have the affection without knowing it.


Yes, all knowledge is reducible to propositions. That's a truth that can't be gotten around. The moment a belief is formed (and knowledge is warranted, true belief), it can be reduced to a proposition.
If they can't express it, they don't know it. They may have the affection without knowing it.

Tarzan needn’t be able to express his knowledge for him to possess knowledge.

You’ve defined knowledge as “warranted, true belief.”

Assume Tarzan knows no words and therefore cannot express beliefs propositionally.

Given your definition of knowledge, why can’t Tarzan possess knowledge as easy as 1,2,3?

For instance:

1. Tarzan believes there is a vine in front of him.

2. It is true there is a vine in front of him.

3. Tarzan’s cognitive faculties are functioning properly in a suitable environment that is sufficiently similar to the one for which God created his cognitive faculties... (and all the rest you require for warrant).

If you agree that Tarzan can know without propositional expression, then the question about love is either the same sort of thing or else it’s a matter of defying propositional construction. If the latter, then it has nothing to do with the inability to express it.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
If they can't express it, they don't know it. They may have the affection without knowing it.

Tarzan needn’t be able to express his knowledge for him to possess knowledge.

You’ve defined knowledge as “warranted, true belief.”

Assume Tarzan knows no words and therefore cannot express beliefs propositionally.

Given your definition of knowledge, why can’t Tarzan possess knowledge as easy as 1,2,3?

For instance:

1. Tarzan believes there is a vine in front of him.

2. It is true there is a vine in front of him.

3. Tarzan’s cognitive faculties are functioning properly in a suitable environment that is sufficiently similar to the one for which God created his cognitive faculties... (and all the rest you require for warrant).

If you agree that Tarzan can know without propositional expression, then the question about love is either the same sort of thing or else it’s a matter of defying propositional construction. If the latter, then it has nothing to do with the inability to express it.
Your Tarzan doesn't sound like any real human being. Every human being whose cognitive faculties function properly uses language.

I'm not saying, by the way, that knowledge is identical to propositions. I'm saying that it can be reduced to propositions. When I see my wife, and know she's in front of me, I don't typically think to myself (propositionally), "My wife is in front of me." However, my knowledge that she is in front of me can be reduced to the proposition, "My wife is in front of me." Looking back at my posts, I see I haven't been nearly as clear on that point as I could have been.
 
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RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
Your Tarzan doesn't sound like any real human being. Every human being whose cognitive faculties function properly uses language.

I'm not saying, by the way, that knowledge is identical to propositions. I'm saying that it can be reduced to propositions. When I see my wife, and know she's in front of me, I don't typically think to myself (propositionally), "My wife is in front of me." However, my knowledge that she is in front of me can be reduced to the proposition, "My wife is in front of me."
Your Tarzan doesn't sound like any real human being. Every human being whose cognitive faculties function properly uses language.

Firstly, you don’t know that to be true. Secondly, even if you did there are possible worlds in which the Tarzan scenario is true. Therefore, it warrants your attention given the claim that one cannot know without being able to express. Thirdly, even if all whose cognitive faculties function use language, that doesn’t prove that language-expression of knowledge is a necessary condition for knowledge. (False disjunction.) Lastly, humans must use language before knowing? Tabula Rasa / Blank Slate? No a priori knowledge? How do babies come to know language?
 

Unique Name

Puritan Board Freshman
My point is that knowledge is warranted/justified, true belief. We know things, in the proper sense of the term, propositionally, either through the intellect alone, or through the intellect working with the senses. My knowledge of cups, men, and God consists of sets of warranted, true beliefs (propositions). I know them the same way, even though they are different things.
What about the gettier cases?
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Back to basics. How do you define knowledge? I define it as warranted, true belief.
I can agree with that but what expressiabiality problem RWD and I have pointed out. Also I find that definition, although technically true, unsatisfactory because you must ignore or contradict ordinary uses of the word "know". Part of the later Wittgenstein's brilliance was attacking such a pristine picture of early linguistic philosophy on this path. Basically trying to make a pristine perfect logically air tight language was like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The more interesting stuff is how we behave and talk ordinarily. I'm not saying that such analytical discussions are not interesting, I have had my fair share of discussions on this website.
But back to original problem if you accept (and everyone must) how we use the word "know" than it is unmistakable that there different kinds of knowing. Hence I know as one knows a cup, I know a person as one knows a person, and I know God as one knows God. Three different uses of the same word.
 

Unique Name

Puritan Board Freshman
I can agree with that but what expressiabiality problem RWD and I have pointed out. Also I find that definition, although technically true, unsatisfactory because you must ignore or contradict ordinary uses of the word "know". Part of the later Wittgenstein's brilliance was attacking such a pristine picture of early linguistic philosophy on this path. Basically trying to make a pristine perfect logically air tight language was like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The more interesting stuff is how we behave and talk ordinarily. I'm not saying that such analytical discussions are not interesting, I have had my fair share of discussions on this website.
But back to original problem if you accept (and everyone must) how we use the word "know" than it is unmistakable that there different kinds of knowing. Hence I know as one knows a cup, I know a person as one knows a person, and I know God as one knows God. Three different uses of the same word.
Justified true belief as the definition of knowledge has holes though doesn't it? If my boss says that Tim will get the promotion, and I see that Tim has 10 coins in his pocket, so I form the belief "the individual who gets promoted has ten coins in his pocket". But I get the promotion instead, and I have 10 coins in my pocket. That is justified true belief. But totally based on false grounds.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Justified true belief as the definition of knowledge has holes though doesn't it? If my boss says that Tim will get the promotion, and I see that Tim has 10 coins in his pocket, so I form the belief "the individual who gets promoted has ten coins in his pocket". But I get the promotion instead, and I have 10 coins in my pocket. That is justified true belief. But totally based on false grounds.
Your referring to the geitter problem I don't know enough about them to comment. But my opinion is that as a strict analytical type definition to further investigation into epistemic matters it's a nice place to start but it must realize that it can't be applied to all types of beliefs. Some beliefs like my "cute couple on date" thought experiment and RWD's wonderful"Tarzan" thought experiment show situations where the necessary strict and limited definition of JTB defies intuitions and coomon sense.
My other Wittgensteinian argument about how varied a use of a word shows the range of its meaning, is a reflection of the limited nature of JTB will inherently be.
Not to mention is the statement "All knowledge is a JTB" itself a JTB? It would basically be a tautology to say so and circular reasoning. I enjoy my discussions with Tyler because they make me think. But I think these are insurmountable problems for the JTB philosophy, not that it's inherently wrong (intuitionally it has to be somewhat right) only ought to be limited in scope.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Sorry worked late so I'm up late. I know I can speak for myself but I think RWD is with me here. We are not presenting geitter type problems to JTB where you take essentially false beliefs and show how they are in justified but taking beliefs that don't meet the requirements of JTB but to deny such beliefs as knowledge defies intuitions and commonsense and hence some restructuring of the theory is in order.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Your Tarzan doesn't sound like any real human being. Every human being whose cognitive faculties function properly uses language.

Firstly, you don’t know that to be true. Secondly, even if you did there are possible worlds in which the Tarzan scenario is true. Therefore, it warrants your attention given the claim that one cannot know without being able to express. Thirdly, even if all whose cognitive faculties function use language, that doesn’t prove that language-expression of knowledge is a necessary condition for knowledge. (False disjunction.) Lastly, humans must use language before knowing? Tabula Rasa / Blank Slate? No a priori knowledge? How do babies come to know language?
I didn't claim that language precedes knowledge. I specifically denied that. If you look at my previous reply to you, I said:
I'm not saying, by the way, that knowledge is identical to propositions. I'm saying that it can be reduced to propositions. When I see my wife, and know she's in front of me, I don't typically think to myself (propositionally), "My wife is in front of me." However, my knowledge that she is in front of me can be reduced to the proposition, "My wife is in front of me."
I do believe in a priori knowledge, but I don't believe that is innate in the sense of being fully formed in the mind from the womb. From the womb, the mind is tabula rasa, but it is not without a constitution. The epistemic faculties of the human mind, so soon as they are utilized, presuppose certain a priori truths.

Bavinck is very helpful on this point (v.1, p.225):
From the outset the intellect is pure potentiality, a blank page (tabula rasa) without any content, and is only activated, aroused to actuality, by the sensible world; it impinges upon the human mind, arouses it, urges it to action. But the moment the intellect is activated, it immediately and spontaneously works in its own way and according to its own nature. And the nature of the intellect is that it has the power (vis), ability (facultas), inclination (inclinatio), and fitness (aptitudo) to form certain basic concepts and principles. It does this by means of perception that is immediate, automatic, involuntary, and without any strain, previous effort, or exercise of reasoning power.
As for language, the faculty for language is inherent in the human constitution. You'd have to prove that universal human experience is mistaken to draw an argument from men whose cognitive abilities are fully functional but don't use language. As for your "possible worlds" argument, the humans in your possible world are apparently constituted with a different nature than we have. They don't have the same epistemic faculties.

As for babies, they have the inherent capacity for language, though they have not developed a facility with language. They naturally begin to use language as they develop. Though they don't have the facility with language to put their beliefs into propositional form, their beliefs, in and of themselves, are reducible to propositions.
 
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RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
Sorry worked late so I'm up late. I know I can speak for myself but I think RWD is with me here. We are not presenting geitter type problems to JTB where you take essentially false beliefs and show how they are in justified but taking beliefs that don't meet the requirements of JTB but to deny such beliefs as knowledge defies intuitions and commonsense and hence some restructuring of the theory is in order.
Unique Name referred to Gettier problems but the example he gave doesn’t resemble one (at least in any typical sense). In the example he gave he offered two possible objects of knowledge. The initial object of knowledge was the proposition contained in the sentence: Tim will get the promotion. Right off the bat that doesn’t end up being relevant to Gettier since the belief ended up being a false belief. I don’t think Unique Name was intending to use that as his Gettier example. He was just setting up the problem.

The second object of knowledge pertained to his example of a Gettier problem. It contained an arbitrary inference: “the individual who gets promoted has ten coins in his pocket.”

Although that ends up being an unjustified true belief, the justification doesn’t present a Gettier problem because the belief is completely arbitrary. Recall, the justification was:
If my boss says that Tim will get the promotion, and I see that Tim has 10 coins in his pocket, so I form the belief "the individual who gets promoted has ten coins in his pocket".
Gettier problems typically relate to beliefs that are true and well supported by evidence but fail on the basis of insufficient warrant, not on the basis of total arbitrariness.

I see Gettier as a bigger problem for strict internalism and infalliblists.

But back to Tarzan and love. Tyler’s objection undermines his own sufficient condition for knowledge. He has now added the expression of knowledge and the use of language to warrant. That puts him on the horns of an epistemological dilemma. Why should we believe a child knows nothing until she expresses it in language? It’s seems rather intuitive that language enables the child to express what she may already know.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
I didn't claim that language precedes knowledge. I specifically denied that. If you look at my previous reply to you, I said:


I do believe in a priori knowledge, but I don't believe that is innate in the sense of being fully formed in the mind from the womb. From the womb, the mind is tabula rasa, but it is not without a constitution. The epistemic faculties of the human mind, so soon as they are utilized, presuppose certain a priori truths.

Bavinck is very helpful on this point (v.1, p.255):


As for language, the faculty for language is inherent in the human constitution. You'd have to prove that universal human experience is mistaken to draw an argument from men whose cognitive abilities are fully functional but don't use language. As for your "possible worlds" argument, the humans in your possible world are apparently constituted with a different nature than we have. They don't have the same epistemic faculties.

As for babies, they have the inherent capacity for language, though they have not developed a facility with language. They naturally begin to use language as they develop. Though they don't have the facility with language to put their beliefs into propositional form, their beliefs, in and of themselves, are reducible to propositions.
Tyler,

I find your posts a bit scattered and internally incoherent. I‘m satisfied that you haven’t dealt adequately with your interlocutors. I see no need to continue.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Tyler’s objection undermines his own sufficient condition for knowledge. He has now added the expression of knowledge and the use of language to warrant. That puts him on the horns of an epistemological dilemma. Why should we believe a child knows nothing until she expresses it in language? It’s seems rather intuitive that language enables the child to express what she may already know.
You've misunderstood me entirety. Part of that was my fault, I'm not being sufficiently clear at the outset regarding the distinction of knowledge being identical to propositions and knowledge being reducible to propositions.

Nevertheless, I answered all of what you said here in post #44 (the one you've chosen not to respond to).
 
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RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
Your referring to the geitter problem I don't know enough about them to comment. But my opinion is that as a strict analytical type definition to further investigation into epistemic matters it's a nice place to start but it must realize that it can't be applied to all types of beliefs. Some beliefs like my "cute couple on date" thought experiment and RWD's wonderful"Tarzan" thought experiment show situations where the necessary strict and limited definition of JTB defies intuitions and coomon sense.
My other Wittgensteinian argument about how varied a use of a word shows the range of its meaning, is a reflection of the limited nature of JTB will inherently be.
Not to mention is the statement "All knowledge is a JTB" itself a JTB? It would basically be a tautology to say so and circular reasoning. I enjoy my discussions with Tyler because they make me think. But I think these are insurmountable problems for the JTB philosophy, not that it's inherently wrong (intuitionally it has to be somewhat right) only ought to be limited in scope.
“Some beliefs like my "cute couple on date" thought experiment and RWD's wonderful"Tarzan" thought experiment show situations where the necessary strict and limited definition of JTB defies intuitions and coomon sense.”

I don’t think my point with the Tarzan example contradicts JTB. Rather, it aimed to show that one can possess sufficient warrant for true beliefs without being able to express it. So, Tarzan can know a vine is in front of him without being able to express his JTB. Just like a child can know she’s in her mother’s arms without being able to express her JTB. Just like a person who doesn’t possess the Scriptures can still know God exists yet without being able to express her justification for her true belief in God.

The point was merely that this claim that you and I objected to is obviously false:

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”

That claim makes the common mistake of confusing (a) having justification for belief in x with (b) the ability to express justification for belief in x.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
You've misunderstood me entirety. Part of that was my fault, I'm not being sufficiently clear at the outset regarding the distinction of knowledge being identical to propositions and knowledge being reducible to propositions.

Nevertheless, I answered all of what you said here in post #44 (the one you've chosen not to respond to).
So, this is false?

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”

And incidentally, when you say “I didn’t say x...” in response to my exposing x, I realize you didn’t say x. I was dealing with x because your position as stated implies x.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
So, this is false?

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”
An adult, with fully functioning cognitive faculties, will be able to express his knowledge. He may do it crudely, but he will be able to do it. This is true even when he cannot account for his knowledge or explain the warrant for it.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
“Some beliefs like my "cute couple on date" thought experiment and RWD's wonderful"Tarzan" thought experiment show situations where the necessary strict and limited definition of JTB defies intuitions and coomon sense.”

I don’t think my point with the Tarzan example contradicts JTB. Rather, it aimed to show that one can possess sufficient warrant for true beliefs without being able to express it. So, Tarzan can know a vine is in front of him without being able to express his JTB. Just like a child can know she’s in her mother’s arms without being able to express her JTB. Just like a person who doesn’t possess the Scriptures can still know God exists yet without being able to express her justification for her true belief in God.

The point was merely that this claim that you and I objected to is obviously false:

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”

That claim makes the common mistake of confusing (a) having justification for belief in x with (b) the ability to express justification for belief in x.
I didn't mean to presume. I've had many problems the JTB only epistemological theory for years I even have a couple of arguments that might be described as "stretching" it but they'll have to wate.
I don't think JTB only can account for the variety of ways we use the word "know" and I also think it fails Jame's pragmatic method of analyzing philosophical problems.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
I didn't mean to presume. I've had many problems the JTB only epistemological theory for years I even have a couple of arguments that might be described as "stretching" it but they'll have to wate.
I don't think JTB only can account for the variety of ways we use the word "know" and I also think it fails Jame's pragmatic method of analyzing philosophical problems.
Keep in mind, JTB doesn’t address things like knowing how to golf. It pertains to propositional knowledge.
An adult, with fully functioning cognitive faculties, will be able to express his knowledge. He may do it crudely, but he will be able to do it. This is true even when he cannot account for his knowledge or explain the warrant for it.
“An adult, with fully functioning cognitive faculties, will be able to express his knowledge.”
It’s interesting that you’re now limiting this theory to adults. Seems to me you cannot sustain your theory as it applies to children. A robust theory wouldn’t need such qualification. Your theory would also seem to rule out all externalist knowledge, like an adult’s knowledge of God through general revelation that she cannot explicate if she hasn’t been acquainted with special revelation.

So, how can we say that all know God given that not all know their justification for their belief in God? Although all know God, not all know they are created in God’s image and that the Spirit reveals God’s invisible attributes through the things that are made. Knowledge clearly doesn’t require the ability to express knowledge, even in adults.

“He may do it crudely, but he will be able to do it. This is true even when he cannot account for his knowledge or explain the warrant for it.”
Here are six wildly held cognitive faculties: perception, imagination, memory, reason, intuition and will. I don’t see expression of warrant on the list. In possible world W, Tarzan can know Jane is on the vine without ability to express it. If you’d only stop to consider, language expresses knowledge one already has.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Keep in mind, JTB doesn’t address things like knowing how to golf. It pertains to propositional knowledge.




It’s interesting that you’re now limiting this theory to adults. Seems to me you cannot sustain your theory as it applies to children. A robust theory wouldn’t need such qualification. Your theory would also seem to rule out all externalist knowledge, like an adult’s knowledge of God through general revelation that she cannot explicate if she hasn’t been acquainted with special revelation.

So, how can we say that all know God given that not all know their justification for their belief in God? Although all know God, not all know they are created in God’s image and that the Spirit reveals God’s invisible attributes through the things that are made. Knowledge clearly doesn’t require the ability to express knowledge, even in adults.



Here are six wildly held cognitive faculties: perception, imagination, memory, reason, intuition and will. I don’t see expression of warrant on the list. In possible world W, Tarzan can know Jane is on the vine without ability to express it. If you’d only stop to consider, language expresses knowledge one already has.
Fair enough but the original question as I understood it was is all knowledge propositional and hence needs JTB to be considered knowledge. I say no for the reasons I've given. Fair enough as far as it goes.
The statement about golf I'm assuming is in reference to the pragmatism statement I made, fair again not actually what I was talking about.
James in his lectures published as "Pragmatism" states in the chapter entitled "what pragmatism means that "the Pragmatic method is a method of settling metaphysical disputes.....".
So take my thought experiment and let's extend it out. Our cute couple goes year after to the same restaurant: first year a date, next year engaged, third year married, and on and on through all stages of life.
Now every year the local philosophy proffesser asks the same questions and their answer is the same "we can't give you justification for how we know we are in love, we just know that we know".
James would say "so the dispute is over whether or not to ascribe the abstract term "knowledge" to their beliefs, the question is irrelevant because what difference does it make?" He'd go on "if the problem is either with the couple failing to give justification, despite living a life that intuition says is love, for their beliefs or a problem with the theory than there's a problem with theory."
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
It’s interesting that you’re now limiting this theory to adults. Seems to me you cannot sustain your theory as it applies to children. A robust theory wouldn’t need such qualification.
I'm not limiting it to adults. The knowledge of children is reducible to propositions, even when their cognitive powers aren't developed to the point that they can do it themselves.

Jamey's example was an example about adults. I applied my theory as it related to his example.

Your theory would also seem to rule out all externalist knowledge, like an adult’s knowledge of God through general revelation that she cannot explicate if she hasn’t been acquainted with special revelation.
So, how can we say that all know God given that not all know their justification for their belief in God? Although all know God, not all know they are created in God’s image and that the Spirit reveals God’s invisible attributes through the things that are made. Knowledge clearly doesn’t require the ability to express knowledge, even in adults.
As I said before, someone can have warranted knowledge without knowing what their warrant is. Part of the warrant for all foundational knowledge is the constitution of the human mind. Most people aren't aware of that, but they still rely upon it. In other words, you can know that something is true without being able to explain why it is true.

If you’d only stop to consider, language expresses knowledge one already has.
I've affirmed that fact several times.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm not limiting it to adults. The knowledge of children is reducible to propositions, even when their cognitive powers aren't developed to the point that they can do it themselves.

Jamey's example was an example about adults. I applied my theory as it related to his example.


As I said before, someone can have warranted knowledge without knowing what their warrant is. Part of the warrant for all foundational knowledge is the constitution of the human mind. Most people aren't aware of that, but they still rely upon it. In other words, you can know that something is true without being able to explain why it is true.


I've affirmed that fact several times.
“I've affirmed that fact several times.”

I think you’ve affirmed several things several times. I’m merely trying to reconcile things.

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”

From that premise we can deduce by way of modus tollens: “if they do know it, they can express it.” Therefore, for you the expression of knowledge is a necessary condition for knowledge. (The consequent of an if-then proposition is a necessary condition for the antecedent.) You affirm that here: “An adult, with fully functioning cognitive faculties, will be able to express his knowledge.” and here: “He may do it crudely, but he will be able to do it.” That’s internalism.

Yet later you said: “someone can have warranted knowledge without knowing what their warrant is.” That’s externalism.

First off, I’m pretty sure we’ve been talking about warranted belief, not warranted knowledge. Perhaps you are conflating first and second orders of belief. I’ll assume you mean “someone can have warranted true belief without knowing what their warrant is [for that true belief]. That would be relevant to the discussion. It is also *externalist* knowledge.

Yet if someone can have externalist knowledge with respect to the object of knowledge - I am in love, then how can you also maintain your original internalist constraint that one *cannot* know he is in love without being able to express his knowledge? After all, what is it to express one’s knowledge of her love other than to give an *account* for her *warrant* for her true belief that she is in love, which you’ve said elsewhere one need NOT be able to do in order for knowledge to obtain?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
“I've affirmed that fact several times.”

I think you’ve affirmed several things several times. I’m merely trying to reconcile things.

“Therefore, If they can't express it, they don't know it.”

From that premise we can deduce by way of modus tollens: “if they do know it, they can express it.” Therefore, for you the expression of knowledge is a necessary condition for knowledge. (The consequent of an if-then proposition is a necessary condition for the antecedent.) You affirm that here: “An adult, with fully functioning cognitive faculties, will be able to express his knowledge.” and here: “He may do it crudely, but he will be able to do it.” That’s internalism.

Yet later you said: “someone can have warranted knowledge without knowing what their warrant is.” That’s externalism.

First off, I’m pretty sure we’ve been talking about warranted belief, not warranted knowledge. Perhaps you are conflating first and second orders of belief. I’ll assume you mean “someone can have warranted true belief without knowing what their warrant is [for that true belief]. That would be relevant to the discussion. It is also *externalist* knowledge.

Yet if someone can have externalist knowledge with respect to the object of knowledge - I am in love, then how can you also maintain your original internalist constraint that one *cannot* know he is in love without being able to express his knowledge? After all, what is it to express one’s knowledge of her love other than to give an *account* for her *warrant* for her true belief that she is in love, which you’ve said elsewhere one need NOT be able to do in order for knowledge to obtain?
It may help if I lay all my cards on the table, to let you know where I'm coming from.

My main influences, with regard to epistemology, are Herman Bavinck, A. H. Strong, and W. G. T. Shedd, with a smattering of Alvin Plantinga and Ronald Nash. I consider myself a foundationalist and a naive realist.

In terms of the relationship between knowledge, warrant, and expression, I believe:
  1. That all knowledge can be expressed in propositional form. That's not to say that every "knower" can express his knowledge, but that all knowledge has a propositional equivalent.
  2. That all knowledge, properly so called, is warranted.
  3. That a person can have knowledge without being able to explain why it is warranted.
  4. That most things we know, we know naively, without so much as considering the question of warrant.
A person may be in love (i.e. experience the affection) without knowing (believing) that he is in love.

Alternatively, if a person knows (believes) that he is in love, he will be able to express it: "I am in love."

In the case of recognizing an affection (such as love) in oneself, the fact is self-evident and incorrigible. That is to say, he can't know it without being conscious of the warrant for knowing it. The warrant is that he experiences the affection. There are other things that one can know without knowing the warrant they have for their knowledge. The existence of universals, or of God, is often known naively (i.e. without being conscious of the warrant one has for knowing them). In such cases, one has the proper epistemic foundations without knowing that he has them.

All of the above applies to people with fully developed, properly functioning epistemological equipment, including the cognitive faculties.

I sincerely hope this clarifies things. Could my thinking in these areas use some refining? Perhaps; but until that's demonstrated, I'm confident in the views I've embraced.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
It may help if I lay all my cards on the table, to let you know where I'm coming from.

My main influences, with regard to epistemology, are Herman Bavinck, A. H. Strong, and W. G. T. Shedd, with a smattering of Alvin Plantinga and Ronald Nash. I consider myself a foundationalist and a naive realist.

In terms of the relationship between knowledge, warrant, and expression, I believe:
  1. That all knowledge can be expressed in propositional form. That's not to say that every "knower" can express his knowledge, but that all knowledge has a propositional equivalent.
  2. That all knowledge, properly so called, is warranted.
  3. That a person can have knowledge without being able to explain why it is warranted.
  4. That most things we know, we know naively, without so much as considering the question of warrant.
A person may be in love (i.e. experience the affection) without knowing (believing) that he is in love.

Alternatively, if a person knows (believes) that he is in love, he will be able to express it: "I am in love."

In the case of recognizing an affection (such as love) in oneself, the fact is self-evident and incorrigible. That is to say, he can't know it without being conscious of the warrant for knowing it. The warrant is that he experiences the affection. There are other things that one can know without knowing the warrant they have for their knowledge. The existence of universals, or of God, is often known naively (i.e. without being conscious of the warrant one has for knowing them). In such cases, one has the proper epistemic foundations without knowing that he has them.

All of the above applies to people with fully developed, properly functioning epistemological equipment, including the cognitive faculties.

I sincerely hope this clarifies things. Could my thinking in these areas use some refining? Perhaps; but until that's demonstrated, I'm confident in the views I've embraced.
Well I appreciate you laying your cards on the table. I seem to be coming at those beliefs about love for instance that are not immediately recognizable to the person. They are unaware and may even deny it, but everybody else does so the third party could formulate propositions. But the first person couldn't/wouldn't so where that leaves JTB I don't know?
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
“Alternatively, if a person knows (believes) that he is in love, he will be able to express it: "I am in love."“

That seems simplistic to me. First off, believes is not equivalent to knows. So, I’m not sure why you’d express your point that way. I’ll deal with your statement by ignoring what you dropped in parentheses.

One can possess the warrant for the true belief that she’s in love yet simultaneously have enough doubt not to believe what she actually knows to be true. Knowledge isn’t always without reservation. Reservation can be the debilitating factor for expressing what we know, but that doesn’t necessarily undermine knowledge in such instances.

There is serious consideration that ought to be given to belief conditionals. One might not believe she knows the answer to a test question. Yet she puts down the correct answer. She believes on one level she doesn’t know her answer is true. Yet she ends up being correct. If her answer wasn’t a lucky guess, then she had at least some justification for her belief that her answer was the best possible answer. Therefore, there can be enough warrant for her true belief in her answer of which she would not be cognizant of on another level. The point is, justifications for beliefs can often be masked. We can know some things that we don’t believe we know, and we at times can even believe (on another level) that we actually don’t know when in fact we do know. People often know more than they think.

Thanks for the exchange, Brother. I think we might’ve learned a bit more about each other’s views.

I enjoyed and am grateful for the exchange.
 

Unique Name

Puritan Board Freshman
Unique Name referred to Gettier problems but the example he gave doesn’t resemble one (at least in any typical sense). In the example he gave he offered two possible objects of knowledge. The initial object of knowledge was the proposition contained in the sentence: Tim will get the promotion. Right off the bat that doesn’t end up being relevant to Gettier since the belief ended up being a false belief. I don’t think Unique Name was intending to use that as his Gettier example. He was just setting up the problem.

The second object of knowledge pertained to his example of a Gettier problem. It contained an arbitrary inference: “the individual who gets promoted has ten coins in his pocket.”

Although that ends up being an unjustified true belief, the justification doesn’t present a Gettier problem because the belief is completely arbitrary. Recall, the justification was:


Gettier problems typically relate to beliefs that are true and well supported by evidence but fail on the basis of insufficient warrant, not on the basis of total arbitrariness.

I see Gettier as a bigger problem for strict internalism and infalliblists.

But back to Tarzan and love. Tyler’s objection undermines his own sufficient condition for knowledge. He has now added the expression of knowledge and the use of language to warrant. That puts him on the horns of an epistemological dilemma. Why should we believe a child knows nothing until she expresses it in language? It’s seems rather intuitive that language enables the child to express what she may already know.
I was just giving a cruddy distillation of what I was taught by my UCB professor haha. If he's wrong or I am wrong in understanding the example he gave from the textbook, here is what was given to me in the textbook (I hope this isn't a distraction; thanks for the response):

Suppose that Smith and Jones have applied for a certain job. And suppose that Smith has strong evidence for the following conjunctive proposition: (d) Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's evidence for (d) might be that the president of the company assured him that Jones would in the end be selected, and that he, Smith, had counted the coins in Jones's pocket ten minutes ago. Proposition (d) entails: (e) The man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Let us suppose that Smith sees the entailment from (d) to (e) and accepts (e) on the grounds of (d), for which he has strong evidence. In this case Smith is clearly justified in believing that (e) is true. But imagine, further, that unknown to Smith, he himself, not Jones, will get the job. And also, unknown to Smith, he himself has ten coins in his pocket. Proposition (e) is then true, though proposition (d), from which Smith inferred (e), is false. Gettier concludes that in this case Smith has justified true belief in (e) but doesn't know (e) to be true. It's a matter of luck that he is correct. Other terms like "accidentally correct" or "correct as a matter of sheer coincidence" apply as well. (McGrath, Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction)
 
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