Philosophy of Questions

There are no singular facts (Questions II)

There is more to explore here, and more thoughts to test. Let’s talk more about knowledge, and take two really simples examples. We believe we know the following. (i) The earth is round. (ii) Gravity is 9.8 G Our model here is one of knowledge as a set of propositions that can be justified and defended as knowledge – they can be deemed true or false, and the sum total of that body of propositions is all we know. We can add to it by adding new propositions and we can change our mind by throwing old propositions out and…

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Philosophy of Questions

Socratic epistemology, Hintikka, questions and the end of propositional logic (Questions I)

The question of what knowledge is can be understood in different ways. One way to understand it is to focus on what it means to know something. The majority view here is that knowledge is about propositions that we can examine from different perspectives. Examples would include things like: The earth is round. Gravity is a force. Under simple conditions demand and supply meet in a market. These propositions can then be true or false and the value we assign to them decides if they are included in our knowledge. The way we assign truth or falsity can vary. In…

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Philosophy of Questions, Philosophy of thinking

Computational vs Biological Thinking (Man / Machine XII)

Our study of thinking has so far been characterised by a need to formalize thinking. Ever since Boole’s “Laws of Thought” the underlying assumption and metaphor for thinking has been mathematical or physical – even mechanical and always binary. Logic has been elevated to the position of pure thought, and we have even succumbed to thinking that is we deviate from logic or mathematics in our thinking, then that is a sign that our thinking is flawed and biased. There is great value to this line of study and investigation. It allows us to test our own thinking in a model and evaluate…

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Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy of Questions, The man / machine series

On not knowing (Man / Machine III)

Humans are not great at answering questions with “I don’t know”. They often seek to provide answers even where they know that they do not know. Yet still, one of the hallmarks of careful thinking is to acknowledge when we do not know something – and when we cannot say anything meaningful about an issue. This socratic wisdom – knowing that we do not know – becomes a key challenge as we design systems with artificial intelligence components in them. One way to deal with this is to say that it is actually easier with machines. They can give a…

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