Thread: Anti-Duhring

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  1. #421
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    No Rosa, the hypothesis is clearly false. Why I believe it is false is because it is so ridiculous that it no one could reasonably assent to it. You say I dont 'know' that. But that is not the relevant concept. Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world. Read your own comments on scepticism !!
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
  2. #422
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    Gil:

    No Rosa, the hypothesis is clearly false. Why I believe it is false is because it is so ridiculous that it no one could reasonably assent to it. You say I dont 'know' that. But that is not the relevant concept. Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world. Read your own comments on scepticism !!
    Once more, you are telling me why you believe ir suppose it to be false.

    What we want is an indication of how you know it is false.

    I note here you have to special-plead again. It is no more acceptable here than when you have tried that dodge elsewhere.

    As if the distinction between belief, supposition and knowledge is 'ideological'!

    On that basis, if a cop suspects someone is a criminal, and uses your specious reasoning, we should accept it as proven.

    You really are getting desperate aren't you

    You will be telling me next that Lenin, for example, was merely being ironic when he spoke about 'objective knowledge' in MEC.

    As I said earlier: you mystics will say anything, try any dodge, to defend the source of your opiates, won't you?

    And what have my comments on scepticism got to do with this?

    Still: we do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
  3. #423
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    Of course this is philosophy. If its not philosophy what is it ? All you ever do is make philosophical points and seek philosophical justifications and philosophical systems.

    Once more, you are telling me why you believe ir suppose it to be false.
    Thats all any human ever does....what alternative is there ? None. who 'knows' anything without believing it ?

    On that basis, if a cop suspects someone is a criminal, and uses your specious reasoning, we should accept it as proven
    No, its called disagreeing. I and the cop might disagree. Neither of us knows. Even the possible criminal techncially believes he is or is not a criminal.....its just that his belief (like mine that there is no such green eyed monster reciting shakespear backwards) is extremely well founded. Under certain scenarios even he could be wrong....but its irrelevant, of no significance for the communities of humans.

    To ask how I know something, is, with the exception of trivial examples, to ask why I believe it.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
  4. #424
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    Gil:

    Of course this is philosophy. If its not philosophy what is it ? All you ever do is make philosophical points and seek philosophical justifications and philosophical systems.
    1) Rhetorical questions do not constitute an argument.

    2) You have already been told what it is.

    Thats all any human ever does....what alternative is there ? None. who 'knows' anything without believing it ?
    Not so; we have the verb 'to know' in language because belief is not the same.

    And even if one has to believe something in order to know it (but I question this, anyway), believing and supposing are not the same as knowing.

    So, once more: how do you know that this unfalsifiable sentence is in fact false?

    No, its called disagreeing. I and the cop might disagree. Neither of us knows. Even the possible criminal techncially believes he is or is not a criminal.....its just that his belief (like mine that there is no such green eyed monster reciting shakespear backwards) is extremely well founded. Under certain scenarios even he could be wrong....but its irrelevant, of no significance for the communities of humans.
    What the hell are you on about? In my example, if someone supposes something then according to you it is no different from knowing. Disagreement has nothinng to do with it.

    If you were up in court, you would have to do more than just disagree with a policeman if you want to get off.

    To ask how I know something, is, with the exception of trivial examples, to ask why I believe it.
    Not so; even you do not believe this, for when I asserted several things about Engels, it was not enough for you that I merely believed these things to be so.

    You are getting more desperate with each post.

    Like a junky in need of another hit of dialectical methadone...
  5. #425
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    No Rosa,

    Im telling you why supposing and believing are not the same, but knowing always involves believing.....the reason is because although believing involves subjective states of individuals it is not only a subjective state of the individual but rather a social process conducted between people and thus subject to processes of disagreement, which may involve the presentation of evidence, argument, violence, emotion, social struggle etc.

    it is a valid observation that if our beliefs accord with objective reality then we 'know' what we believe. But it does not follow from that that there is any process of coming to 'know' anything which is distinct from coming to believe something. THus you cannot say to me that x may be why I believe or reject a certain hypothesis, but that does not show how I 'know' it.....because there is no procedure for coming to know something as distinct from coming to believe it.

    You say
    if one has to believe something in order to know it (but I question this, anyway),
    .....give us a non-trivial example

    Lets look at it another way, maybe more amenable for you as you dont seem to be able to escape the philosophical model of the epistemologically foundational role of the indiviidual. I gave an example of something that is false, you say it is not certain that it is false, one response would be to accept you can't know this with 'certainty' in one sense of the term certainty. On this view, one can postulate its falsehood from other scientific principles, but they themselves are not absolutely certain. Nor has their validity been checked for the entire universe, and for all of time.....but this limitation is of no importance because the basis for this argument is, in effect, that we cannot believe anything with certainty and this sense of certainty is of no importance....if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility. We should accept the inference from science and reject the idea that we do not 'know' that there is no hidden God, or green eyed monster as trivial
    Last edited by gilhyle; 9th August 2008 at 09:32.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
  6. #426
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    Gil:

    Im telling you why supposing and believing are not the same, but knowing always involves believing but your not listening.....the reason is because believing is not a subjective state of the individual but rather a social process conducted between people and thus subject to processes of disagreement, which may involve the presentation of evidence, argument, violence, emotion, social struggle etc.
    You are preaching to the converted here; but I think you need to familiarise yourself with (or rather recall) the wide range of uses we have of the verb "to believe" and its cognates, none of which overlap with "to know".

    And there is a strong argument, with which you are clearly not familiar, that to know something does not always imply one belives it.

    We all know of Victor Meldrew who, upon seeing something with his own eyes, says "I don't believe it!", and he does this even though he knows it.

    it is a valid observation that if our beliefs accord with objective reality then we 'know' what we believe. But it does not follow from that that is any process of coming to 'know' anything which is distinct from coming to believe something. THus you cannot say to me that x may be why I believe or reject a certain hypothesis, but that does not show how I 'know' it.....because there is no procedure for coming to know something as distinct from coming to believe it.
    This just shows how little thought you have given to the logic of belief (or indeed that of knowledge) -- or even to the redundant phrase 'objective reality'. But no matter, we already know that this is what you dialectical mystics have continually to do to make your odd ideas seem to work.

    because there is no procedure for coming to know something as distinct from coming to believe it
    But this is ridiculous. Do you not think about stuff before randomly bash away at the keys in front of you?

    A scientist might believe, say, that a certain micro-organism is the cause of a specific disease, but no one in their right mind would accept that as knowledge until he or she had produced the proof.

    A Marxist might believe that the economy is dominated by Kondratiev cylces, but would anyone accept such a belief as knowledge or as fact on just her or his say-so?

    And we need not restrict ourselves to the procedures scientists and Marxist economists adopt; I might believe my partner is cheating on me, but I'd be a fool to kick him out until I had the proof.

    Moreover, the distiction between belief and knowledge is stark in other ways. For example, it is possible to believe a falsehood, but one cannot know a falsehood. So, NN might believe that Marx wrote 'On the Origin of Species', but NN cannot know this.

    You cannot be unaware of all this!

    So, coming to believe something, or claiming one belives something, is not at all the same as establishing it as part of knowledge.

    However, independently of all that off-the-cuff musing you chose to inflict on us, you have yet to show how you know that that sentence you gave us is actually false, even if it is unfalsifiable.

    The smokescreen you are now trying to throw up around this is not working.

    But still you try to run it past us once more, no doubt in the belief that if you tell this porky enough times, it will transmute from fantasy into fact:

    I gave an example of something that is false, but if, as an alternative someone presented an argument, such as the hypothesis of a hidden God, one response would be to accept you can't know this with certainty. On this view, one can postulate its falsehood from other scientific principles, but they themselves are not absolutely certain. Nor has their validity been checked for the entire universe, and for all of time.....but this limitation is of now importance because....if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' it is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility. We should accept the inference and reject the idea that we do not 'know' that there is no hidden God, or green eyed monster.
    Once more: certainly we can suspect that something is false, or even surmise it to be false, but until we know it is false, we cannot so declare it to be false.

    [I note you have put "know" in scare quotes, here. That in itself is a half-admission that even you know you are floundering.]

    That is the rock upon which all your pathetic bleating (in defence of your source of consolating dialectical opiates) will always founder.

    Give it up; you have lost this one...

    And still: we do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 9th August 2008 at 10:22.
  7. #427
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    until we know it is false, we cannot so declare it to be false.
    And what proceedure other than the procedure for grounding our supposition would we use to 'know' this ? There is none. You cant know anything other than to believe it.

    Victor Meldrew who, upon seeing something with his own eyes, says "I don't believe it!", and he does this even though he knows it.
    Well I might prefer the famous example of Lenin when the German SPD voted war credits for WW1 ....but the point is this, do you really suggest that he did not believe it ? Of course not. Rather what requires explanation is the linguistic usage we all engage in of saying things that are the opposite of what we actually believe - a very common mechanism in slang usage, for example. Give me an example of someone actually knowing something and not believing it....you cant.

    For example, it is possible to believe a falsehood, but one cannot know a falsehood. So, NN might believe that Marx wrote 'On the Origin of Species', but NN cannot know this.
    Note that this is not an example of someone knowing something but not believing it. Rather it is an example of someone believing something but not knowing it. So that is irrelevant.

    A scientist might believe, say, that a certain micro-organism is the cause of a specific disease, but no one in their right mind would accept that as knowledge until he or she had produced the proof.
    Even then he doesnt nevessarily 'know' it. Rather he has a belief that is now shared by a scientific community. many things have been well proven which turned out to be wrong.

    you gave us is actually false, even if it is unfalsifiable.
    I believe that the hypothesis I formulated is false. Youu believe it to be false. Everyone else who considers it would believe it false who applied any reasonable standards of assessment. No one would affirm it as true ad certainly no community, scientific or otherwise, would affirm it as true. The sense in which it should not be designated as false is a sense in which no proposition should be designated as false. And yet it is unfalsifiable. Consequently I have argued:

    if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility.
    Do you accept the validity of arguing as I have in this quote ?
    Last edited by gilhyle; 9th August 2008 at 11:57.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
  8. #428
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    Gil:

    And what proceedure other than the procedure for grounding our supposition would we use to 'know' this ? There is none. You cant know anything other than to believe it.
    In the case you chose there is none, so we cannot declare it to be false, even if we suppose it false.

    Well I might prefer the famous example of Lenin when the German SPD voted war credits for WW1 ....but the point is this, do you really suggest that he did not believe it ? Of course not. Rather what requires explanation is the linguistic usage we all engage in of saying things that are the opposite of what we actually believe - a very common mechanism in slang usage, for example. Give me an example of someone actually knowing something and not believing it....you cant.
    It is a legitimate use of the word. We cannot prejudge each case.

    I gave you an example.

    Note that this is not an example of someone knowing something but not believing it. Rather it is an example of someone believing something but not knowing it. So that is irrelevant.
    Not so; it was used to show that there is a difference between knowing and believing, which you seem to doubt.

    Even then he doesnt nevessarily 'know' it. Rather he has a belief that is now shared by a scientific community. many things have been well proven which turned out to be wrong.
    Sure, that is one possibilty, and another is that after they have found the proof, that they know this to be the cause.

    Scientists distinguish between a commonly held belief and genuine knowledge. We do too by the use of such words.

    I believe that the hypothesis I formulated is false. Youu believe it to be false. Everyone else who considers it would believe it false who applied any reasonable standards of assessment. No one would affirm it as true ad certainly no community, scientific or otherwise, would affirm it as true. The sense in which it should not be designated as false is a sense in which no proposition should be designated as false. And yet it is unfalsifiable. Consequently I have argued:
    Once more, you may suppose this to be false, even risk your life that it is false, as indeed may the entire human race, but until you know it is false, you cannot declare it false. The very best you could do is say; "This is universally believed to be false".

    Once more, your pathetic attempt to skip this logical obstacle has failed.

    Do you accept the validity of arguing as I have in this quote ?
    No.

    If it had no content, you would not know what you were ruling out.

    Once more, you should have studied the Tractatus.
  9. #429
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    I gave you an example.
    Correction: you tried to give an example, but you gave no example of knowing but not believing, you gave an example at best of using the form not believing while believing....not the same thing at all. You need to be more precise.

    Not so; it was used to show that there is a difference between knowing and believing, which you seem to doubt.
    Your trying to slip away from the issue. I have been quite clear in my usage. Stick to the point, dont try to create a different one that you can answer.

    Scientists distinguish between a commonly held belief and genuine knowledge.
    Scientists distinguish between between commonly held beliefs and scientifically accepted beliefs.......it would be a naive scientist who would believe that science has reached definitive 'knowledge' in any area and its certainly not integral to science to have that delusion.

    you cannot declare it false. The very best you could do is say; "This is universally believed to be false".
    Of course I can declare it false. This is typical of your approach. Whereever someone uses an unconditional form of proposition you condem it as implying metaphysics when in fact it implies no such thing. How ridiculous we would be if we went around saying 'this is universally believed' rather than saying 'this is the case' simply to avoid a philosophical problem that most language usage never falls into.

    No.

    If it had no content, you would not know what you were ruling out.

    Once more, you should have studied the Tractatus.
    As I thought. You argue merely to win......its actually a quote from you, your disagreeing with yourself.....so just devise some excuse to keep trying to win
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
  10. #430
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    Gil:

    Correction: you tried to give an example, but you gave no example of knowing but not believing, you gave an example at best of using the not believing while believing....not the same thing at all. You need to be more precise.
    Counter correction: I gave you an example of a legitimate use of "believe" that did not imply knowledge.

    Your trying to slip away from the issue. I have been quite clear in my usage. Stick to the point, dont try to create a different one that you can answer.
    Again, not so; you seem to believe that there is no difference between "believe" and "know". I gave you a clear difference, which you are now trying to ignore,

    And may I remind you that we are only discussing this since you want to distract attention from the fact that you still have not explained what a 'dialectical contradiction' is, among several other whacko ideas you hold.

    So, you are the one who is failing to "stick to the point".

    Scientists distinguish between between commonly held beliefs and scientifically accepted beliefs.......it would be a naive scientist who would believe that science has reached definitive 'knowledge' in any area and its certainly not integral to science to have that delusion.
    You many not think this, but try and find a body of scientists who are prepared to agree with you.

    They, unlike you, know the difference between belief and knowledge.

    Of course I can declare it false. This is typical of your approach. Whereever someone uses an unconditional form of proposition you condem it as implying metaphysics when in fact it implies no such thing. How ridiculous we would be if we went around saying 'this is universally believed' rather than saying 'this is the case' simply to avoid a philosophical problem that most language usage never falls into.
    If you can declare it false then if must have been falsified, which then eliminates the other half of your rash assertion.

    On the other hand, if you want to maintain that it is unfalsifiable, then you may try to tell us now that you want to declare it false, but the come-back will always be "And how do you know that?"

    Of course, you cannot know this, as we have established, so your 'declaration' is empty.

    You might as well try to declare yourself the Queen of Sheba, a far more likely possibility.

    As I thought. You argue merely to win......its actually a quote from you, your disagreeing with yourself.....so just devise some excuse to keep trying to win
    Not so; I argue and then I win; especially when faced with dialectical numpties like you.

    Once more:

    If it had no content, you would not know what you were ruling out.
    But you now say that the following is a quote from me:

    if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility.
    Where did I say that? And in what context?

    And still: we do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
  11. #431
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    In fact it's a quote from you:

    if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility. We should accept the inference from science and reject the idea that we do not 'know' that there is no hidden God, or green eyed monster as trivial
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=425

    Nice try; but if you are going to lie, make sure you are not caught out!
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    I gave you an example of a legitimate use of "believe" that did not imply knowedge.
    Yes you did....but we weren't discussing how the term 'believe' can be used, we werre discussing belief. Not the same thing.

    you seem to believe that there is no difference between "believe" and "know".
    I dont appear to believe (sic) any such thing. Your just making that up. I set out clearly the difference between believing and knowing and set out the claim that one cannot know without believing. Your still dodging around the point I made, looking for an other point that will be easier to answer, be that usage of the term 'believe' or believing without knowing....anything but what I said, namely : you cant know without believing.

    may I remind you that we are only discussing this since you want to distract attention from the fact that you still have not explained what a 'dialectical contradiction' is,
    Actuallly no. We are discussing this because you have tried to argue that certain terms used in dialectics are meaningless. I have responded that it is mysticism to think that you can short circuit practical problems of this world by rejecting widespread usages of terms as meaningless. You have responded to that by referring me to the execrable Tractatus. I have argued that religious terms are meaningful, false and unfalsifiable and you have argued that that cant be.

    So this relates directly to the way you reject the perfectly comprehensible (i.e. usable) concept of dialectical contradiction....what you do is to repeat the approach of the young Wittgenstein, the approach the older Wittgenstein rejected and this discussion is about that. So nothing is being avoided....its just that you dont like the philosophical assumptions underlying your criticisms being excavated.

    but try and find a body of scientists who are prepared to agree with you.
    Well I know a lot of scientists and Im not aware of any who think that their discipline brings them to 'know' the nature of reality as distinct from having a well justified belief about reality, based on current levels of evidence. They all believe that latter.

    the come-back will always be "And how do you know that?"
    And that come-back can be adequately responded to, to the satisfaction of anyone except philosophical sceptics, by explaining why you reasonably believe it to be false....only you philosophers with your sceptical doubt want something else.

    Where did I say that? And in what context?
    I just cant help doing this...sorry Rosa, I know its slightly irresponsible to fall to your level, but just for once I cant help it......so: Go find it for yourself.

    Nice try; but if you are going to lie, make sure you are not caught out!
    Keep hoping, but you did say it.....ah, childish games can be fun (im falling to your level....I gotta stop)
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
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    Gil:

    Yes you did....but we weren't discussing how the term 'believe' can be used, we were discussing belief. Not the same thing.
    As if there's a difference.

    I don't appear to believe (sic) any such thing. Your just making that up. I set out clearly the difference between believing and knowing and set out the claim that one cannot know without believing. Your still dodging around the point I made, looking for an other point that will be easier to answer, be that usage of the term 'believe' or believing without knowing....anything but what I said, namely : you cant know without believing.
    Not so; unfortunately for you, you posted this:

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=421

    And:

    To ask how I know something, is, with the exception of trivial examples, to ask why I believe it.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=423

    And:

    it is a valid observation that if our beliefs accord with objective reality then we 'know' what we believe. But it does not follow from that that there is any process of coming to 'know' anything which is distinct from coming to believe something. Thus you cannot say to me that x may be why I believe or reject a certain hypothesis, but that does not show how I 'know' it.....because there is no procedure for coming to know something as distinct from coming to believe it.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=425

    So you think that:

    There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world
    As alleged: you think there is no "basis" for the distinction between knowledge and belief (or reasonable assent).

    You are becoming so desperate to defend the indefensible that you are not only prepared to lie, but you are even becoming confused about your own beliefs.

    Actuallly no. We are discussing this because you have tried to argue that certain terms used in dialectics are meaningless. I have responded that it is mysticism to think that you can short circuit practical problems of this world by rejecting widespread usages of terms as meaningless. You have responded to that by referring me to the execrable Tractatus. I have argued that religious terms are meaningful, false and unfalsifiable and you have argued that that cant be.
    In the meantime;

    1) You have still failed to tell us what a 'dialectical contradiction' is;

    2) Failed to provide an example of an unfalsifiable sentence that is in fact false;

    3) Revealed that you think knowledge and belief are indistinguishable;

    4) Lied about what I have said.

    So, your attempt to distract attention has failed, and you are simply left with egg all over your face.

    What a confused little mystic you are.

    So this relates directly to the way you reject the perfectly comprehensible (i.e. usable) concept of dialectical contradiction....what you do is to repeat the approach of the young Wittgenstein, the approach the older Wittgenstein rejected and this discussion is about that. So nothing is being avoided....its just that you don't like the philosophical assumptions underlying your criticisms being excavated.
    The later Wittgenstein did not reject the Tractatus; as he said it was like a clock that told the time badly, but it still worked. What he added was an anthropological dimension to his earlier work, in the Investigations. In fact, he had wanted the two books published together in the same volume.

    Well I know a lot of scientists and Im not aware of any who think that their discipline brings them to 'know' the nature of reality as distinct from having a well justified belief about reality, based on current levels of evidence. They all believe that latter.
    What's this? A use of the word "know"! Shame on you!

    Your attempt, however, to report on the beliefs of your scientist 'friends' is clearly insincere (and likely made up). What have you been doing in the last 24hours? Ringing round to ask them what they think? Or, have you posed this question to them before (just in case I raised it)?

    Now, we already know that you are prepared to lie in this and other threads, so there is a high probability that you are lying again here.

    As should be obvious to you, what scientists say and what they genuinely believe are not at all the same. In their practice they reveal the latter, and it is there that the distinction between knowledge and belief will emerge. I gave an example of how they would react in an earlier post.

    But, anyway, this contradicts what you said earlier:

    I don't appear to believe (sic) any such thing. Your just making that up. I set out clearly the difference between believing and knowing and set out the claim that one cannot know without believing. Your still dodging around the point I made, looking for an other point that will be easier to answer, be that usage of the term 'believe' or believing without knowing....anything but what I said, namely : you cant know without believing.
    Now you say:

    Well I know a lot of scientists and Im not aware of any who think that their discipline brings them to 'know' the nature of reality as distinct from having a well justified belief about reality, based on current levels of evidence. They all believe that latter.
    Make your mind up!

    Is there a distinction between knowledge and belief, and do you and your scientist 'friends' hold to this distinction or not?

    And that come-back can be adequately responded to, to the satisfaction of anyone except philosophical sceptics, by explaining why you reasonably believe it to be false....only you philosophers with your sceptical doubt want something else.
    Not so, once more; for in this post you tell us that there is a distinction between knowledge and belief:

    I don't appear to believe (sic) any such thing. Your just making that up. I set out clearly the difference between believing and knowing and set out the claim that one cannot know without believing. Your still dodging around the point I made, looking for an other point that will be easier to answer, be that usage of the term 'believe' or believing without knowing....anything but what I said, namely : you cant know without believing.
    Once more then: While you believe that the sentence you gave is false, how do you know it is false?

    Now, if you think knowledge and belief are the same then for you to believe something is the case is the same as knowing it is the case.

    On the other hand, if you think there is a distinction between belief and knowledge, then to believe something is the case is not ipso facto to know that it is the case.

    On the strength of your claim in your last post that there is a distinction between believing and knowing, then it is legitimate of me to ask: "And how do you know it is false?"

    Moreover, on the strength of your claim in your last post that there is a distinction between believing and knowing it cannot be adequate to respond that you "reasonably believe it to be false".

    All I have to do is say: "Ok, I accept you sincerely/adequately believe this to be false, but how do you know it is false", or indeed, "How can you infer from a sincere/adequate belief that something is false, to it actually being false".

    As I noted, someone may sincerely believe, and be satisfied in their own mind that Marx wrote 'On the Origin of Species', but no one would say that that person knew that this falsehood was true.

    I just cant help doing this...sorry Rosa, I know its slightly irresponsible to fall to your level, but just for once I cant help it......so: Go find it for yourself.
    I did find it, and these were your words, not mine; I even gave you the post they came from:

    if we cannot trust anything, then the very words in which this possibility is expressed are equally suspect, and that means that this 'possibility' is without content, and hence it is not even a possibility. We should accept the inference from science and reject the idea that we do not 'know' that there is no hidden God, or green eyed monster as trivial
    Bold added.

    Your words, not mine, from here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=425

    So, why are you lying?

    Keep hoping, but you did say it.....ah, childish games can be fun (im falling to your level....I gotta stop)
    But, I do not lie. You do, and you have been doing so for over two years.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 10th August 2008 at 13:15.
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    As if there's a difference.
    Sure there is, if there wasnt there couldnt be any such thing as irony.

    You are becoming so desperate to defend the indefensible that you are not only prepared to lie, but you are even becoming confused about your own beliefs.
    Its amazing, when in trouble you really do just copy back to the other person what they said to you.....its like the UDA dressing up as the IRA......try not to rely on sophistry, deal with the issue.

    Lied about what I have said.
    You have checked all your posts you ever put on this board have you, to ensure that I have lied.....or is this a metaphysical claim that you make without needing to verify it ?

    What's this? A use of the word "know"! Shame on you!
    You still cant figure it out can you....had you actually grasped anything I have said in the last few posts you would realise that I am saying that only philosphy addicts can object to the use of the term to 'know' in the manner I have just used....that is common parlance and underlying that usage of 'know' is....supported belief. I suspect you are so caught up in philosophy that not only have you not grasped the point....you cant grasp it.

    in this post you tell us that there is a distinction between knowledge and belief:
    As I have said all along

    you tell us that there is a distinction between knowledge and belief:
    A distinction I volunteered and set out some posts ago

    On the other hand, if you think there is a distinction between belief and knowledge, then to believe something is the case is not ipso facto to know that it is the case.
    Quite Right Rosa...they are different....but you can only come to know something by coming to believe it. Knowing and believing are different, coming to know and coming to believe are part of the same process....to the extent that being knowledge is a characteristic of some, but not all beliefs.

    it cannot be adequate to respond that you "reasonably believe it to be false".
    Well thats just tough, cos, in this world of sentient beings coming to believe as they do...there is no other route to knowledge, leaving aside muscle memory and such things.

    As I noted, someone may sincerely believe, and be satisfied in their own mind that Marx wrote 'On the Origin of Species', but no one would say that that person knew that this falsehood was true.
    Quite right, we would commonly share our belief that that was false and would say so. Quite possible that we are all wrong of course, but not very likely. Marx did write (part write) a couple of books for other people, notably a book on the Paris Commune credited to someone else and an 1841 book credited to Bruno Bauer. part of the ANTI DUHRING and what amounted to a first draft of Engles Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.....but its unlikely that he wrote the Origin of Species. However, other than our common belief that he did not write the Origin, we have no knowledge that he did. Actually only mystics and philosphers like Bergson think there is a Knowledge other than belief....so your in good company. Let us note that every reasonable person would say that it is false that Marx wrote the Origin of Species. We would all say that we 'know' that he did not write it. But actually we only believe, with good reason that he did not write it. The discovery of a very surprising draft in his handwriting tomorrow could prove us all wrong....unlikely as that is. But we have no access to knowledge other than the formulation of beliefs. The important point to note is that us saying 'it is 'false' that Marx wrote the Origin of species' is an invalid statement according to your approach (but not according to common usage or my approach), because such a negative cant be proven and therefore, according to you (but not me), we should only say that we have a well grounded belief that Marx did not write the Origin. I on the other hand am quite happy that the belief is so well grounded that I am happy to discount the formal possibility that that is false and say that I 'know' who wrote the Origin of Species and it wasnt Karl Marx ! You cant say that, bizarrely.

    I even gave you the post they came from
    Logic lets you down again, youo really need to get the hang of implication, given your predilections....consider the possibility that I quoted you twice.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
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    Gil:

    Sure there is, if there wasn't there couldn't be any such thing as irony.
    Irony is expressed in language.

    It's amazing, when in trouble you really do just copy back to the other person what they said to you.....its like the UDA dressing up as the IRA......try not to rely on sophistry, deal with the issue.
    I "copied back" your lies -- so, you are the one who avoiding here.

    You have checked all your posts you ever put on this board have you, to ensure that I have lied.....or is this a metaphysical claim that you make without needing to verify it ?
    I have quoted your lie; what more do you want?

    You still cant figure it out can you....had you actually grasped anything I have said in the last few posts you would realise that I am saying that only philosophy addicts can object to the use of the term to 'know' in the manner I have just used....that is common parlance and underlying that usage of 'know' is....supported belief. I suspect you are so caught up in philosophy that not only have you not grasped the point....you cant grasp it.
    I can't grasp your point -- if you have one -- since you keep changing your mind, as the quotations I gave have shown.

    As I have said all along
    Then do you deny saying this?

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=421

    Here, you deny there is a difference between knowledge and belief.

    Quite Right Rosa...they are different....but you can only come to know something by coming to believe it. Knowing and believing are different, coming to know and coming to believe are the same....because being knowledge is a characteristic of some, but not all beliefs.
    Not necessarily; one can come to know something without already having believed it. Say, I see policeman PP club striker NN; in that case, I know that the cop hit the worker, but there was no prior belief that the cop hit the striker before he/she did it.

    Anyway, you have already told us that you think the distinction between knowledge and belief is "ideology" and "useless", and that there is "no basis" for it. It's worth repeating your careless words, just to rub it in:

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    So, I was right: you do not seem to know what you believe (irony intended).

    Well that's just tough, cos, in this world of sentient beings coming to believe as they do...there is no other route to knowledge, leaving aside muscle memory and such things.
    But, according to you there is no difference between knowledge and belief. [See above.]

    Quite right, we would commonly share our belief that that was false and would say so. Quite possible that we are all wrong of course, but not very likely. Marx did write (part write) a couple of books for other people, notably a book on the Paris Commune credited to someone else and an 1841 book credited to Bruno Bauer. part of the ANTI DUHRING and what amounted to a first draft of Engels Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.....but its unlikely that he wrote the Origin of Species. However, other than our common belief that he did not write the Origin, we have no knowledge that he did. Actually only mystics and philosophers like Bergson think there is a Knowledge other than belief....so your in good company. Let us note that every reasonable person would say that it is false that Marx wrote the Origin of Species. We would all say that we 'know' that he did not write it. But actually we only believe, with good reason that he did not write it. The discovery of a very surprising draft in his handwriting tomorrow could prove us all wrong....unlikely as that is. But we have no access to knowledge other than the formulation of beliefs. The important point to note is that us saying that it is 'false' that Marx did not write the Origin is an invalid statement according to your approach (but not according to common usage), because such a negative cant be proven and therefore, according to you (but not me), we can only say that we have a well grounded belief that Marx did not write the Origin. I on the other hand am quite happy that the belief is so well grounded that I am happy to discount the formal possibility that that is false and say that I 'know' who wrote the Origin of Species and it wasn't Karl Marx ! You cant say that, bizarrely.
    Even so, no one would say that someone who claimed that Marx wrote "On the Origin of the Species" knew that Marx wrote that book. Or if they did, that would be sufficient evidence to be able to say that the former did not know how to use the word "know".

    Logic lets you down again, you really need to get the hang of implication, given your predilections....consider the possibility that I quoted you twice
    If so, let's see the link.

    Otherwise, your status as RevLeft's liar-in-chief remains in place.

    And still we do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
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    Irony is expressed in language.
    Pointless comment. Try and keep in mind what we are discussing. If I say 'I believe that' ironically, then the meaning of the utterance is not given by parsing the words. Consequently, we can see that there are differences between the ways that are available to us to use the word 'believe' and to express belief.

    I have quoted your lie; what more do you want?
    This is not a pointless example. You are not able to show that I did not quote you. You can only express your belief that what I quoted was not quoted from you. You have no other way to claim knowledge than to express your belief (as it happens false) that I wasnt quoting you. But notice that you have no way to aspire to knowledge than to express your belief and to support it as best you can by trying to make something out of the fact that I ctually quoted you twice, something you use to confuse the issue.

    If so, let's see the link
    But if you know how to know something without believing it, you should be able to use that mystical technique to make such definitive knowledge available. If I quote the link it will just ruin the example, since I would be providing a basis for reasonable belief.....which according to you isnt necessary. Wouldnt want to ruin your opportunity to provide us with knowledge separate from belief.

    one can come to know something without already having believed it.
    Ah slipping away to another invented position...this is the third one you've invented now. No, Im not saying that you have to have ALREADY believed something prior to coming to know it. What I have said is that the only way to come to know something is to come to believe it. Your example is, again, beside the point.

    since you keep changing your mind, as the quotations I gave have shown.
    I keep saying the same thing. It has two legs (what knowledge is and the necessity of belief for knowledge) to it and you keep wishing it could be reduced to one claim.

    It's worth repeating your careless words, just to rub it in
    The last refuge of the sophist is to rely on pedantically playing on words without substance. What I said is perfectly comprehensible - if you wanted to understand it.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
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    Gil:

    Pointless comment. Try and keep in mind what we are discussing. If I say 'I believe that' ironically, then the meaning of the utterance is not given by parsing the words. Consequently, we can see that there are differences between the ways that are available to us to use the word 'believe' and to express belief.
    Once more, not so. The ironic, and indeed figurative use of 'believe' and its cognates is a legitmate employment of that set of words, and is part of what we mean by belief in its many forms -- just as the clause "I do not bekieve..." is.

    This is not a pointless example. You are not able to show that I did not quote you. You can only express your belief that what I quoted was not quoted from you. You have no other way to claim knowledge than to express your belief (as it happens false) that I wasn't quoting you. But notice that you have no way to aspire to knowledge than to express your belief and to support it as best you can by trying to make something out of the fact that I actually quoted you twice, something you use to confuse the issue.
    If you quoted me, then why no quotation marks, and why bury it in a section of your own comments? And why no link?

    As to whether I know that you have lied, and that you tried to pass off a quotation of your own as one of mine, all we have to do is recall that you have already built for yourself an enviable record for mis-quoting me, and for making stuff up. Which is why you are now prevaricating.

    And it is possible to claim knowledge and disclaim belief. But, I have done far too much thinking for you over the last two years; you are just going to have to work that one out for yourself.

    But if you know how to know something without believing it, you should be able to use that mystical technique to make such definitive knowledge available. If I quote the link it will just ruin the example, since I would be providing a basis for reasonable belief.....which according to you isn't necessary. Wouldn't want to ruin your opportunity to provide us with knowledge separate from belief.
    Not so; you are the mystic here. I gave you an example -- deal with it.

    Ah slipping away to another invented position...this is the third one you've invented now. No, Im not saying that you have to have ALREADY believed something prior to coming to know it. What I have said is that the only way to come to know something is to come to believe it. Your example is, again, beside the point.
    No more nor no less 'invented' than any you have given.

    No, I'm not saying that you have to have ALREADY believed something prior to coming to know it. What I have said is that the only way to come to know something is to come to believe it.
    But, according to you there is no distinction between believing and knowing:

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=425

    You keep ignoring this embarrassing mistake on your part.

    I would too if I were in the same hole as you now are.

    I keep saying the same thing. It has two legs (what knowledge is and the necessity of belief for knowledge) to it and you keep wishing it could be reduced to one claim.
    You say this now, but you said the opposite a few posts back; here it is again:

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    Is this still a "useless distinction"? Or have you changed your mind -- again?

    The last refuge of the sophist is to rely on pedantically playing on words without substance.
    May I suggest you desist then?

    What I said is perfectly comprehensible - if you wanted to understand it.
    It is in fact impossible to understand someone who keeps changing his/her mind.

    And still we do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
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    You keep ignoring this embarrassing mistake on your part.
    If you recognise it as a mistake (which it only is from a perspective that imposes the requirement on ordinary usage to be constantly restated to avoid the possibility of metaphyisics) and if you believed in debate you would pass over it to the substance of the matter. Because you have no commitment to debate, you prefer to find any weakness of phrasing or confusing linguistic appearance to confuse, delay, avoid.

    Your contributions, unfortunately, have much in common in tone and intent to those who abused the idea of dialectics to to support stalinist hegemony. It has the same hectoring, unprincipled willingness to act like a mercenary defence lawyer for the guilty. Had you the sense of solidarity that is essential to debate among revolutionaries you would be eager to stick to the point, that we might progress together. But you have long since lost that basic revolutionary instinct for the potential of revolutionaries to learn and progress together.

    thus all you can do here is flounder around the issue and try to ensure that what I have suggested is not clearly dealt with.

    I gave you an example -- deal with it.
    I have responded to each of your examples.

    there is no distinction between believing and knowing:
    You just keep on misrepresenting, its all you can do now. I repeat again : being knowledge is an attribute of some beliefs, but not all; there is no knowledge without belief. It is possible for a proposition to be false but unfalsifiable. It is possible to construct meaningfull religious propositions that are false and cant be definitively disproven. It is not possible to use criteria of meaning to rule such propositions out of order. To think other wise is to make oneself a philosopher....as you have done to yourself.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort
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    Gil:


    [QUOTE]If you recognise it as a mistake (which it only is from a perspective that imposes the requirement on ordinary usage to be constantly restated to avoid the possibility of metaphyisics) and if you believed in debate you would pass over it to the substance of the matter. Because you have no commitment to debate, you prefer to find any weakness of phrasing or confusing linguistic appearance to confuse, delay, avoid. [QUOTE]

    We have already established you are the one who has "no commitment to debate" since you ignore stuff you can't answer, and then you lie about much of the rest.

    Your contributions, unfortunately, have much in common in tone and intent to those who abused the idea of dialectics to to support stalinist hegemony. It has the same hectoring, unprincipled willingness to act like a mercenary defence lawyer for the guilty. Had you the sense of solidarity that is essential to debate among revolutionaries you would be eager to stick to the point, that we might progress together. But you have long since lost that basic revolutionary instinct for the potential of revolutionaries to learn and progress together.
    The short version of the above is: "I can't answer Rosa, so I will attack her instead"

    This is, as I noted a few weeks back, your contant fall-back position when you run out of arguments.

    thus all you can do here is flounder around the issue and try to ensure that what I have suggested is not clearly dealt with.
    A nice example of projection -- I think it is called.

    However, we will need professional advice to see if you are in serious psychological distress.

    I have responded to each of your examples.
    Not so, you brushed them aside.

    You just keep on misrepresenting, its all you can do now. I repeat again : being knowledge is an attribute of some beliefs, but not all; there is no knowledge without belief. It is possible for a proposition to be false but unfalsifiable. It is possible to construct meaningfull religious propositions that are false and cant be definitively disproven. It is not possible to use criteria of meaning to rule such propositions out of order. To think other wise is to make oneself a philosopher....as you have done to yourself.
    1) Still you provide not one quotation from me, or link to the words you attributed to me, to show you are not a liar.

    2) Still no attempt by you to explain why you said this (and are now denying it):

    Knowledge as distinct from reasonable assent is a purely philosophical device. Its ideology. There can be no basis for this distinction that has any relevance to Marxism. So the reason I wont make the distinction between reasonable assent and knowing, is that that is a useless distinction when talking about the world.
    In the above you say that the distinction between knowledge and reasonable assent (i.e., belief) has "no basis".

    It is possible to construct meaningfull religious propositions that are false and cant be definitively disproven. It is not possible to use criteria of meaning to rule such propositions out of order. To think other wise is to make oneself a philosopher....as you have done to yourself.
    1) Where do I use a criterion of meaning?

    2) We still do not know how you know that your 'unfalsifiable' sentence is in fact false.

    3) Moreover:

    We still do not know what a 'dialectical contradiction' is -- or if we do, then we also know they cannot exist, and so cannot change anything.
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    you ignore stuff you can't answer, and then you lie about much of the rest.
    As I keep saying, draw my attention back to anything you think I ignore....when I do that to you, you refuse to deal with it, but I will deal with it - that is the difference between us.

    Still you provide not one quotation from me, or link to the words you attributed to me, to show you are not a liar.
    Well Im still waiting for you - somehow - to create knowledge about this other than through argument for a belief. Strangely you haven't done it, although it would resolve the matter simply if you could.

    The example also illustrates a second point, one that has to be of concern. You have repeatedly talked about how you like to mess with people you consider mystics on this board and what that example also illustrates is that you are happy to argue for one position one minute and then on another thread argue against exacty the position you have articulated on another thread....and the depressing reason why you are willing to do that is because your sense of your purpose on this board is more about winning than about taking part in a debate or expressing a view. Thus when you say:

    he short version of the above is: "I can't answer Rosa, so I will attack her instead"
    That seems quite like an approach you would apply but its not my approach. In the last few posts I have been quite severe in criticising your unwillingness to engage with the point I had made about knowledge and belief. I dont do that to just attack you. (Unlike you, I find ad hominem arguments are rarely useful when discussing philosophy; while they are occasionally legitimate they must be used with great care for us to avoid thinking we are dealing with issues when we are not.) I am critical of your unwillingness to engage on this point because this a relatively simple analytical point that does not get enough attention in the dominant forms of philosophical discourse. (Like most analytical points, it ultimately resolves nothing, but it is something to be aware of - namely that it is inappropriate to talk about acquiring knowledge other than as acquiring belief and therefore that it is possible to have unfalsifiable statements which we are willing to believe false and there is nothing wrong with that. Atheism cannot be affirmed without recognising this.) Since it slips from us so easily, it is important to be severe in insisting on sticking to the point on this issue.

    In that regard it is not true that
    you brushed them aside.
    Rather I briefy pointed out why each of them was off the point. It is now open to you to explain why one or all of them is on the point, if you really think so. But instead you spend your time re-quote part of what I said, taking it out of context and suggesting that it implies that I dont think there is a distinction between knowledge and belief, when it is quite clear having regard to everything I have said is that I was saying that there is no distinction between acquiring knowledge and acquiring belief in the sense that you do not acquire knowledge except by acquiring beliefs (and all beliefs are not knowledge ....this is clear from the fact that I also said that knowledge is an attribute of some and not all beliefs.

    I guess I should not be surprised at this approach; you do to me here only what you have done to Engels, which is to take sentences out of context and by demanding inappropriate standards of accuracy of phrasing suggest that he means things quite different from what he actually means. That is why from the start of this discussion I have had to insist that whole passages of Engels Anti Duhring need to be examined to uncover the overall tenor of his argument.

    As against this you are happy to use isolated sentences. You comfort yourself that they are not isolated sentences if you can accumulate many of them. Thus you treat a number of isolated statements as equally powerfull as an extended passage, just because there are large numbers of words in each. This is a very simplistic approach - but what is striking about it is the determination not to take seriously the overall tenor of Engels argument.

    Really its not surprising since at the heart of what you claim is the idea that certain key terms are meaningless. In that regard, I find the following comment hard to follow:

    Where do I use a criterion of meaning?
    I would have thought you use some manner of criterion of meaning whenever you codemn a dialectical or theological term as meaningless.
    "Dixi et salvavi animam meam" - quoted by Marx
    "Things rarely work out well if one aims at 'moderation'..." - Engels
    "By and by we heare newes of shipwrack in the same place, then we are too blame if we accept it not for a Rock." Sir Philip Sydney
    "The most to be hoped for by groups who claim to belong to the Marxist succession (...) is for them to serve as a hyphen between past and future....nothing can be held sacred – everything is called into question. Only after having been put through such a crucible could socialism conceivably re-emerge as a viable doctrine and plan of action." - Van Heijenoort

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