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A set theory analysis of belief, knowledge and reality.

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Presentation on theme: "A set theory analysis of belief, knowledge and reality."— Presentation transcript:

1 A set theory analysis of belief, knowledge and reality

2 Belief  Acceptance of a proposition as true Not subject to will Justification may be flawed Degrees of certainty  “Believe in” vs. “Believe that” “Believe in” is shorthand, imprecise speech (implicature) for a more complex “Believe that”

3 Knowledge  Belief to a high degree of certainty Absolute certainty is a generally useless concept Subjective and vague delineation between believe and know Justified True Belief (JTB) is flawed Knowledge must be a subset of belief

4 Real  Proposition is actually true Verification Manifestation  Reality thought experiments Matrix, Brain-in-a-vat, New Evil Demon ○ Forced to deal with this reality until proven otherwise  Shared perception

5 Logical “A” and “⌐A” A ⌐A

6 “X exists” X exists X does not exist

7 “X committed crime” X committed X did not commit

8 What does “⌐A” include? A ⌐A Z R E

9 What does “⌐A” include? Alphabet ⌐Alphabet Z R E A

10 Believe vs. Real  Belief has no bearing on “real” status Real value has 2 possibilities Belief can reject both (noncommittal) Default position expressed in terms of “A” and not “⌐A”  “Believe” is the proposition Believe guilty proposition has two positions Believe not guilty proposition also has two

11 Believe Guilty? Believe Guilty Believe Not Guilty Believe Innocent

12 Knowledge as a subset of Belief  Degree of certainty Subjective, yet consensus is required for shared understanding  Still qualifies as “Belief”

13 Knowledge as a subset of Belief Believe Know

14 Agnosticism and knowledge  Rejection of “gnosticism” Rejection of spiritual/mystical knowledge General rejection of knowledge ○ Seems dependent on absolute certainty Unknowable ○ Unfounded assertion Currently unknown ○ Still dependent on absolute certainty or a degree of certainty that isn’t consistent with usage of “knowledge”

15 Graphic Agnosticism Agnostic (knowledge) Gnostic

16 Agnosticism as non-belief  Rejects both belief position Appears as “middle ground” Label is misused, but accepted in the colloquial sense  What question is answered by the middle ground?

17 Agnosticism as non-belief Agnostic (Belief)

18 Not guilty and Not innocent? GuiltyInnocent

19 Why does belief matter?  Beliefs inform actions  Beliefs inform other beliefs Worldview understanding is shaped based on what we already accept and understand

20 What do I believe?  Common reality A matter of practicality  Science, evidence and reason as a path to understanding  Decision-making skills based on reality  Exploration of possibilities leads to understanding of plausibility  Nothing is sacred  Some ideas are ridiculous  Beliefs matter


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