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Showing posts with label Self Evident. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self Evident. Show all posts

Friday, February 07, 2014

Unus Mundus-One World

Unus mundus, Latin for "one world", is the concept of an underlying unified reality from which everything emerges and to which everything returns.

The idea was popularized in the 20th century by the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, though the term can be traced back to scholastics such as Duns Scotus[1] and was taken up again in the 16th century by Gerhard Dorn, a student of the famous alchemist Paracelsus.

The striving  for me was to dig deeper into our very natures.  It always the quest to understand the  patterns that reside in us. The very idea for me was that in  this quest to unify,  the objective world(matter) with the world that resides in a center place. To me that place was the source from which all things manifest.

 Jung, in conjunction with the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, explored the possibility that his concepts of the archetype and synchronicity might be related to the unus mundus - the archetype being an expression of unus mundus; synchronicity, or "meaningful coincidence", being made possible by the fact that both the observer and connected phenomenon ultimately stem from the same source, the unus mundus.[2]

So while there was this objective striving to see how such formations emerged as materiality of such expression,  was a final construct that existed in that external world. For me this was something no one could quite explain to me, yet,  as I moved forward  I began to find such correlates as to others who tried to map that expression.

 It was this psychoid aspect of the archetype that so impressed Nobel laureate physicist Wolfgang Pauli. Embracing Jung's concept, Pauli believed that the archetype provided a link between physical events and the mind of the scientist who studied them. In doing so he echoed the position adopted by German astronomer Johannes Kepler. Thus the archetypes which ordered our perceptions and ideas are themselves the product of an objective order which transcends both the human mind and the external world.[2]

This as the idea emerged,  I looked for what emergence might mean, as an example of a beginning,  and the subsequent model that may emerge from that source. This then became know as the "arche,"  and the tendency to form"(type)" as a movement forward in the solidifying of that expression. This was a matter bound expression, fully recognizing the need for a spiritual recognition of this opposition as a struggle in with consciousness to seek balance with materiality. Polarity,  as the world of the real.

One of Duchamp's close friends Man Ray (1890–1976) was also one of Duchamp's collaborators. His photograph 'Dust Breeding' (Duchamp's Large Glass with Dust Notes) from 1920 is a document of The Large Glass after it had collected a year's worth of dust while Duchamp was in New York. See:
Dust Breeding (Man Ray 1920)


Such histrionically values were tied to such expressions to have found that the inner world and the outer-world were extremely connected. The observance not seen until it was understood that this psychology was topological interpreting itself from an inductive/deductive stance,  as to the question, and with regard to the nature of the question.

 Jung interpreted the practice of alchemy as the symbolic projection of psychic processes. In Psychology and Alchemy and Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955/56), Jung’s empirical exploration and rediscovery of the objective psyche led him to recognise that the basis of the alchemist’s endeavour was the archetypal union of opposites by means of the integration of opposing polarities: conscious and unconscious, reason and instinct, spiritual and material, masculine and feminine. In the last summaries of his insights on the subject, influenced in part by his collaboration with the Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, the old Jung envisions a great psycho-physical mystery to which the old alchemists gave the name of unus mundus (one world). At the root of all being, so he intimates, there is a state wherein physicality and spirituality meet. See:Reflections On Duchamp, Quantum Physics, And Mysterium Coniunctionis

This would place myself in the position of questioning this causal nature to have said that "will" was deeply connected to our psyche,  to have not understood this deeper perception of a reality connection. Also,  that such unification was deeper embedded in this practice of unification,  so as to strive to form,  as a example of an idea into expression.

Betrayal of Images" by Rene Magritte. 1929 painting on which is written "This is not a Pipe"

This alchemy valuation of that work toward expression was based on a fundamental reality of joining the objectified world with the nature of the source. This forming process,  the constructs,  as a fundamental structure of the reality given.

***

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Arche, is a Fundamental Point of View?


The term phase is sometimes used as a synonym for state of matter, but there can be several immiscible phases of the same state of matter. Also, the term phase is sometimes used to refer to a set of equilibrium states demarcated in terms of state variables such as pressure and temperature by a phase boundary on a phase diagram. Because phase boundaries relate to changes in the organization of matter, such as a change from liquid to solid or a more subtle change from one crystal structure to another, this latter usage is similar to the use of "phase" as a synonym for state of matter. However, the state of matter and phase diagram usages are not commensurate with the formal definition given above and the intended meaning must be determined in part from the context in which the term is used.

One may find a correlate here with regard to how a question can be properly placed. Lets say, as a result of a inductive/deductive approach this puts one in a position of being truly like the fisherman/woman, looking for fish. However, one might look at that terminology, this might be an insightful way of recognizing a fundamental feature of always gong to the "edge of something?" Dropping a line into the deepest waters of.....?
To wit, it’s the concept of “being directed toward a goal.” In the good old days of Aristotle, our best understanding of the world was teleological from start to finish: acorns existed in order to grow into mighty oak trees; heavy objects wanted to fall and light objects to rise; human beings strove to fulfill their capacity as rational beings. Not everyone agreed, including my buddy Lucretius, but at the time it was a perfectly sensible view of the world.Reality, Pushed From Behind
So you may throw coins to the winds and ask the winds, "which way is it going to blow today," yet, there is an underlying fundamental feature associated with this question? It is an improved version of an ole method, that seeks to be explained in the fundamental of approach given today.

To Plato it may be this "One Thing," while to Aristotle, a hand sweeping as to indicate as to say  it is all around you?

So given the truth of what a seeker will find, its correlate, may surprise you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

True North



What is your true north? What does your bird look like?



http://www.revivewithenergy.com If you find that you are confused on whether you are sensing the voice of intuition or the voice of ego, skip to 5 min 40 secs to get clarity on which it is. That is....if you want to skip the peacock story at the beginning. Ha! Enjoy.



  "The power of settings, the power of priming, and the power of unconscious thinking, all of those are a major change in psychology. I can't think of a bigger change in my lifetime. You were asking what's exciting? That's exciting, to me."



[9.12.11]



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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Geometry Expressed, Hidden In Ancient Design


If the late character of our sources may incite us to doubt the authenticity of this tradition, there remains that, in its spirit, it is in no way out of character, as can be seen by reading or rereading what Plato says about the sciences fit for the formation of philosophers in book VII of the Republic, and especially about geometry at Republic, VII, 526c8-527c11. We should only keep in mind that, for Plato, geometry, as well as all other mathematical sciences, is not an end in itself, but only a prerequisite meant to test and develop the power of abstraction in the student, that is, his ability to go beyond the level of sensible experience which keeps us within the "visible" realm, that of the material world, all the way to the pure intelligible. And geometry, as can be seen through the experiment with the slave boy in the Meno (Meno, 80d1-86d2), can also make us discover the existence of truths (that of a theorem of geometry such as, in the case of the Meno, the one about doubling a square) that may be said to be "transcendant" in that they don't depend upon what we may think about them, but have to be accepted by any reasonable being, which should lead us into wondering whether such transcendant truths might not exist as well in other areas, such as ethics and matters relating to men's ultimate happiness, whether we may be able to "demonstrate" them or not.See: Frequently Asked Questions about Plato by Bernard SUZANNE


Academy was a suburb of Athens, named after the hero Academos or Ecademos. The site was continuously inhabited from the prehistoric period until the 6th century A.D. During the 6th century B.C., one of the three famous Gymnasiums of Athens was founded here. Moreover, it is recorded that Hippias, the son of Peisistratos, built a circuit wall, and Cimon planted the area with trees which were destroyed by Sulla in 86 B.C. In 387 B.C. Plato founded his philosophical school, which became very famous due to the Neoplatonists, and remained in use until A.D. 526, when it was finally closed down by emperor Justinian.


I relay some thoughts I have had with regard to an emergent process.  I think it incorporates a view I have about the geometries hidden in nature that are designed toward expression of some of the historical understanding of this need to apply "fundamentals."  These constructs are in  ephemeral states of existence as if expressed as an idea.  As idea, these become matter orientated views as "a method of approach."

 Learning to identify the schematic usage of geometrical design as an inherent basis of expression, was to understand that intent had this basic design as a malleable feature in the nature of probabilistic outcomes of experience?

In order for us to understand this "world view" as applied to the nature of the reality, it is assumed such fundamentals(all basic models) reveal some of the ways in which we will adopt the reality as expressed?  We are active participants regardless aren't we,  which might mean, there is still some room with which to form, "a more comprehensive view of the type of fundamentals" necessary for such a world view?


IN that sense, the basis of geometrical exploration, as a set of possible outcomes, was to see schematically, that such usage was necessary in understanding what Einstein was able to reveal once adopting, Grossmann's realizations.

By pointing toward Riemann's realization, and this underlying framework of experience as a possible outcome of a universal expression, showed the way to this projector type of geometry, as a dynamical view of this "gravitation inclusion," as a process toward forming that intent.

So of course historical analysis became an important function for me so as to look at the way in which such a historical school,  might have used this method in order to attain the desired student. One who would  face the continuing  search for  such fundamentals. Of course nothing said this is "set in stone." I am laughing right now.  I will use such a structure so as to show you this method.


This was revealed to me in the statement of Hameroff and Penrose, as a process in the cyclic expression of the universe. Using, geometrical design. Looking at emergence as geometrical underlying process of the universe in expression. This was to see an underlying format of constructive phases of experience.

So, not by the idea that such singularity as the nature of such expression, but that by such intent, is an outcome toward the nature of the geometry as dynamical views of as, K minus or plus, as metric aversions of the dynamical process of out comes as the universe in such expression?



While I cannot say for certain, these are the tendencies of Plato, in my thoughts it was for him, to seek and define reality in pursuance of foundation building blocks. Although too, it may not  be true to today's world, it was sufficient then to describe reality as it contained the "ancientness of belief" about an astronomical processes that existed in nature.

While again it may not have been the best way, it reveals some deeper thinking about alchemist methods as they were adopted and transformed. This  in Greek culture of the philosophers arose from one generation to the next.  It then became a method by which one could internalize transformation.

Such model building was to build the ideological,  by the discussing of these analogical methods to purify oneself of the grossness of nature embedded within the material world?

 How much finer such methods then  but to distillate the process for what begins as to it's beginning,  exists as a some, " Prima Materia."  This then became matter defined as the grossness of our experiences,  could lead from any asymmetrical notion of this symmetry in the beginning?




Logic is the art of thinking; grammar, the art of inventing symbols and combining them to express thought; and rhetoric, the art of communicating thought from one mind to another, the adaptation of language to circumstance.Sister Miriam Joseph
The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities after the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning "the four ways" or "the four roads". Together, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts.[1] The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium made up of grammar, logic (or dialectic, as it was called at the times), and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium was considered preparatory work for the serious study of philosophy and theology.

So while it may be fleeting that such a design may indicate the unification of the Trivium with the Quadrivium, such a completion was inherently significant not just for the presence of adaptation in any school.

Intuitive knowledge is free from partiality or dualism; it has overcome the extremes of stressing subject or object. It is the vision of a world-synthesis, the experience of cosmic consciousness where the Infinite is realised not only conceptually but actually. (p233) Lama Anagarika Govinda, Creative Meditation and Multidimensional Consciousness, 1977


In my thoughts such a design was necessary as  to impose a "model design" that indicated that such adaption in Plato's school amounted to something so solid? A method.

Such integration was necessary so as to realize that such a model built was to survive not only the objective world as a solid,  but was also to realize that such unification could exist within ourselves. Bringing together this liberal arts as a measure of success was to delineate each subjective facet of experience so as to realize that one could transcend the material world, by such realizations which may have took one back to the beginning.

While in this sense artistic expressionism of Raphael's picture in the heading of this site, such a realization was to signify that such a pursuat was necessary and represented the coming together of Aristotle and Plato in the very centre of that world. It required us to become closely associated to the "beginning point" of what was allowed in terms of what is self evident as an inductive deductive process of unfolding.

This was our internal teacher/student dialogue that becomes necessary in order to proceed with dealing with the  truths as they come to us in our realizations.

It was the uniqueness of the individual to which although each truth revealed it's successes with regard to that individual's development, in the larger scheme of things,  it asked us to proceed with a method so as to deal with the science of life? To be inquisitive, but grounded in this teacher/student relationship so as to move forward and experience the world.



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Saturday, July 28, 2012

About Knowledge

"As to you, Life, I reckon you are the leavings of many deaths, No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before." "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman

Justified true belief.....does it matter what knowledge could exist in or about knowing that all knowledge exists out there somewhere and that you only have to access it? How do you do that?


Our attempt to justify our beliefs logically by giving reasons results in the "regress of reasons." Since any reason can be further challenged, the regress of reasons threatens to be an infinite regress. However, since this is impossible, there must be reasons for which there do not need to be further reasons: reasons which do not need to be proven. By definition, these are "first principles." The "Problem of First Principles" arises when we ask Why such reasons would not need to be proven. Aristotle's answer was that first principles do not need to be proven because they are self-evident, i.e. they are known to be true simply by understanding them. See:The Arch of Aristotelian Logic

What is self evident for you at the time......your accumulating experiencing with an inductive/deductive relationship at the time and what arises at that moment. It is a conclusion about and is what connects you to the answer?



Betrayal of Images" by Rene Magritte
                    Probabilties
                 (The Fifth Dimension)
                         |
                         |
                  Idea of the pipe
                        / \
                       /   \
                      /     \
                 Picture of the pipe
                    /         \
                   /           \
                  /             \
               The real pipe and form  
 
It may not mean something to someone else but it is an opportune time for you then and now. You provide the "access point" when you ask the question. That's why you see the "?" mark.

Awareness of the development of the constitution as it applies to all human beings in a free and democratic society was thought to imply that the deduction of its principles should arise in what can be gained from it? What is arrived at and about what is being "self evident" too and for all people? So "the draft" in language was very important to one's constitution. Not just to a country, but in a person too. You see?

Knowledge then is about what you learn at this time.....could be the measure of the whole life...or could be a measure of the moment in time. This is of value to you. This is about that which is of measure when it is weighted against something of great meaning to you? How do you value that knowledge?

This is what will be remembered.

 Polymath

The diversity of one's knowledge can overlap many areas. Such trends in the sciences are seeing such benefits from cross pollination of the trades(aspect of the different areas of the sciences) as applied to those different sciences.

 For example it is known that condense matter physics is of importance to theoretical approaches as a sign of the process toward identifying first principles? One may use string theory to push back perspective to the beginning time?

 Can one use philosophy to better manufacture the question? Sean Carroll thought it might be of use to coordinate the developmental positions with regard to science and philosophy to produce a clarity in developing the question?

When you see in many ways you see where many things connect?

 Sir Isaac Newton was very proficient at doing this. You may not have liked his alchemy and thought it an ancient way, but he cared about the way he related to people.

 He wanted to improve his condition so he knew that with his diversity of knowledge with and about the structure of the planet,  that the structure of himself,  lead to something very philosophical about his being. "To combine things" to make himself a better person.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

What Is Déjà Vu?


***

Déjà vu (French pronunciation: [deʒa vy] ( listen), literally "already seen") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L'Avenir des sciences psychiques ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness", "strangeness", "weirdness", or what Sigmund Freud calls "the uncanny". The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.[1]

Contents

 

 Scientific research

The psychologist Edward B. Titchener in his book A Textbook of Psychology (1928), wrote that déjà vu is caused by a person getting a brief glimpse of an object or situation prior to full conscious perception, resulting in a false sense of familiarity.[2] The explanation that has mostly been accepted of déjà vu is not that it is an act of "precognition" or "prophecy", but rather that it is an anomaly of memory, giving the false impression that an experience is "being recalled".[3][4] This explanation is supported by the fact that the sense of "recollection" at the time is strong in most cases, but that the circumstances of the "previous" experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are quite uncertain or believed to be impossible. Likewise, as time passes, subjects can exhibit a strong recollection of having the "unsettling" experience of déjà vu itself, but little or no recollection of the specifics of the event(s) or circumstance(s) they were "remembering" when they had the déjà vu experience. In particular, this may result from an overlap between the neurological systems responsible for short-term memory and those responsible for long-term memory (events which are perceived as being in the past). The events would be stored into memory before the conscious part of the brain even receives the information and processes it.[citation needed]

 Links with disorders

Early researchers tried to establish a link between déjà vu and serious psychopathology such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissociative identity disorder, and failed to find the experience of some diagnostic value. There does not seem to be a special association between déjà vu and schizophrenia or other psychiatric conditions.[5] The strongest pathological association of déjà vu is with temporal lobe epilepsy.[6][7] This correlation has led some researchers to speculate that the experience of déjà vu is possibly a neurological anomaly related to improper electrical discharge in the brain. As most people suffer a mild (i.e. non-pathological) epileptic episode regularly (e.g. a hypnagogic jerk, the sudden "jolt" that frequently, but not always, occurs just prior to falling asleep) it is conjectured that a similar (mild) neurological aberration occurs in the experience of déjà vu, resulting in an erroneous sensation of memory.

 Pharmacology

Certain drugs increase the chances of déjà vu occurring in the user. Some pharmaceutical drugs, when taken together, have also been implicated in the cause of déjà vu. Taiminen and Jääskeläinen (2001)[8] reported the case of an otherwise healthy male who started experiencing intense and recurrent sensations of déjà vu upon taking the drugs amantadine and phenylpropanolamine together to relieve flu symptoms. He found the experience so interesting that he completed the full course of his treatment and reported it to the psychologists to write up as a case study. Due to the dopaminergic action of the drugs and previous findings from electrode stimulation of the brain (e.g. Bancaud, Brunet-Bourgin, Chauvel, & Halgren, 1994),[9] Taiminen and Jääskeläinen speculate that déjà vu occurs as a result of hyperdopaminergic action in the mesial temporal areas of the brain.

 Memory-based explanations

The similarity between a déjà-vu-eliciting stimulus and an existing, but different, memory trace may lead to the sensation.[5][10] Thus, encountering something which evokes the implicit associations of an experience or sensation that cannot be remembered may lead to déjà vu. In an effort to experimentally reproduce the sensation, Banister and Zangwill (1941)[11][12] used hypnosis to give participants posthypnotic amnesia for material they had already seen. When this was later re-encountered, the restricted activation caused thereafter by the posthypnotic amnesia resulted in three of the 10 participants reporting what the authors termed "paramnesias". Memory-based explanations may lead to the development of a number of non-invasive experimental methods by which a long sought-after analogue of déjà vu can be reliably produced that would allow it to be tested under well-controlled experimental conditions. Cleary[10] suggests that déjà vu may be a form of familiarity-based recognition (recognition that is based on a feeling of familiarity with a situation) and that laboratory methods of probing familiarity-based recognition hold promise for probing déjà vu in laboratory settings. Another possible explanation for the phenomenon of déjà vu is the occurrence of "cryptomnesia", which is where information learned is forgotten but nevertheless stored in the brain, and similar occurrences invoke the contained knowledge, leading to a feeling of familiarity because of the situation, event or emotional/vocal content, known as "déjà vu".

 Parapsychology

Some parapsychologists have advocated some unorthodox interpretations of déjà vu. Ian Stevenson and a minority of other researchers have written that some cases of déjà vu might be explained on the basis of reincarnation.[13][14] Anthony Peake has written that déjà vu experiences occur as people are living their lives not for the first time but at least the second.[15]

 Related phenomena

 Jamais vu

Jamais vu (from French, meaning "never seen") is a term in psychology which is used to describe any familiar situation which is not recognized by the observer.
Often described as the opposite of déjà vu, jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer's impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before. Jamais vu is more commonly explained as when a person momentarily does not recognize a word, person, or place that they already know. Jamais vu is sometimes associated with certain types of aphasia, amnesia, and epilepsy.
Theoretically, as seen below, a jamais vu feeling in a sufferer of a delirious disorder or intoxication could result in a delirious explanation of it, such as in the Capgras delusion, in which the patient takes a person known by him or her for a false double or impostor. If the impostor is himself, the clinical setting would be the same as the one described as depersonalisation, hence jamais vus of oneself or of the very "reality of reality", are termed depersonalisation (or surreality) feelings.
Times Online reports (see semantic satiation):
Chris Moulin, of the University of Leeds, asked 95 volunteers to write out "door" 30 times in 60 seconds. At the International Conference on Memory in Sydney last week he reported that 68 percent of the volunteers showed symptoms of jamais vu, such as beginning to doubt that "door" was a real word. Dr. Moulin believes that a similar brain fatigue underlies a phenomenon observed in some schizophrenia patients: that a familiar person has been replaced by an impostor. Dr. Moulin suggests they could be suffering from chronic jamais vu.[16]

 Presque vu (Tip of the tongue)

Déjà vu is similar to, but distinct from, the phenomenon called tip of the tongue, a situation when someone cannot recall a familiar word or name, but with effort one eventually recalls the elusive memory. In contrast, déjà vu is a feeling that the present situation has occurred before, but the details are elusive because the situation never happened before.
Presque vu (from French, meaning "almost seen") is the sensation of being on the brink of an epiphany. Often very disorienting and distracting, presque vu rarely leads to an actual breakthrough. Frequently, one experiencing presque vu will say that they have something "on the tip of my tongue".

 Déjà entendu

Déjà entendu, (literally "already heard") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already heard something, even though the exact details are uncertain and were perhaps imagined.[17][18]

 Reja vu

The feeling something that has happened or is happening will happen again, possibly in the near future, possibly in the distant future.

 In popular culture

 Film

Déjà vu provides a plot point in The Matrix, a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski. The protagonist, Neo, glances at a black cat and comments that he has just experienced déjà vu. Those with a knowledge of 'The Matrix' and its internal workings state that déjà vu means something within the Matrix was altered from its prior state and is referred to as a "glitch".
The 2006 science fiction film Déjà Vu revolves around a US federal law enforcement officer using an instrument called Snowhite to view the past 4 and a half days of anywhere in the world (limited radius as permissible by the program) in order to solve a murder and a terrorist bomb attack on a ferry that was being boarded by about 500 citizens and military members.

 Television

Déjà Vu was the third episode of the second season of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British comedy program. Michael Palin plays a television host with the problem.[19]
The concept is explored in the episode 119 of Garfield and Friends in the Orson's Farm segment.
The final episode of season 1 of Charmed, called "Déjà Vu All Over Again" sees Phoebe Halliwell reliving the same day over and over again at the hands of a demon named Tempus.[20]
Déjà Vu is also a recurring plot element on Fringe. In the Season One episode, "The Road Not Taken", Olivia described the experience of déjà vu to Walter after she briefly experienced an alternate reality as the result of being a Cortexiphan subject. In the Season Two episode "White Tulip", Olivia experiences déjà vu while investigating the apartment of a time traveler who reset the timeline.
Déjà Vu is also a plot element in the "Mystery Episode" of the television series Supernatural where Sam Winchester wakes up in the same day as a result of being trapped in a time loop.

 Radio

Déjà Vu is a 2009 radio play by Alexis Zegerman in French and English co-produced by BBC Radio 4 and ARTE Radio.

  Theatre

Déjà Vu is a 1991 stage play by John Osborne.

 Music

Below is a list of artists who have referenced Déjà Vu in their work.

 See also

 References

  1. ^ Berrios, G.E. (1995). "Déjà vu and other disorders of memory during the nineteenth century". Comprehensive Psychiatry 36: 123–129.
  2. ^ Titchener, E. B. (1928). A textbook of psychology. New York: Macmillan
  3. ^ "The Meaning of Déjà Vu", Eli Marcovitz, M.D. (1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. 21, pages: 481-489
  4. ^ The déjà vu experience, Alan S. Brown, Psychology Press, (2004), ISBN 0-203-48544-0, Introduction, page 1
  5. ^ a b Brown, Alan S. (2004). The Déjà Vu Experience. Psychology Press. ISBN 1841690759.
  6. ^ Neurology Channel
  7. ^ Howstuffworks "What is déjà vu?"
  8. ^ Taiminen, T.; Jääskeläinen, S. (2001). "Intense and recurrent déjà vu experiences related to amantadine and phenylpropanolamine in a healthy male". Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 8 (5): 460–462. doi:10.1054/jocn.2000.0810. PMID 11535020. edit
  9. ^ Bancaud, J.; Brunet-Bourgin; Chauvel; Halgren (1994). "Anatomical origin of déjà vu and vivid 'memories' in human temporal lobe epilepsy". Brain : a journal of neurology 117 (1): 71–90. PMID 8149215. edit
  10. ^ a b Cleary, Anne M. (2008). "Recognition memory, familiarity and déjà vu experiences". Current Directions in Psychological Science 17 (5): 353–357. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00605.x.
  11. ^ Banister H, Zangwill OL (1941). "Experimentally induced olfactory paramnesia". British Journal of Psychology 32: 155–175.
  12. ^ Banister H, Zangwill OL (1941). "Experimentally induced visual paramnesias". British Journal of Psychology 32: 30–51.
  13. ^ Fisher, J. (1984). The case for reincarnation. New York: Bantam Books.
  14. ^ Stevenson, I. (1987). Children who remember past lives. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.
  15. ^ Anthony Peake Is There Life After Death? The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2012 ISBN 184837299X
  16. ^ Ahuja, Anjana (2006-07-24). "Doctor, I've got this little lump on my arm . . . Relax, that tells me everything". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  17. ^ Grinnel, Renée (2008), Déjà Entendu, PsychCentral, retrieved 04-10-2011
  18. ^ Mental Status Examination Rapid Record Form
  19. ^ "Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words - Episode 16". Ibras.dk. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  20. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0539356/

 Further reading

 External links

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First came the heterodyne. The principle of "beats" or difference tones between simultaneous audio pitches was well known since antiquity, but Reginald Fessenden in 1901 was the first to apply the principle to radio transmissions [3]. Originally both radio frequencies were to be transmitted, received with two antennas, and combined in a detector. Later a local oscillator was substituted for one of the transmitter-receiver combinations and the heterodyne as we know it was born. Fessenden himself coined the term, from the Greek heteros (other) and dynamis (force).Who Invented the Superheterodyne?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Justified true belief

 Before Gettier, an historical account brings one up to date?

Euler diagram representing a definition of knowledge.
Justified true belief is one definition of knowledge that states in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the relevant true proposition, but one must also have justification for doing so. In more formal terms, a subject S knows that a proposition P is true if, and only if:
  1. P is true
  2. S believes that P is true, and
  3. S is justified in believing that P is true
The 'justified true belief' theory of knowledge suffered a significant setback with the discovery of Gettier problems, situations in which the above conditions were met but that many philosophers disagree that anything is known.[1] Robert Nozick suggested a clarification of "justification" which he believed eliminates the problem: the justification has to be such that were the justification false, the knowledge would be false.

  See also



  • Theory of justification
  • Validity
  • Gettier problem

  •  References

    ^ Chisholm, Roderick (1982). "Knowledge as Justified True Belief". The Foundations of Knowing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1103-3.

    *** 


    Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic.[1] In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology, and the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief." However no single agreed upon definition of knowledge exists, and there are numerous theories to explain it. The following quote from Bertrand Russell's "Theory of Knowledge" illustrates the difficulty in defining knowledge. "The question how knowledge should be defined is perhaps the most important and difficult of the three with which we shall deal. This may seem surprising: at first sight it might be thought that knowledge might be defined as belief which is in agreement with the facts. The trouble is that no one knows what a belief is, no one knows what a fact is, and no one knows what sort of agreement between them would make a belief true. Let us begin with belief."

    Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.[2]

    Contents

     

     Theories of knowledge


    Robert Reid, Knowledge (1896). Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.
    The eventual demarcation of philosophy from science was made possible by the notion that philosophy's core was "theory of knowledge," a theory distinct from the sciences because it was their foundation… Without this idea of a "theory of knowledge," it is hard to imagine what "philosophy" could have been in the age of modern science.

    Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
    The definition of knowledge is a matter of on-going debate among philosophers in the field of epistemology. The classical definition, described but not ultimately endorsed by Plato,[3] specifies that a statement must meet three criteria in order to be considered knowledge: it must be justified, true, and believed. Some claim that these conditions are not sufficient, as Gettier case examples allegedly demonstrate. There are a number of alternatives proposed, including Robert Nozick's arguments for a requirement that knowledge 'tracks the truth' and Simon Blackburn's additional requirement that we do not want to say that those who meet any of these conditions 'through a defect, flaw, or failure' have knowledge. Richard Kirkham suggests that our definition of knowledge requires that the evidence for the belief necessitates its truth.[4]
    In contrast to this approach, Wittgenstein observed, following Moore's paradox, that one can say "He believes it, but it isn't so", but not "He knows it, but it isn't so".[5] He goes on to argue that these do not correspond to distinct mental states, but rather to distinct ways of talking about conviction. What is different here is not the mental state of the speaker, but the activity in which they are engaged. For example, on this account, to know that the kettle is boiling is not to be in a particular state of mind, but to perform a particular task with the statement that the kettle is boiling. Wittgenstein sought to bypass the difficulty of definition by looking to the way "knowledge" is used in natural languages. He saw knowledge as a case of a family resemblance. Following this idea, "knowledge" has been reconstructed as a cluster concept that points out relevant features but that is not adequately captured by any definition.[6]

     Communicating knowledge

    Symbolic representations can be used to indicate meaning and can be thought of as a dynamic process. Hence the transfer of the symbolic representation can be viewed as one ascription process whereby knowledge can be transferred. Other forms of communication include observation and imitation, verbal exchange, and audio and video recordings. Philosophers of language and semioticians construct and analyze theories of knowledge transfer or communication.[citation needed]
    While many would agree that one of the most universal and significant tools for the transfer of knowledge is writing (of many kinds), argument over the usefulness of the written word exists however, with some scholars skeptical of its impact on societies. In his collection of essays Technopoly Neil Postman demonstrates the argument against the use of writing through an excerpt from Plato's work Phaedrus (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York, pp 73). In this excerpt the scholar Socrates recounts the story of Thamus, the Egyptian king and Theuth the inventor of the written word. In this story, Theuth presents his new invention "writing" to King Thamus, telling Thamus that his new invention "will improve both the wisdom and memory of the Egyptians" (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York, pp 74). King Thamus is skeptical of this new invention and rejects it as a tool of recollection rather than retained knowledge. He argues that the written word will infect the Egyptian people with fake knowledge as they will be able to attain facts and stories from an external source and will no longer be forced to mentally retain large quantities of knowledge themselves (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York,pp 74).
    Andrew Robinson also highlights, in his work The Origins of Writing, the possibility for writing to be used to spread false information and therefore the ability of the written word to decrease social knowledge (Robinson, Andrew (2003) The Origins of Writing in Crowley and Heyer (eds) Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society, Boston pp 34). People are often internalizing new information which they perceive to be knowledge but in reality fill their minds with false knowledge.
    The above points are moot in the modern world. Verbal communication lends itself to the spread of falsehoods much more so than written, as there is no record of exactly what was said or who originally said it (usually neither the source nor the content can be verified). Gossip and rumors are common examples. As to value of writing, the extent of human knowledge is now so great that it is only possible to record it and to communicate it through writing. Major libraries today can have millions of books of knowledge (in addition to works of fiction). It is only recently that audio and video technology for recording knowledge have become available and the use of these still requires replay equipment and electricity. Verbal teaching and handing down of knowledge is limited to those few who would have contact with the transmitter person - far too limited for today's world. Writing is still the most available and most universal of all forms of recording and transmitting knowledge. It stands unchallenged as mankind's primary technology of knowledge transfer down through the ages and to all cultures and languages of the world.

     Situated knowledge

    Situated knowledge is knowledge specific to a particular situation.[7]
    Some methods of generating knowledge, such as trial and error, or learning from experience, tend to create highly situational knowledge. One of the main attributes of the scientific method is that the theories it generates are much less situational than knowledge gained by other methods.[citation needed] Situational knowledge is often embedded in language, culture, or traditions.[citation needed]
    Knowledge generated through experience is called knowledge "a posteriori", meaning afterwards. The pure existence of a term like "a posteriori" means this also has a counterpart. In this case that is knowledge "a priori", meaning before. The knowledge prior to any experience means that there are certain "assumptions" that one takes for granted. For example if you are being told about a chair it is clear to you that the chair is in space, that it is 3D. This knowledge is not knowledge that one can "forget", even someone suffering from amnesia experiences the world in 3D. See also: a priori and a posteriori.[citation needed]

     Partial knowledge

    One discipline of epistemology focuses on partial knowledge. In most cases, it is not possible to understand an information domain exhaustively; our knowledge is always incomplete or partial. Most real problems have to be solved by taking advantage of a partial understanding of the problem context and problem data, unlike the typical math problems one might solve at school, where all data is given and one is given a complete understanding of formulas necessary to solve them.[citation needed]
    This idea is also present in the concept of bounded rationality which assumes that in real life situations people often have a limited amount of information and make decisions accordingly.

    Scientific knowledge

    The development of the scientific method has made a significant contribution to how knowledge is acquired. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning and experimentation.[8] The scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[9] Science, and the nature of scientific knowledge have also become the subject of Philosophy. As science itself has developed, knowledge has developed a broader usage which has been developing within biology/psychology—discussed elsewhere as meta-epistemology, or genetic epistemology, and to some extent related to "theory of cognitive development".  
    Note that "epistemology" is the study of knowledge and how it is acquired. Science is “the process used everyday to logically complete thoughts through inference of facts determined by calculated experiments." Sir Francis Bacon was critical in the historical development of the scientific method; his works established and popularized an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry. His famous aphorism, "knowledge is power", is found in the Meditations Sacrae (1597).[10]
    Until recent times, at least in the Western tradition, it was simply taken for granted that knowledge was something possessed only by humans — and probably adult humans at that. Sometimes the notion might stretch to (ii) Society-as-such, as in (e.g.) "the knowledge possessed by the Coptic culture" (as opposed to its individual members), but that was not assured either. Nor was it usual to consider unconscious knowledge in any systematic way until this approach was popularized by Freud.[11]
    Other biological domains where "knowledge" might be said to reside, include: (iii) the immune system, and (iv) in the DNA of the genetic code. See the list of four "epistemological domains":   Popper, (1975);[12] and Traill (2008:[13] Table S, page 31)—also references by both to Niels Jerne.
    Such considerations seem to call for a separate definition of "knowledge" to cover the biological systems. For biologists, knowledge must be usefully available to the system, though that system need not be conscious. Thus the criteria seem to be:
    • The system should apparently be dynamic and self-organizing (unlike a mere book on its own).
    • The knowledge must constitute some sort of representation of "the outside world",[14] or ways of dealing with it (directly or indirectly).
    • Some way must exist for the system to access this information quickly enough for it to be useful.
    Scientific knowledge may not involve a claim to certainty, maintaining skepticism means that a scientist will never be absolutely certain when they are correct and when they are not. It is thus an irony of proper scientific method that one must doubt even when correct, in the hopes that this practice will lead to greater convergence on the truth in general.[15]

     Religious meaning of knowledge

    In many expressions of Christianity, such as Catholicism and Anglicanism, knowledge is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.[16]
    The Old Testament's tree of the knowledge of good and evil contained the knowledge that separated Man from God: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…" (Genesis 3:22)

    In Gnosticism divine knowledge or gnosis is hoped to be attained. In Thelema knowledge and conversation with one's Holy Guardian Angel is the purpose of life.[citation needed]
    विद्या दान (Vidya Daan) i.e. knowledge sharing is a major part of Daan, a tenet of all Dharmic Religions.[17] Hindu Scriptures present two kinds of knowledge, Paroksh Gyan and Prataksh Gyan. Paroksh Gyan (also spelled Paroksha-Jnana) is secondhand knowledge: knowledge obtained from books, hearsay, etc. Prataksh Gyan (also spelled Prataksha-Jnana) is the knowledge borne of direct experience, i.e., knowledge that one discovers for oneself.[18] Jnana yoga ("path of knowledge") is one of three main types of yoga expounded by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. (It is compared and contrasted with Bhakti Yoga and Karma yoga.)

    In Islam, knowledge (Arabic: علم, ʿilm) is given great significance. "The Knowing" (al-ʿAlīm) is one of the 99 names reflecting distinct attributes of God. The Qur'an asserts that knowledge comes from God (2:239) and various hadith encourage the acquisition of knowledge. Muhammad is reported to have said "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave" and "Verily the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophets". Islamic scholars, theologians and jurists are often given the title alim, meaning "knowledgable".[citation needed]

    In Jewish tradition, knowledge (Hebrew: דעת da'ath) is considered one of the most valuable traits a person can acquire. Observant Jews recite three times a day in the Amidah "Favor us with knowledge, understanding and discretion that come from you. Exalted are you, Existent-One, the gracious giver of knowledge." The Tanakh states, "A wise man gains power, and a man of knowledge maintains power", and "knowledge is chosen above gold".

     See also

     References

    1. ^ http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1261368#m_en_us1261368
    2. ^ Stanley Cavell, "Knowing and Acknowledging," Must We Mean What We Say? (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 238–266.
    3. ^ In Plato's Theaetetus, Socrates and Theaetetus discuss three definitions of knowledge: knowledge as nothing but perception, knowledge as true judgment, and, finally, knowledge as a true judgment with an account. Each of these definitions is shown to be unsatisfactory.
    4. ^ http://www.centenary.edu/attachments/philosophy/aizawa/courses/epistemologyf2008/kirkham1984.pdf
    5. ^ Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty, remark 42
    6. ^ Gottschalk-Mazouz, N. (2008): „Internet and the flow of knowledge“, in: Hrachovec, H.; Pichler, A. (Hg.): Philosophy of the Information Society. Proceedings of the 30. International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria 2007. Volume 2, Frankfurt, Paris, Lancaster, New Brunswik: Ontos, S. 215–232. http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/philo/fileadmin/doc/pdf/gottschalk/ngm-internetflow-2008.pdf
    7. ^ Haraway, Donna 1998. Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.
    8. ^ "[4] Rules for the study of natural philosophy", Newton 1999, pp. 794–6, from the General Scholium, which follows Book 3, The System of the World.
    9. ^ scientific method, Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
    10. ^ "Sir Francis Bacon - Quotationspage.com". Retrieved 2009-07-08.
    11. ^ There is quite a good case for this exclusive specialization used by philosophers, in that it allows for in-depth study of logic-procedures and other abstractions which are not found elsewhere. However this may lead to problems whenever the topic spills over into those excluded domains—e.g. when Kant (following Newton) dismissed Space and Time as axiomatically "transcendental" and "a priori" — a claim later disproved by Piaget's clinical studies. It also seems likely that the vexed problem of "infinite regress" can be largely (but not completely) solved by proper attention to how unconscious concepts are actually developed, both during infantile learning and as inherited "pseudo-transcendentals" inherited from the trial-and-error of previous generations. See also "Tacit knowledge".
      • Piaget, J., and B.Inhelder (1927 / 1969). The child's conception of time. Routledge & Kegan Paul: London.
      • Piaget, J., and B.Inhelder (1948 / 1956). The child's conception of space. Routledge & Kegan Paul: London.
    12. ^ Popper, K.R. (1975). "The rationality of scientific revolutions"; in Rom Harré (ed.), Problems of Scientific Revolution: Scientific Progress and Obstacles to Progress in the Sciences. Clarendon Press: Oxford.
    13. ^ http://www.ondwelle.com/OSM02.pdf
    14. ^ This "outside world" could include other subsystems within the same organism—e.g. different "mental levels" corresponding to different Piagetian stages. See Theory of cognitive development.
    15. ^ http://philosophybites.com/2007/12/barry-stroud-on.html
    16. ^ "Part Three, No. 1831". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
    17. ^ Knowledge Donation is the primary donation
    18. ^ Swami Krishnananda. "Chapter 7". The Philosophy of the Panchadasi. The Divine Life Society. Retrieved 2008-07-05
    ***

    The Theaetetus (Greek: Θεαίτητος) is one of Plato's dialogues concerning the nature of knowledge. The framing of the dialogue begins when Euclides tells his friend Terpsion that he had written a book many years ago based on what Socrates had told him of a conversation he'd had with Theaetetus when Theaetetus was quite a young man. (Euclides also notes that he'd had to go back to Socrates to ask some more questions about the speeches due to his spotty recollection of the account.)
    Euclides is prompted to share his book when Terpsion wonders where he'd been: Euclides, who apparently can usually be found in the marketplace of Megara, was walking outside of the city and had happened upon Theaetetus being carried from Corinth to Athens with a case of dysentery and a minor war wound; Euclides remarks that Socrates had made some uncanny predictions about Theaetetus needing to rise to fame. Euclides' book is read aloud to the two men by a slave boy in the employ of Euclides.
    In this dialogue, Socrates and Theaetetus discuss three definitions of knowledge: knowledge as nothing but perception, knowledge as true judgment, and, finally, knowledge as a true judgment with an account. Each of these definitions is shown to be unsatisfactory. The conversation ends with Socrates' announcement that he has to go to court to answer to the charges that he has been corrupting the young and failing to worship Athenian Gods.

    Contents

     

     Midwife to knowledge

    Socrates asks Theodorus if he knows of any geometry students who show particular promise. Theodorus assures him that he does, but that he does not want to over-praise the boy, lest anyone suspect he is in love with him. He says that the boy, Theaetetus, is a young Socrates look-alike, rather homely, with a snub-nose and protruding eyes. The two older men spot Theaetetus rubbing himself down with oil, and Theodorus reviews the facts about him, that he is intelligent, virile, and an orphan whose inheritance has been squandered by trustees.
    Socrates tells Theaetetus that he cannot make out what knowledge is, and is looking for a simple formula for it. Theaetetus says he really has no idea how to answer the question, and Socrates tells him that he is there to help. Socrates says he has modelled his career after his midwife mother. She delivered babies and for his part, Socrates can tell when a young man is in the throes of trying to give birth to a thought.

     Philosophical labor

    Socrates thinks that this idea must be identical in meaning, if not in actual words, to Protagoras' famous maxim "Man is the measure of all things." Socrates wrestles to conflate the two ideas, and stirs in for good measure a claim about Homer being the captain of a team of Heraclitan flux theorists. Socrates dictates a complete textbook of logical fallacies to the bewildered Theaetetus. When Socrates tells the child that he (Socrates) will later be smaller without losing an inch because Theaetetus will have grown relative to him, the child complains of dizziness (155c). In an often quoted line, Socrates says with delight that "wonder (thaumazein) belongs to the philosopher". He admonishes the boy to be patient and bear with his questions, so that his hidden beliefs may be yanked out into the bright light of day.

     Examining the offspring

    When Socrates sums up what they have agreed on so far, it becomes problematic that knowledge is sense perception, for Socrates raises the question that "When the same wind blows, one of us feels cold and the other not?" As a result he introduces the idea of Heraclitean flux to act as a defense to the wind objection. Heracliteanism shows that "Nothing is in itself just one thing...Everything is in a process of coming to be". Thus as there is no fixed meaning in things, but they draw their meaning in a referential difference to other things, the wind objection can be incorporated into Theaetetus's claim that "Knowledge is sense perception". As a result they can then continue their inquiry as to the truth of this claim. It is important to note that the Heraclitean doctrine of Flux is not the same as the Protagorean doctrine. The Protagorean is radical truth relativism whereas the Heraclitean is radical reality relativism. It serves as a supporting theory to the Protagorean interpretation of Theaetetus's claim, in order that they might fully inquire as to the validity of this premise. Socrates admits that it is unfortunate that Protagoras is dead and cannot defend his idea against people such as himself. He says that the two of them are "trampling on his orphan" (164e) but the charge remains.

     Abusing the "orphan" of Protagoras

    Since Protagoras is dead, Socrates puts himself in the sophist's shoes and tries to do him the favor of defending his idea (166a-168c). Socrates continues to find more ways to misinterpret and misrepresent him - "mistreat his orphan." Putting words in the dead sophist's mouth, Socrates declares that Protagoras asserts with his maxim that all things are in motion and whatever seems to be the case, is the case for the perceiver, whether the individual or the state.

    At the end of his speech, Socrates admits to Theodorus that if Protagoras were alive to defend his idea, he would have done a far better job than Socrates has just done. Theodorus tells Socrates that he must be kidding, that he has come to the task with boyish vigor. Theodorus does not claim to be a disciple of Protagoras, but never contradicts Socrates repeated assertions that he is a friend of Protagoras. Socrates admits he has used the child's timidity to aid him in his argument against the doctrine of Protagoras (168d).
    Socrates, not at all certain that he has not misrepresented Protagoras in making each man the measure of his own wisdom, presses Theodorus on the question of whether any follower of Protagoras (himself included) would contend that nobody thinks anyone else is wrong (170c). Theodorus proves to be helpless against Socrates' confusions. He agrees that Protagoras concedes that those who disagree with him are correct (171a). In making Protagoras a complete epistemological relativist, where every person's individual perceptions are his reality and his truth, both Socrates and Theodorus paint Protagoras as maintaining an absurd position. Socrates says that if Protagoras could pop his head up through the ground as far as his neck, he would expose Socrates as a speaker of nonsense, sink out of sight, and take to his heels (171d).

     The absent-minded philosopher

    Socrates then proceeds to explain why philosophers seem clumsy and stupid to the common lot of humanity. Socrates explains that philosophers are open to mockery because they are not concerned about what interests most people: they could not care less about the scandals in their neighbor's house, the tracing of one's ancestry to Heracles, and so on. Instead their thinking wanders around contemptuously, measuring the depths of the earth and contemplating the stars above the sky. It is here that Socrates draws the classic portrait of the absent-minded intellectual who cannot make his bed or cook a meal (175e). Socrates adds a big bifurcation to this speech, saying that there are only two kinds of lives to be lived: a divinely happy one, lived by righteous philosophers or a godless, miserable one, such as most people live (176-177). Socrates admits this was a digression that threatens to drown his original project, which was to define knowledge. Theodorus, the old geometer, tells Socrates that he finds this sort of thing easier to follow than his earlier arguments.

     The men of flux

    Socrates says that the men of flux, like Homer and Heraclitus, are really hard to talk to because you can't pin them down. When you ask them a question, he says, they pluck from their quiver a little aphorism to let fly at you, and as you try to figure that one out, they wing another one at you. They leave nothing settled either in discourse, or in their own minds. Socrates adds that the opposite school of thought, that teaches of the "immovable whole" is just as hard to talk to (181a,b). Socrates says he met the father of the idea, Parmenides, when he was quite young, but does not want to get into another digression over it.

     The mind as a bird cage

    Perhaps the most delightful talk in the dialogue comes near the end, when Socrates compares the human mind to a birdcage. He says it is one thing to possess knowledge and another to have it about one, on hand, as it were (199a). Socrates says that as a man goes hunting about in his mind for knowledge of something, he might grab hold of the wrong thing. He says that mistaking eleven for twelve is like going in for a pigeon and coming up with a dove (199b). Theaetetus joins in the game, and says that to complete the picture, you need to envision pieces of ignorance flying around in there with the birds. But if this is the case, how would you be able to distinguish between the birds representing real knowledge and the ones representing false ones? Are there other birds that represent this type of knowledge? Socrates comes to the conclusion that this is absurd and therefore he discards the birdcage analogy.

     Socrates and the Jury

    After discarding the bird-cage analogy, Socrates and Theaetetus return to the definition of knowledge as 'true judgement' (200e). This, Theaetetus argues, is true because it is 'free from mistakes' (200e). However Socrates introduces an example of a jury in the law-courts, being persuaded of an opinion by a lawyer. This persuasion is not the same as knowing the truth, as all is produced is 'conviction' in judging whatever the lawyers want (201a). Although Theaetetus hopes it is possible the lawyer will be able to 'persuade' the jury of the truth (201b), Socrates is unsatisfied as if they are justly persuaded, they will have true knowledge. However, in Socrates' belief, they cannot make a correct judgement as they would not have true knowledge (201c). With this conflict, Socrates decides that true judgement and knowledge must be different things.

     Knowledge as judgement with an account

    After distinguishing between knowledge and true judgement, Theaetetus recalls being told that true judgement 'with an account (logos) equates to knowledge (201d). Things without an account are 'unknowable', while things with an account are 'knowable'.
    Socrates responds by telling of a dream, in which he overheard people talking of primary elements (201e). These primary elements can only be named, they cannot be thought of as existing or not - he gives examples of words like 'itself, or that, each, alone or this' (202a). While they can be added to other words, they by themselves are just a name. When these elements are added together, Socrates says that a 'complex' is formed (202b). The primary elements are 'unaccountable and unknowable, but perceivable' while the complexes are 'knowable and expressible' and so can be objects of 'true judgement' (202b). He concludes his dream by agreeing with Theaetetus that knowledge is 'true judgement with an account' (202c).
    However, Socrates exposes some difficulties by examining letters. He takes the first two letters of his name, S and O to wonder if the syllable 'So' is knowable while the individual letters are not (203b-d). Theaetetus finds the idea strange, so Socrates deduces that in order to know the syllable, the letters must be known first (203e). Socrates proposes that the syllable can be a 'single form' produced from the letters. With this in mind, Socrates considers whether the 'sum' and the 'whole' are the same (204a). Theaetetus initially says they are not, but changes his mind in confusion when Socrates leads him through maths and the different ways of expressing the number six (204c-205b). After agreeing this, Socrates returns to the subject of syllables and letters to conclude from Theaetetus' answers that syllables are different from letters and cannot contain letters (205b). Theaetetus admits this idea is ridiculous (205c). Socrates returns to talking about elements and complexes to propose that they are in the same class, as they have 'no parts and [are] a single form' (205d).

    Socrates sums up this reversal by remarking that if anyone tries to tell them the complex is knowable and expressable while the element is the opposite, 'we had better not listen to him' (205e). He cites the example of a musician distinguishing individual notes (conceded to be elements of music) to propose that elements are 'much more clearly known'(206b).
    Socrates proposes an account to be 'making one's thought apparent vocally by means of words and verbal expressions' (206d). However, he wonders if that is so, everyone will be able to make judgement 'with an account' as they can all (except for the deaf and dumb) vocalize and express opinions on matters (206e). Socrates examines it further by suggesting that a man who can vocalize his judgement must be able to make reference to the primary elements of the subject (207a). Giving an example of defining a wagon by its individual parts (207a), agreement is reached that an account is 'going through a thing element by element'(207d). Socrates questions Theaetetus by drawing on his learning of how to write, and the idea that if you misplace individual elements (letters) of a name, that does not mean you have knowledge of it (208a). This finishes Socrates' second definition of an account as 'the way to the whole through the elements' (208c). The third definition Socrates offers is 'being able to tell some mark by which the object you are asked about differs from all other things' (208c), giving the example that the Sun is distinct for its brightness. However, this definition of an account fails as by getting to know the differentness of an object, you have to acquire knowledge about it. Thus the answer to the initial question 'What is knowledge' would be heavily circuitous - correct judgement accompanied by 'knowledge' of the differentness, which Socrates admits is 'silly' (210a).

     Conclusion

    Socrates concludes the dialogue by announcing that all the two have produced is mere "wind-eggs" and that he must be getting on now to the courthouse to face his trial being brought against him by Meletus.

     Significant references in the dialogue

    In this dialogue, Socrates refers to Epicharmus of Kos as "the prince of Comedy" and Homer as "the prince of Tragedy", and both as "great masters of either kind of poetry".[note 1] This is significant because it is one of the very few extant references in greater antiquity (Fourth century BC) to Epicharmus and his work. Another reference is in Plato's Gorgias dialogue.

     Footnotes

    1. ^ "Summon the great masters of either kind of poetry- Epicharmus, the prince of Comedy, and Homer of Tragedy", Theaetetus, by Plato, section §152e.[1] (translation by Benjamin Jowett[2]). There is some variability in translation of the passage. Words like "king", "chief", "leader", "master" are used in the place of "prince" in different translations. The basic Greek word in Plato is "akroi" from "akros" meaning topmost or high up. In this context it means "of a degree highest of its kind" or "consummate" (cf. Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon).[3]

     References

     Selected secondary literature