[asa] On knowing

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Fri Apr 24 2009 - 13:52:28 EDT

I have written the following in order to summarize what I have been writing for some time. This is not complete but pretty much so. As you can see, I have not used too much philosophical jargons.

1) We begin with the real thing.

2) Study a particular aspect of the real thing.

3) Such a particular study implies a particular metaphysics.

4) Note that the data required in the study of different aspects of Nature determines what constitutes evidence to show the truth or falsity of a particular proposition in that kind of knowledge.
Aspects of real thing = physical/nonphysical/supernatural.
Physical aspect = subject matter of physics. The latter is based on data that can be collected, in principle, with the aid of purely physical devices.
Nonphysical aspect = all sorts of data based on sensations, perceptions, and memories. In addition, mental constructs, including mathematics, logics, etc. Notice that writing, for instance, although physical conveys knowledge, which is definitely nonphysical. Perhaps information is physical, but knowledge is certainly nonphysical.
Supernatural = revealed truth (theology), historical events understood as supernatural, etc.
The study of the physical aspect of Nature implies a metaphysics that can be called physicalism, materialism, etc. Notice that different kinds of knowledge imply different metaphysics. Reductionism is to eliminate kinds of knowledge by choosing, arbitrarily, a particular metaphysics as being THE METAPHYSICS. For instance, choosing the metaphysics implied by physics as the metaphysics that governs to whole of reality and thus all other kinds of knowledge.


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Received on Fri Apr 24 13:53:28 2009

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