Epistemology

There are no justified beliefs, i.e., you can never be sure that something is true.
Beliefs can only be justified in relation to other beliefs.

Therefore, all objective knowledge comes about by persuasion that explanations for observations are not wrong. Since no belief can be justified or sure, all objective knowledge is (and should be) open to criticism. Objective knowledge is built by observation, thought, and explanation, and is improved upon by criticism. All knowledge originates from the same source as dreams. 

Conjecture and guesswork are the origin of knowledge but also a source of error. Only by criticizing our guesses and failing to find faults or flaws in them can we provisionally accept them to be true. 

Although all of our perception (subjective experience) comes from our mind, the guesswork in what we perceive is tested against input from our senses–again, our acceptance of external reality is and only ever can be provisional–but from the combination of our conjectures about the external world and the input from our senses we can develop a ‘waking dream’ that corresponds to reality. We gain control of this dream by controlling the corresponding aspects of external reality.

There is an objective world–but our only contact with it is through our perception which can be flawed. [Is it possible for our perception to ever not be flawed? Surely it is not possible for us to be certain that it is so.] The reality that we inhabit is a perpendicular reality of subjective experience–woven together by our minds based on conjectures of what is real. The only point of contact between our subjective world and the objective world is what we experience as the present moment.

Note: all thoughts and arguments here are paraphrased from David Deutsch’s Beginning of Infinity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: