Dailies 03.20.10

I did two Pomodoros on Grayling, the new philosophy book. It starts out with a chapter in epistemology, titled Knowledge, by Scott Sturgeon. With two Ps, I got about three pages in.

He’s discussing propositional knowledge, starting from ‘John knows that London is south of Manchester’ as an example, proceeding to ‘there are three bowls on the table’ as a true proposition, and then into ‘(K) S knows P iff (if and only if) S and P have features F1, F2 …’, moving then into the idea of necessary conditions and sufficient conditions and how to proceed to determine if the statement truly determines what the relationship is between a person and a true proposition. Did I mention that the statement has a left-to-right direction and a right-to-left direction, both of which have to be considered in the analysis?

Eventually, in about twenty or so pages, I will arrive at his conclusions, the first of which states: “Propositional knowledge is a complex relation between a person and a true proposition. To have knowledge a person must be fallibly justified in believing a true proposition, and it should be no accident that what the person believes is true.” A couple of other conclusions follow that one.

And I’m doing this voluntarily? Oh my. But it’s definitely an interesting challenge. Better than crossword puzzles for keeping the brain alive and kicking, if I don’t have stroke from overheating my neuronal interfaces.

Herewith two very preliminary mind maps.

PropKnowledge0001

 

PropKnowledge0004

Yeah, don’t hurt yourself trying to figure them out. Some rum might help.

About the Pomodoros – I’m finding the technique useful in a very basic way, in that it sets a limit on the work. Knowing that I can study for 25 minutes, and then get a break, or change to something else, makes it easier to stick with the task. Deciding to put in two Pomodoros, or three, or whatever I think a task might take, somehow makes everything easier and more acceptable to my ancient brain. And I think the material sticks better to my neurons too.

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Filed under Dailies, Grayling, Philosophy

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