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Ch. 1: The Feeling of Knowing 
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Post Ch. 1: The Feeling of Knowing
Ch. 1: The Feeling of Knowing

Please use this thread for discussing Ch. 1: The Feeling of Knowing. :tomato:



Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:44 pm
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I always have been amazed with the idea that you can percieve an object but not know the true nature of it. I have been amused with people who look at the hands of a clock but cannot tell the time, or cannot grasp the meaning of symbols, I try to imagine what that must be like but I cannot.

I can't relate to the feeling, that disconnection with reality. Crazy. It seems too untrue to be imagined, a deep feeling that something that I know is reality to some is what it is not.

There is working being done that can help people with these kind of disorders involving principals of the palstic brain. (See urls.)

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=brain-plasticity-juvenile-adult

http://www.tvo.org/TVOsites/WebObjects/ ... 4683200000 - NOTE link is now functional


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So far this book is exciting, like other neuroloscientific books I have read it touchs on such personal things in my brain and make the obvious so identifiable, can't wait to keep reading!



Last edited by Grim on Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:40 pm
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The book seems promising from the initial chapter, though I'll need to see what he does with the ideas he's bringing up.

I already agree with his basic premise: that people's fundamental beliefs often lack a solid rationale foundation, on multiple grounds. My relativistic tendencies were inspired initially from the fact that different people often possess deeply held, but contradictory beliefs, casting doubts on the feelings of certainty on all sides. A person's mental model can help them succeed at life, but that doesn't mean it's accurate.

I'm curious to read how Burton's neurobiological arguments match my reasons, which are based more on philosophical, psychological, and evolutionary biology perspectives.



Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:25 pm
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Yes, and he continues to expand this feeling of knowing as an emotion response to a stimulant dependant brain.

I agree that we are dependant on stimulation but I do not agree that feeling of knowing is an emotion. I think that it brings about an emotional response which then alters the rational, but should the feeling of knowing truly be in the same category as fear, or happiness??
:doze:

Somewhat off topic but an interesting read anyway:
http://www.askphilosophers.org/question/1517



Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:30 pm
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In the phrase "feeling of knowing", Burton is probably using "feeling" in the broader sense of a sensation or inkling, as opposed to a specific emotion.

Similarly, someone can say that they're feeling like something bad is going to happen, or feeling that someone is being dishonest. At least that's how I interpreted the phrase when reading the chapter.



Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:29 pm
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Yes I agree



Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:03 am
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The reviews of this book at Amazon seem to indicate that Burton extrapolates from belief to knowledge in an invalid way. It got me thinking about Plato's divided line in the Republic, where he distinguishes between opinion and knowledge in perception and intelligence. Burton seems to be talking about claims that opinions are true. In evolutionary terms, such certainty is linked to confidence. For example William Tell was certain he could shoot an arrow through the apple on his son's head, and this confidence was necessary for him to have the nerves to do it, rather like Luke Skywalker zapping the Death Star in Star Wars. But if either of them had missed, their feeling of certainty would have been shown as nothing but a wish. Saying after the event that it was destined is entirely fallacious. There are also people who claim to be certain about moral values as a matter of faith, but again these opinions are falsely making a category mistake by confusing belief and knowledge as an exercise in social power. By contrast, I can claim I am certain that evolution proceeds by descent with modification and that humans share almost 99% of our genes with other primates. These facts have high degree of testability which justifies the description of them as knowledge rather than belief. Similarly, my certainty that planets orbit the sun in ellipses is of an entirely different category to the false claim of a creationist to be certain that the universe sprang into being 6000 years ago. We ought to have the confidence to distinguish truth from falsehood, and to be able to see the grey area of belief or uncertainty where we do not know. Some of the reviews suggest Burton doesn't know the difference between belief and knowledge because he wrongly uses his neurological observations about the physiology of certainty to cast doubt on knowledge of scientific facts.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:01 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
It got me thinking about Plato's divided line in the Republic, where he distinguishes between opinion and knowledge in perception and intelligence.


Unfortunately:

"The factual accuracy of this article is disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (November 2007)
This article does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (November 2007)"

In the talk pages people absolutely burn this philosophy to the ground.

I don't see what any of this has to do with the feeling of knowing. Is the feeling of certainty in neurological/physiological terms really the same as a philosophical knowledge giving a philosophical certainty?

Thank you for letting us all know that experience influences behavior, in 300+ words.



Last edited by Grim on Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:13 pm, edited 10 times in total.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:49 am
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Grim wrote:
Unfortunately: "The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (November 2007) This article does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (November 2007)"
In the talk pages people absolutly burn this philosophy to the ground.


In fact, the article cites its source as The Republic by Plato. Have you heard of it?? So, you say that because some wikijoker disagrees with Plato that the central ideas at the foundation of Western philosophy deseerve to be burnt to the ground? This would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. People also might say that Alfred North Whitehead "may be challenged and removed" for his comment that all philosophy is footnotes to Plato.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:24 pm
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Wikijokers are often no different from wikiauthors. :!:

The article has little to do with what you go on to opine.

And as far a referencing goes there is nothing less reputable than a Wikipedia page. I enjoy the ease of access myself but imagine handing a paper to your professor with nothing but Wikipedia article as citation, you would fail.

I don't really understand how your discourse connects to the idea of a philosophical separation of thought and reality in any meaningful way.

I feel that this book is really talking about the feeling of knowing, not the inputs for thought in any philosophical sense.

I'm sorry I posted a link to a philosophy site, the only thin connection was the aspect of emotion mentioned.

I'm sorry I so publicly brought to your attention something that is in your opinion is so trivial as a posted legitimacy banner discussion of the accuracy and referencing of the article.



Last edited by Grim on Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:16 pm, edited 8 times in total.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:51 pm
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Grim wrote:
Wikijokers are often no different from wikiauthors. :!:


Sadly your last two posts have been 100% content free. If you want to make groundless ad hominem attacks I suggest you try a softer target than Plato.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:57 pm
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:offtopic: Your groundless! And not really dealing with the issues, instead of suggesting that I am disputing Plato why don't you stick with the topic and respond to the issues raised not the fact that I raised them. :RTFM:



Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:16 pm
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Hi Grim. You have made a number of very weird comments here, and I hope you can lift your game if this discussion is to go anywhere. I offered comments about Burton's book, to which you did not make any substantive response, but you did offer the useless ad hominem distraction that wikipedia had comments which suggested Plato's Republic is not a valid source. I am not going to respond further, but hope others can read this thread and make their own judgment. Robert



Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:00 am
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edited 22/9

Thank you Grim for your insightful private message. I think you may have edited some of your messages to add points after I had posted in reply, as I have gone back through the thread and found additional comments. What I was getting at, and on which I would welcome dialogue, is that Burton seems to be arguing that deficiencies within the feeling of certainty produce an epistemological relativism, whereby he implies that the sense of certainty about subjective states is equivalent to objective knowledge. I have not read the book and am just responding to reviews, so would welcome explanation if this is incorrect.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:11 pm
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I think the author has got hold of a difficult and slippery concept. I will be interested to see if he manages to avoid some pitfalls. At this point, I'm wondering most about the elasticity of his "feeling of knowing." It is not narrowly defined, which affords him scope for discussion but is always a problem if scientific credibility is the goal. The feeling of knowing applies both to simple mental calculations such as 2 + 2 and to complex personal belief systems. It is in play when a close friend dies and we still feel his presence despite our knowing he's gone. The feeling of knowing is knowing that we know, which sounds similar to a common definition of consciousness, too. So how will Burton differentiate his special sense of knowing from general consciousness?

He presents us a ridddle to illustrate knowing. It's true, sometimes we don't get something, like a riddle or paragraph written by a student, and have to puzzle it out (if we can). The meaning may dawn on us, and--bingo--we notice the change from cluenessness to knowing. Burton says that normally we don't notice our knowing; it is just with us like a thought (p. 4) and noticed only if it seems to disappear suddenly. Consciousness helps us to understand that we've lost this feeling of knowing. Maybe that explains how consciousness works in relation to the sense of knowing, as a process operating above it.
DWill



Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:15 am
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