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[ba-unrev-talk] Re: Distinction between `practical certitude' and `certainty' was:RE: Facts - an attempted definition WAS: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Not In Our Name

Eric, hello.  I have chopped up and chewed on your response below.  It
looks to me like you have put some "time in grade" in these matters.    (01)

Gerald Pierce, Q. E. D. Services.    (02)

ADM Staff wrote:
> Hi there,
> I like what Gary says below, and think the discussion about the status 
> of `facts' can be further clarified by introduction of the distinction 
> between `practical certitude' and `certainty'.      (03)

Yes.  Notice that when we talk about facts we tend to forget that our words
are yet another set of facts having a structure of meaning that is close
enough to parallel for others to read/hear and derive similar meaning in
spite of their internal interpretations.  It's a wonder that language
and thinking work at all?    (04)

> When I leave the house 
> in the morning to have breakfast at my favorite restaurant, I do not 
> ordinarily launch an inquiry as to whether it's still there; I have 
> `practical certitude' that it is.  However, if I discover upon arrival 
> that there is a gaping hole where the restaurant was previously located 
> (maybe building demolition), or some smoking ruins (maybe overnight 
> fire), I do then launch inquiry into what's going on.    (05)

This is an easy one to solve.  It gets very much harder when the facts as
recalled are in dispute with the interpretation of the facts.  Often there
is a confusion of these two levels of abstraction resulting in suffering.
Someone with this kind of malfunction could "miss breakfast" for years in
the above scene. Ah, the injustice of it all!    (06)

> In sum, human beings typically operate - and necessarily so given 
> limited cognitive and physical capabilities -- with a set of settled 
> habits and settled beliefs.  However, sanity lies in ability to reopen 
> *any* habit or belief, to `unsettle' them, for further inquiry and 
> reconfiguration when circumstances, or desire for creative advance or 
> invention, so require.    (07)

Sounds very much like Count Alfred Korzybski's operative defination of
sanity.  ("Science and Sanity" 1933)
> More on these matters can be gleaned from my book:  "The Mind of the 
> Steward: Inquiry-based Philosophy for the 21st. century.'  at:
> http://worldstewards.com/id62.htm
HEY! Lose the extra Chapter 26!
> My personal definition of `knowledge' is that it is `a disposition to 
> belive that if I interact with a particular part of the world in a 
> particular way, I will elicit a particular kind of experience'.  This 
> makes knowledge inherently non-absolute and open to inquiry.
> Hope the above is somewhat clear and helpful. 
> Cordially, Eric Sommer    (08)