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I want ask about our trust to others, how we can thoroughly trust to others? How

I want ask about our trust to others, how we can thoroughly trust to others? How we know that we trust to right people? Why we must trust to others and what impact if we hard to give a trust to others?

The topic of trust is very, very important on all sorts of levels, from everyday exchanges, to contributing to this website, to ordering food at a restaurant, signing a loan to buy a car....In fact, it may be that TRUST of some kind, even if it is the minimal sense of having to trust your own thinking, may play an important role in virtually all our waking hours. I will put to one side whether there is trust in dreams! First consider a few observations about what is trust...

At least in English, the word trust may be used widely; I might trust my computer to work, trust that it will not rain when I have to work with the homeless this afternoon as part of a charity project, and so on, but I suggest that its principle use is in terms of persons. In this sense, when you trust someone or something someone has made, you are doing something more than RELYING on the person to be predictable or EXPECTING a persons work to function as it has in the past. Trusting my students or them trusting me seems to involve a whole array of matters: They trust me to be a professional, to faithfully practice the discipline I am trained in....and I trust them to be honest, to be receptive to new points of view and so on. Trusting friends, children, other drivers on the road, the pilot flying your plane, involves assuming and counting on the friends and so on to act in collaborative, respectful ways. That is why I believe that when a professor is biased, when students cheat on exams, when a friend commits an act of disloyalty... we feel *in a personal way that we have been let down or betrayed. When we trust a person who seems trustworthy but, instead, abuses our trust to steal our property or time or ... it is as though a sacred promise has been broken or, perhaps worse, there was no real promise to begin with and the supposedly trust-worthy person simply pretended to make a promise.

So, to get to your particular interests, if we are living in a society in which there is little trust between persons, I wager that we will be living in a society that is in some ways dysfunctional. It might be difficult to have any stable infrastructure or market place or relationships within families or between persons of any kind. On the other extreme, if we are in a society in which IT SEEMS that everyone is always trust-worthy, we are probably in some kind of ideal integrity paradise or, sadly, knowing human nature, this ultra-trustworthy garden of Eden will probably experience a fall at some point. So, what to do? Most places on earth are somewhere in between, though extremes do exist. Probably there is little trust right now if any between Israel and Hamas. There is probably the opposite of trust: both parties think the other CANNOT BE TRUSTED to keep promises because of their deep hatred for one another. So, if you are not in such extreme conditions, I think that one simply has to resort to what the Ancient Greek thinker, Aristotle, called PRACTICAL WISDOM. I know that recommendation might seem quite abstract and unhelpful, but I recommend that you give Aristotles book on ethics a try. He begins with some reflections on happiness, which may seem odd at first, but keep reading and see how things get interlinked. So, in the spirit of Aristotle, practical wisdom probably will mean *in non-war zones- being careful whom one trusts, but avoiding a rigid skepticism. In most matters, I suspect wisdom means trusting other persons until you have a positive reason to distrust them.

Trust me, for a start. I have tried my best for 40 minutes to give you an honest, non-deceptive reply. I may have failed to satisfy, but I ask you to believe that I did my best so that if I failed, trust was not broken. Trust would chiefly be broken if I was not honest or I was and am trying to mislead you. Those are the last things on my mind.

With the sincere hope I have given you some helpful observations about trust! CT

Is it possible for someone to produce knowledge simply based on reason alone,

Is it possible for someone to produce knowledge simply based on reason alone, without any emotion?

I see no reason, in principle, why not. If knowledge were not possible without emotion, then no emotionless computer could achieve knowledge, which would come as a shock to the proponents of artificial intelligence (AI). Nor do I see anything in the concept of knowledge itself that rules out knowledge based on reason alone without any emotional content or associations. I don't mean to say that emotion can't play an essential role in some kinds of knowledge, only that I can't see how emotion would be essential to every kind of knowledge.

Okay, so I'm currently taking a philosophy of religions course at a community

Okay, so I'm currently taking a philosophy of religions course at a community college. Anyway my teacher had asked where morals come from and I responded with a social-evolutionary type of theory and his response was: Teacher: "Your faith in reason is matched only by the most devote religious believers." Me: Let's examine that word 'faith'. Faith by definition can mean two different things, one definition of faith is confidence. For example, I have faith in my abilities to win at a sport competition or something like that. The second is belief in something without any proof at all, like for example God. It is important that we note where this difference in usage, because depending on context - they mean two different things and using them interchangeably in the same way is equivocation. If one were to say - well you have faith in science, just like I have faith in god - this is an example of equivocation. Teacher: For the record, dictionary definitions are great for learning general senses of a...

A fascinating reflection. You should write it up in the form of a Socratic dialogue.

Perhaps your prof meant that your belief in science amounts to a faith in reason which is basically unsupported by reason or I suppose empirical data. Therefore, it is in the same league as faith in God.

I have heard people hold that it takes faith to believe that the sun is going to come up tomorrow -- therefore religious faith is nothing that peculiar. I myself tend to agree with Kierkegaard that faith as in faith that, say, Jesus is God - that He is coming back - that He has forgiven our sins and gives us life eternal - that all this involves a radical collision with the understanding, that it is more than improbable but instead an offesne to reason, and that it is categorically different from an opinion.

As for the etymolgy issue, I am a dunce, but it is true that the dictionary only provides a glimpse into the way a word tends to be used at a given time. The word in Danish that Kierkegaard uses is "tro" which also means trust --- and that is how I think of faith as a trust - which of course would involve a hope-- but not as an opinion alongside my opinion that the Boston Tea Party was caused by ... Thanks again for the interesting discourse and question.

Where can I find literature within philosophy on the "good judgment" that Miriam

Where can I find literature within philosophy on the "good judgment" that Miriam Solomon (june 5, 2014) describes as essential to philosophy? Is this "good judgment" something like the "tacit knowledge" explored by Michael Polanyi? If so, what is the current philosophical status of his work (as opposed to status within cog-sci)?

There is a vast literature on reasoning and rationality that tries to understand what "good judgment" consists in. It includes Michael Polanyi's work, which is still very much respected among some philosophers, especially those influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein. But the literature starts (in the Western tradition) with Plato and Aristotle's ideas about knowledge and continues through contemporary work on scientific methodology.

I've been reading Polanyi's book on Tacit Knowledge. Can anyone update me as to

I've been reading Polanyi's book on Tacit Knowledge. Can anyone update me as to the current philosophical status or consensus on this concept, or the (I assume) related concept of intuition? Polanyi also argues that the existence of tacit knowledge dissolves the Meno paradox and supports some appeals to authority. Any update on the status of these views? Thanks!

After studying philosophy, I am now so skeptical of everything that I no longer

After studying philosophy, I am now so skeptical of everything that I no longer know what I should believe in. I have no idea whom I should vote for in election or whether I should be voting at all, what religion I ought to believe in if any at all, why I should bother getting married, or even why I should bother getting out of bed in the mornings. Have you found that philosophy leads to more skepticism and knowing nothing rather than clarification?

This is a terrific question/problem, and Stephen's response is a very good one. I merely want to point out that it's possible to have another kind of response to the situation you're confronting. I would characterize the situation as one where you realize that everything is ultimately connected to everything else, every belief has infinite implications that require exploring before they are rationally affirmed, to every position there is an objection, to every objection there is a response, and the whole process never ends ... Now if you believe that in order to know anything, or act in some rational way, the process of inquiry that produces that knowledge or action must be "completed", then you'll be in the bind you describe. But maybe THAT is the belief to be given up (and maybe the bind you describe is itself a key argument for giving up that belief). Instead recognize that deliberation and explanation must always come to a temporary end at some point -- and that you should always believe/act with the best set of principles that are available to you, with the information that is available to you, at the time of believing/acting, w/o pretense that the process is complete. Then, rather than feel frustrated, you might even feel exhilarated by realizing that the process of inquiry never ends: the world is infinitely richer, deeper, more interesting than we can possibly realize. (By way of rough analogy: if you find "life" interesting, beautiful, exhilirating, then when you discover that the number of possible life forms may be infinite, is that a source of frustration or exhilaration? Frustration if you believe that unless the process of cataloging life forms is complete then something is missing; exhilarating if you celebrate the infinite set of possibilities.)

Or from another direction. Suppose you realize that you have no better reason (ultimately) to get out of the bed in the morning than to stay in bed. If so, then that infinite process of deliberation is neutral with respect to whether you get out of bed. So don't bother undertaking it, at least not every morning. Instead do your ordinary, limited deliberation: "well sleeping is lovely, but so is keeping my job. So I better get out of bed." That is pretty darn good reasoning, if you ask me, even if it isn't "ultimate" or "completed" reasoning -- but it's also the only kind of reasoning that matters on a day-to-day basis. (And when you realize how awesome is the infinite set of deliberations that you could ultimately undertake, you might find it quite exhilarating to get out of bed -- because after you get off work today you can get home and do a little philosophy ....)

best,

ap

The philosopher, Rene Descartes, has said that it is possible to doubt all

The philosopher, Rene Descartes, has said that it is possible to doubt all things except the existence of oneself (cogito ergo sum); that it cannot be doubted, despite how hard one endeavors. However, I am often questioning if that proposition is "truly" "indubitable". I desire to know if there have ever been any well-known or ancient philosophers who had not "concurred" with Rene Descartes regarding the cogito ergo sum; or if there are modern philosophers with great reputation, prestige, or respect within the philosophical community, who believe that the cogito ergo sum is "not" indubitable? Otherwise stated, it is "possible" to "doubt" the existence of oneself.

There are plenty of philosophers who have not agreed with Descartes' line of thought here, though they are not "ancient" philosophers, as Descartes did not propound the "proof", if that is what it is, until 1637, in the Discourse on the Method and, in a slightly different form, in 1641 in the Meditations. You can find some interesting material in the "Objections" to the Meditations , for example the Fifth, by Gassendi, or the Fourth, by Arnauld. Hobbes too, in the Second Objection, makes of Descartes' argument a triviality. How (he asks) can I know that I am thinking? 'It can only be from our ability to conceive an act without its subject. We cannot conceive of jumping without a jumper . . .'. Through the centuries Descartes' dictum has come under even more fire from different directions, for example from A.J. Ayer in Chapter 2 of Language, Truth and Logic. Descartes was only entitled to say that 'There is a thought now,' not 'I think', i.e. 'There is an I and it thinks', because this proposition would make his conclusion a tautology; or it does not follow from 'There is a thought now.' Lichtenberg writes in The Waste Books, K18, that 'We should say it thinks, just as we say it lightens. To say cogito is already to say too much as soon as we translate it I think. To assume, to postulate the I is a practical requirement.' I also think you should take care to separate the questions whether Descartes proof is any good from the question whether the existence of the self is certain or can be doubted. So the phrase "otherwise stated" in your last sentence is not right. The two questions are distinct. Similarly, it is not the question whether the "cogito ergo sum" is indubitable, but whether the existence of the self is.

A question like this was posted in Askphilosophers some months ago but was never

A question like this was posted in Askphilosophers some months ago but was never answered, so I'll try it again. What kind of knowledge is chess knowledge? Some of it is deductive (e.g., if I move this piece over there it will be checkmate, given the rules of chess), but it is not possible to assess openings and middlegames deductively, since the number of possible positions until checkmate or draw is way too large for them to be computed. Some knowledge of chess players is empirical or has empirical grounds (e.g., if I play this opening my opponent will be worse, since s/he is not used to play it), but this is not exactly "chess knowledge", it is some application of "psychology" or common sense (there is also chess history, and that's empirical). Chess is mostly a non-physical matter, it is the abstract product of some rules and their possible applications. Anyway, chess players and other chess experts seem to know many chess things about openings and middlegames. If what they know is not empirical nor...

Chess is surely a blend of the deductive and the inductive. The rules and legal moves are linked to each other deductively, but how they are applied has to take account of other factors, like the style of the opponent and the ability to hide strategy, for instance. Some players do not respond well to aggressive moves and others do, so that would come into how one approaches particular games, while other opponents can be confused by certain moves that get them into time trouble, and so those moves would have as their goal precisely that. We need to form a view of our opponents and that is certainly not deductive knowledge, but arises from what we know of them or what we can pick up during the game, and for many people it is this mixture of the deductive and the inductive that makes chess such fun.

I'm completely new to philosophy so please excuse my simplistic question - is it

I'm completely new to philosophy so please excuse my simplistic question - is it really possible to 'know' anything (aside from apriori knowledge if this exists)? I'm not convinced that it is. PR

You've asked a venerable question in epistemology, the area of philosophy that investigates knowledge and related concepts. My short answer would be "Why not?" In ordinary life, we confidently take ourselves to know things. I'm confident that I know I have hands. I'm confident that I know I'm now awake and typing at a keyboard. I'm confident that I know the surname of the current U.S. president. And on and on. What reason do I have to abandon that confidence? Now, over the centuries, various skeptical arguments have been offered that challenge the claim that we know the things we take ourselves to know. Those arguments are well worth investigating. You might start with the SEP entry on skepticism, available here.

Although I can experience feelings of fear, pride, and shame in my dreams, I

Although I can experience feelings of fear, pride, and shame in my dreams, I cannot experience the sensation of sharp pains in my dreams. Right now, I am pinching myself and I am experiencing pain. How does this fail to prove that I am awake?

If I'm genuinely skeptical about whether I can know I'm awake, then I can't properly take as given the data you cite in your question, namely, that I can experience fear, pride, and shame while dreaming but not sharp pain. Trusting those data would presuppose that I can tell when I'm awake and when I'm dreaming. So the proof would be persuasive only if I can already know when I'm awake, in which case why would I need or seek a proof?

By the same token, however, I can't properly appeal to the convincing dreams I've had in order to conclude that I can't know I'm not dreaming right now. For when I claim that I've had convincing dreams -- i.e., non-waking experiences that I mistook for waking experiences -- I also presuppose that I can tell when I'm awake, which runs counter to the skeptical conclusion of the dream argument.

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