Thursday, March 29, 2012


Hallo!  It's been a while, mostly because I've been desperately swamped in writing papers for the last three months.

Here's some stuff for one of them, my final paper in my Philosophy 150 class.  We're supposed to write about a topic that falls somewhere in the vast realm of epistemology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge.  A philosopher exploring the field of epistemology might ask questions such as: "How do we know what we know?" "What is the origin of knowledge?" "Is it more important to know than to love?" and, "What about Naomi?"

The question I'm asking (as prompted by a "discussion" with a friend a while back) is, "Does subjective knowledge have value?"

Many people, my physics-major-friend among them, would contend that it doesn't on the basis that subjective knowledge cannot have a solid "right" and "wrong," and therefore there can be no solid foundation of basic understanding upon which to build.  No building of knowledge means no advancement, so subjective knowledge kind of doesn't go anywhere.  By the same token, it's relatively easy for anyone with any level of training to jump into a subjective field and make it look good, whereas it takes years of studying the right subjects in the right order to get anywhere in an objective field.  Thus, the compared realms of subjective and objective knowledge tend to look like this.

However, in my paper I'll be maintaining that subjective knowledge does have value, though obviously not for the same reasons that objective knowledge does.  Here, with little explanation, are a couple of fuzzy images that came to mind as I worked out my reasons.

We begin with Plato's conception of knowledge.
Knowledge is the intersection between truth and beliefs (see Plato's Republic).
But what if there are different kinds of truths, so that not all truths can be accessed by one kind of knowledge?
If there are different kinds of truths, there must be different kinds of knowledge.  To discount one kind of knowledge would be discounting an entire area of truth (e.g. "Subjective knowledge is not valid, therefore the truth that subjective knowledge covers are not valid").

Here's another way to look at it.
Objective knowledge can be conceived as vertical line because it builds on top of itself, with the knowledge of one person forming the base for the knowledge of the next.

Subjective knowledge can be conceived as a horizontal line because must start anew with each individual.

Each by itself only exists in one dimension of the truth/world.  Only when the two lines are put in conjunction to enter the realm of the second dimension can the world begin to make sense and take on meaningful shape for us.

Friday, March 2, 2012


And this is a lot of what made it so.

Here is a special comic created for me by my doge, re-posted here with permission.

If this Emil/Baba thing confuses anyone, I...don't know that I have much of an explanation for you.  These two characters just hijacked a texting conversation my doge and I were having one day, and then... well, yes.

The first known image of Baba and Emil.

Thanks for the birthday thoughts, my doge!