10/17 A brief examination on “know”

In PI §66 Wittgenstein urges us: “don’t think, but look!” He then looks at the activities that we call “games” in some detail.Here’s a similar examination of the word “know” (and cognate words such as “knowledge”)

What does one wants to express when he says “I know something”, in a narrow view, he means he has a knowledge about something.  However, what is the knowledge needs to be examimated.

Consider for example the things we called “knowledge”, we have large group of “knowledge” in our daily use.  For example, science knowledge, theological knowledge, and literature knowledge are all usually mentioned.  If we look for the science knowledge, including mathematics, physics, and chemical, we can see their multifarious relationships, precisely, based on natural laws, and so on.  Now consider the theological knowledge and literature knowledge, many common factors drop out.  Obviously, they are all having differences to each other in some ways, but we give them a same name: knowledge.

Are the knowledge is rational?  Comparing mathematics and literature, we can see literature is more emotional and we cannot explain why the writer uses this word not another.  Are the knowledge precisely? From an unquestionably premise and process of deductive, we can draw a correct conclusion.  Regretful, in order to prove the existence of God, the theological knowledge can show us lots precise and valid argument—but nobody had ever seen God.  Also, the precisely of science knowledge can be seen in classical mechanics built by Newton and it finally drew a blueprint of a determinism world, but the quantum mechanics shows the elementary particle are only can be described as probability and random.  Are the knowledge justified true beliefs as many philosophers say? Indeed, lots of knowledge can pass the test; however, Gettier presented counterexamples to tell us that JTB principle is incomplete.

Now, we can say as Wittgenstein, the result of this examination is: we see a complicated network of similarities overlapping and crisscrossing: sometimes overall similarities, sometimes similarities of detail.


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