Common Sense: A Theory of Inherent Knowledge

This is a philosophical exploration of common sense and a theory of inherent knowledge, such that learning can be understood as universal. ‘What can I come to know ?’. As a starting point I have chosen ‘to look to the teacher of the thinker you admire’ as a place to evolve new perspectives and utilise convenient frameworks to create scaffoldings in my attempt to formulate this thesis of common sense. Admiring the stories written about Socrates, I thought it would be interesting to take the peers and teachers of Socrates as pivot points to generate thinking.
Read more…

Scholarly Politics and Human Foibles

This digest of Andrew Robinson’s work brings into view some vignettes which helpfully illustrate some aspects of scholarly politics and human foibles which are encountered in relation to discovery, knowledge and knowledge claims.  In addition to fanatical perseverance and devotion to detail and wide linguistic and cultural knowledge, the successful archaeological decipher has required a high order of intellectual power of analysis, the courage to follow his or her intuition rather than the conventional wisdom, and the luck to come along at the right moment, which generally was when sufficient examples of the script to be deciphered had become available and accessible.

Read more…

Peer Review

Scientific journals use a process of peer review, in which scientists’ manuscripts are submitted by editors of scientific journals to (usually one to three) fellow (usually anonymous) scientists familiar with the field for evaluation. The referees may or may not recommend publication, publication with suggested modifications, or, sometimes, publication in another journal.

This is an attempt to keep the scientific literature free of unscientific or crackpot work, it helps to cut down on obvious errors, and it generally improves the quality of the scientific literature. Work announced in the popular press before going through this process is generally frowned upon.

Read more…

Error and Scepticism

The Greek word ‘skepsis’, meaning ‘seeking’ and ‘skeptic’ is thus contrasted with dogmatic and in relation to some particular branch of science has reference to doubt as the truth of some assertation or supposed fact. The classic arguments for scepticism are that our senses are unreliable and that experts contradict each other.
Scepticism as a line of thought be be dated to Pyrrhon (365 – 275 BCE) and his school, although earlier roots might be inferred in the Sophists. Pyrrhon’s scepticism was essentially practically minded and aimed to imperturbability of mind. Scepticism was introdued into the Academy by Arcesilaus of Pitane (316 – 242 BCE) and formed the basis of Academic teaching until the headship of Antiochus (78 BCE). Read more…

Objectivity

The state of being objective is to correctly represent reality. The term “reality” however can lack clarity. Science is a methodological attempt to resolve truths from ambiguity.

Empirical evidence based upon observations and experimentation in the physical world is conducive to the verification of scientific judgments. Adherence to the rules of deduction and the process of inductive reasoning implements the validity and soundness of scientific arguments and conclusions. Read more…

Experiments and Predictions

In the development of knowledge experiments and predictions process of discovering and testing predictions is critical. A corroborated hypothesis is one that has passed its tests (i.e. one whose predictions have been verified). Consequently different scientists test the hypothesis. If further corroborated by subsequent tests, it becomes highly corroborated and is considered to become reliable knowledge. The technical name for this part of the scientific method is the “hypothetico-deductive method”. Read more…