Benjamin Udell wrote:
The most that I can say about responding so lengthily to Bruno's lengthy
response to my lengthy comment, is that I've kept it in one post!
[Ben]>> Bruno, list,
>> I've looked over Bruno's recent replies and, though I don't understand
much about Bruno's work or modal logic, etc., I wish to attempt a few
>> If Bruno is, as he puts it, "[searching for] a general name for a field
which studies fundamental type of faith, hope, fear, bets, etc.," then
there are set of Ancient Greek words like _pistis_ (faith, belief,
confidence), _pistos_ (confident, faithful), _pisteuticos_ (deserving of
faith or belief), etc. So he could call it Pistics (sounds awful in
English, though, because of that to which it sound similar) or Pisteutics,
etc. Or maybe there's some form of this word with a prefix which would make
it sound less like, well, um, "piss" plus a suffix, and, having considered
it, I do think that that's an issue. Ancient Greek is too unfamiliar to me,
otherwise I'd try to come up with such a word myself, keeping in mind the
[Bruno:]> Well thanks. Pistology perhaps? I must say I like to use already
existing terms, but I am still trying to understand why people seems so
negative for the term "theology" ... I do think, perhaps unmodestly, that
my approach belongs to the Classical Platonic Theology from Pythagoras to
Proclus. (Of course Pythagoras comes before Plato but can be considered as
its one of its main important precursor.)
Pistology or some longer word. Actually I'm surprised that a word like this
doesn't already exist. Searching on the 'Net, I find that the World
Congress of Faiths has coined a word "fideology." (I'm not religious and
I've never heard of them.) http://www.worldfaiths.org/fideology2004.htm .
I'll bet they entertained the coinage "pistology" and rejected it in favor
of "fideology" even though "fideology" is a Latin-Greek combo. Evidence
that "pistology" might be better off with some euphonious prefix.
Is "pistis" related to "episteme", the greek word for knowledge which is the
root of "Epistemology"? Epistemology is the philosophical study of beliefs
and whether they are justified--see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology . Would "machine epistemology"
work for Bruno?
I found a page which seems to say the difference between "pistis" and
"episteme" has something to do with practical vs. theoretical knowledge:
"Ethics and politics are fields of practical philosophy. A person who
possesses knowledge in these fields is not someone who can construct proofs,
but rather someone who deliberates well about particular cases -- i.e.,
someone whose deliberation leads to happy results. What can philosophy
contribute to a development of the capacity to deliberate well?
"While philosophy is master in the cognitive realm of pure theory,
philosophy has a lesser contribution to make in the fields of ethics and
politics. In these fields, experience and skills in deliberation are
paramount. Philosophy can provide a vocabulary and a moral grammar that can
make deliberation more effective. But knowledge in these fields is
ultimately of the particular case and, of the particular case, there can be
no certain, final, or complete knowledge.
"The field of practical knowledge is a field in which pistis or
true belief, as opposed to episteme, constitutes the maximum goal. At the
conclusion of deliberation, i.e., at the moment of ethical and political
decision, it is impossible to know with certainty whether the particular
case has been judged rightly. Only time can tell that and never with
finality. The final state reached in deliberation is thus a state of being
persuaded. Ethical and political deliberation thus calls into play the
cognitive categories proper to rhetoric.
"Thus, Aristotelian political philosophy, in identifying itself strictly as
a form of practical reflection as opposed to theoretical cognition, i.e., as
belonging to the cognitive domain of pistis as opposed to episteme, viewed
itself more or less self-consciously as a component of what I would call
Greek republican civic culture."
This page says something similar, that the distinction is about convincing
others using rhetoric vs. justifying them in some absolute theoretical
"Thus, in 1985, although he himself didnt describe it in these terms (and,
for that matter, no doubt still wouldnt), Rawls, in effect, reinterpreted
his philosophical project as a project belonging to the cognitive realm of
rhetoric. Traditionally, rhetorical reason defined its cognitive realm as
the realm of pistis or belief, as opposed to the cognitive realm claimed by
philosophy, the realm of episteme or science. Belief, or pistis, is the
state of being persuaded. To the extent that any discourse aims at producing
belief, i.e., the uncoerced adherence of its intended audience, to that
extent it belongs to the cognitive domain of rhetoric. This is the way it
seems that Rawls, since 1985, has conceived of his inquiry into the
principles of justice. His aim is no longer (if it ever was) to arrive at a
timelessly true statement of the universal principles of social justice, but
rather to offer a statement of the principles of justice that might win the
uncoerced adherence of the reasonable citizens of a modern constitutional
democracy. The principles of justice produced by Rawlss inquiry are to be
judged cognitively not by the standard traditionally identified with
philosophy, i.e., the standard of timeless truth, but rather by the standard
traditionally identified with rhetoric, i.e., the standard consisting in the
successful establishment of a body of uncoerced shared belief."