Benjamin Udell wrote:


Bruno, list,

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 general remarks. >> 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 next paragraph:

[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:

http://www.civsoc.com/reconphil/reconphil2.html

"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 sense:

http://www.crvp.org/book/Series01/I-26/chapter_two.htm

"Thus, in 1985, although he himself didn’t describe it in these terms (and, for that matter, no doubt still wouldn’t), 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 Rawls’s 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."

Jesse


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