Jesse, list, "Epistemology" comes from "episte^me^" which is the Greek word translated as "science" which Aristotle said was about "universals" (by which, if I recall rightly, he meant that which could be true of more than one thing) and was necessary rather than contingent.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=epistemology [Greek epist^m^, knowledge (from epistasthai, epist-, to understand : epi-, epi- + histasthai, middle voice of histanai, to place, determine; see st- in Indo-European Roots) + -logy.] Unfortunately, the Greek dictionaries at Perseus Tufts do not include etymologies. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/resolveform?lang=Greek However, pistis, according to this which I found at http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=4102 , comes from "peitho" or, as one has to spell it at Perseus-Tufts, "peitho^" http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2380328 I don't know, I can't say whether episteme and pistis are related. I didn't know that _pistis_ was the word used for "true belief." Maybe it's in one of the subentries at Perseus-Tufts and I've missed it. I don't mean to cast doubt on the idea. I mean that this may be a technical philosophical meaning. The difference between theoretical and practical reasoning does have something to do with what we've been talking about, but I think that the distinction between deductive and non-deductive kinds of reasoning is more pertinent. The distinctions are akin somehow, yet are not the same distinction. Why would the distinctions be akin if they're not the same? The objects or objectives which the "special" sciences seek are universals in the sense of mathematical relationships, etc., BUT their subject matter is concrete singulars in their kinds, collectivities, etc., singulars among ever more singulars. Thus the (special) sciences have a _subject-matter_ which is like the _object(ive)s_ of the practical (in the everyday sense as opposed to the Kantian). Now, the object(ive) tends to be singular, the custom-tailored, in personal everyday movement, action, decision-making, and in governing arts, even if their subject matters vary in typical scope as much (which seems hard to believe) as those of theoretical research do. This is not the realm of deducing truths about mathematicals. In productive arts & sciences, the usual object(ive) is neither the singular nor the mathematically universal, but that scope "in between" those two extremes -- a kind of non-universal general, emb! odied in productivity's methods as applied-not-just-once but repeatably, reliably, expansively, in that expansion from sample toward totality which marks statistical theory and other ampliatively inductive fields, including (I'd argue) philosophy. (Difference between sample and singular: a singular is not usually an adequate sample of anything.) I resist the temptation to go much further in these questions of scopes and of kinds of inference, a temptation arising from the fact that it would get me into why I'm interested in Tegmark's Four-Level universe picture. Anyway, it seems to me that a pattern of coincidings of typical scope between the subject matters of some things and the objectives of other things are the reason for the kinship yet difference between the theoretical-practical distinction and the deductive-nondeductive distinction. In Kant, the word "practical" is distinguished from the word "pragmatic" in meaning: The Century Dictionary http://www.global-language.com/century/ (one has to download and install a reader) Century Dictionary Supplement, Vol. XII, p. 1050, pps to prairie-hare (DjVu), (DjVu Highlighted), (Java), (JPEG) http://www.leoyan.com/century-dictionary.com/12/index12.djvu?djvuopts&page=p1050.djvu PRAGMATIC, a. 3. A term used (by Kant) to denote rules of action (otherwise denominated 'counsels of prudence') which have to do with the attainment of happiness. As used by him, it is antithetic to the term 'practical,' which refers to principles of action (otherwise called 'categorical imperatives') which have to do with the attainment of virtue. An example of Kantian practical reason is that, in order for it to make sense to do good and not do evil, it must be that the world is, in fact, such as to reward the doing of good and punish the doing of evil, and the only way to find such a "harmony" is to suppose that one is punished or rewarded in an eternal long run. Or something like that. It does seem like there could be an element of Kantian practicality or an element of everyday practicality, or both, which would tend to help motivate the belief in G*, but I tend to think that it could be said even more generally, that ampliative inductive reasoning on the basis of experience in general could suffice for belief in G*, even across variations in motivation. Since this kind of reasoning happens statistical theory, etc., and (I would argue) in philosophy, and is applied in physical, chemical, and biological sciences and in social and human studies (be they called "sciences" or not), I see no reason to confine one's attention to its use for practical ends (be it "practical" in the everyday sense or in the Kantian sense). We can be more general about it. Such reasoning might even suffice for a kind of "recognition" of G*'s truth as long as we don't use the words "recognize" or "know" in too absolute a sense but instead in a sense of "reasonably well corroborated/! confirmed" for whatever theoretical or practical purposes may be involved. Where it becomes an issue, then it ought to be shown very clearly, and the importance not minimized, that G* cannot be proven deductively like G. Best, Ben Udell ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <email@example.com> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 6:07 PM Subject: Re: Paper+Exercises+Naming Issue 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