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Can there be certainty in human knowledge?

Hi all,

After a brief summer hiatus, Socrates Café is back again on the first Tuesday of September.  To kick-off our autumn season of discussions, how about we try and establish to what extent our pursuit of knowledge and certainty is ultimately achievable.

 

Can there be certainty in human knowledge?

We will be meeting in the upstairs section of the Long Stone from 7:15pm with conversation starting at 7:30pm.

For anyone interested in grabbing some food and a drink beforehand, a few of us usually meet downstairs from about 6:45pm.

 

We look forward to seeing you there and then,

Roy & Paul

Socrates Café a space where ideas and dialogue can flourish

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  • Snorkus B.

    As always

    September 7, 2013

  • Dana

    A lot more interesting than I actually expected this subject to be! Thanks guys for organizing

    September 4, 2013

  • Dex

    Interesting evening, happy to meet such diverse individuals.
    In relation to the introduction of matematics to illustrate the topic this might be of interest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luitzen_Egbertus_Jan_Brouwer Brouwer challenged the belief that the rules of the classical logic have an absolute validity.
    Maybe the question was framed too widely for ease of answer but allowed for an interesting exchange.

    September 4, 2013

  • Ray

    Nice lively discussion. I intend to come back next month!

    September 4, 2013

  • deborah b.

    Well another thought provoking evening! The only certainty I have after our discussion is that I'm certain of nothing - maybe that's a certainty in itself - so in search of knowledge I came across the following quote from a famous person who was mentioned during the evening and contributed in no small way to "bridge the gap"(to borrow a phrase) from another discourse - between certainty and knowledge - "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality"

    - Albert Einstein

    I couldn't have said it better myself, and I didn't, of that I'm certain, or am I?? -

    2 · September 4, 2013

  • Eoghan P.

    Our discussion about mathematics reminded me of this:

    An astronomer, a physicist and a mathematician are on a train in Scotland. The astronomer looks out of the window, sees a black sheep standing in a field, and remarks, "How odd. All the sheep in Scotland are black!" "No, no, no!" says the physicist. "Only some Scottish sheep are black." The mathematician rolls his eyes at his companions' muddled thinking and says, "In Scotland, there is at least one sheep, at least one side of which appears to be black from here some of the time."

    2 · September 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I cant go, so if someone wants to take my place

    September 3, 2013

  • Ciaran W.

    One of the certainties in human knowledge is that a "Pretty please :)" tends to win[masked]% of all arguments !

    1 · September 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That only when you use it Ciaran :P

      September 3, 2013

  • Eoin B.

    Still wolloxed from a tooth extraction earlier today :-(. Thought I would be okay. It apparently not...

    September 3, 2013

  • kevin

    One area where we can be certain of objective knowledge is Lonergans cognitional structure basically there are 3 aspects to our knowing level 1 is the level of data what comes to us through our senses. Level 2 is the level of understanding the data and getting insight 'what is it we percieve?' Level 3 is the level of judgement we ask is it true?or is it real? or is it so? Everyone can confirm this for themselves by reflecting consciously on their own experience of knowing something. They will see these 3 levels in operation. And if anyone wants to argue against the cognitional structure they must use the cognitional structure to do so i.e. they must perceive have an insight and make a judgement. Therefore the cognitional structure is universal objective knowledge that is certain whereas the best that science can give us is probably certain.

    September 3, 2013

  • Paul

    Hi all,
    Great to see such interest in tomorrow night's discussion topic in the Long Stone. Our reserved area in the Long Stone has capacity for 42 max. Therefore, could we ask that anyone who has RSVP'd YES but is not planning on coming tomorrow night to update your RSVP at your earliest convenience so that members currently on the waiting list have the opportunity to attend.

    Many thanks
    Paul & Roy

    1 · September 2, 2013

    • anna

      Thanks, Paul and Roy!!

      September 3, 2013

  • Ray

    Us 'waiting list' people are very uncertain! :(

    1 · September 2, 2013

  • anna

    Yes, can we PLEASE squeeze in the waiting list peeps? Pretty please :)

    1 · September 2, 2013

  • liz c.

    Last meet up was great. Waiting list for this one. Can you fit another 10? If not have a great eve and see you next time :)

    1 · September 2, 2013

  • Eoin B.

    I think there can be a lot of certainity in a lot of areas of knowledge if we just allow for things like human genetic variance. I see an awful lot of arguments arise from people thinking that THEIR way of being or thinking is the ONLY way that makes any sense. I am 100% correct on this and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot ;-)

    September 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm curious as to what you mean by "allow for things like human genetic variance" in relation to certainty of knowledge.

      September 2, 2013

    • Eoin B.

      I'm not certain :-P Actually I think a lot of uncertainty comes from a lack of understanding of how our own minds work and seeing differences of perspective as irreconcilable. A thorough grounding in things like Buddhist thought and Western psychology can help greatly in seeing the wood for the trees so to speak.

      September 2, 2013

  • kevin

    look forward to seeing you on tuesday

    September 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, can't make it now

    August 31, 2013

  • Eoghan P.

    I think I can make it!

    August 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't make it this time. Sorry

    August 23, 2013

    • Roy

      OK. Next month then.

      August 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Timing it's not cool for me, sorry guys!

    August 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, can I bring a + 1 to this evening?

    August 21, 2013

    • Roy

      Yes.

      1 · August 22, 2013

  • Graham

    "Can there be certainty in human knowledge?" Even "Cogito, ergo sum", that thought implies the (continuous) existence of oneself, which has been described as philosophical bedrock and the one thing that you can know with certainty despite of the subjectivity of experience, has been questioned in light of experimental results in studies of the nature of consciousness. As far as strict philosophical definitions of knowledge and certainty go, I'm siding with.. "no". The extent to which certainty is achievable, well, that's a good question, but my instinct would be to thing of it in terms of probability.

    1 · August 21, 2013

  • Declan

    On holidays so can't go unfortunately

    August 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm love conversation with a Philosophical flavour

    August 21, 2013

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