Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Epistemology (e·pis·te·mol·o·gy)

n. The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.


okay. so the first version of this post got eaten by my computer. then i was crabby. but now i am better.

the long and the short of it was that i have another question for you all. it is another example of the remarkable way one's growth and self-challenge are directly sparked by the questions and vantage points of those who are 'other'. i found it an excellent question and it took me several days before i felt i had even a tinge of an answer. when you review the source's source site and scroll down to the bottom, you will find you can click through to different contributors input. i have barely scraped the surface. but enough chitter already.

today's question is:

"Great minds can sometimes guess the truth before they have either the evidence or arguments for it (Diderot called it having the "esprit de divination"). What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

i believe:
-most things sound better in French.
-there are concepts and people worth dying for.
-the world is full of miracles but, like shooting stars, most of the real ones go by when no one is watching.

i believe that most things and people have something to teach as long as one is patient and thoughtful enough to set aside their own constructs and truly listen. that, in the end, is why i joined this discussion group.

finally, i support the instinctive recognition of 'quality.' (thanks -- for an intriguing exposition.)
i was reminded by the 'quality' posts of an interview with Watson and Crick re the discovery of the structure of DNA. when they originally 'acquired' some of Rosalind Franklin's data, they reversed a ratio (i believe regarding hydrogen atoms) from 1:4 to 4:1. in the interview, they stated that they 'knew' it was wrong. when asked why, the answer was that it was not elegant enough. similar phrases or statements are commonly evinced by mathematicians proving theorums or doctors investigating natural processes (healing, growth, apoptosis). 'rightness' is repeatedly identified first by its elegance and beauty and only later proven by experimentation.

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