Epistemology isn’t a very good Wing Man (Discussion Post – William Cassidy)
One thing I was a little bit disappointed about this discussion was that there was a lack of time to discuss our own topics; yes, there was an interesting diversity in the topics that we discussed, and the encouragement of talking to new people is always appreciated, but I felt like the discussions didn’t help me advance my meditations of my topic very much.
There was one question that I was eager to discuss with people: if ideas only come into existence when we think of them, would the idea cease to exist entirely? What would happen to it?
So in our little speed dating thing, I talked with a number of people, about numerous topics
I talked to Alejandro about his overall idea, about how knowledge is spread through little ripple effects. Someone creates an idea, and shares it with 5 people. These 5 people tell 5 other people, then 25 people know. 25 people tell 5 people, 125 know, etc. etc. and soon the idea is common knowledge. He also discussed how opening your mind is the first step to knowledge, as well as ignorance. I didn’t quite understand this part, but he seemed like he knew what he was talking about, so I’ll give him that 😛
Adam and I talked with a somewhat more relevant topic; we talked about the origin of knowledge, and how wisdom comes from understanding comes from knowledge comes from information; and he brought up an interesting point: can any idea come from our minds without some sort of precedent? Everything we think of has been filtered through our own human bias; so in the same way that I touched on in the Metaphysics unit, nothing can be original in the same way that nothing can be objective. It also directly tied into my reading, but didn’t serve to answer anything. The originality of the idea doesn’t influence the location where it comes from, whether it’s the cesspool or self generated.
To touch on the “wisdom comes from understanding comes from knowledge comes from information” thing, to be quite frank, it’s true. Information is everywhere in the world outside of your mind; it’s the observers job to make that information into knowledge. Now, depending on the quality of the information, your knowledge will lead to greater degrees of understanding the topic, and the same applies for wisdom.
All in all, it wasn’t /too/ productive, but I made of it what I could. I got the great idea from Adam, and discussed with others about the origins of knowledge and heard some great ideas, and opened my eyes more than I think a topic specific discussion would have done.
Also, because the topics were so diverse, it was easier to stay on track