forum 3: week of 23 Jan - Lewis II

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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Isn't Lewis really cautioning against overthinking,at least in the context and course of everyday life? He talks about compartmentalizing,not confusing the world of epistemology with the world of the "bushwalk" as a way to avoid the multiplier effect of ever proliferating alternative possibilities which create a field so rich in what-ifs that a state of paralysis,the"destruction of knowledge" as he calls it, is achieved. As he points out, in the bushwalk reference,we actually know quite a lot. His enjoinder to "do some epistemology" it seems, is really a call to second guess error "temporarily,"and in its proper compartment, meaning a sort of presuppositional vaccination against the threat of annihilation implied by skepticism.

06:53, 26 January 2012

I love that last sentence. I am not sure how much work I think compartmentalizing can do in the cases I am thinking of. In the bushwalk example I feel as though the epistemologists are being tounge-in-cheek, I think that in some way they don't actually believe that they know nothing. The cases I was thinking of involve people who completely hold a belief and have no reservations about it.

So I was picturing people who, for example, truly believe with all their being that starwars is an accurate depiction of events that actualy occurd in THIS world. Now, if I am having a conversation wih these people (maybe three who all share the belief) I can attend the possibility and compartmentalize that conversation from the rest of the things I think I know or think are possible. However, what if I didn't have any preexisting beliefs about the fictional nature of starwars? I would then not have any reason to compartmentalize off the possibility that starwars is real. This may be more a complaint about how context, lack of experience AND the rule of actuality lead to entertaining ridiculous beliefs.... But I still find the rule off-putting.

02:04, 27 January 2012