Re: MD A metaphysics

Date: Sat Aug 23 2003 - 21:30:00 BST

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    Two comments:

    If I understand you correctly now, I think I misunderstood what you had meant by "first knowledge". If you go into a philosophy department and say something about first knowledge or first philosophy or first anything, they will probably take you as saying something like I did. When talking about metaphysics, the use of the word "first" typically invokes "hierarchy". It would appear from your last post, though, that you mean "first knowledge" in a temporal, baby's-first-word kind of way.

    If that's the case, then we are still using two different definitions of metaphysics and I'm not at all sure why you would say that metaphysics-as-first-knowledge is not belief. If you are not invoking a hierarchy, then as far as I can tell you are talking about beliefs. What is knowledge, after all, then a set of beliefs? Philosophers have agreed on this for ages. What they disagree on is what kind of belief counts as knowledge: Kantian realists say "justified true belief" and pragmatists say simply "justified belief".

    And further, under first-knowledge-as-temporal I'm not sure how to understand your original question of me.

    My second comment is on "I do not think it is beyond the realm of possibility that my first knowledge was of dq and sq." To this I say, "Of course it isn't beyond the realm of possibility." Under Pirsig's vocabulary, your first temporal knowledge was, after a fashion, of dq and sq. That is one of many ways to describe "first knowledge". The only point in saying "I do not think it is beyond the realm of possibility," however, is if you were trying to get something Right, get the Correct way of describing our first knowledge. Pragmatists think this the pointless conversation of traditional metaphysics and so make banal comments like the one I just made.


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