Quid est veritas?
— Pontius Pilate
Explanations come to an end somewhere.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
I read that Edmund Gettier died recently, famous for the problem of knowledge named after him. He argued that justified true belief may not really be knowledge, and gave counterexamples for it not being so.
Here I show a diagram for those three conditions (Justified, True, Belief) and their opposites (Baseless, False, Doubt). The Wikipedia page on the Gettier problem states simply that the solution for it is that the justification must be true also, as the belief.
I don’t want to be posing as Pilate, but it does seems that truth is the most difficult and elusive of the three criteria, conditioning as it must the other two. In this age of disinformation, you could do worse than read the articles below.
Soon it will be Tanabata (七夕) in Japan on July 7th.
Make a wish!
- Orihime: 織姫
- Hikoboshi: 彦星
- Vega: 織女星
- Altair: 牽牛星
- Deneb: デネブ
- Amanogawa (Milky Way): 天の川 or 銀河?
Altair IV was the planet journeyed to in the movie Forbidden Planet. But that was a different story.
In her book “The Human Condition”, philosopher Hannah Arendt discussed the vita activa, the active life:
In “The Life of the Mind”, she wished to present the vita contemplativa, the contemplative life:
Unfortunately, she died just as started working on Judgment, so that aspect was just outlined with notes.
The differences between the active and the contemplative can also be thought of as the practical versus the theoretical. This pair of triplets is not easy to turn into a troika of duals.Further Reading:
The Life of the Mind: Hannah Arendt on Thinking vs. Knowing and the Crucial Difference Between Truth and Meaning
I have mentioned fourfold classifications of philosophers before, most notably the Philosophical Semantics of philosopher Richard McKeon (which is similar to the Archic Matrix of Walter Watson and David Dilworth). These are actually sixteen-fold classifications, since each of four attributes have four types.
Instead, consider this six-fold classification by Justin E. H. Smith:
- Curiosa – Particularist
- Sage – Systematist
- Gadfly – Social Critic, Commentator
- Ascetic – Disciplinarian
- Mandarin – Academic, Professional
- Courtier – Bureaucrat, Institutionalist
In addition, here is another diagram of this same classification scheme.
Justin E.H. Smith / The Philosopher: A History in Six Types, Princeton University Press, 2016.
Sure, why not? Here is a handy-dandy diagram for the six Infinity Stones appearing together soon in the latest Marvel/Disney extravaganza. Confusingly, the colors changed from the original ones to new ones as they appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Soul: Green, then Orange
- Time: Orange, then Green
- Space: Purple, then Blue
- Mind: Blue, then Yellow
- Reality: Yellow, then Red
- Power: Red, then Purple
So ideally, I maybe should have paired (Soul, Time) in the middle as a 2-cycle, and placed (Space, Mind, Reality, Power) as a 4-cycle around the edge.
Please compare to other fine six-folds in this blog, for example:
What happens when the fourfold of Noether’s Theorem is spliced together with the fourfold of Pauli-Jung? Both have Space-Time and Matter-Energy. The former has Conservation and Symmetry, and the latter has Causality and Synchronicity.
I had to remind myself that Conservation means consistency (of matter or energy) through time (and space), and Symmetry means consistency (of form) through space (and time), so in some sense they are dualistic.
Combined, one has the three axes of dual concepts, represented above.
What happens if one combines the four classical Greek (Western) elements with the five classical Chinese (Eastern) elements? Air is in the former and not the latter. Wood and metal are in the latter and not the former.
I’ve left out the Aether (the Fifth Element) of the West because I follow Empedocles, and I see that the five classical Japanese elements have those four and Void as well. But, I’m just looking at material and tangible elements.
One might consider Wood and Metal to be derivatives of Earth, but let’s consider them to be distinct for this exercise. So, maybe six elements!
Eric A. Meece’s web site philosopherswheel.com has been in existence for a while, and it claims there is a forthcoming book called “The Philosopher’s Wheel”. This seems like an interesting project and it’s a shame that the book is still “in process”.
Meece has certainly been working on these ideas for a few years. Starting with a Master’s thesis in 1979, and a presentation in 2001, he also has a collection of articles available to the reader that are related to his theme.
The philosopher’s wheel is essentially composed of three polarities:
- Materialism vs. Spiritualism
- Rationalism vs. Empiricism
- Essentialism vs. Existentialism
Two polarities are related to Jung’s Psychological Types:
- Rationalism (Thinking)
- Empiricism (Sensing)
- Existentialism (Feeling)
- Essentialism (Intuiting)
I’ve tried to represent these dualities a little differently than Meece. Note in the above diagram that Materialism mediates Rationalism and Empiricism, and Spiritualism mediates Essentialism and Existentialism, similar to the wheel representation.
At right is an attempt at eliminating the “isms”. Perhaps I should have read some more of his writings before making these efforts.
The more I think about it, the more I like to compare this with
Images of the Philosopher’s Wheel: