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Skeptiko forums moved

The official forums of the Skeptiko podcast have moved to
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Skeptiko Haven Rules

Welcome to Skeptiko Haven.

The simple rules here:
  1. We don’t discuss general materialist explanations for ‘psi’ and related phenomena. Anyone wanting to suggest materialism as the explanation for paranormal or spiritual phenomena is directed to the Skeptiko Forum.
  2. In particular, anyone suggesting or implying that it is ridiculous, inherently stupid, etc., to talk about non-materialist experiences and paradigms, especially in what the moderator considers to be a rude, abrupt or threatening fashion, will be instantly suspended. First suspension: 3 weeks; second: 3 months; third: indefinite. (Unfortunately, experience of the older forum makes this rule seem advisable.)
  3. It is ok to mention materialist explanations for specific cases. Example: “I think this medium might be a cold reader” is fine, but “I think all psi is fake” is not. (Detailed materialist ‘debunking’ is still better placed in the Skeptiko Forum.)

Both forums will continue side-by-side, and everyone is encouraged to move between them as desired.

Finally, an additional guideline:
This forum is a place where the proponent side of debates discussion is respected, and where more listening and (frankly) politeness is possible than on the other forum. Of course, it’s not easy to ban sarcasm! But it is suggested that contributors listen to one another calmly, and speak to each other with respect.
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Knowledge Vs. Experience

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post
    I don't - however, that is usually what is meant by these kinds of quotes.
    There are two possibilities that Einstein could be referring to:

    1. There is no knowledge except for what is verifiable through scientific experiments. (Standard radical empiricist or logical positivist view)

    2. The knowledge he refers to is a softer kind of knowledge - namely the view that we have no innate knowledge. All of our knowledge is based in our experiencing the real world. Knowledge in this sense does not mean any kind of scientistic (as in verifiable and experimentally controlled) knowledge - he means knowledge in a more direct sense. In the way we might say that we have knowledge of trees through just experiencing them.

    If he means the first then it is obviously false.
    If he means number two then it is possible that he is right - but he's overconfident.

    I suspect that he means the first though - but that is based on what I know of Einsteins philosophical empiricism - and I might be wrong.
    I think Einstein meant the second, in the same way that Hume did: that nothing about the world can be known a priori, with reason alone. All knowledge of objects "out there" comes to us via our impressions, and what we believe to be causal links we perceive ultimately only as the strict correlation of such impressions.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post
      In order to facilitate a learning curve within these problems one should read David Hume and Immanuel Kant.
      Keeping in mind, of course, that there is a learning curve to both Hume and Kant—and Kant famously so.