Meta Thinking (3) Epistemology

The dictionary at hand defines “epistemology” this way:

the theory of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

It is such a shame that this discipline is not officially  included at all in the standard public education.  I would want at least a several week long mini-course as a requirement for a publicly funded education.  Such coverage might still not help people discern which sources should be given more credibility, but it couldn’t possibly hurt in that regard.

Philosophers might reject my claim but I consider epistemology to be an import aspect of science.  How can you be sure that you have the power (the empowerment of science) unless you know how you know. You must either repeat every experiment so that you know that when you need it you will have the power to; or you need to be sufficiently assured that your sources are reliable.

All the scientists and engineers that I know do approximately the same thing: they cross correlate every bit of every model with every other bit of every model. This cross checking is usually done subconsciously except that the conflicts quickly bubble to the surface to be more carefully examined, and resolved. Some conflicts do not get resolved, and some of those become the basis of new research.

After decades of cross checking data and models in the hard sciences, many of us carry over the practice to all of our lives. I even question why anybody would fail to do this kind of checking, and why people continue to pay attention to sources that have repeatedly shown themselves to be faulty, especially news outlets like Fox News.

Author: protin

A futurologist (madman) using systems analysis techniques to try to be prepared.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *