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On Knowledge

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Posted by Michael Levine on July 17, 2003 14:47:15 UTC

I think we're dealing with different things here. What I mean by knowledge is a very specific thing and it has nothing to do with reality.

Do you know the result of 12,730,764 + 69,488,577? What about the result of 1 + 1? You don't have to think to answer the latter, but you have to do a lot of thinking to answer the former. So you know one answer but do not, yet, know the other answer. That's all I meant by "knowledge".

Jason asked if it's possible to know whether 2+2=4 when no one is around to perform the computation. I just tried to show the question is a non-sequitur, as the problem is not whether 2+2 remains 4 when no one is thinking about it, the problem is that if no one is thinking about it, then no one knows. By definition.

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