37 Answers

  1. Even in ancient Greece, the philosopher Gorgias formulated a triple argument in favor of the unknowability of the world. Approximately the meaning of his ideas can be conveyed as follows::

    1. First, we have no way to logically prove that the world around us is real (that it exists), and what kind of study of the world are we talking about if we can't even be sure of its reality?

    2. But even if the world is real, since we know that human senses and minds are prone to error, there is no reason to believe that we can know it. In other words, we have no reason to believe that the human mind can adequately grasp, comprehend, and describe the complexity of the world.

    3. And if someone is able to know the world, then, due to imperfect language and communication problems, there is no guarantee that the knowledge will be adequately perceived by others and will become common property. That is, if the world can be known, then this knowledge cannot be taught.

    These three levels of skepticism look quite modern, although in modern philosophy they are often formulated differently. But the problems themselves have not gone away: the question of the reality of the world, the question of the adequacy of the human mind for its cognition, and the question of the imperfection of language can be considered the “three whales” of skepticism.

    However, you can go further and say that the burden of proof is on the person who made the statement, not on the opponent. Remember the famous “Russell Teapot” – an image that is usually applied to the problem of the existence of God? The trick is that exactly the same thing can be applied to the problem of cognizability of the world. Why do skeptics have to prove the unknowability of the world? Isn't it more logical to ask those who believe in the knowability of the world to provide arguments in favor of this?

    Further, everything depends on analyzing the credibility of these possible arguments, but the main thing is that the very idea that the knowability of the world is somehow “obvious”, and the opposite requires proof, is already problematic.

  2. There are many reasons for this denial. Here is one theory: There is no outside world at all. Everything that we feel as the world around us is nothing more than our virtual representations. If this is so, then this inner world is already known by our ideas about it. There are no more opportunities.

    Interestingly, such a theory can neither be proved nor disproved.

  3. Logically: let's say you've experienced the world. But then, being a part of the world, you must know yourself not only as yourself, but also as one who has known the world, and so on ad infinitum. Knowledge of the world should not be confused with scientific knowledge, which isolates and / or constructs an object, which can also be a “world” in some sense (the physical universe, general structure, order, the world of consciousness as containing the external world, etc.).

  4. The answer is so obvious that it does not require a lengthy proof, and heterogeneous argumentation.
    It consists of the following:
    A finite system (man) cannot know the infinite (the Universe itself or the Universe). And here it absolutely does not matter whether the individual is considered, or the whole of humanity (civilization in its historical development).
    If a counterargument is put forward that points to the infinite nature of historical knowledge of the world (in all its large-scale structural manifestations). Then it is also easy to refute it. Man is a finite structure, both in space and in time. Consequently, its existence (and cognition itself) is very limited.

  5. This question does not have such an obvious answer, since philosophy and science view the world from different, sometimes contradictory sides. Let us consider the approach of philosophers to the definition of the concept of “world”. This is the universe in all its totality of forms of matter in terrestrial and cosmic space, that is, everything that exists around us. This is the definition given by the Glossary of Philosophical Terms of the Russian Academy of Sciences. If we consider the world from this materialistic point of view, then the world is knowable. It's only a matter of time. And there is absolutely no discrepancy with science. Because matter has physical parameters, and science has fundamental laws for calculating the quantitative and qualitative properties of matter.
    Therefore, the skepticism of some philosophers in the knowability of the world lies rather in the plane of disbelief in human capabilities. Since philosophy is a representation of the picture of the world, taking into account the existing scientific achievements of our time. Then, as a science, it relies not only on already proven, and therefore reliable knowledge, but also considers many unsolved scientific problems in the form of a hypothesis that exists as a reasonable assumption and does not contradict previously established laws.
    Consequently, science has more opportunities for understanding the world than philosophy. Philosophy is a worldview, a special form of knowledge of the world, which includes questions that are not always explicable from the point of view of science : the question of God, ethics, morality, the development of society, and the place of man in the world. These questions cannot be solved by simple calculations, nor can they be defined in quantitative or qualitative terms.
    Therefore, the skepticism of some philosophers is understandable, since a person cannot give an exhaustive answer to these questions. They remain unsolvable for each generation, but society will always discuss these eternal questions with a greater or lesser degree of approximation to the truth. Because not all philosophers want to see a universal method in their solution. And this really lies in the will, because for this it is necessary to recognize not only that there is a world that exists around us, the so-called natural or natural. But there is also a world that is not material, but is the world of spirits. And then it will be necessary to recognize unconditionally the existence of the lord of both worlds, God. And the next step is the act of recognizing that not everything can be known by man. That there is a world unknowable, but accepted by people.
    And science should not have skeptics among its ministers. Because it studies the material world with the help of those knowledge and tools that are necessary for the benefit of a person in his earthly life in relation to this time and to a specific historical epoch.

  6. Study the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism (TPDM). All these philosophical quirks are easily explained there. I can only remind you of two postulates of the TPDM (in fact, there are more of them, learn to match):
    – truth is relative, absolute truth is achieved only in the process of endless study of the subject;
    – practice is the criterion of truth;

  7. Philosophers who deny the knowability of objective reality are called agnostics, they are sort of liberals from philosophy and not idealists or materialists, they simply avoid an inconvenient question, say that it is impossible to answer it, and this applies not only to objective reality, but to any question where it is necessary to show at least some philosophical credo.

    They stick their heads in the sand like ostriches and say that there is nothing, so there is nothing to know, and it is impossible to know, because everything comes only through subjective sensations. They understand freedom as the freedom to perceive objective reality; they do not accept objective reality as such at all.

    They do not understand the great difference between sensation and perception, perception is always objective, only sensation is subjective. The objectivity of perception is based on the objectivity of speech. Speech is the yardstick that tries on all subjective feelings. Speech is the tool through which we doubt, ask questions, and find answers.

    They deny the need to ask questions, because they can't be answered anyway.

    Unfortunately, modern physicists have slipped into these positions, they seem to describe equations that confirm the results of experiments, but they say that all material particles interact through fields, and they themselves are only perturbations of these fields. Scientists believe that objective reality is a set of quantities distributed in space and time, a sort of ocean of energy-primordial matter.

    In other words, they attribute certain properties to space-time itself, and represent energy as a perturbation of certain characteristics of space-time.

    There seems to be something there, but we can only describe it with some function, and what is actually there, imagine as you want, it does not matter at all, the main thing is that the results of the experiment are consistent with the values that we can calculate.

    We are missing one more field here, so let's add it and everything will fall into place.

    What is pure energy-first matter? How does the interaction of fields produce mass?

    Well, one field slows down another field, so inertia appears, and inertia is mass.

    How can some quantities slow down other quantities, even if they are miraculously distributed in space and time?

    Yes, and what do you need to compare with what to get these values, can't you just add or subtract?

    The particle is in a superposition with itself – a hermaphrodite of some sort, I want to become matter, I want to become energy, and I want to be both at the same time, and we can assume that the particle does not exist at all until it is determined.

    And, in general, a substance is a field, well, that is, a set of quantities.

    And what an intriguing name-chromodynamics, apparently, the Northern Lights.

  8. 1st-brick ( for clarity) it cannot know itself, and this is OBVIOUS. 2 Einstein-You will never solve a problem if you think the same way as those who created it.

  9. Because the perception of the world around us is always subjective. Subjectivism creates contradictions, which means that there will be no single picture of the known world.

  10. How can we know God? We only hope and believe.That's all we can do. Nothing stands still, everything changes and the world and our thoughts. Today I am not the same as yesterday, and what will happen tomorrow I can only guess. As the saying goes, we assume God disposes.

  11. Well, that's an idiotic question!!! There is no possibility of knowing the world, but knowledge itself is still being realized?! Or vice versa -there are opportunities, but still nothing happens?!…What is it?! Admitting to idiots that they can't do anything?…Why should all philosophers be so offended? THAT's how a person blurts out something, wanting to look smarter, but he unwittingly demonstrates his lack of intelligence…It is clear that smart people only specify the ways of cognition…

  12. The world is boundless, but it is possible to know yourself-to know everything, because the essence of everything will be known… It's like a goldsmith's gold, no matter what shapes are brought to him, made of this expensive metal, the goldsmith will know the main thing (the essence) that all this is gold. So it is with the knowledge of the world. If you don't know yourself, you can't know the world, but if you know yourself, you can know all the gods and the universe.

  13. Oh, they don't just deny that possibility. But they also manage to bring a lot of “reinforced concrete” arguments in their stability.
    You can understand them and agree with them, too. After all, they do not have a proper tool for learning (or it is simply not used for its intended purpose).
    In any case, this is always done when the idea leading to a dead end plunges into a stupor and the thinking of its bearer.
    But here's the question )
    would the knowledge of the world itself advance and open up new horizons if the knower had better tools of knowledge and more correct ideas?
    The very history of the development of science, answers this question – ” oh! yes, of course. This is how discoveries are made and progress is made”

    But for those who have already “washed their hands” or do not have any ideas moving forward, the answer will be one or even two )
    1. it is impossible because it is impossible.

    1. Well, since you're the smartest of the lot, prove the opposite.

    And in all this, only one thing is good) – there are only a few who deny the possibility of knowledge.
    Or two ))
    it is also good that the tools of cognition have the possibility of improvement.

  14. Because there is a game with vague concepts. Let's take two pairs of words: “to know the world” and “to know the world”. Learn – what to do? Learn – what to do? Let's take as a basis that the parameters (criteria, properties, etc.) of the world are infinite. Then, if you do not use other cognates of “knowledge” for thinking, then it is quite clear that it is impossible to know the infinite, but you are always welcome to know. Moreover, we note that the process of cognition of the world is not the prerogative of a person. Even the amoeba already has an instinct for purpose, which is one of the components of the cognitive process.

    And now we turn to the question posed, which calls into question the ” possibility of knowing the world.” The concept of “cognition” does not answer the questions “what to do?” or ” what to do?”. Using this ambiguity and substituting it for certain verbs allows speculation to multiply.

    It is not for nothing that the first rule of discussion is to wish opponents to define their concepts.

  15. Before solving the question of “knowing the World”, it is necessary to determine the meaning and understanding of the idea of the WORLD.

    If we consider the word World as the totality of all material phenomena. Such a World is knowable,but it takes time and diligence of the researcher.

    Here the question arises: how is the MATERIAL WORLD created?

    There is such a variant of the answer. Everything that exists is the result of the movement of feelings and thoughts. Everything, literally everything, is the result of the relationship of ideas(Feelings, Words, Images, etc.)

    Is it possible to know the World? The world can be known if it is in a state of stagnation, a frozen state. However, the world is in constant motion. When a great many changes occur in any given period of time.

    I think and know.that it is not possible to know the World in its entirety, because of the changes that are taking place. But to learn the laws, how ideas interact, which are also in constant improvement, it is possible and necessary. A person needs to be able to see the changes that are taking place with their thoughts and desires.influence the results of changes. In the direction of their own selfish or common interests.

    Peace To All.

  16. To put it very briefly, they are stupidly sniffed into their minds with thoughts that they understand as their own and give even very strange arguments, but still do not realize that they are being leaked by puppeteers. Why do they lie, well, this is a different topic and I will answer just as briefly, so as not to know what is happening behind the scenes, or figuratively say behind the curtain of the theater of absurdities or really artificial world and this is not a matrix / decoy bait, so that they would continue to fantasize in the minds of the Mind, for information not brains they have a completely different purpose -a link with the body of physics.

  17. Probably because for a person on earth, this is secondary. Not so important, and then the world is a horizon, the more you know, the more the horizon runs away from you. Leave the main thing, for the sake of constant questioning? There is no logic.

  18. That's right, reality is infinite . And someday humanity will run into a boundary beyond which we are not destined to look (for example, beyond the boundary of our universe or, if even further, beyond the boundary of the Multiverse space)

  19. And how, some philosophers and scientists, can know the World.if they still do not know the theory of Wisdom,and behind it is the theory of Wisdom.

    The question will sound right in this interpretation – Can primates know the World or not?

    Philosophers! Good night's sleep to you.

  20. Logic operates not with empirical or inductive concepts, but with completely different ones – deductive, ideal, transcendental (as Kant would say), a priori, and not a posteriori (not deduced from experience, but existing in the mind itself)” . Therefore, in philosophy there is a rational precision – that precision that is always present in logic and is its synonym. In scientific research, there is an empirical method, and the same judgment can be both true and false, because the senses can be wrong.
    The main argument for the unknowability of the truth of the universe is that the truth exists independently of the person and who, and how it is perceived. Only facts can be deduced from the scientific methodology of facts, and to base the truth of the universe on facts is to give the truth the character of a fact. “But a psychological fact always exists in time, and an empirical fact always exists in time and space. It is clear that truth is eternal, does not depend on time or space” (quote from: V. P. Lega, “History of Western Philosophy”). Therefore, scientific discoveries are derived from facts, “and all facts and the whole world in general exist only in truth and by virtue of truth,” and most importantly, regardless of the activity and scientific knowledge of a person. Time, space, and man have already appeared in the created world. Therefore, absolute knowledge of the world for scientific justification is really not possible.

  21. Modern philosophy is not capable of knowing the world in any way.

    Philosophy has gone from being an institute for the hygiene of thoughts to being their poisoners.

    Philosophy creates the opposite of the path and deeds that are intended for it.

    Peace To All.

  22. Before philosophy can begin to understand the World, it should join the science of “Understanding the WORD”, which means gaining Wisdom. Without Wisdom, it is impossible to know the World.

    Modern philosophy doesn't really know anything about Wisdom.

    So modern philosophy is right when it says that it is not possible to know the world by it.

    Peace To All.

  23. Doubt about the possibility of knowing the world is inevitable for a thinking person because there is always a doubt about the sufficiency of the receptors with which we receive information about the world.
    Direct denial of the possibility of knowledge is a sign of religiosity, or the voluntary limit that sapiens sets for himself in cognition.
    Science does not consider such limits, but regardless of doubts, it continues to explore the world with success.
    Accordingly, if a person claims that it is impossible to know the world, then he has no right to be called a scientist, but he may well remain a philosopher. The latter are not interested in knowledge, but in their own reasoning about knowledge.

  24. How funny it is when people insert quotes from people who lived thousands of years ago. We don't even know if those people really existed, not to mention that over thousands of years their writings may have been rewritten/misinterpreted/deliberately altered, or even invented.

  25. Scientists cannot deny the impossibility of finite knowledge of the world, because Godel proved it. Mathematically, in fact, of course. Godel's incompleteness theorem is a mathematical concept, so we are talking about exact calculations.

    More precisely, Godel's incompleteness theorem states that any consistent system of arithmetic axioms is incomplete – there are undecidable statements in any system.

    We can understand the basic principles, get closer to understanding the world to a certain extent – but never of course. Since the unknowable leaves room for metaphysics / religion = > faith, not knowledge, this theorem is not commonly spoken of in the scientific world. Like in the house of the deceased about the deceased, hehe

  26. The term “cognition” implies infinity!. Philosophy is a relative science! If in mathematics you can limit yourself to 2+2=4 and come to general concepts. Then in philosophy not everyone will be able to explain that two is two!

  27. Godel's (two ) incompleteness theorems are removed by two of his own completeness theorems. In fact, the human mind is able to go beyond formal perception – the subject thinks abstractly and symbolically, so agnosticism is excluded, since the infinity of knowledge is built on finite repetitions of cognitive algorithms.

    Agnostics do not know that the ability to think is a method of cognition based on the principles of reflection and projectivity of forms of perception, the law of conservation. In this correspondence of the reflected and reflected, unlimited possibilities open up. providing the procedure for mastering reality. Figurative knowledge absolutely corresponds to the form of identity of the known and the known. Erroneous knowledge arises in the processes of understanding and understanding by the subject of the meaning of the revealed forms, that is, due to the application of a measure that does not correspond to the objectivity of hidden norms of symmetries, about which the subject knows nothing.

  28. There are universal processes that are controlled by the Consciousness that exists in other eons relative to the material plane.
    This is the missing main part of the theoretical base of the world order, which the minds of philosophers did not enter.
    Each sufficiently developed intellectually embodied person in due time comes to the realization of the short-term nature of his earthly life and thinks about its meaning and purpose. When such a person realizes how foolish it is to spend his allotted time on illusory earthly pleasures, he stops falling into their traps. And it becomes clear to him that only one Goal is true for him, and that is God. And the meaning of human life is to know Him and become One with Him. In order for this to become possible, you need to develop yourself as a soul, as close as possible in quality to the state of God.
    This process of developing the self-soul, searching for and knowing God-is the spiritual Path (which was preceded by the philosophical path).
    Human ignorance, having taken over, distorts knowledge on the path to perfection, reverses knowledge on the Evolution of Universal Consciousness, rushing in pursuit of material goods, preferring philosophizing.
    God really is and is a reality, no matter how much people try to reject or defile Him.
    It is actually constantly present everywhere. And participates in all the things that people do, but usually gives them free will.
    He takes — to His paradise and to Himself — from the earthly hell-the Worthy Ones.
    The true spiritual Path… – its basis, the “carrier wave” is the transformation of oneself into harmony and refined love. Rudeness and violence are the opposite qualities!
    In every society, there are necessarily representatives of different levels of development from primitive to divine souls (philosophers are somewhere in the middle). Belonging to a particular group depends primarily on the age of the soul, but also on upbringing and free will. The way of life in a particular habitat also has its influence in this regard.
    * * *
    All human vices are caused by a lack of knowledge (at the same time, it is important to study true spiritual knowledge — those who preach morality and humanism and learn to live in accordance with them, and not with the morality imposed by “authorities” of various scales).
    God is interested in people improving themselves, including and above all — ethically cultivating emotions of love and (reasonably) implemented in their lives non-attachment to” earthly ” goods, (some will philosophize, if only not to give up riches).
    Souls are reincarnated in material physical bodies for the purpose of growth and development.
    The life of God is an Evolution, i.e. a continuation of the development of His Universal Organism.
    It is for this very purpose that He creates material worlds in one part of the universe, then in another, and places tiny particles of His energy in the latter – so that these particles grow and eventually flow into Him, enriching Him with themselves, this is His life. If we do not fulfill His Will — we build ourselves bad destinies.

  29. In reality, there is only an object-object interaction. Everything that is known and real is always objective. There are objects with the “intelligent” property that have a brain. It is obviously possible to study any properties of any objects. Cognition as a process and absolute cognition as a result are different.

    The scientific method of cognition of the real world works with 100% predictive power in the field of application. It is based on the axiom “true representations of the real world are consistent”, there are no other axioms. Recognition of the consistency of true representations immediately allows us to prove cognizability, and then test any “knowledge” by an objective, repeatable scientific experiment, the result of which does not depend at all on the Subject, on the Personality, on the Brain.

    Therefore, deniers of cognizability are completely equal to deniers of reality and deniers of consistency, i.e. they are equal to completely unsuitable interlocutors with whom communication is obviously not required because there is no direct dispute.

    The party stating “anything can happen and we won't know anything” makes an actual statement in the style of “I don't use the concept of Proof and just make an idiotic joke”, there is no need to argue with such statements because the “denier” has recorded the loss himself.

    Why do some philosophers deny knowability? But because this is the only way for them to give significance to an unnecessary philosophy that never shows any result of study.

    Why do some scientists deny cognizability? Because the position of “research assistant” does not mean that a person is engaged in science. Moreover, there are even candidates and doctors of philosophical “sciences” and theological ones ))

  30. if you don't know where you came from or where you're going,

    Leave your mind,

    he's no good.

    a drop of water will not learn its own valence

    but it will not cease to exist from this.

  31. The question of truth is always a question of being and its knowability. In the history of philosophical thought, there are only four possible answers to the question of cognizability of being: 1) knowable; 2) problematic (skepticism); 3) incomprehensible; 4) self-evident, but inexpressible, so it should simply be assumed, but at the same time “should be silent” about it (Lao Tzu, Kant, Wittgenstein). However, the question of cognizability of being must be clarified: what is meant by “pure” being (subsistentia, lit. food) or what is given to us in the phenomenon, more precisely, in the forms of existence of being (existentia)? Consistency, or “pure” being, is self-evident through intuition. And although intuitively being is given to us in its entirety and at once, it is impossible to say anything definite about “pure” being other than what it is, because intuition does not analyze or generalize anything (it does not have the mediation inherent in thinking). It simply bears witness and records the self-evident directly through memory, which is why intuition is often called insight. Nor is it logically possible to deny the “being of pure being”, for one can only deny what is already logically posited as what is. Of course, a person can imagine and even delirium anything, but only… “within the boundless being”. As for the knowability of being given to our empirical “I” in the forms of existence, there is no philosophical problem at all: through what is given to us, it is known by means of that. We are talking about the feelings, emotions, intelligence and will of every person. To say, for example, as Lenin did,” Matter is an objective reality given to us in sensations, ” is already to say that it is in principle knowable for us. For a human being as a subject of cognition, everything that exists is always objectively and a priori knowable. Otherwise, a person would not only not be a subject of knowledge, but could not exist as a person at all. The really serious philosophical problem is not whether the world is knowable, but how and for what purpose, in the process of knowing the world, a person should dispose of his original and indestructible freedom of being in the world of existence given to him, in which there is no freedom, but there is a need – objective laws of nature.

  32. Because they come from a pre-materialist ideology that did not know Newton's laws of dynamics.

    With the introduction of the concept of “force interaction” and, as a consequence, the principle of causality, the problem of unknowability of the world has simply become irrelevant.

  33. Some philosophers and scientists can deny anything. We can't explain any nonsense. its options are endless.

    The world is infinite, of course. that infinity cannot be known, and at the same time it is obvious that knowledge is possible, is what scientists are doing. What they know is relative, and what is confirmed by practice , is still relative, because the world is infinite.

  34. In short, I believe that the world is knowable. If the World were unknowable, then humanity would not have achieved all that we have now. Experience and reflection lead us to the truth. Proof: pick up the paranormal facts that shocked you by analogy, then find the general principle of their appearance. Based on the found principle, you will get a Law.

  35. If the world is perceived as infinity, and the human brain as the final product, then Yes! On the other hand, there is no limit to human cognition, which asymptotically approaches the absolute truth infinitely, but never reaches it. More precisely, it will reach there at infinity. And as for Godel's incompleteness theorem. It (incompleteness) will always be there. For life is real. and it is finite. You can't embrace the immensity (K). Bars). This is the tautology of life. And her conspiracy theory. The question is purely philosophical. Therefore unsolvable.

  36. Because they believe that the brain cannot be both the object and the subject of cognition.

    You can't know a computer with just a computer.

  37. I will not speak for all skeptical philosophers.
    Let's consider a separate set of reasons why skepticism about the knowability of the world is possible.
    We know the objects of the physical world by their effect on our senses. Our phenomenal consciousness – that is, the consciousness of things as they are given to us-is not identical with those objects of the physical world that cause (but this is not necessary) phenomena in our consciousness.
    1) The physical tree, in contrast to the conscious tree, can burn, rot. A tree as an object of perception, memory, or fantasy cannot rot and burn.
    2) Objects are given to us as complexes of sensations. It is conceivable that different objects can give the same complexes of sensations without being the same. In extreme cases, you can imagine that our brain is placed in some kind of ” jar “and the neural interface creates a complex of sensations”tree” for us. Physically, this tree does not exist. Another example would be perceptual illusions.
    3) The very elements of our perception, fantasy, and memory – qualia-do not exist in the external world. We have a sense of color, but in the outside world there are no colors, there is light with different wavelengths. Or the feeling of cold: physically, cold does not exist
    All these considerations lead to the idea that things as they are given to us in consciousness are fundamentally different from things-in-themselves. Objects of the physical world, taken independently of the observer-things-in-themselves-have no sensory characteristics. They may not exist at all, for example, in the case of a dream or hallucination
    Thus, our knowledge is not a direct knowledge of objects, but only a knowledge of how objects in the physical world affect the senses. We can say that our cognition is limited to establishing connections between complexes of sensations.
    Hence, we may be skeptical about whether our consciousness correctly reflects the causes of these complexes of sensations.
    On the other hand, when we learn that our complexes of sensations are necessarily connected, for example, that the sun always rises in the east because the earth rotates, we learn the properties of physical reality: a reality that exists objectively, that is, independently of our consciousness and is the cause of this consciousness.
    Cognition is possible even if we can't sense these properties. For example, spin – you can't imagine it, but there is a spin nevertheless

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