Notes From Babel

Limitless Knowledge

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Is there anything that we truly do not know, in the analytic sense? Could it not be said that all things that we do not presently “know” are merely outworkings of things that we do know? For example, I had no idea that when a special shareholders meeting is called, the company has to contact the record holder(s) to do a search of all present securities holders who are entitled to vote at the meeting. Or, in some circumstances the company can freeze the record date for the purpose of determining such securities holders. I didn’t know this, but then again, would it not have been possible for me to figure it out if I set to the task of really working through how a public company would operate? This process is reasonable after all, the holders need to be ascertained so they can be noticed, be noticed so they can vote. Or, as a simpler example, do we “know” that 52 plus 13 equals 65? We do not memorize such statements — instead, we say that we “know” the nature of numbers, and we “know” the nature of arithmetic. Accordingly, we can say that we “know” all valid arithmetical statements.

Thus, maybe there is no need to assume that the continued accumulation of knowledge comes from “out there” somewhere. Maybe it is all analytic, in a sense.

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Written by Tim Kowal

November 11, 2008 at 5:24 am

Posted in Philosophy

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