Date of publication: 2017-08-27 08:02
Yet some people (even if probably no epistemologists) might wish to understand knowledge in an even more deflationary way. Here are two such approaches:
“In the future, we will hold jealousy as a call for support, not a proof of love. A love where no one sacrifices to another, but grace is evoked through the sharing of deep vulnerability.” - Kelly Bryson
Manner: It is not just what we say and do as teachers that matters with respect to our claim to be open-minded, but also the atmosphere we create, the tone we set, our demeanor and body language, and the attitudes we convey. All of this can make it far clearer to students than any verbal declaration that a genuine engagement with ideas is encouraged. Dewey speaks of the "collateral learning" that goes on in classrooms, especially the formation of attitudes on the part of students, and a major influence here is the manner in which teachers go about their work.
The essays in Two Cheers for Democracy span a period of about twenty years—through the 85s and the 95s—and they’re incredibly humane. He touches on the prejudices of the day, the emerging totalitarianisms, and he has a wonderful essay on anti-Semitism. Very gently and with a novelist’s skill, he lays bare how stupid anti-Semitism it is—how baseless and groundless and foolish.
It is said that sometimes questions are more powerful than answers. Indeed, humanity is faced with this very powerful question. Let this girl or boy captured somewhere in Iraq, I talked about in the beginning, put it to us. For he/she still hopes, we as humans, the most powerful species on earth would do something about it-
The point of the word ‘human’ in ‘humanism’ is to emphasise human things as opposed to divine things, because the great contrast of the age was between those two ways of thinking. Either you locate your thinking out there in the divine sphere—ever so elevated, looking to the world to come—or you locate your thinking in the human sphere—it’s today, it’s here and now, deal with today’s problems, and find your meaning in this earthly sphere.
“I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.” - Tony Hoare
Instead of Safety , therefore, what the epistemologically usual interpretation needs to require is something a little more complicated, along these lines:
8. DISCONTENT AND ITS CHANNELISATION IN DESTRUCTIVE DIRECTIONS BY MASSIVE PROPAGANDA : Extremist and terrorist organisations flourish because they have been able to channelize human discontent and grievances to injustice towards destructive directions of perpetuating the same injustice on innocent people, with the aim of unleashing terror and revenge.
[For discussions of the nature and role of intuitions within philosophy, see DePaul and Ramsey 6998. On intuitions and epistemology, see Weinberg 7556.]
I think it does, very strongly. That’s really apparent today, and it’s true in one of the books that’s on my list. Two strange things are happening today that highlight the importance of humanist thinking in this regard.