Saturday, April 05, 2014

Nature in the raw, How to solve a problem like Maria and More Philosophy (Epistemology 2)

Bye-bye birdie
There's a line - Red in tooth and claw which is from Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam A. H. H., 1850. The line  comes (apparently) at   Canto 56 (it is a very long poem) and refers to man but it's been brought to mind by my vegetable plot..

The last few visits to the allotment have meant some sort of clearance of debris - day one there were feathers from what looked like a struggle around a bird and a strange smell coming from the water butt.
On inspection of the butt i discovered a small dead mouse floating on it's back - I removed this and disposed of it.

The next day it was another bird that had been struck down no feathers this time but one dead bird, again disposed of - hopefully this is the three that such things come in.

Maria, Maria Maria 

P J Proby summed it up so well and David's behind her.

PJ -probably another Maria in mind
Well thanks Maria-  as we're again we're reminded how disconnected politicians lives are from those who they say they represent.

A government that came to power saying things like 'we're all in this together' and tightening of belts overlooks the unforgivable greed and unfathomable arrogance with all the PR skills of Marie Antoinette.

When those living at the bottom of the heap in the UK are seeing their benefits being cut and being labelled cheats (and facing criminalisation for quite minor infringements)  the culture secretary pockets public money and pays back around £6,000 as opposed to the £90,000 she received and offers a 32 second apology.
It has also emerged that intimidation was used against the press and their reporting of the matter.

Be interesting to see what happens next..

Epistemology (2)

Now that the first part of my formal (ish) introduction to Philosophy has finished I'm returning to Marcus Weeks's Philosophy in Minutes and the next heading is  Epistemology.
Epistemology  is about knowledge and how we can get it, it   focuses on the means for acquiring knowledge and how it is possible to tell the difference between truth and falsity.

In fact one of the areas we probed on the introduction via great thinkers was how modern epistemology focuses on  a debate between rationalism and empiricism, or the question of whether knowledge can be acquired a priori  (knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences based on 'reason') or a posteriori, used in philosophy to indicate inductive reasoning. The term is Latin, meaning “from what comes after”and refers to that which comes after experience.

So terms that are important here are:

Empiricism: knowledge is obtained through experience.

Rationalism: knowledge can be acquired through the use of reason.
Here's a youtube..

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