Scenario 1: After instructing a person to make a random choice between two options in front of her, a computer detects brain activity in a human subject before she clicks the button to communicate her choice. The experiment conductor, upon repeats of the same experiment, can predict her choice seconds before she is aware of it. It is still a choice, for although the choice emerged from brain processes, she was not told which one to choose.
Scenario 2: After asking her son to choose between strawberry or vanilla ice cream, a mother detects a facial expression on her son before he verbalises his choice. The mother, upon repeated instances of this scenario, can predict his choice before it is communicated. It is still a choice, for although he has a tendency to choose vanilla, both flavours were on offer.
Scenario 3: Having eternally given to creation (humans in particular) the freedom to move toward good and order or evil and chaos, the omniscient Creator has full knowledge of the direction taken before, after and during the moment (from their perspective) it is made. The Creator, in all places and times, can predict the direction taken. It is still a free initiative, for although the result was known, both were live options.
I’d absolutely love (or maybe hate? or both?) to know how much the huge (several ‘windows’ wide and several stories high) ads for shortland street (which I saw today in Auckland city-centre) cost to make, install, display and dispose-of… It’s a freekin’ TV show…
(on a different tack, the two ‘by-lines’ I remember from the ads were: 1) “Trust no one”, and 2) ‘Lust makes fools of us all”. Yawn…)
As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading “knowing about knowing”