Dretske on the Gettier Problem — 2 Comments

  1. I think that knowledge is bound in meaning. I introduce causality because it was mentioned as an aspect of Dretske’s position. Particularly found in “Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes.

    Dretske begins by introducing the notion of a “natural sign,” [having a natural meaning] which is a more or less reliable indicator of the presence of something insofar as it is typically caused by that something in a law-like way.”

    Have you heard the expression, ‘a meaningful coincidence’ which impinges upon the claim ‘nothing happens by accident’? Jung invented the concept of synchronicity, the idea of an _acausal_ meaningful coincidence. I think this concept has a spiritual motivation as used by Jung, and I think it must lie outside of the natural physical universe of cause and effect, thus supernatural. Jung’s notion is unlike that found in New Age literature like Redfield’s “Celestine Prophecy” because events in Redfield’s books unfold too predictably, a connective plan is too apparent.

    I’ve found it difficult to imagine examples that fit Jung’s criteria that don’t have a (causal) pattern not that far from the surface. Getting to the point, I had the pleasure of watching a movie which I think is a good candidate for Jung’s definition of synchronicity. The movie is called “Night Train to Lisbon” (based on the fine book originally written in German) which starts with a chance/random meeting which goes on to cover moral philosophical questions/choices as this staid academic evolves into a close to metamorphic transformation. The plot contains a book which muses on philosophical questions posed in a lyrical style, that I think stops short of foreshadowing. It is reminiscent of the earlier Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa, “my philosophy animates my poetry”, who also wrote “Philosophical Essays: A Critical Edition”. “Chance favors the prepared mind” 🙂

  2. Pingback: Fred Dretske, RIP | Certain Doubts

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