System Configuration

Unattributed, Philosophy Forums Newsletter, Jul 23, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have searched in vain for an online copy of this, but would still like to alert people as to its existence (and maybe elicit a link from someone somewhere): "Michael Williams, in his chapter piece The Myth of the System, offers an even more sinister pledge: the web-of-belief is a fiction. The interconnectedness of beliefs—interconnection through the mechanism of logical thinking—is not in itself a critical structure. Beliefs come in 'modules'; a system whereby each epistemic unit is logically complete. Under his premise, we can imagine something like this: we could lose the information about our identity without compromising our scientific knowledge. Conversely, we could gain a module of scientific knowledge while keeping our identity intact." The article is from William's 2001 book Problems of Knowledge, which I don't have and won't find anywhere in Moncton.

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