Response 3. Part 2


A. The Philosopher Credo asserts: The old saying that states that to understand someone you must walk in their shoes is true in Philosophy as well. You can't know something unless you have experienced it first or have learned from someone else who has experienced it. /For example, to experience Angel Falls (Links to an external site.) in Venezuela is very different than reading a travel brochure about it or seeing countless pictures, and you don't need to experience things like being terribly burned to know it will hurt, since others who have been terribly burned have reported this, and you can use the mental operation of augmentation to imagine a small burn over your entire body.  /In this respect, Hume and the empiricists are  right, direct experience gives us knowledge, and from that direct experience we can form new ideas by putting the basic ingredients of different experiences together to form ideas of things which can't be experienced (like a mountain made of pure gold). /One implication of this view is that the future cannot be experienced (for when it is experienced, it becomes the present, and then slips into the past), so we can't know anything about the future, we can only state probabilities based on an assumption that the future will continue to resemble the past. Clearly either the future will resemble the past or it will be chaotic, the implications of Hume's philosophy tells us we can't know which it will be!

I believe experience is not the only way to gain knowledge. Credo asserts that one must walk in another’s shoe to understand them. To experience means to apply all our sense in order to absorb some sort of stimulation. For example, feeling the warmth of a flame tells us, by touch, that a fire is a source of heat. Yes, we can argue that we use this knowledge to understand that we must not jump into to this fire, or else get burned, but can our senses fail to help us learn and gain further, more abstract knowledge. For example, how do we experience the concept of geometry, or simply the shape of a triangle? Visually, we might stumble upon it in nature, but not be able to categorize a set of shapes or even consider that shapes are a fundamental concept. Senses help us experience but they fall short of providing concepts or determining the information in front of us. Credo’s premise is not valid since experience and the knowledge succeeding that experience, does not happen on its own. Experience is only a process that leads to our conscience. It is our ability to deduce and intuitively put abstract concepts together that set us apart from other animals. Credo asserts that we gain knowledge through direct experience, but he fails to mention the necessity of reasoning. Lastly, Credo exerts the future cannot be experienced, for when it does it becomes the present. Credo’s premise is subject to the concept of time. Without the manmade concept of time, we could be experiencing everything at once, or just full filling something that already HAPPENED. I like to support my argument with Descartes claim that knowledge requires certainty and that certainty about the external world is beyond empirical evidence. “We can never be sure our sensory impressions are not part of a dream or a massive, demon orchestrated, deception.” (Descartes)



B. Unlike the past few weeks, I agree with Credo's assertion a little more than I have before. To truly understand someone you have to walk in their shoes is something I can agree with to a certain extent. While someone can tell you experiences that you can learn from, you won't really be able to really create your own assumptions and truths unless you go through that experience as well. For example a friend goes to Miami beach and dislikes it because of different factors (sun burn, mugged, too expensive etc.), they will tell you it is an unenjoyable place. However if you go yourself, without getting sunburned, mugged, or spending all of your money, you might enjoy the area and the trip, unlike your friend. The same can apply to racism: someone has a bad experience with someone from a different race and they then believe all other will act the same. Assumptions from personal experiences can be very bias depending on the situation that person is in at that moment in time.

Credo goes on to state that we can't tell what will happen in the future, only that it will be based on the past or completely chaotic. It is here I believe Credo commits the false dilemma fallacy. There has to be one other answer to what will happen in the future, it cannot just be based of the past or chaos. Naturally, most things are based off the past for example you will eventually die; there is a saying that states history repeats itself. There are however more options than just two (black and white). For example if I eat something I am allergic too, but in a very small quantity, there are three different options, not just two like Credo states. First, based on past events, I know that I could possibly have an allergic reaction, secondly chaos could happen, or thirdly, I could digest it and avoid the allergic reaction all together because it was such a small amount. While we can't know exactly what the future will hold, there are far more possibilities that just the past or a chaotic future.



C. For this paper response I have to say that I agree with his statement. I do feel that to understand someone you must walk in their shoes. I feel like this does come hand-in-hand with philosophy. Mainly because in philosophy we argue for our point of view and to do this you must also consider the other side of your point of view. How can one sympathize for you if they have never been in the same situation as you? They can only understand what you choose to tell them. Sometimes they can’t even understand that much. However when it comes to us gaining knowledge from other peoples experiences, I chose to believe that with this you must be able to completely trust what the person is telling you in order to gain knowledge. Now if you can’t trust what they say either you are blind to that knowledge or you believe in false hope.  For example if you have never been somewhere with snow and super cold weather, you can only rely on what someone who has traveled to a place like this for their own experience. This person can have a high tolerance for the cold so when they start to share their experience they tell you the cold was bearable that it wasn’t so much of a change from hot weather. With this knowledge you just gained you made the decision to travel and see for yourself. When you finally arrive turns out your tolerance for cold weather isn’t as good as the person who shared their experience with you. Turns out that you end up hating the cold and realizing that everything they had told you was a lie. However it wasn’t a lie, it was just someone else’s different experience. I guess my point is that not everyone is going to have the same experience as the next. You have to make your own opinions on things instead of just believing in the word of mouth. I agree with the statement that we must use different experiences all in one to come up with a better idea that cannot yet be experienced. Like his example on the future. As of this topic I feel with the future it is just what our minds can dream of it to be. No it not going to chaotic nor will it JUST resemble the past. I feel that the future might somewhat resemble our past, but it will also expand based on our generations ideas. No we don’t know what the future knows we just have to make inferences and build to it as best we can.