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After listening to Peikoff's 'Art of Thinking' Lecture, I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of hypotheticals and specifically the kind of hypotheticals one asks and how that affects the quality of one's actions and decisions. I have some questions from this lecture which I'm going to number. Feel free to answer only one or whatever interests. 

(1) Why does ‘metaphysical’ possibility not imply ‘epistemological’ possibility in any given case? 
Paraphrasing LP: ‘Context does not eliminate the possibility of error. No philosophy is going to make you infallible. You can follow the method to the utmost that is originally possible to you, you can specify your conclusion and still be wrong.’ 

Let’s assume no error in method, but a situation where some unaccounted for factor is causally relevant. We know that such a situation is metaphysically possible, so then why do we not say given this general fact, it ‘may’ be possible in any given situation?

Isn’t there some similarity here to statistics, which is applicable to concretes of which you have no knowledge? So the metaphysical knowledge of possibility is applicable to your ignorance of unknown causal factors (just as statistics is applicable to concretes which you are ignorant of). 

My understanding is that ‘epistemology’ is about method and if we were to use our minds to consider something which we cannot consider, e.g., an unknown factor that is causally relevant, we then cannot mentally function since we will be paralyzed on any given inductive generalization for fear of the ‘possibility of being wrong.’ Is this correct? That we dismiss ‘possibility’ epistemologically on the basis of it not allowing us to function well?

(2) Given the above, does it ever make sense to consider a hypothetical of metaphysical possibility but epistemological impossibility for the purpose of informing action?
I think no because then you’d need to consider a meteorite hitting you when leaving the house and you’d be completely paralyzed. LP later says statistics applied when there’s no basis to hypothesize some specific phenomenon results in total paranoia so I assume this applies. 

(3) What’s the epistemological status of “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die?”
I recently overheard a conversation in which someone was talking about working hard to save money and the other person replied that they should just make sure they spend it all before they go into the grave which might be tomorrow because who knows. What is the epistemological status of such a statement? 

(4) Why is it only philosophy that makes long-range predictions? 
LP makes the case that long-range predictions, e.g., 50 years out or longer, are out of the question because so much can change and many new factors relevant to your prediction cannot be anticipated or accounted for. But he says that this is not true for a philosopher making a prediction like “this country will ultimately become a dictatorship?” What is the justification for this? My understanding is that a philosophical prediction has fewer conditions to consider in making such a generalization, but even so aren’t those few conditions dependent on the free will of many people, which one cannot predict?

(5) Without an explicit theory of induction, is error inevitable?
We are both omniscient and fallible. Specifying context addresses omniscience, logic fallibility. Given that there’s no explicit theory of induction, then isn’t error an inevitability when making inductive generalizations, just as it was pre-Aristotle’s discovery logic when discovering new knowledge?
 

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14 hours ago, Jonathan Weissberg said:

(1) Why does ‘metaphysical’ possibility not imply ‘epistemological’ possibility in any given case? 

First off, I am unsure of what you mean by "epistemological possibility"

I'm more familiar with the idea of ignorance, simply there being knowledge which is missing to make a determination up to some level of specificity.

Restricting the discussion to the present tense, all of reality IS as it IS.  There is no hypothetical in being as it is being.  Metaphysically there also is no possibility in this moment on its own, things ARE.  Of course man is ignorant of a great many things, about things past and present, both of which necessitates a certain amount of speculation when speaking of any particular aspect of reality in the moment.  I saw X, I see Y, (who knows what I did not and do not see) so it's possible the case is A but I am not omniscient.

The same applies to the past, things were and, NOW, having definitely been so cannot have been anything other than what they were

The future, however, is not determined, certainly if we believe in human will, or take Quantum mechanics seriously.  As such, the metaphysical possibilities for various futures pregnant in the present, can be thought of as each possible futures, only one of which will obtain but of which any may obtain.  They are not determined, not monolithically as a single predetermined thread of outcome, since that logically would be identical with only one future possibility, and metaphysically speaking that would be a kind of certainty or inevitability, the opposite of possibility.  With actual multiple possibilities, the universe itself does not know which will obtain, due to QM probabilities or what choices you will make... and hence even if you were in a sense omniscient about all the present, it would still be to no avail to predict the future.  So here also then there is ignorance, double ignorance, so that having seen and known only what we can, there are countess many more open possibilities for the future opened up by this double ignorance, than the possibilities for the present our ignorance opens up.

 

Is ignorance, as I use it here, related to your concept of epistemological possibility?

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1) We could say that, metaphysically speaking, you could be flying in an airplane right now and that this is possible because flying in an airplane is not a status that contradicts your identity. I couldn't say, metaphysically speaking, you could be flying on a broomstick right now; that is is not possible because flying on a broomstick is a status that contradicts your identity. 

The mere possibility in that sense might not be important. If you want to imagine alternate history for writing a book, or coming up is deliberately imagined scenarios, this frame of thinking could be useful. But it wouldn't necessarily tell you about the actual status of reality. It might, but it might not.

Epistemological possibility would be more thorough, evaluating evidence for the claim "you could be flying in an airplane". What reason do I have to suppose that this is the case? Is there something that leads me to make such a claim? In other words, I would be asking about the epistemic status of the claim, that is, is it true/false/arbitrary/probably true/likely false/etc? 

I grant that in either case an evaluation is required, so there might be better terminology. But I think it should make sense.

4) I don't quite agree with LP, as that claim he made still sounds like something grounded in historical analysis rather than strictly philosophy. As far as long-range predictions though, more general statements are easier for prediction. For instance, I could predict that you're going to eat food tomorrow, but it is a more narrow prediction to say that you're going to eat a cheeseburger with pickles tomorrow. Philosophy is the most general of fields, so philosophy should make up a huge part of long-range prediction. Whether only philosophy is able to do this I'm not sure about.

5) I don't think it is inevitable. But you just won't be able to systematically do the right thing. Some of it might occur by intuition, and you get some pretty good answers statistically speaking. Without some method of deliberation though, you might struggle to do the same thing again. You might get the right answer 70% of the time (leaving aside situations with a deadline) because you have some principles of induction that are correct and true. But what about the other 30%? Since you lack a complete theory of induction, there's nothing you can do except take a stab at it and hope you get close. Induction might work well for discovering gravity because Newton used the right principles of induction for gravity, but a different or additional principle of induction might be necessary for another concept. 
 

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On 3/25/2021 at 6:55 PM, Jonathan Weissberg said:

Why does ‘metaphysical’ possibility not imply ‘epistemological’ possibility in any given case? 
Paraphrasing LP: ‘Context does not eliminate the possibility of error. No philosophy is going to make you infallible. You can follow the method to the utmost that is originally possible to you, you can specify your conclusion and still be wrong.’ 

First, let me correct a couple things about your transcription, so that we're on the same page. After "the method" Peikoff added, "the logical, objective method of thought." Also, instead of "originally" I heard him say "volitionally." And after "you can specify your conclusion" he added "contextually." Other than that I agree with your transcription of what he said here. (Art of Thinking, part 6, 1:10:13)

That said, have you tried applying Peikoff's conclusion in that quote to the conclusion itself? If it's possible that he's wrong about the possibility of being wrong, then it's possible to be infallible.

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10 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

With actual multiple possibilities, the universe itself does not know which will obtain, due to QM probabilities or what choices you will make... and hence even if you were in a sense omniscient about all the present, it would still be to no avail to predict the future. 

Can you clarify this? As stated, it sounds like you are saying that prediction is fruitless because there is always something unknowable about the future and thus unpredictable. But I really don't think you mean to imply that, so I must be misunderstanding something. 

QM is very specialized and applies to a very narrow application of this, so I don't think it helps clarify what you are thinking. Not to mention that I think QM would permit a definitive future, all it really affects is what we can know on a quantum scale (ie prediction on the quantum scale is probably impossible). But anyway, I don't want to get into a discussion about physics.

If we are discussing 4, once we consider things on a wide aggregate scale, with generalization, prediction is possible. The lower you go in the scope of the universe, the more difficult prediction is. And once we get to the quantum level, it is essentially impossible to figure out the right answer because of the limits of human cognition. In that way, it's possible to predict human behavior on the scale of the country, or team sports, but not on the scale of specific individuals. Perhaps that's the sort of thing you're thinking about? 

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Can you clarify this? As stated, it sounds like you are saying that prediction is fruitless because there is always something unknowable about the future and thus unpredictable. But I really don't think you mean to imply that, so I must be misunderstanding something. 

QM is very specialized and applies to a very narrow application of this, so I don't think it helps clarify what you are thinking. Not to mention that I think QM would permit a definitive future, all it really affects is what we can know on a quantum scale (ie prediction on the quantum scale is probably impossible). But anyway, I don't want to get into a discussion about physics.

If we are discussing 4, once we consider things on a wide aggregate scale, with generalization, prediction is possible. The lower you go in the scope of the universe, the more difficult prediction is. And once we get to the quantum level, it is essentially impossible to figure out the right answer because of the limits of human cognition. In that way, it's possible to predict human behavior on the scale of the country, or team sports, but not on the scale of specific individuals. Perhaps that's the sort of thing you're thinking about? 

You raise a truism as regards to different granularity or scales of reality and our corresponding knowledge of them varying in context.  The science of billiard balls tells us what individual balls do whereas the science of thermodynamics tells us what vast collections of things "collectively" exhibit: we can with ignorance of every exact position of a gas molecule (and in fact ignorance of which particular atoms of gas are involved) know a collection of them will have certain relationships between properties we can predict to a certain degree of precision - temperature, pressure, volume for a given number (PV=nRT).  [It should be remembered here that we know by this one thing (the one equation) about a myriad of possible collection of gases, but this one kind of knowledge is not by a long shot all there is to know about the volume of gas, it is merely something specific about it we find useful.]

[As an aside we should note that the possibilities for the specific multiple configurations of that gas, of which we are aware but simply choose not to focus on, do not simply disappear by virtue of our choosing to ignore them... ignoring our ignorance in choosing to focus on such an equation which dispenses with the details does not change the ignorance of the possibilities (exhibited by those details) which we actually exhibit.]

 

This truth you identify here (re. aggregations and prediction) is not what I am identifying in my exercise to loosely equate epistemological possibility with ignorance, nor in my exercise to use as a foil the discussion of metaphysical possibility not depending upon our ignorance, but depending only on the identities of the present and past and the multiplicities of the future.

Think of my discussion as classifying and quantifying (loosely) numbers of possibilities (epistemological) as tied to ignorance, not a discussion of the futility of knowledge or prediction.  I have nothing to say which would change our general notions of scientific inquiry or the predictive validity of the scientific method.

 

To recap/clarify my discussion

With respect to the quote, leading up to it, I discuss the fact that the metaphysical present (as present) and also the past is an identity, there is no multiplicity of identity, so no "possibilities" for the present in terms of its metaphysical being... it simply is (was).   [Although I may make reference so a metaphysical single "possibility", rigorously speaking metaphysical "possibility" is conceptually inapplicable to the single absolute of an identity.]

Now, our specific ignorance of the present (and the past) is determined by our specific lack of knowledge of it, so our scope of (epistemological) "possibilities" (in terms of what we propose actually is and we have to speculate, guess, predict, without absolute certainty) is bounded only by that level of ignorance.. and by nothing metaphysical (those possibilities number 1, and we are attempting to narrow down to it with knowledge).  The more we don't know about some unknown X, the more possibilities we ascribe to X when discussing it... and the more we know about X, the more possibilities we eliminate, and fewer we are left with. 

Now, with respect to the present (and the past) which have a single metaphysical possibility, if we were omniscient, there we would know it as the only one "possibility" (epistemologically) in this view, since we would be ignorant of nothing.  No room for, "it's possible OJ might have done it", or "it's possible the president is doing X", we would simply know (one way or the other) all as it is and was, one identity, and there is no other "possibility".

The future differs because (as was discussed with regard to multiple metaphysical possibilities for the future) even with omniscience of everything that is, we would not know everything that will be in all its detail (and yes the number and differences between these futures does depend specifically on physics and the nature of free will, but no matter how few or similar, possibilities are possibilities).  In a sense the universe itself does not "know" it.  This situation is different in kind... we are "doubly" ignorant, in that we are ignorant both of the entirely of all that IS, the universe, and moreover, even if we knew all there is to know about all that IS, we would still be ignorant of what WILL be, because of the metaphysical possibilities. 

We have actual ignorance of the metaphysical present and there is a kind of ignorance of the future inherent in that metaphysical present, so we are doubly ignorant of the future...

the "epistemological possibilities" multiply from a scale of our level of ignorance of the one identity of the present (and past), by the multiplicity of metaphysical possibility the future holds for that one identity.  

 

This entire discussion, although objective valid discussion of the issues it raises, as an attempt to understand what is meant in the OP by "epistemological possibility" may be wholly beside the point intended in the OP by "epistemological possibility".

 

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A few more examples.

Long-range predictions are more possible in such areas as astronomy and continental drift.  It is possible to predict the position of the earth relative to the sun with a high degree of confidence and precision over a much longer period than 50 years.

It is not workable to predict weather 50 days into the future, much less 50 years.

Once I was arguing with someone about Obamacare.  He said Obamacare is here to stay.  I retorted as follows.  Obamacare is probably here to stay for more than 10 years, unless it's replaced by something even more statist such as single payer.  It's hard to say whether Obamacare is here to stay for 100 years.  Obamacare is almost certainly not here to stay for 1000 years.

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On 3/25/2021 at 9:55 PM, Jonathan Weissberg said:

Why does ‘metaphysical’ possibility not imply ‘epistemological’ possibility in any given case? 

Proposed Example of Metaphysical and Epistemological Possibilities

 

There is a black bag with 10 blue and 10 red discs in it.  Each disc weighs and feels exactly the same.  You have been asked to put your hand in the bag, grab one disc, and without looking make a guess as to whether it is blue or red, and then look at it

Before you grab a disc, there is both "metaphysical" and "epistemological" possibility you will grab a blue disc, a red disc, or maybe use your free will to change your mind and refuse to grab any.

Once you grab a disc, while your hand is in the bag, there aren't multiple metaphysical possibilities, you have grabbed a disc and it has metaphysical identity, (the past and present admit of no metaphysical possibility, they exhibit absolute identity)... now of course you are ignorant of what color that disc exhibits because you cannot see it, so there are "epistemological possibilities" defined by your ignorance.

Once you look at the disc you grabbed there are no longer any other epistemological possibilities... only one "certainty" now obtains of which kind of disc you actually have in your hand.

 

Again I ask of the OP, is this what you mean by "epistemological possibilities"?

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Trying to understand that question. There seems to be two fundamental definitions of possibility, one that relates to the future and one that does not. Also found this article that I am looking at.

https://therealistguide.com/blog/f/metaphysical-possibility-vs-logical-possibility#:~:text=To summarize%2C metaphysical possibility is,real existence outside the mind.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Trying to understand that question. There seems to be two fundamental definitions of possibility, one that relates to the future and one that does not. Also found this article that I am looking at.

https://therealistguide.com/blog/f/metaphysical-possibility-vs-logical-possibility#:~:text=To summarize%2C metaphysical possibility is,real existence outside the mind.

Interesting, logical possibility, presented as it is in that paper, seen through my lens of a mind, looks a lot like identifying the gaps left by our "ignorance" or "lack of knowledge", as "possible".  

From that article:  " hobbits, could exist—there is nothing impossible or contradictory in the idea of there being diminutive, simple, fun-loving, big-footed creatures living in holes in the side of hills. These beings are possible in the sense that our minds can conceive them and see that their existence does not defy reason,"

It's like being able to deny certainty of admitting failure to show impossibility itself creates logical possibility... which given our level of ignorance, a vast amount of ignorance, this tends to be a backward way of looking at things. 

Were we to know everything about the details and the complex interrelationships among hierarchy of predation (the predator and prey food chain), the size of trees, available materials, the supply of water, and the weather at the crucial eons of our and our nearest cousins (apes and chimps etc) evolution, it might be abundantly clear that there are a litany of reasons why diminutive hole dwelling creatures just like hobbits would never have come into being through natural selection.  Ignoring ignorance, it's clear that it simply did not happen.

 

Logical possibility here seems like license to wanton claims of possibility because we are ignorant of the reasons making it impossible.  

This is a claim to knowledge on the basis of ignorance.

This is backwards.

 

Once you have SOME evidence that tends to show something, asserts the positive, you can say it is possible, you can THEN point out the lack of specific evidence showing it is impossible.

Claims to possible and impossible each require some evidence.

In the context of NO EVIDENCE, you have to start from an acknowledgement of that position, there simply is NO evidence, any claim to "possible" and "impossible" are not at play yet, they are invalid and arbitrary.

 

Any statement of possibility or impossibility in the face of NO evidence is as valid as any statement about what you see with your eyes closed.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Trying to understand that question. There seems to be two fundamental definitions of possibility, one that relates to the future and one that does not. Also found this article that I am looking at.

https://therealistguide.com/blog/f/metaphysical-possibility-vs-logical-possibility#:~:text=To summarize%2C metaphysical possibility is,real existence outside the mind.

The two papers I posted treat different aspects of this. The first attempts to ground modal logic in the concepts of act and potency, arguing that a potency is a dispositional property and thus entails the existence of a possibility. The second is a part of a dissertation that criticizes the "logical possibility argument" that treats a possibility in terms of what can be imagined without contradiction.

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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Once you grab a disc, while your hand is in the bag, there aren't multiple metaphysical possibilities, you have grabbed a disc and it has metaphysical identity

While this is nearly the same as the type of distinction I was making - because before reaching into the bag you acknowledge that there are various possibilities that would not contradict reality - the difference is your focus. For sure, possibilities are not actualities, so in that sense they are abstractions. Metaphysical might be a confusing word here because when we discuss possibilities, we are trying to understand future states of reality in terms of what states would be consistent with reality. There are potentials as a potency granted by the dispositions of an existent (which has nothing to do with what you know about the existent), while also granting that those dispositions may never reach fruition unless they reach the required conditions. 

So it might be clearer to say that there is only one current status of reality in the past and present, but once we start talking about possibility, we are introducing the dispositions or potencies of an existent. That would refer to the different color discs we will end up with. From there we can go further to say we have evidence about what future state an existent would reasonably enter. If the last item picked was a red disc, but what basis do we have to say that the next disc will be red? These questions imply different methods of thinking.

I'm reading the paper about the logical possibility argument that 2046 linked. Simple conceivability without regard to disposition or what we know to be the case about reality, seems to be portrayed as an error that fails to integrate possibility with what we know to be true already. 

I swear that Peikoff has used the idea "metaphysical possibility" in a lecture, but I really can't remember where or if he really did. He has talked about this topic of course though.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I swear that Peikoff has used the idea "metaphysical possibility" in a lecture, but I really can't remember where or if he really did. He has talked about this topic of course though.

OPAR, pg. 23 (Objectivist Research CD)

The Metaphysically Given as Absolute
The Objectivist view of existence culminates in the principle that no alternative to a fact of reality is possible or imaginable. All such facts are necessary. In Ayn Rand's words, the metaphysically given is absolute.

Perhaps you're thinking of the '76 lectures?

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I found it.

Art of Thinking, lecture on Certainty. 00:26:15 - 00:29:00 https://courses.aynrand.org/campus-courses/the-art-of-thinking/certainty/

I remembered it correctly, so I don't need to amend anything I said so far. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seemed like he described "metaphysical possibility" as potentiality and didn't describe or definite "epistemological possibility" at all?

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4 hours ago, 2046 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seemed like he described "metaphysical possibility" as potentiality and didn't describe or definite "epistemological possibility" at all?

I would suspect you are right.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think he did make general reference, elsewhere, to logical possibility as the Walt Disney principle or some very similar moniker... poking at the standard of possibility being what you could imagine and draw as say a cartoon.  I think that might have been in his History of Modern Philosophy course.

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

While this is nearly the same as the type of distinction I was making - because before reaching into the bag you acknowledge that there are various possibilities that would not contradict reality - the difference is your focus. For sure, possibilities are not actualities, so in that sense they are abstractions. Metaphysical might be a confusing word here because when we discuss possibilities, we are trying to understand future states of reality in terms of what states would be consistent with reality. There are potentials as a potency granted by the dispositions of an existent (which has nothing to do with what you know about the existent), while also granting that those dispositions may never reach fruition unless they reach the required conditions. 

So it might be clearer to say that there is only one current status of reality in the past and present, but once we start talking about possibility, we are introducing the dispositions or potencies of an existent. That would refer to the different color discs we will end up with. From there we can go further to say we have evidence about what future state an existent would reasonably enter. If the last item picked was a red disc, but what basis do we have to say that the next disc will be red? These questions imply different methods of thinking.

I'm reading the paper about the logical possibility argument that 2046 linked. Simple conceivability without regard to disposition or what we know to be the case about reality, seems to be portrayed as an error that fails to integrate possibility with what we know to be true already. 

I swear that Peikoff has used the idea "metaphysical possibility" in a lecture, but I really can't remember where or if he really did. He has talked about this topic of course though.

This seems about right. 

Metaphysical possibilities only make any real sense when talking about the future.

As for logical possibility or epistemic possibility, I think LP deals tangentially with that in his discussions of the arbitrary, and the scale of knowledge from possible to certain on the basis of some evidence, and more directly, making fun of it calling it a kind of "walt disney" standard (if you can imagine it, it's possible) which he mentions in a lecture series of his.

 

My favorite talk by LP about empty claims of "It's possible" are from his talk about the OJ trial, his term identifying them as "groundless maybes", is priceless. 

This talk is really quite relevant:

https://courses.aynrand.org/campus-courses/leonard-peikoff-at-the-ford-hall-forum/a-philosopher-looks-at-the-o-j-verdict/

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10 hours ago, 2046 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seemed like he described "metaphysical possibility" as potentiality and didn't describe or definite "epistemological possibility" at all?

At 27:30 he talks about it in the sense of advancing a hypothesis about a particular situation, but nothing more direct than that. "Will the airplane crash?" shouldn't just be about if planes in general have the capacity to crash, but whether if this particular plane will have met the conditions for crashing. 

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My current understanding and distillation is:

Truth is awareness that is logically filtered using one's limited knowledge and one has every right to be certain.

The concept "contextual truth" can only be referring to epistemological truth.

Contextual truth can be valid but sometimes not truly what happens (or is) (metaphysically).

As in: Within the context of my knowledge, it is true. (or "as far as I know")

Based on what I know, ignoring my fallibility or possible ignorance, my conclusions are "valid".

Valid does not "necessarily" mean metaphysically true, valid means epistemologically true. 

Epistemological truth is mutable (due to new knowledge), while there is only one metaphysical truth.

The epistemologically true, has an ethical/normative aspect, an in "what should be followed as true". Meaning logically validated truth "should" be employed as one's guide.

Metaphysical truth is amoral (not normative), it just is.

And metaphysical truth about specific concrete future occurrences can only be ascertained/confirmed in hindsight or in the present.

Only certain general abstractions can be predicted with absolute accuracy about the future like "What will be will be" or "Something will be knowable" etc. The more specific the prediction the more the doubt.

Meanwhile:

One way or the other, the epistemological true future is worked out using probabilities, and one's appetite for risk determines what is true about the future.

As in, 99 percent chance that it is safe to fly is not safe enough for some people. To them "it is not safe" is the epistemological truth. But when you landed, in hindsight, you know, it was safe (metaphysically and epistemologically).

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Truth is what is a case about reality. If you were to say that truth is awareness filtered through knowledge, that would be similar to claiming "there is no truth, only perspective." The context of discussion is possibility and certainty.

I don't think contextual truth is a valid term, and has not been used in this discussion. Same with epistemological truth and metaphysical truth. If by epistemological truth you mean "what you know to be true", then that would be fine, but confusing terminology. 

Knowledge is mutable, not truth. What you know to be true is mutable. 

Probabilities and statistics should only be used when you know that you lack contextual certainty. However, just because we can come up with the metaphysical possibility of a plane crash doesn't mean we should say that "I'm only pretty sure that the plane is safe". You can still say that the plane is safe, and you know it will be, if you know that all the conditions of safety have been met. Those conditions involve the evidence you have, so you can't invent something like "there is a chance that the Chinese Air Force will shoot us down". If all the conditions are met for safety, and you have all the evidence you need for those conditions to be true, then you can say with certainty that the plane will be safe. If you knew for sure that one of those conditions were missing, or you had incomplete evidence, you would have to use probability. 

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34 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

If you were to say that truth is awareness filtered through knowledge, that would be similar to claiming "there is no truth, only perspective."

Filtered as in validated through logic. Isn't that how we determine (or should determine) the truth?

One could be aware without using logic to validate. But is that simply a perspective of the truth? Normatively speaking its a wrong way to acquire knowledge.

45 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Truth is what is a case about reality.

The truth is going to be a subspecies of "an awareness", at a minimum epistemologically speaking. Not sure what a "case" means exactly. This particular awareness should be validated to be considered true.

Discovering reality, confirming reality has to go from awareness to validation/confirmation.

48 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I don't think contextual truth is a valid term, and has not been used in this discussion. Same with epistemological truth and metaphysical truth. If by epistemological truth you mean "what you know to be true", then that would be fine, but confusing terminology. 

It may not be the best term. The usage of "contextual" as in "contextually valid knowledge" is not equivalent to "reality". Valid knowledge would be the truth. Contextual includes the possibility of mistake or ignorance. Because it does not correspond to awareness of reality, it inevitably means "limited" and therefore possibly wrong.

53 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Knowledge is mutable, not truth. What you know to be true is mutable. 

So truth is a subset of knowledge that is immutable. (But knowledge is mutable). Something's missing here.

Or maybe you are saying truth is not knowledge?

55 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Probabilities and statistics should only be used when you know that you lack contextual certainty.

Yes, mainly because if you want certainty that is not contextual, as in omniscient certainty, you will not make any decisions in life.

The fundamental issue around certain is "can or should I make a decision?". That fact is: The only kind of certainty available to our consciousness is in fact contextual certainty.

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