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2010-10-11
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Hello.
I am interested in how an observer perceives the world, builds the knowledge.
My special area of interest is the theory of knowledge that deals mainly with how our knowledge is structured, based because of the act of observation, i.e. obtaining the knowledge as a spectator [observer], the very presence of an observer in the universe. 

Down below I have listed few books which I have read or have plans of reading.
Can you guys suggest other important, landmark books and journal papers in the topics I have mentioned. Because, as you can already see, none of the books I have mentioned below doesnt directly expound on the topics I am looking for.

The books I have are -
> Hume - An enquiry concerning human understanding
> Russell - Our knowledge of the external world
> Russell - Theory of knowledge
> Russell - Human Knowledge
> Hayek - The sensory order
> Russell - The analysis of mind
> Marleau Ponty - The phenomenology of perception.

So please do suggest the other important books that I am not aware of.
Thanks in advance for helping.


2010-10-17
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
In this connection, you might find Kant's Critique of Pure Reason interesting. It can be hard to get into, so I suggest reading it in conjunction with the Prolegomena by the same author, which sort of puts it in context. While no one thinks it correct in every detail--for instance, Kant claims to derive some principles of Newtonian physics from the fact of the possibility of experience--it is still regarded as a historically important work. It's also a reply to Hume that takes his work seriously.

2010-10-20
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Dell Adams
Thanks Dell. Added the book to my list. 

2010-10-20
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
An indispensable book is Popper's 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery,' since he argues that we do not derive knowledge from observation - see especially chapter 5 and Appendix *x. Also, for a brief intorduction, see his 'The Bucket and The Searchlight,' which is the Appendix to his 'Objective Knowledge.' Also relevant is Pierre Duhem, 'The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory,' pp.180-90 of the Wiener translation; Thomas Kuhn, 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions;' and Paul Feyerabend, 'Against Method.'

2010-10-20
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta

Hi, 

I take it that your area of interest is concerns observational knowledge and the relation between knowledge and perception more generally. Suggesting "the" books - not to mention the essays - would make a very long list. Here is a short one: 

- Historical:

Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Reid, Mill  

Kant, Kant, Kant 

- Modern (analytic and other):

Logical positivism (M. Friedman has useful historical stuff) esp. Carnap and Schlick. Ayer is related. Earlier empiricists include Moore, Broad, Price. The span between, say, Mill and Broad is complex and interesting. Similarly in Germany between, say, Lotze and Heidegger (esp. Neo-Kantianism, Phenomenology). Also the pragmatists, like Pierce and James, and work influenced by them, including C. S. Lewis: Mind and the World Order (1929). 

- Modern (analytic): 

Chisholm: Perceiving (1957), essays (and epistemology intro books)

Quine: Word and Object (1960), various essays

Strawson: Bounds of Sense (1966)

Sellars: Science, Perception, and Reality (1963) (including "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind"), various essays

- Recent (analytic):

Much work esp. on knowledge, perception, justification. An example from only this year, presenting a comprehensive theory, is Burge: Origins of Objectivity.


Best, J. D.


2010-10-21
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
Wow! You guys made my day.
My wholehearted, sincere thanks, Mr.Fredrick&Mr.Dyrstad.

2010-10-21
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Erratum: It's C. I. Lewis, not C. S., of course. Freudian slip due to excessive childhood exposition to "Chronicles of Narnia", probably. J. D. 
[To reviewer: Please correct the original message instead of posting this, if possible. At any rate, leave out this parenthesis.]

2010-10-27
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
A good, simple introduction to the philosophy of perception, plus a defense of direct realism, can be found in Michael Huemer's Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.

2010-10-27
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
Hi Varun! I wouldn't try to add any more names to the excellent list of classics and analytic thinkers you have been recommended, but I would draw your attention to the non-analytic thinkers, whose importance is growing fast. They are the other side of the coin, and they may be essential to broaden your views. Just a few names, associated to the concepts of “knowledge through action” and “knowledge building as a social process”:

 * John Dewey, "Logic: The Theory of Inquiry”
 * Michael Polanyi, “The Tacit Dimension”and “Personal Knowledge”
 * Karl Popper, “The Myth of the Framework”
 * Donald Schön, “The Reflective Practitioner”

In this context, I would support very much Danny's recommendation of:

 * Thomas Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”.
 * Karl Popper, "The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

If you like this other side of the coin, I can suggest further reading.

Best wishes to your research.

2010-11-01
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
    Jay, Antonio - Thanks for the recommendations. Added to the list.         

2010-11-05
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
Well, you could read my paper "The Perfectly True Knowledge", I think I have made some discussions regarding your concerns. Also, i have other unpublished papers that i think would probably be of help to your research.  

2010-11-08
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Many thanks. Added to the list. Will be reading soon. 

2011-08-01
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
Your might find my own study, The psychology of natural and supernatural knowledge according to St. Thomas Aquinas / Thomas Riplinger (2003) at http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-opus-9985 helpful. It is written from the point of view of a critical neo-Aristotelian-Thomism committed to the methodological principle that philosophy must be rooted in and ultimately verified in empirical science; thus a theory of cognition must take account of contemporary research in neurobiology and neuropsychology, comparative evolutionary ethology, language theory, and social psychology. Although the original 1967 dissertation concentrates on the Aristotelian theories of perception, abstraction, and judgmental predication and cites mostly Thomistic secondary literature,  by and large failing to carry out such a program of research, it contains the seminal ideas about the relationship between perceptual experience and verbal/symbolic conceptualization that are developed in the more recent, flanking essays. Unfortunately, there is no explicit discussion of contemporary discussions of these matters outside the Thomistic circle, but I am currently working on essays that will do just that, among them a neo-Aristotelian-thomistic reading of Kant's Critique of pure reason.

2011-09-26
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
In an effort to really understand whether or not one actually knows you would need to take a stance as to whether or not this world "reality" is one which is built on an individualistic nature or a social nature. If it is that you preceive the world through an individualistic sense, then the world as we know it might not be how we conceive it. Take for instance this argument: "before we were born the world never existed and when we die the world would seize to exist".

Anyway, this is just to give you an 'eye-opener" in how you would want to think in an effort to accommodate various ideas/theories on knowledge. The list that you have highlighted is quite a handful and should prove useful to you for an introductory level. Russel's work concerning theory of knowlege will prove very effective and constructive. Also, a 'Critique of Pure Reason" by Kant will also prove to be a very useful read in understand epistemology.


Best,
James Edwards

2011-10-06
Reading Recommendations: Human observation & knowledge
Reply to Varun Bhatta
And then of course there is
The Boundaries of Human Knowledge: A phenomenological epistemology
http://sharp.bu.edu/~slehar/webstuff/book2/Boundaries.html