Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Kuzari Principle

What we call the Kuzari Principle is what I italicized in the quotation: Personal experience is equal to uninterrupted tradition as a ground for belief. Surely the principle is in need of some refinement, but the basic idea is true. The scientific community doesn’t feel the need to repeat every experiment ever conducted before accepting the relevant findings for themselves. If there wasn’t a modicum of trust given to the testimony of past scientists about their findings, then we could never move on, because we’d first of all have to repeat the entire history of science in our own laboratories. If we take the best elements of these medieval arguments and try to fashion them into something formal, and prima facie worth considering, we end up with something like the following:

 If a reliable witness, called person-y, witnesses an event, event-x, and an uninterrupted chain of reliable sources passes on person-y’s testimony, even over many years, then, given certain provisos about the make-up of the chain, about person-y and about the reported circumstances of the original observation, we have good reason to believe that event-x transpired.

(KP2)     The epistemic warrant provided by such a chain increases with the number of reliable observers in the chain who claim to have witnessed the event themselves.

1 comment :

  1. we see claimed in the same article:

    "(KP*4) At
    no point in time could a whole nation have been deceived into the
    content of the story in question. A nation could certainly be deceived
    about ancient history, as many Britons were deceived into believing that
    there was a King Arthur in a court called Camelot. But part of the
    story that we’re talking
    about, as specified in (KP*2), makes the outlandish claim that every
    generation,including the generation that is now listening to the story,
    received the tradition from their parents. Thus the Jewish people would
    never have adopted the narrative in question, unless all of their
    parents had already told them the story. At no point would the Jewish
    nation have bought the lie that millions of their forbears witnessed
    something and that it was
    faithfully passed down from generation to generation, unless all, or
    most of the parents of their generation had already told them, and
    unless the nation was already a sizeable nation.

    (KP*5) Given
    (KP*4), the widespread belief among the Jewish people in the story of
    the revelation couldn’t have been spread by deception."

    Youa re saying that the widespread belief among the 12 tribes could not be by deception! Duh!


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