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Dean / Ultron

Manchester, United Kingdom
Jul 4, 2017
Last Login
1 hr ago
Supporting member since Oct 29, 2017

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Twelve principles of knowledge


How do you know if your ideas are sensible, good or right?  In other words - how do we support our truth claims?

What counts as evidence?  What makes a thought or idea clear? These principles are a kind of philosophical checklist that can apply to any situation and any discipline.

None of the principles are sufficient in themselves, and some are stronger or more appropriate than others - depending on the situation.  Therefore they need to be applied with some careful judgement on your part, however the more of them that do apply to your claim, then the more warranted it is likely to be.


1. Non-contradiction 

Is the idea or set of ideas consistent, and therefore coherent?


2. Observation

Is your idea verified by sensory observation?


3. Experimentation

Can this observation be repeated with reasonable predictability?


4. Testability

In principle at least, is your idea falsifiable?  Can its truth value be put to the test? In other words, can you at least entertain the truth claim being completely wrong?  Can you imagine things otherwise?


5. Comprehensiveness

Is the idea the simplest explanation of the most phenomena?


6. Fit

Does the idea help other related factors fall into place?


7. Pragmatism

If the idea or claim works well, then it is true enough


8. Intuition

Does it command your soul?


9. Common sense

Is it widely or generally taken as a given?  Common sense can be a good guide sometimes.


10. Does it flow down through the ages?  

Has the idea stood the test of time?


11. Warranted authority

Does your idea find affirmation amongst those wiser than yourself?


12. Analogy

Does this idea of yours cohere with a related idea which is seen to be true?  Such a similarity could imply its own truth.



(thanks due to George Dunseth, jazz musician, Leicester - and to all those who made it possible)



time itself  - duration - is not a quantity to be measured, but an intensity to be experienced 



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