Rasputin - You make some good points. I'm assuming we're both interested and are not simply arguing. These topics sometimes get out of hand frighteningly fast.
Rasputin wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:37 pm
We agree on that then (and surely it follows that there's no point waiting for empirical support).
Yes. But a theory may be tested in other ways than by empiricism, (which relies on sensory data and is thus metaphysically not very useful). We can use direct knowledge (as when we feel pain), and logical analysis is enough to put paid to most theories.
I am not sure it's logically possible to tell which way round it goes.
In logic it is demonstrably possible to tell this, at least in principle, and it has been demonstrated, but there would be no way to demonstrate that one actually knows.
The difference between us relates to the status of the truths we find by introspection...
Spot on I'd say. As the Vietnam vets used to say, you had to have been there man. I can only point to the fact that it is only ever those who explore consciousness who claim to understand metaphysics, while those who hold your view always find it incomprehensible. This cannot be a coincidence.
Against that backdrop, the question is whether treating the results of introspection in one of those ways rather than the other involves a leap of faith.
I see this as a very reasonable view but one that reflects a misunderstanding. The problem is that no amount of discussion would be enough to convince you otherwise. Perhaps it is telling that the perennial philosophy is unfalsifiable in just the way it would be if it were true and that this would be impossible to explain if it is dependent on faith and not knowledge, and perhaps also it could be noted that for a global phenomenon it is an implausible coincidence that all skilled practitioners make exactly the same 'leap of faith' regardless of culture, language and age. Maybe also it is suggestive that this philosophy is perfectly consistent with modern physics but wildly out of line with the naively-real Newtonian universe.
But you're right, nobody can demonstrate that they know something and it is only by testing the water can we be sure of the temperature.
In a forlorn effort to connect this to the OP I'll say that for me metaphysics seems to suffer from the issue discussed here, where the essential simplicity of a piece (or a theory) leads many clever players to ignore it.