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Re: VMs: Viola tricolor
At 11:07 25/05/2004 +0100, William Edmondson wrote:
Ignotum per ignotius
AKA "the unknown explained by the still more unknown" (i.e. "sorry, but
your supposed explanation didn't move me forward one jot").
Short digression: here in VMsLand we discuss neither *episteme* ("that
which can be known with certainty"), nor *the unknown* ("that which is not
known at all") but instead *uncertain knowledge* ("unreliable [but possibly
Assuming that the plant pictures are there solely for identification
purposes doesn't make that assumption true - it remains one of a large
number of actively-backed VMs-related hypotheses and conjectures, none of
which (despite strenuous efforts) has yet been confirmed or refuted. All of
which is a bit of a pain, but there you go. :-o
The VMs has two main aspects - a cryptographic side and a historical side.
I contend that we will have to understand both of them in order to resolve
its mysteries - but this means we must integrate both certain and uncertain
knowledges into our repertoires.
The "Ionian Enchantment" is Gerald Holton's term for the idea that
everything is reducible to (the logic of) science: yet this only posits one
type of knowledge - episteme, certain knowledge. Is it really the case that
we can, for example, "do history" (where evidence is often fragmentary and
deceptive), but relying only on certain knowledge? I think not.
You seem to be an expert at solving problems using cognitivist thinking and
methodologies, and have decided to apply that skill to an intriguing
historical mystery. Good for you - but please understand (a) that the kind
of certainties this kind of mindset typically relies upon are in
desperately short supply here (we're not even sure what the alphabet is,
nor if our transcriptions capture all the nuances we'd need); and (b) that
we are swimming in a sea of overlapping (ie, not all mutually exclusive)
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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