4 Comments

  1. I guess I could answer “yes” or “no”, depending my definitions of the words “know” and “true”… (There are several definitions of “know” here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/know )

    For me, “know” is a construct of the mind. It can be based on facts or knowledge, but can also be based on something you *think* are facts or knowledge.

    So I will say, yes, it’s possible to know something that isn’t true.

    In my latter years, I’ve tried to cease saying “I know that…” when it would be more honest to say “I’m convinced that…”

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  2. Let’s not forget the powers of self-deception and denial. How many felons have been shown a video recording of themselves caught in the act and explained “That’s not me.”

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  3. Michael: yes indeed. Even under normal circumstances, memory is a funny thing. I’ve had this conversation with my mother:

    Mom: Remember that trip to [place]?
    Me: I didn’t go on that one. I stayed home and worked.
    Mom: Here’s a photo of you in the car with us.

    I had a specific memory of not going on that specific trip, yet I must have gone. These occurrences are one reason I continue to keep a journal. I determined many years ago to always trust my journal over my memory. (Which brings up a question in the digital age: what if someone edited my journal files?)

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