Epistemology with Bob the Tomato

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The latest Veggie Tales, Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush, opens with a philosophical dialogue between Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber in good Socratic fashion. Here's the crucial part for understanding Bob's epistemological framework:

Larry: Eli says here that there's a bully in his school, and ...
Bob: A bully?
Larry: Yeah, you know, a kid that's real mean to all the other kids?
Bob: I know what a bully is, Larry.
Larry: Then why'd you ask?
Bob: Well, it's just that Caleb wrote about the same thing.
Larry: Wow. That's one busy bully.
Bob: Well, it's not the same bully.
Larry: How do you know?
Bob: Well, I don't but...
Larry: But you seem so certain.
Bob: Well, I am certain.
Larry: How do you know?
Bob: Well, Larry, it's just highly improbable statistically speaking that one bully is bothering two kids 500 miles apart! I mean, sometimes being certain of something just means highly probable! Highly probable!

Rene Descartes is rolling in his grave.



I developed a definition of the difference between possible and probable from the OJ trial (of all things).

It was not possible that Abraham Lincoln committed those murders. He was dead.

It was possible Boris Yeltsin committed those murders. He could have come across the ocean on a Russian sub, crept ashore unnoticed, committed the murders, got back on the sub, and returned to Russia.

That was possible. Boris Yeltsin was alive. But it was not probable.

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