BW: This is the "subjective reality" view, but I wouldn't call it "truth", even as an aphorism. It puts hallucinations on a par with validated, logical assertions based on objective evidence. For the mystic, the Bible contains information about supreme beings, never warranted by any evidence or logic, so they assert it as 'true'. That assertion is mitigated by everything we know "for certain" about reality.
BW: This strikes me as an error of definition. The book couldn't exist if the author had no knowledge of the topic. That the mode of communication is a physical object (book) doesn't make it simple "matter". Of course, if no other person ever reads the book, then it is fruitless as a means of communicating knowledge, whether it contains objectively factual information or not.
TSW: "We may speculate that disparate facts, like other kinds of matter, eventually produce chemical reactions within the brain that we experience as mental conflict."
BW: The brain mechanism may be chemical, but the "disparity" is a matter of logic, which may mitigate the truth of any assertion. The "mental conflict" isn't a chemical necessity, since the chemicals (or neurons) have no means of determining whether any abstract assertion is true or false. It is only the *process* of logical analysis that recognizes inconsistencies between two alleged facts ... or a discontinuity with objective evidence.
BW: Again, trying to squeeze a process into a dialectic analysis, which is flimsy, subjective, and unenlightening. New ideas don't result from contradictions, but from concurrences. That is, we observe patterns of events that share common characteristics with patterns we already know, suggesting a similar cause ... not a contradiction. The previous example of a falling ball and a falling brick apply. A recent invention is another good example: a young student [Andraka] who was concurrently studying antibodies and nanotubes realized that the properties of one could affect the properties of the other, inventing a cheap, fast, highly accurate cancer detector. See his TEDx presentation:
TSW: "There are two basic approaches to problem solving: the microcosmic (deductive) and the macrocosmic (inductive)."
BW: There's nothing "micro or macro" about the two. Both are pattern recognition techniques, which have different characteristics. Deduction takes two or more assumptions about reality, applies sequential logic, and arrives at a conclusion. Generally speaking, it doesn't "solve problems" or "create new ideas", it just describes the logical consequence of the premises. Induction takes the same assumptions and identifies logical relationships between one or more of their properties, which can identify novel causes or produce new effects. The two techniques aren't opposites and are usually applied in series to discover new facts or create new effects. Without induction, Andraka would never have consolidated the properties of antibodies, nanotubes, and electrical resistance. Without deduction, he couldn't have found an effective means of combining them to produce a useful result.
TSW: "With macrocosmic thinking (induction), we search for materials normally not considered within the confines of the microcosm of the problem. This approach, although often inefficient, is potentially the most creative."
BW: I agree, but there's nothing macroscopic about it. Here's an interesting article on analytical induction and deduction, titled "Predicting the Future is Hard":
TSW: "We also may speculate that new ideas appear as new brain states - actual physicochemical combinations or material interconnections that have never occurred before."
BW: Everything we commit to memory is a "new physio-chemical combination" in the brain. Every fact we acquire from reality, or the communication of other peoples observations, forms a novel connection in our brain. However, it isn't necessarily the case that those material configurations of neurons have "never occurred before". Abstract concepts, whether new or not, probably are the same in every individual that acquires them. It's called learning and is the foundation of language.
BW: Rather vague. Knowledge identifies truthful assertions about causes and effects, which are just as true in the past - before the evidence was acquired - as it will be in the future. Nor are valid ideas necessarily good predictors of what will happen in the future. For example, Darwin's theory didn't predict *what* changes would occur in future species evolution, only *how* those changes would occur and had occurred in the past. Moreover, as you noted earlier, knowledge is contextual. When contexts change, the knowledge fails to predict ... even if it was absolutely true in another context. That water boils at 212°F is a fact, but only at sea level, not on a mountain.
“I could quit here and declare victory over Weinberg: the CCP that he invoked does not do the work that he thinks he does (specifically, eliminating the possibility of emergent properties), although it does do the job we both want it to do (eliminate dualism, vitalism and supernaturalism).” -Pigiucci