Epistemology is the study of knowledge, acquisition thereof, and the justification of belief in a given claim.

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Are all self-evident truths necessarily redundant?

Every justificationist theory of knowledge has axioms and premises that it begins with. This fact has led skeptics to criticize the possibility of knowledge by noting the infinite regress within any ...
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Is Feyerabend confusing discovery and justification when he criticizes the scientific method?

I am reading Feyerabend's "Against Method", where he uses Copernicus's (and Galileo's confirmation) discovery of the fact that the Earth orbits around the Sun and other examples to show that ...
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How should one properly characterize mathematical conclusions?

I am a mathematics graduate student, not a philosophy student, so please bear with me. However, I am interested in investigating what exactly it is that I spend the majority of my week doing! As ...
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Is this a legitimate solution to the brain in a vat problem?

The problem: "Since the brain in a vat gives and receives exactly the same impulses as it would if it were in a skull, and since these are its only way of interacting with its environment, then it is ...
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Are Nontransitive Dice a problem for probability interpretations?

A set of dice is nontransitive if the binary relation – X rolls a higher number than Y more than half the time – on its elements is not transitive. Different sets of such dice are known. 'Rolling ...
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In what fundamental ways, if any, does Husserl break with Kant?

I've read only slim secondary works on Husserl some time ago, and recently started "The Crisis in the European Sciences." So far, the framework seems faithfully Kantian. Husserl, for example, ...
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Question of Identity

Conversing with someone trying to convince me that 2 and 1+1 are not the same thing. His argument was that although 1+1 = 2, they are in fact different because the notation is different. We see "1+1" ...
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If it's impossible to separate science from metaphysics, is it is also impossible to separate science from ethics and values?

One of the most important results in philosophy of science is that every observation is "theory-laden", i.e. that the outcome of any scientific experiment is affected by the theoretical ...
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80 views

What is the difference between everyday realism and metaphysical realism?

At an everyday level, we seem to subscribe to a from of strong realism which doesn't leave any room for skepticism. We are certain that individuals who hear voices in their heads or who have ...
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How does a realist account for causation between universals and particulars?

With respect to universals nominalists maintain that there are no universals and only particulars exists. Conversely, realists says that there are universals. Here is a sketch of an argument against ...
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How do psychoanalysts interpret the epistemological concept of “proof”?

How do psychoanalysts interpret the epistemological concept of "proof"? Not necessarily of psychoanalysis.
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Is the claim that atheism is the null hypothesis invalid because it applies a physical measurement to the metaphysical?

I've heard several people state that: Atheism is the null hypothesis. ie that this null hypothesis can be falsified: if one piece of evidence is found to contradict it, the existence is considered ...
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Did Kant consider Newtonian mechanics a priori?

Did Kant take Newtonian physics as being synthetic a priori? I get the feeling he did. If he did, how did he justify this... seems like a huge blunder for such a careful thinker. I mean... Kant ...
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How does Locke's realism differ from Kant's realism?

I've been studying Locke recently and I'm having trouble understanding how his epistemic position differs from Kant's, and by implication, why did Kant see his epistemology as being so revolutionary ...
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Does running a program about quantum mechanics on a quantum computer count as an experiment or a simulation?

When it comes to the simulation vs. experiment debate, some proponents of simulations argue they have equal epistemic value because computer simulations are physical processes happening inside a ...
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How would you know if nonobservable entities exist?

Nonphysical entities cannot be observed. Therefore such entities cannot be verified by observation. How could statements like "God exists" be even considered true? Why would anyone appeal to the ...
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Does truth not require belief?

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.--Neil Degrasse Tyson Such scientific medievalism runs rampant today and speaks to the propaganda of vacuous ...
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Can reason defend itself without resort to reason?

I recently read, "Reason can't defend itself without resort to reason." Is this universally true?
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Can one be a reductionist without being a materialist?

I always assumed that reductionism was an inherently materialist/physicalist point of view: If one believed that everything can be reduced to the fundamental laws of physics, then by implication, they ...
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Can the correspondence theory of truth really be completely avoided?

Let us assume that 'truth' is a construct of the human mind. In this case truth is defined as some product of the mind's 'verification', and nothing else. What 'makes' a statement true is simply the ...
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What kind of philosophical questions are transcendental philosophical questions?

There are a lot of different philosophical questions and I'm interested in knowing what kind of questions are asked in or what kind of questions does transcendental philosophy try to answer. I've ...
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Is Logic Pre-Human?

It was German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) who famously said, "animals are poor in world." Although this may be true, I do not see them as being poor in logic. Paleontologists have ...
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How can you refute the 'ancient knowledge passed down' argument that a new age or religious believer might use?

A skeptic would argue 'There's no scientific evidence to suggest that God (or crystal healing, or indigo children) exist. The onus is on the proponent of the idea to put evidence forward to suggest ...
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Is it possible to argue that ideas don't exist, only facts exist?

I was thinking that even Hume, or the Logical Positivists, despite being the standard bearers of empiricism, still hold on to a lingering rationalism, since they believe the independent existence of ...
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Should modern empiricists embrace string theory?

Conventional wisdom says "no", lack of new predictions being the main criticism. Johansson and Matsubara review string theory from various empiricist perspectives, and the best they can say (for ...
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The main reasons for “qualia” being a problem?

What is the main problem behind secondary qualities/qualia? Because the length of a geometrical object, for example, is a visual sensation just like the redness of a rose; at this point, one might ...
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Under moderate realism, what is considered the reason for similarity?

Moderate realism is a position on universals that holds the 'universality' of universals to be an aspect of universals that is added on by the mind in concepts through abstraction, and that ...
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Metaphysically, what came before the ability to make distinctions?

Descartes, for example, makes the distinction between body and mind by recognizing the body as an idea born from 'extension' and the mind as an idea born from 'consciousness'. He further recognizes ...
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Example of knowledge representation as a surrogate for something in the world

I've been trying to learn about knowledge representations. According to a canonical definition, a knowledge representation is: a surrogate for real-world entities an ontological commitment ...
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94 views

How should science approach non-empirical phenomena?

I am not talking about miracles, religious revelation, or artistic expression, but something more mundane. There is a lot of "empirical" evidence that the Riemann hypothesis is true, the scare quotes ...
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Where can I find a correlation to Russell's epistemology in the Tractatus?

According to the Structure of the Tractatus, there is: 1) the ontology at the beginning; 2) "a discussion to what Russell calls epistemology, but it is actually the foundation of possible knowledge ...
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Why “philosophy never ends” for the tractarian Wittgenstein?

In the Prototractatus Wittgenstein wrote an additional section (called 6.55) which is seen as a possible third solution to the matter of building a perfect system of logic. This conclusion was ...
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72 views

What is the relation between grounding and emergence in philosophy of science?

So, I am wondering if anyone could help me with the notions of grounding and emergence in the modern discussions in philosophy of science. What are they and what is the relation between them? Any ...
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(How) Does philosophy make you a better moral agent?

Where (literature) would you recommend I start if I wanted to explore the intuition that the practice of philosophy makes/could (if proper) make philosophers better moral agents? Thanks.
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What is Kant's view of a mathematical object?

I wonder what are mathematical objects - say, the number 1, a circle etc. - for Kant? Do they have some kind of special status for him compared to ordinary (empirical) objects? Where exactly he talks ...
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Will scientific knowledge always have an application within or outside the realm of itself?

The scientific method tells us that the first step to creating or finding new scientific knowledge is to begin with an observation. Now the fact that this observation has embedded itself in the ...
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Is it appropriate to say that mathematical knowledge has intrinsic value for mathematicians?

I have been toying with the idea of value for a while and came up with this question a few days ago. I think that it is impossible to say that mathematical knowledge has intrinsic value for ...
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Can you feel a feeling you don't know about? Could it affect your emotions?

So, do you believe someone can feel lonely if they don't know what loneliness is? Don't you think people don't like / like loneliness based on experience (someone who never gets to be alone usually ...
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33 views

How to distinguish between value and utility?

Although both the words have been used synonymously, I would like to know the underlying difference between the two. If we consider the notion of intrinsic value we see that certain things such as ...
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What was Einstein's contribution to philosophy?

Daniel Dennett, in a lecture abut Darwin, mentions Netwon, Darwin, Skinner, Turing, Gödel, and Einstein as 6 "non-philosophers" who have had a major impact on philosophy. I can see how the other 5 had ...
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How can the physical world be an abstract mathematical structure?

This is Tegmark's short formulation of the "mathematical universe" (paraphrased by detractors as "reality made of math"), and he goes out of his way to stress that he means the "is" literally:"Whereas ...
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Can you teach something you don't know? [closed]

Is it possible to teach something you don't know?
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Can Wittgenstein's critique of private language be turned against (modernized) Kant?

Wittgenstein argued, roughly, that a language has to be learned, and to be learned it has to be used first. Therefore, no private language. But if language has to be learned what then are the a priori ...
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How would Kant classify the number π? How would Hume? Is π empirical?

I used the example of π, but this applies to other transcendental numbers as well, such as e Kant classified statements into 4 epistemic categories based on two criteria: The Analytic/Synthetic ...
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How can probability statements be falsified?

Have studied recently some about philosophical views of probability and ran into an interesting problem put forward by Popper: According to Popper, probability statements are not strictly ...
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Is it correct to define a lack of understanding of the scientific method, as a “lack of epistemological education”? [closed]

I would like to learn about the scientific method, and philosophy of knowledge, so I'm trying to identify the concepts which I would study. If somebody makes a radically wrong (to be more precise, ...
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Why cannot reports of a miracle overpower all our experience and laws of nature?

A novice, I do not feel prepared yet to, but shall in future, read Hume; please tell me if Hume's originals answer my question. Source: pp 30-31, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by ...
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Why is “the problem of criterion” problematic?

If I understand it correctly, the problem of criterion is essentially that you can only identify knowledge if you have the criteria for knowledge, but that you can only have the criteria for knowledge ...
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How does Wittgenstein's private language argument work against distinguishing sensations?

Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations in paragraph 270: Let us imagine a use for the entry of the sign "S" in my diary. I discover that whenever I have a particular sensation a ...
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What is the Anti-Realist and Constructivist interpretation of empirical dating methods?

I'm fairly interested in the realism, anti-realism debate and would like to hear, if possible by an anti-realist or constructivist, how dating methods fit into their world view. As a realist, dating ...