After an introductory course in logic (propositional and predicate calculus) and the article on the SEP, where and how should one start studying formal epistemology?


1 Answer 1


I don't understand what you mean by formal epistemology.

If you want to create new knowledge the knowledge you create often doesn't fit in to existing formalisms. So if formal epistemology involves describing the creation of knowledge in terms of formalism, then it's not going to be any use in most interesting cases.

As far as the use of logic in epistemology is concerned, a lot of the field is still enamoured with inductivism and the idea of justification despite the enormous unsolvable problems with such approaches and the existence of a viable alternative:

Deduction vs Induction -- are they equally valid?

Do all epistemologies suffer from the "regress of justifications" problem?

My main recommendation is to read the references given in the answers I cited above.

  • 2
    This is a really bad answer. If you don't know what formal epistemology is, then you're not qualified to comment. Your second paragraph is nonsense, while the third paragraph is patently false. And the fact that your "main recommendations" are your own answers on this site is just gross. -1
    – user22273
    Mar 27, 2018 at 1:15
  • I have read books about epistemology. The authors of most of those books have in general started with a mistake, have ignored criticism of that mistake and have proceeded to write a vast body of material that solves no real problems.
    – alanf
    Mar 27, 2018 at 16:25
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    Oh, you've read "books about epistemology"? You must be qualified to make sweeping claims about the entire field without a shred of evidence, then. I guess my first comment was way out of line. (To anyone who happens to read this in the future, please bear in mind that crackpots who make claims like "This entire discipline rests on mistakes that no one but me is smart enough to recognize" should simply be ignored.)
    – user22273
    Mar 27, 2018 at 17:01
  • @aduh The mistakes have been recognised by other people, e.g. - by Popper and some others who took account of his ideas. The books I have read about epistemology include Howson and Urbach's "Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach", Bovens and Hartmann, "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science" By Jaynes and many others. Unfortunately when people ignore problems with their position, I can't provide specific quotes from them about the problem they don't mention. All I can do is point out that there are accounts of the problem and there are solutions.
    – alanf
    Mar 27, 2018 at 19:25

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