Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Was is the solution to strong-narrow scientism's refutation flaw?

Summary Defining strong-narrow scientism as the thesis that the science is the only source of knowledge, where the definition of science does no include philosophy. Have a well now refutation that ...
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There is some simple refutation of scientism?

Aclarations Scientism (Science as Ideology) is the philosophical thesis that claims tha the emphirical science is at least the best source of knowledge. There are two kinds of scientism: Strong ...
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Understanding the difference between analytic/synthetic vs necessary/contingent

I was listening to a lecture by John Searle on philosophy of language and he mentions the classifications: analytic/synthetic and necessary/contingent. I am not sure what the difference is but using ...
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Are there scholarly works on philosophy of language treatment of the Gettier problem?

I found two essays on a kind of response to the Gettier problem. One is a Philosophy Now article, and another is a blog post. On both sources, they argue that Smith's belief (on the original Gettier ...
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Scientism, Positivism Instumentalism

Positivists have been criticised for their scientism when in fact it seems that antipositivists are the ones that support scientism. Positivist try to exclude things from the label science, knowledge ...
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Reality-related mathematical axioms

We are often told (Feynman i.a.) that mathematics is different from science in that the results are not measurable. We might take the speculation a bit further and wonder if indeed mathematics is ...
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According to Logical Positivism, why is it that for a statement to be meaningful, its contradiction must also be meaningful?

I am trying to understand the argument for the supposedly paradoxical nature of the verifiability criterion. The argument goes as follows: Suppose that the principle of verifiability is itself ...
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Are all beliefs ultimately rooted in faith?

For the purpose of this question let 'belief' mean anything a person accepts to be true for whatever reason - in particular if someone 'knows' something they also 'believe' in it. I read this old ...
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Is it fallacious to argue that something is correct, of good quality, or acceptable because a community of experts has established it as such?

Earlier today, I asked a programming question on a forum. I phrased the question as "What is the best way to do x?" Someone responded with something to the effect of, "the best way is ...
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What is the minimum feature structure for a valid family resemblance definition?

As part of a research project, I am trying to better understand Wittgenstein's family resemblance definitions. I have come across various interpretations of this idea and I want to check my ...
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Is imagination a sufficient condition for something to exist?

We can imagine a chair and build it, We can imagine the Starship Enterprise And given the neccessary technological knowledge build it. We can imagine a living flying elephant and it seems given the ...
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Question about knowledge acquisition

Apologies. I'm not sure what I'm asking and I'm not a philosopher. It's about knowledge acquisition. If you lack knowledge about a certain subject it's difficult to evaluate the quality of the answers ...
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How much content is in the common sense, according to Marvin Minsky?

I remember watching, years ago, a lecture by (or an interview of) Marvin Minsky, in which he gave a numerical estimate of how much information was in the common sense. He stated that the common sense ...
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Conceivability as an argument for possibility

In some philosophy books I have encountered that conceivability of something is taken as an argument for its possibility. In "The Conscious Mind" David Chalmers presents an argument that a ...
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Mechanistic fallibility

I've often seen fallibilism discussed with reference to the Münchhausen trilemma and the problem of scientific induction. There is a simpler and more encompassing model of fallibilism that I might ...
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How philosophers reason about closeness of one theory to the other theory (approximation, learnability, discovery of theory)?

Some theory is tuple of set of axioms (including ones that are statements about data), set of inference rules and set of already deduced theorems (statements) in it. Theory can be discovered by human ...
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Is it possible for everything that exists to have a definition?

Is it possible for everything that exists to have a definition? I actually started out asking this in the linguistics - semantics stack and was directed here. By definition I mean at least in the ...
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Question about Russell's distinction between knowledge of things and knowledge of truths in 'The Problems of Philosophy'

In his book, Russell distinguishes several types of knowledge. He first distinguishes knowledge of truths, and of things. "the sense in which what we know is true (...) i.e. to what are called ...
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125 views

If Free Will Is Proven Illusory, Is There a Case for Suppressing the Finding?

NOTE: This question does not assume the existence or non-existence of free will. Dan Dennett, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, states that when "...neuroscientists who've been going ...
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Are there any philosophers after Kant but before Peirce that developed the Kantian concept of schema further?

I was reading Peirce's writings on schemata and I was wondering if there was any other known philosopher before him who tried to use or extend schemata in his work. Are there any philosophers after ...
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Name for believing reality cannot be modeled?

What is the name for the belief that truth and reality cannot be modeled or represented logically, intellectually, nor linguistically and hence cannot actually be discussed? Do any philosophers say ...
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Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with Knightian freedom the same things in essence?

In his remarkable works (1,2 and their later development 3) Thomas Breuer proves by diagonalization the phenomenon that the observer cannot distinguish all phase space states of a system where he is ...
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What did John of Salisbury write about the concepts of "logical depth and breadth"?

In the Digital companion to Peirce site there is the following text about the logical depth and breadth: …it was between six and seven centuries ago that John of Salisbury spoke of it as “fere in ...
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Roles of sensibility, understanding and imagination in Kant's epistemology

According to Kantian epistemology, there are three falcuties of mind; sensibility, understanding and imagination. Unfortunately, the differentiation between these three are not totally sure to me so I ...
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Proof for the Absence of Free Will?

There are a number of arguments which aim to prove the impossibility of free will. The Standard Argument (incorporating the Determinism Objection and the Randomness Objection) is well known and ...
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Objective vs Absolute Morality: Is one possible without the other?

Can something be objectively immoral and not simultaneously absolutely immoral? Definitions of the difference between objective and absolute morality tend to commit a comparison error. For instance: &...
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Understanding Kant's view on space and time

I am trying to understand Kant's view on space and time. After reading several articles, I think I somewhat understood what he is trying to say, but I'd like to get my view approved. Here is how I ...
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Is it possible to refute any form of innate knowledge?

The standard definition of rationalism is that a rationalist believes that humans have innate knowledge(concept) or ability to intuit/deduct. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think according to the ...
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Even though we close our eyes, can we perceive a place?

Even though we close our eyes, can we perceive place? For example, if we close our eyes, we see darkness and black color, then do we see dark place and black place?
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How can materialists make claims?

I dont have all the modern philosophical terms down, but I cannot see how materialists/physicalists can make any claims. If there is nothing but physical universe, then there is no “truth”. Actually ...
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What did Kant mean by "objects" and how do they relate to intutions and concepts?

I am trying to understand Kant's taxonomy of ideas (or "representations") and I am stuck on his meaning of "intuition", in particular, whether or not the object of an intuition ...
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Why do equivalent propositions sometimes differ in apparency?

I study maths, and I have found that a useful way of thinking about two propositions A and B being equivalent is to regard them as being two different ways of saying the same thing, or equivalently, ...
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According to some epistemologists, what bias leads to the Occam's razor?

According to some epistemologists, what bias leads to the Occam's razor? The Occam's razor seems like a bias, because the thinking that the simplest thing should be favored seem to imply something ...
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I read lots of introduction books about philosophy, now I want to learn more. Reccomend some books thar are not too basic or too advanced

What should I read? Should I read the books philosophers themselves wrote or the ones that is written by someone else??? I don't want books that only give introduction. I read lots of easy ...
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what part of philosophy studies the ideas of (individual, attribute, proposition, argument, theory, and science)?

There is the idea of individual and attribute, after there is the idea of proposition, with that we can do arguments. After the idea of proposition is the idea of theory and after the idea of science, ...
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Are moral justifications considered to be epistemologically justified knowledge?

Are moral justifications considered to be epistemologically justified knowledge? Moral justifications don't refer to an objective truth, so I am wondering if these subjective truths can be considered ...
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The structure of the epistemic regress

I just read this essay on coherentism, and it resonated with a question I have about reconciling foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism. The gist of the essay is that there are graph-theoretic ...
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Hume's induction using circularity fallacy

Hello everyone, i was going through this reading of a book in which it present Hume's induction wrong using circularity . I was trying to find some error in it as given there but could not pinpoint ...
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Can we say that human beings are behaving more and more like machines?

In all societies people complied to some behavioral expectation. In the middle age for instance people felt that they were assigned by God their position in society, and they would comply to the ...
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When can we have certainty in what we claim to know?

This is a question that my friends asked me a few times. I am confused, because I have been trying to answer this question myself, but I can't seem to come up with any valid answer. For example, what ...
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Questions about consistency and double standards

I'd actually would like to share some thoughts on the topics mentioned in the title so someone could tell me if I missed anything (it's an "is it really that?" type of question).  Are ...
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Is Occam's Razor a Prior?

In Bayesian statistics, the posterior probability of a hypothesis is composed of two parts: the prior, reflecting our initial belief in a certain hypothesis, and the likelihood, which represents how ...
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Do different elements of logic have different epistemological strength?

Do different elements of logic have different epistemological strength? By epistemological strength, I mean epistemological certainty or the certainty the concept is true and grounded on truth. For ...
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What are the prerequisites for knowing something?

I want to get some references, expand and check mi intuitions. I think the epistemological prerequisites to know something are by order: an external reality, which is stable to a minimum degree so ...
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Are the premises of deductive arg's. founded upon inductive cases?...help is what I am in need of

Let's take this example of a deductive argument: P1: Monkeys like bananas. P2: Lucy is a monkey. C: Therefore, Lucy likes bananas. Disregarding whether this argument is true or false, how does one ...
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108 views

What makes a fallacy... a fallacy?

According to Wikipedia, a fallacy is "the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or 'wrong moves' in the construction of an argument". I'm curious, however, about how are some things ...
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Paraepistemic logic?

Suppose a u-operator for "it is understood that" and a k-operator for "it is known that"; let S stand for various sentences. Here are some possible rules for relating these: uS → ...
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Understanding, knowledge, and analytic truth

I read through this SEP article and wondered about the possibility of "understanding logic" vs. epistemic logic. One difference I could see would be that uS wouldn't necessarily be factive, ...
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Is the epistemic regress infinite or finite?

Is the epistemic regress infinite or finite? It is often assumed to be infinite, but was there any discussion about how some epistemic regress may not be infinite in certain cases, or a endpoint where ...
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Bostrom's probabilistic argument for simulation

I am reading Bostrom's famous paper "Are you living in a computer simulation?", but I can't understand his probabilistic reasoning. Why does he define the fraction of observers that live in ...

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