Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Is there a logical argument for the limit of knowledge?

It is justifiable to assert that certain knowledge could not be disseminated without the invention of writing. One could say that humanity needed the knowledge of writing before further knowledge ...
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Is the death penalty a philosophical necessity if the murdered can come back to the living? [closed]

I mean, the death penalty is there because we want the murderer to pay. But if medicine can bring the killed back to life, what would be the point of it then? Not just philosophy, but also law ...
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Some questions about skepticism and the principle of knowledge?

What about this principle? ("if K (P - > ~ Q), then ~ k (~ Q) - > ~ k (P)") (if you know (P implies non-Q, then you don't know non-Q implies don't know P) I learnt about that Nozick gave an anti ...
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Why did Berkeley denounce 'abstract' ideas?

George Berkeley- Berkeley is best known for his early works on vision (An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, 1709) and metaphysics (A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710; ...
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Who Killed Bob? [closed]

We have a mach zhender type interferometer that can receive quantum bullets. Charlie fires the bullets continuously into the device and (assuming a perfect experiment) the bullets all exit at output A....
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What does it mean for someone to “found a state/government”? And why can they do it?

What does it mean for someone to "found a state/government"? And why can they do it? E.g. George Washington is referred to as the "founder" of American republic. But what's a republic and how can ...
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How/when can categorization of things be correct?

How/when can categorization of things be correct? Meaning just "categorization" in general. It's intuitive that categorization is a "primitive" cognitive and linguistic phenomenon. Without ...
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What is the value of a formal model in science?

In science we often use formal models (by which I mean a mathematical structure composed of assumptions, variables, and equations, which might be solved/simulated to derive analytical insights and/or ...
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Kant claimed that 7+5=12 is a synthetic proposition; is this not obvious?

Whenever anyone claims that 7+5=12 is an analytic proposition, they are overlooking one important detail. What is that? Charles M. Saunders
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Where can I learn more about this “universal blackout?”

The first paragraph of C.S. Lewis' essay "Bulverism, or, the Foundation of 20th Century Thought" reads as follows: It is a disastrous discovery, as Emerson says somewhere, that we exist. I mean, it ...
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Is Conciliating/Meeting in the Middle ever rational in relation to Uniqueness Thesis and Permissiveness?

Say that you and your epistemic peer have the same evidence but disagree about P. You can: Conciliate/Meet in the Middle: when you learn that you believe P and that your peer believes ~P (or: you ...
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Question about conditionalization and probability

I am working on a problem set and I am not sure if I am heading in the right direction. The scenario: "Suppose three identical boxes are presented to you, and you are told that one box contains two ...
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What are main references on decolonization of knowledge/science?

Here and there I hear a lot about decolonization of knowledge or science. What does that mean? What thinkers believe that knowledge or scientific knowledge or scientific practices or academic ...
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Question about anchoring and adjustment (Tversky and Kahneman) and why anchoring often yields correct judgments

I am working on a problem set and I am having some difficulty wrapping my head around a concept introduced by Tversky and Kahneman. My problem set asks the question "Why does anchoring nevertheless ...
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Can not believing a false statement qualify as knowledge?

The statement "Lions live in Africa" is true. Therefore, believing it qualifies as knowledge, but not believing it is does not. The statement "Lions live in Norway" is false. Therefore, neither ...
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What is a philosophical term for all the information stored in one's mind?

Knowledge is commonly defined as the the intersection of truth and justified belief. But people also have lots of false ideas in their heads. Is there a philosophical term for the sum total of ...
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Is the proposition “I feel happy” analytic or synthetic?

If we consider the statement to be true, assumedly the predicate "happy" is contained within the subject "I", and would therefore be analytic. Would this also make all subjective statements analytic? ...
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Can it be rational to have beliefs one knows to be inconsistent?

It seems that the answer would be yes, especially when we think about the example of the preface paradox (authors stating in prefaces "the errors that are found herein are mine alone", i.e. believing ...
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How can a belief in the 'objectivity' of the scientific method be anything other than mythical transcendence?

The Scientific method purportedly achieves the deriving of objective truth by removing the unavoidably subjective nature of human knowledge from the loop. This system claims that by following ...
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Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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What is the word for 'regarding the structure of a theory'?

I want to analyse some thermodynamical theories, i.e. theories that are concerned with temperature, heat, pressure, volume, states, systems etc. etc. These theories obviously differ in many ways. ...
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Is Kant's transcendental logic a kind of erotetic logic?

In the first Critique, Kant presents a "problematical" concept of the ideation of reason, e.g. he talks about a focus imaginarium or something at one point. And his discourse on noumena as not "...
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Computers, Artificial Intelligence, and Epistemology

Some classification schemes don't list logic as a separate branch of philosophy. I assume they regard logic as a component of epistemology. Of course, others regard logic as a separate branch. The ...
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Occam’s razor vs. rejecting all explanations

Let’s say two geologists study a singular natural process, an eruption of a certain special volcano, and do a series of measurements for one hour, one every minute. The data points look like this: ...
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The truth of statements which do not capture everything about the object [closed]

Logically it could be true to say: "All human beings are mortal (and therefore Peter is mortal because Peter is a human being)." But the above statement could be false in a sense, because mortality ...
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What is the relationship between scientific explanation and interpretability?

I am trying to understand the relationship between Scientific Explanation and Intelligibility / Understanding. I believe the former is grounded in the Metaphysics of Causation while the latter is ...
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Is economics a science according to Popperian and Lakatosian standards? [duplicate]

According to Karl Popper's falsification criterion only a falsifiable theory is said to be a scientific theory. If this is true, is Economics falsifiable and hence considered scientific?
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Hume Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding “Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic” from “senses and experience”?

Here are two quotes in Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. They seem to contradict one another, and I want to know how/where Hume or his adherents reconcile them. I have not yet finished ...
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Does externalism solve the Münchhausen trilemma?

In traditional (access-)internalist epistemology, justification is a relation between beliefs, or sets of beliefs. My belief that it will rain today is justified by beliefs about the season, my ...
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Is Kant committing the reflection fallacy? ( Kant's epistemology)

(1) I see a tree. (2) Therefore the tree is the object of my perception. (3) So I see the object of my perception. (4) Hence, without grasping the concept of object in general and subsuming the ...
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How do we know we could be brains in vats? [closed]

So-called skeptics usually claim that we don't know some normal facts because they know some abnormal fact about some possibility that undermines knowledge. How do these people know their modal claims ...
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Are the questions “Do I exist” and “Why do I exist” related to metaphysics, epistemology or another branch of philosophy?

Does the universe (or anything) exist? I assume that question would fall under metaphysics. But could it also touch on epistemology (e.g. how we define "universe" or "exist")? Do I exist? To me, ...
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Is economics a science?

In class, I made the argument that economics is not science, because it cannot undertake repeatable experiments. Someone rebutted: this would mean that I am ignore an emerging body of work, some by ...
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Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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Have Kant, Hegel or Fichte. etc. talked about hallucination or illusion?

How do Kant (a Constructivist), idealists such as Hegel, or subjectivists like Fichte deal with hallucination or illusion, given that it appears to show their beliefs about the world are uncertain? ...
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Is a set that contains itself always logically incoherent? [closed]

This is an ontological engineering question, please treat it that way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_engineering I am examining this question from the point of view of ontological ...
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Prove the following facts about Conditionalization

Prove that when an agent conditionalizes on new evidence, her credence in a proposition that entails the evidence cannot decrease. That is, when H entails E, it must be the case that cr2(H) is greater ...
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Why does Kant say that some imperatives are analytically justified?

In the Groundwork and the second Critique, IIRC, Kant for some reason tries to explain the "argument" for the categorical imperative as synthetic a priori. He does this not just for assertoric forms ...
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Can certain knowledge be experienced without words?

This question has been framed from a reading of Ruth Lydia Saw's book, "The Vindication of Metaphysics", (Macmillan, 1951). It's being termed, the 'parrot' example from pp.50-52. Saw poses a very ...
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Is this argument against the possibility of epistemology correct?

(1) Epistemology is looking for a definition of knowledge. (2) Suppose an epistemologist claims that he has come upon a correct definition, this claim would amount at saying " now, I know what is ...
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Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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Post-Positivism's Relationship to Post-Modernism

In A Nice Derangement of Epistemes by John H. Zammito, he attempts to "deflate" certain "extravagant gestures in philosophy of language" as he believes they "threaten to undermine indispensable canons ...
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Corroboration in Popper's system

Why corroboration gives to a theory increasing "value", as he states in his "logic of scientific discovery". The question is simple, but I need a complex answer, one that can't be used to justify ...
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What is the fundamental axiom of reasoning?

Is it true that a fundamental axiom of logical reasoning is that reality doesn't contradict? Can someone explain why this assumption is a reasonable starting point if true or what a more accurate ...
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Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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Should we pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge without considering the possible consequences? [closed]

For example, should Alfred Noble be blamed for suicide bombers as he created dynamite?
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How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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What kind of questions can science answer?

Please bear with me, as I am self-studying philosophy as a beginner. My questions are about the limitations of empirical science. During my reading of some books, I've come across statements of the ...