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 the Law of Identity a Logical Absolute? Can it be doubted, violated, or disproven (i.e., proven false)?

**The First Law of Thought: The Law of Identity** Something is what it is [L_1], and it is not what it is not [LI_2]: -| yields the logical conjunction: [LI_1 & LI_2], & = “and”; Therefore, ...
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Varieties of Evidentialism (Prudential, Moral, Epistemic)

re section 5 of this SEP https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-belief/#VarEvi I understand each has different aims, but I dont see how does the meaning of evidence and Evidentialism change in each ...
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What comes before propositional logic? [closed]

Essentially, what tools does a human require to figure out or build propositional logic?
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Can someone be both a theist and an atheist?

People can have contradictory beliefs. For example, they can both believe there is a god, and believe there is no god. So, does this mean someone can be both a theist and an atheist?
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Is knowledge without certainty contradictory?

Is it consistent to say "I know that London is the capital of England, but I am not certain"? For I could have been lied to all my life, so I am not certain of it.
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Is it logically permissible to neither believe nor disbelieve a proposition X? Or does this violate the law of excluded middle?

Given a proposition X, one can either believe it or disbelieve it. Is it logical however to neither believe X nor disbelieve X? Is it logical to neither believe proposition X nor its negation ~X? I ...
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According to Kant, while thinking of empty concepts without intuitions, what do we synthesise?

(This will be my last question on this book, for those of you getting bored of my questions). Very briefly I will describe the method of Transcendental Deduction (TD) in an over-simplistic manner, and ...
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5answers
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How do philosophers respond to global skepticism?

I saw a video of a philosopher (Robert Audi) who said that common sense is the best response we can give to global skepticism. I would agree, but it's not clear to me what the nature of common sense ...
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Can somebody explain the second argument of B-deduction in CPR?

For me, the Transcendental Deduction aims at proving two things: Categories or pure concepts of understanding must be applied to the manifold of intuitions, i.e, they are necessary for cognition. ...
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Problem with Refutation of Idealism

Can someone please defend Kant's refutation of idealism in the B-edition, because it seems untenable to me. First, he claims that 'I' am aware of myself being subjected to a specific temporal order ...
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What if the premise of CPR's Transcedental Deduction is wrong?

The transcendental unity of apperception is that unity through which all the manifold given in an intuition is united in a concept of the object. It is therefore entitled objective, and must be ...
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Top-down vs bottom-up approaches in science?

I am a student of a natural science but very interested in philosophy. During my studies, I have noted a perceived difference in how various disciplines approach the explanation of data they obtain. I ...
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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Why do we rely upon scientific approach when its foundational axioms are assumed and agreed without proof?

Why do we rely upon scientific approach when its foundational axioms are assumed and agreed without proof? Foundation of the scientific explorations are seem to be the mathematical axioms at its root....
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How can a finite number of observations justify confidence in complex theories

First I'll tell you a bit about how (at least modern) software development works to clarify what I mean by a "test". I'll also narrow the scope to a very particular kind of test known as block box ...
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Does Kant justify the intuitions existing without concepts?

Objects can indeed appear to us without necessarily having to be related to functions of the understanding. (A89/B122) Appearances can certainly be given in intuition without functions of the ...
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What's Kant defense of a noumenal world actually existing?

There is a sharp distinction according to most commentaries between Berkeley and Kant - and perhaps it's purely due to the fact that Kant doesn't render experience in-itself enough to make sense of ...
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Are mental objects timeless?

Let's suspend for a moment the How? of the body mind problem and suppose an ontological paradigm where there are two classes of objects: mental and physical. Also that physical objects are spatially ...
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Is a fallacy involved in perceiving the solution to a long-standing problem as simple and straightforward?

In university (or, school) we're often presented with a problem, and directly afterwards, the solution is presented. Quite often, the solutions presented for a given problem seem painfully obvious, ...
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Difference between *concept* and *knowledge*?

The SEP entry "Rationalism vs Empiricism" distinguishes between the terms concept and knowledge. Is there some standard distinction between these two terms that's commonly used by most philosophers? (...
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Why did Nietzsche dislike Kant and his epistemology so much?

So many books where Nietzsche criticizes Kant and express his contempt about the "categorical imperative" for example in "Beyond Good and Evil": The spectacle of the Tartuffery of old Kant, ...
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Are opinions considered statements?

‘Aristotle was great’. Is this a statement? I consider a statement to be something either true or false (but not both). For an individual, this may be considered a statement (because either you ...
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When does memorization become knowledge?

I am researching aspects of human knowledge acquisition and how it relates to early phases of learning and memorization. Basically, is there research and terminology for the distinction between ...
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Kant on triangles vs unicorns

In the critique of pure reason, according to my reading, Kant is positing that propositions of mathematics are true because they can be situated in space and time, i.e, they can be conceived in space ...
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Explaining to my 11 year old why the question “Will robots ever have feelings” is part of philosophy, not science?

My 11 year old is tasked with interpreting a Seneca quote. I started out by trying to explain to him what ethics is by contrasting 'Will robots ever have feelings?' as a question in Philosophy of Mind,...
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Why are mathematical judgments legitimate while metaphysical are not, according to Kant's CPR?

In my reading of Kant's CPR (I mention this because I don't want an answer according to his other critiques), I don't seem to understand on what basis is Kant distinguishing statements in math and ...
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Query the salient differences between the neo pragmatistism of Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam (may they RIP)

While I have over the years read most of what Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam have “popularly” written/edited [that is aside from their scholarly treatises in academic journals that have for years ...
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Is the argument “Cogito ergo sum” compatible with metaphysical nihilism?

Metaphysical nihilism says that there might not be any objects at all. I'm not interested in whether there are potential problems with this viewpoint. One problem could be that "Cogito" can't come ...
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Life from Non-living Stuff [closed]

The most amazing thing about a living system is that it is made up of non-living atoms and molecules!!! This beautiful thought just got me awestruck, the abstract feelings that we have are just some ...
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Difference between theory revision and ad hoc proposals?

What is the difference between revising a theory and creating an ad hoc explanation to save your theory? Furthermore, at what point is one forced to give up their original theory because it conflicts ...
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Does the concept of thinking/learning of something better when you have “skin in the game” originate with Taleb?

I recently read the book by Taleb in which he writes that having skin in the game with respect to something allows one to have insights about it which one wouldn't (easily?) otherwise. Since Taleb ...
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To say that something is a logical consequence is always a subjective statement?

"A mathematically proven statement would be absolutely correct if all the axioms and inference rules used in the proof are first accepted as absolutely correct. That is the whole purpose of creating ...
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How does Nozick's analysis of knowledge evade brain in a vat counterexamples?

Note: I had posted this a day ago, but I hadn't formulated it very clearly. I still recognize that the counter-example is probably not very strong, but I'm wondering where it is wrong. Any help is ...
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When and under whose influence did the JTB conception of knowledge become standard in contemporary philosophy ( i.e. after Kant)?

My question is on the history of the Justified True Belief conception of knowledge. It is well known that this conception is considered in Plato's Meno, but dismissed. I think Hobbes comes close ...
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Set of all hidden assumptions in a statement

Imagine a person "A" who says to a person "B" the following statement: "It is true that the house in front of me has three windows". If you think about it, this statement is true for a person "B" only ...
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Is it epistemically untenable to posit a total explanation of reality?

I am certainly not well-versed in metaphysics, so please correct the terminology I have employed throughout. When I speak of a total explanation of reality, I am describing an explanation that ...
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What is the position of the Traditionalist School on Epistemology?

I am at a lower intermediate level when it comes to philosophy, having started by studying Hindu philosophy and the Traditional School of René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon and their ilk. I mainly focused ...
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Can the analytic/synthetic distinction be accounted for as an erotetic difference?

Although Kant was the first to refer to the distinction as such, his belief that there is a form of truth based on predicates-contained-in-subjects actually goes back at least to one definition from ...
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Is there a philosophical method to systematically determine the implicit assumptions of a certain thought?

When one is thinking of a certain 'idea' one is making certain implicit assumptions perhaps without even realizing it. Some of these assumptions become much harder to find out if the idea is used ...
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Why does Descartes employ the Painter Analogy in the first meditation?

The analogy can be found in Descartes' Meditations. I think the aim is to cast doubt on those things that we take to ground appearance: the simple as opposed to the composite . By denying simples he ...
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How do different bodies of knowledge depend on each other for their development?

As an example, some body of knowledge can develop only so much before it's development stagnates and it requires other bodies of knowledge to develop. As a weird analogy, the concept(s) I am ...
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Does aleatoric uncertainty exist?

I am wondering whether the distinction into epistemic and aleatoric uncertainty really makes sense. The way I have understood it (and Wikipedia seems to define it) the distinction is: epistemic ...
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Is there any inconsistency in Berkley's philosophy?

Does Berkley's empiricist philosophy contain any inconsistencies? What are the inconsistent sides of Locke's or Hume's philosophies? How is Berkeley's world different from a Matrix-like world? The ...
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Reference request: How do we grasp reality?

I am curious whether there are any wide-spread philosophical thoughts about the nature of the mental concepts by which we grasp reality, know or understand things. Note that I do not directly mean ...
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Do philosophers recognize a deeper problem behind issues like the Problem of the Criterion or the Munchausen Trilemma?

First off, I would like to make it clear that I'm not implying I discovered some secret knowledge about the problems mentioned in the title that has alluded other philosophers for the past 2000+ years....
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What kind of inference do we need to confirm the form of an experimental law?

Imagine scientists observe a linear correlation between two measurable quantities x and y in some type of phenomenon. They induce an experimental law: y=kx. However, the degree of precision of their ...
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Why are Gettier cases so challenging to JTB = K?

Relevant I do not understand why the problem of Gettier cases has been so challenging to the theory that knowledge consists of justified true beliefs. Let's take an example from SEP, where you are ...
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How do we call a tendency of people to call things facts without further justification?

People usually talk as if it was some absolute truth what they are saying. What philosophy has taught me is that we cannot be sure of anything. For everything there exists some counterargument. If a ...
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Is existence a necessary condition for thinking? [closed]

Is existence a necessary condition for thinking? Descartes argues that because he thinks, he exists. But wouldn't he have to exist in the first place for him to: A) Think and B) Realize that he ...

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