Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Bewitched by sortal v natural kind [anti] Essentialism

In Essential vs. Accidental Properties (SEP) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/index.html, in the context of natural kinds essentialism, one finds: Notice that one may hold ...
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Is there any philosophical view on translation in early modern philosophy?

Do you know of any philosophical view on translation in early modern philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz)?
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Material theory of induction: why not abandon induction altogether?

John Norton defends a material theory of induction, based on the idea that universal inference schemes cannot account for the strength of inductive inferences. Whether a specific induction is good or ...
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Gullible judge in court?

Let's say I believe Prior Pr ( Telling a lie | Human) > 0.5. Would I then be regarded as gullible and an unreliable judge in court?
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Are unfalsifiable statements valid? Two Medical Doctors met with Jesus and wrote a statement about it

I'm interested in your take on unfalsifiable statements. Please consider the following scenario: Let’s say two medical doctors living together, Bill & Janet, claims that they met “Jesus” in their ...
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How do rationalists justify the scientific method?

From what I understand rationalism allows some knowledge to be acquired innately, and that rationalism was created as the opposite of empiricism. Since the scientific method assumes that knowledge is ...
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Should we define truth (given it exists)?

Should we, human-beings, try to define truth (given truth exists in reality)? Personally, I don't think we should reduce truth to symbols and syllables because I think it will take us into weird ...
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Does sensory information exist, and do philosophers have a name for it?

Are there really sensory sensations such as sight, hearing, tactile sensations, smell, taste, and umami? In other words, are those sensations or sense-data real, and if they are not real physically, ...
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Quine and the Myth of the Given

To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to ...
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What is my fallacy? LSAT Reasoning Question: Titanium Ink

I have a question regarding an LSAT Reasoning question and it drives me crazy Question is: Until recently it was thought that ink used before the sixteenth century did not contain titanium. However, ...
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What is the difference between warrant and justification according to Plantinga?

According to the traditional account of knowledge: S knows P iff S has a (1) Justified (2) True (3) Belief. I have not faced any account of knowledge that denies that last two things (epistemic ...
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Are There Other “Cave Allegories” in Ancient Greek Philosophy or Drama?

We are all familiar with the famous, incomparably suggestive cave allegory in Plato's Republic. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to modern movies, TV, and social media, this allegory seems to retain ...
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How do philosophers answer a question like 'How do you know something exists?'

I recently watched a video from Rationality Rules titled "The Argument from Personal Experience - Debunked (Why Personal Experiences are NOT Proof)". As the title reveals, the video's goal ...
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Why does Nozick rely on closest possible world in his tracking theory?

According to the truth-tracking theory of Nozick, S knows that P iff (1) P is True, (2) S believes that P, (3) If P were not True, S would not believe that P, and (4) If P were True, S would believe ...
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Is having “skin in the game” always beneficial in “thought and action” as Taleb seems to think?

I was skimming through the tweets about Taleb when I saw one from one of his former [friends][1] which was about Taleb's "skin of the game" that was about it say that is neither necessary ...
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How would an philosopher and scientist solve the following kidnapping - scenario?

I would like to hear your opinion as philosophers and scientists regarding how you would solve the problem of proof in the following scenario: "Plato" who has dementia and a damaged left ...
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Reference request regarding 'a priori knowledge' and conscious development

One possible key element about a priori knowledge that would allow a precise understanding of it would flow from the question: is (Kantian) a priori knowledge produced consciously or subconsciously? ...
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Self-evident vs. self-explanatory vs. …?

How far apart are these descriptions? I was approaching the issue from the perspective of erotetic logic, and my intuition is that self-evidence is when a proposition is evident from its erotetic ...
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Has Semiotics been adopted by any mainstream academic philosophers?

Semiotics, as developed by Pearce, Saussure, Barthes, and others can have very broad applications that overlap with epistemology, logic, and maybe even ontology. I don't believe it is always ...
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What are David Lewis' perfectly natural properties?

I have read a few things on David Lewis either his papers and SEP entry etc. unfortunately I still struggle to understand lots of concepts from this philosopher. First, what are the perfectly natural ...
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Which discipline of philosophy is most interested and relevant to studying the nature of change?

Often as a beginner, I wonder: who studies this idea? Is there a body of literature on 'change', and if so, which discipline of philosophy is most interested in the nature of 'change' and truths ...
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If multiple hypotheses can explain the same set of facts, is it possible to tell which one is ultimately true? [duplicate]

Given a set of observable facts, let's suppose that there are multiple hypotheses compatible with those facts that can explain them. Is there any way to tell which one of these hypotheses is ...
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What is a second-order disposition?

I am reading this paper that makes references to "first-order dispositions" and "second-order dispositions" constantly, and I do not know what they really mean: Joachim Horvath, ...
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According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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Are extraordinary first-hand subjective accounts more likely to be true the more people report the same experience?

For illustrative purposes, let's take as an example the following claim X = "I went to sleep, but then I suddenly woke up at 3:00 a.m. feeling a terrifying evil presence, and then my bed began to ...
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What does “mind-independent” mean in Hegel?

In Burbidge's "The Logic of Hegel's Logic" p. 25 he says, describing Hegel's position vis a vis Schelling: "Since the world is genuinely independent of our thinking of it, then we must ...
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To what extent does a hypothesis have to be testable to be regarded as scientific?

In the vein of verificationism and related to problems of falsifiability as per Karl Popper, I ask the following: Let's say hypothesis X is proposed in order to account for a certain set of observable ...
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Are there any philosophers who are experts on conceivability and have written texts about it?

I recently asked about a definition of conceivable. Now I am asking a slightly different question. I want to know if there are philosophers who have written texts clarifying (and perhaps even defining)...
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Is it necessary for something to be observed for it to exist?

Say something was to happen in the universe, so minuscule that no one notices it, and it has no effect on history whatsoever. Is it correct to say that it never happened, because when we say something ...
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What's the difference between Justification and Evidence?

Q: In what ways does use of the term "Evidence" differ from that of the term "Justification" in philosophy? Ive read Evidence posed as the internalist counterpoint to the ...
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Why do many philosophers attach so much importance to laymen intuition?

For instance, when discussing "what is Justice", one of Rawls's key argument for "justice has to be a universal concept" is that we do not talk about anything that is "just ...
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What is the “Factive Turn” in epistemology?

In 1967 Richard Rorty edited/published what I consider to be one of the finest philosophical anthologies of the Twentieth Century. The Linguistic Turn: Essays in Philosophical Method, formally ...
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How do philosophers differentiate between change and progress at the intersection of art, design, and business management?

I do Theory of Knowledge (IBDP) at school and in regards to the subject areas, I was thinking of linking the arts and design (humanities? design of products?) to reason, sense perception, intuition, ...
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If Descartes reasoned that nothing was knowable, why is “cogito ergo sum” exempt?

For instance, if Descartes reasoned that knowing 1+3 with certainty was impossible, for an evil demon or other countless possibilities may manipulate his mind into believing it was indeed 5, shouldn't ...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of math and ethics?

I'm studying epistemology, and I want to use reason and language as tools for carrying an investigation. How do I discuss the subjectivity inherent in change and progress, and also whether change and ...
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Does Procedural/Non-propositional Belief Exist?

In the SEP article on knowledge-how, procedural knowledge is said to be "the knowledge that is manifested in the performance of a skill", whereas declarative/propositional knowledge is "...
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Are there examples of ideas that rationally-trained persons agree on?

This question is meant for a bit of fun as a comedic corollary to JDH's top-voted question, "What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly ...
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Why does a hypothesis not self-defeat under fallacy of the gaps?

I was listening to an atheism-vs-theism debate on YouTube, and the two debaters came to a disagreement when talking about God of the Gaps. Person A: "If we look at all the evidence, we can see ...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the field of ethics?

I'm studying a branch of epistemology(theory of knowledge) and am currently working on a project concerned with the change and progress in knowledge. The topic I want to specialise in is ethics. How ...
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How can scientific objectivity be possible in a phenomenological world?

Consider this question as a thought experiment. If human perception of the sensible world is phenomenological in nature, then all experience and apperception are fundamentally veneers or glimpses or ...
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A same object being analysed by different fields of study

I've been studying Bachelard lately and I haven't been convinced by his propositions that different sciences can't study the same object. I know that "the object of a science" is not a ...
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Does Bayes' Theorem justify rejecting an argument for the supernatural from a well-supported miracle?

Suppose you have really good evidence for a miracle. Let's say that given the evidence, the probability of the miracle having occurred is about 80%. Now, you also know that miracles can only occur if ...
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Does the Strong Anthropic Principle lead to Idealism?

I have to admit this question isn't very neatly thought out, but I've always been a bit puzzled by the Anthropic Principle. I realize there are various forms or "strengths" of the idea, and ...
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A material-constitution model of truth

On one end, let there be the correspondence model of truth, that S is true if and only if S corresponds to the appropriate fact. On the other, let there be the identity model, that S is true if it IS ...
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What is the axiological basis of the preference of truth to falsity?

Axiologically speaking, why is truth the preferred logical value by humans? In general, why do we prefer true statements to false ones? What about the value of true makes a statement "right,"...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of history and natural sciences?

I'm studying a branch of philosophy that is concerned with knowledge. I'm studying theory of knowledge(epistemology) and I want to use faith, reason, and memory as tools for carrying this ...
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How would a monistic approach account for these categories of probabilities?

Donald Gillies, in his book "Philosophical Theories of Probability," draws a distinction between monistic views and dualistic views of probability, the latter of which, at least in his ...
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What justification was there for Russell and Wittgenstein to posit 'atomism'?

In light of the history of philosophy's recognition that the scientific method appeared to be becoming a type of role model for the other 'natural' sciences and thus that obtaining to objective proof ...
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Which aspects of consciousness are most often addressed by philosophers of mind?

What are the most discussed parts of consciousness according to philosophers? Epistemologists cite perception, memory, reason, and testimony as frequent objects of philosophical discourse in respect ...
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Justification for the phenominal/ noumenal distinction?

Cartesian dualism has purportedly been debunked. How does the phenomenal/ noumenal distinction avoid being characterized as the same mistake? Is it really impossible to visualize a symbiosis-in-agency ...

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