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Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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knowing that versus knowing how versus connaître

What are the relationships between these three different senses of knowing? (I had to use the French word because there's no English verb that corresponds to this sense of knowing.) For non-...
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Who/What is the source of knowledge?

This question mostly pertains to physics and math, but I think it fits best on this site. I am not very familiar with philosophy, so I apologize if my question is not very formal. Essentially, the ...
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Indirect Realism – what are the main objections?

In dialog with others about philosophy, I have generally assumed that the basis of epistemology is a settled question – I. E. that the Locke/Russel/Popper approach, that our worldview is a hypothetico-...
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AGI and Quine's conundrums:underdetermination and holism

How has [or will] the prevalence of “big data” – the exploding plethora of information and computing power to classify, categorize and correlate it, combined with Artificial General Intelligence, or ...
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2answers
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How is it possible to accept non-rational beliefs?

Assume an epistemological foundation of sorts that admits rational intuition and empirical evidence. Then you can gain new beliefs through experience/sense perception, or extrapolating from prior ...
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1answer
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References discussing self-evident truths?

I am interested in philosophical or logic-based texts that discuss the nature of self-evident truths, which seem related to Alvin Plantinga's discussion of so-called properly basic beliefs. I am more ...
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Have any modern philosophers redone Descartes' Meditations?

With insights we get from the cognitive sciences, and advancement in philosophy in general (such as the coherentist theory of Truth) we would definitely do the Meditations differently.
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Looking for a book to compliment Zammito and Mohanty in understanding the ethos of post positivistic realism

There are two books which I consider to be indispensable to an understanding of contemporary western culture’s post-truth/alternative facts (scientific and cultural post modernism/structuralism/...
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Arendt on Factual Truth in “Truth and Politics”

I'm reading Hannah Arendt's "Truth and Politics" (1967). I thought I was getting it, but then I read two statements that to me, seem to be in conflict with one another: "Factual truth, on the ...
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Do good explanations have to be true?

Is it so that whenever one gives an explanation to a question starting from 'why' or 'how' the explanation that we receive in return always is true in nature? From one perspective, an explanation is ...
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Does a priori knowledge exist and can we prove objectivity through it?

My friend and I got into an argument around Kant's categorical imperative. Eventually, ignoring all of that rigmarole, he argued that a priori knowledge was subjective. Things like 4 > 3 don't have to ...
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What is evidence?

I know I should know what evidence is, but I have been unable to find an in-depth definition of it. I originally thought that it was a when an argument against a theory or hypotheses was proven ...
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Does Psychology benefit Philosophy?

This question got me thinking: It is widely held that Philosophy precedes the Sciences, birthing them. and continue to inform them. It is also evident that there are times when science has informed ...
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Is there any study about how half-baked philosophies encourage maladaptive thoughts? [closed]

There are many schools of philosophy that advocate refuting perceived phenomena, for example: Taoism: the bad equals the good, why be afraid or avoid the bad ones? Science: before proving it ...
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Can “free will is an illusion” be proven logically? [closed]

What is your view or argument?
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Objectivity and subjectivity

What are all the different ways that we can define these two ideas. Do there actually exist things that we can say with certainty are Objective and things which exist that are absolutely subjective or ...
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2answers
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Can you adequately discuss Philosophy, without _doing_ philosophy?

NOT the Meta question. But In order to convey a philosophical idea, a speaker must regularly interpret an original work. Not only that, but subsequent to the all to frequent 'discussion', he must ...
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What is the empirical basis for justifying mathematics?

In the introduction of a very nice book by M. Giaquinto, called Visual Thinking in Mathematics, he investigates the conditions that give rise to mathematical knowledge - the following ideas are ...
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Explain kant's conception of causality as an a priori category prescribed by the understanding to all possible objects of experience?

How does causality relate to the a priori and experience? I am having trouble connecting the dots. Any help would be great!
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How are the assumptions underlying logic chosen?

Logic works based on certain assumptions about its rules. How are these axiomatic assumptions selected in the first place, given that a system of logic does not exist prior to the point of selection? ...
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1answer
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Does Philosophy benefit from parsimony?

It is well established doctrine to apply Occam's razor to scientific theoretical development. The basis for which may range over the demonstrated practical success of the principle, to a vocational/...
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Question about the “catch-all” hypothesis as a response to the “bad lot” objection

In response to van Fraassen's "bad lot" objection, I have seen in multiple papers (and in the response of Lipton, from what I remember) refer to the idea of the use of a 'catch-all' hypothesis which ...
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3answers
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The Gettier problem

I've been looking for an explanation of the meaning of knowledge and I've come across this video on Youtube : PHILOSOPHY Epistemology: Analyzing A Knowledge #1 (The Gettier Problem) [HD] What I can't ...
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How is the theory of divine revelation coherent?

There is a long history of Christian philosophy† drawing a distinction between knowledge gained from rational/empirical sources and knowledge from divine revelation. It seems Tertullian was one of the ...
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Can we ask an infinite amount of questions or is there a limit to how many questions we can ask? [closed]

I've been thinking about the nature of questions and answers to questions. Can I ask people opinions on whether they think it is possible to ask an infinite amount of questions or do we as human ...
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Does Valberg's “personal horizon” entail life after death?

The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not ...
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Confused by “there are [no] necessary truths. Therefore intuition has no epistemic role to play.”

I am making my way through Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy by Steven D. Hales (MIT Press 2006). Chapter 1 discusses intuition and how it relates to knowledge; he sketches out "the problem ...
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Is it an issue to not have read major works when going into Philosophy graduate school (history of ideas)

I am currently doing an undergraduate degree in philosophy and I want to study history of ideas in graduate school. I'm planning to apply to programs in UK/Europe or history of ideas focused ...
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Understanding McDowell's Mind and World

In "Mind and World" John McDowell takes a Sellarsian approach, claiming that the given is a myth. Yet, he says, if I understand him correctly, the space of reasons is not a mere "spinning in the void",...
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Do philosophers think ethics can't be based on our wishes? [closed]

Some presuppositions: Premise 1. "Wrong" means the reasoning used in an argument was flawed. Another notion of "wrong" is wrong method. Misknowledge how. Definition 2. Wishes are not produced by ...
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Why is belief necessary for justified true belief?

In justified true belief it is said that for a person to know a fact it must be true, she must believe in it and she must be justified in believing it. My question is: Is belief necessary? Why is the ...
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2answers
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My first thought is always: I AM

This question is derivative of the question here: Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false? It is noted by authors such as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard that there are several assumptions ...
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Improving the Knowledge Faculty

I once read this and wondered whether or not the idea of the knowledge faculty being improved was actually possible. One of the propositions is that it is only possible to know what is perceived by ...
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Who came up with the notion of a properly basic belief?

I first heard about so-called properly basic beliefs in the context of discussions about belief in God. Moreover, when I do a Google search for the term "properly basic belief," I get a bunch of ...
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Is it possible to know the truth value of a statement without knowing any information about that statement?

Is it possible to know the truth value of a statement without knowing any information about that statement? If no, then to me that would imply that truth values are not absolute and depend on how we ...
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Authors that wrote on how to look for the truth efficiently?

The human mind is perhaps not efficient when it comes to looking for the truth, specially when you are emotionally attached to an idea about any subject such us close relatives, God, your government, "...
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What to read for an introduction on the epistemology of logic?

I would like to read about the epistemology of logic, preferably at a undergraduate level (not being a philosopher myself). What (text)book should I read for a good introduction on these topics? The ...
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What makes epistemology unscientific?

Epistemology is called a branch of philosophy and not science. There are several epistemic theories some of which actually were mainstream sometimes. But it appears that, for example, some of them ...
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Who said that questions can only be asked if the askers roughly knows the answers?

I remember it was Marx who said this as a thought for Hegel's take on history, but searching for keyword answer in his Wikiquote page doesn't yield any result. The exact quote might be very different ...
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Is Solipsism self-defeating?

If only my mind existed it would have to create the concept of time but nothing can be created without time, therefore solipsism is self-defeating. Shouldn't this automatically rule out solipsism?
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Peter Lipton's response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives/ 'underconsideration'

In his book, "Inference to the Best Explanation", Peter Lipton lays out a response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives (also referred to as the problem of underconsideration) by saying ...
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Is psychologism still a thing? What are common rejections of psychologism?

Recently, I learnt that there exist people who go so far as to claim that "mathematics is a branch of psychology". I thought that psychologism was long outdated, in connection with mathematics at ...
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The Euthyphro Dilemma (complete philosophy newbie here)

I have never taken a philosophy course or even asked a philosophy question in my life, although I do have some experience with mathematics and some logic. So, permit me to ask a question that is not ...
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Is this a good argument against Simulation and Brain in a Vat hypotheses?

I was wondering about these skeptical hypotheses regarding the reality we experience. More specifically I wanted to address the Simulation and Brain in a Vat arguments because to me they seem kind of ...
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3answers
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Can you prove a scientific theory is true?

I've heard many scientists claim that science is not based upon assumptions we believe are true, but upon factual truths found empirically via the scientific method. For example, they claim the fact ...
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1answer
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Is Frankenstein's monster tantamount to positive proof in Science?

Specifically Biology presents some problems for me. For instance, now that we have Evolution we know what to look for. Thus we are bound to observe some adaptations, and over time even new species. ...
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How should we understand different knowledge attributions? (epistemic logic)

My main motivation is in terms of epistemic logic. In epistemic logic X knows that p if p is true in all states that X sees as epistemically indistinguishable from the current state. In this sense we ...
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3answers
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Is there a limit beyond which mathematics, if used correctly, cannot be applied to reality?

And if so, why, and which? Take this case: If I've two apples and I believe that with two more I'll have four apples, then I implicitly believe that summation applies to reality. Yet there are ...
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Nature of self-evident statements

Can there exist a "self-evident" statement? That is, can there exist a statement that offers sufficient substantiation for itself? For example, a statement can be constructed This statement is ...
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Does it matter possessing knowledge about the Universe if it is going to end?

To be specific, I'm referring to physical reality. Moreover, this question might seem awkward at first glimpse. Well, it does not appear that there are any meaningful relations between the end of the ...