Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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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 considered 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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Does this sentence of Kant contains in an embryonic form some of the critical parts of his later work, “Critique of Pure Reason”?

In the universal silence of nature and in the calm of the senses the immortal spirit’s hidden faculty of knowledge speaks an ineffable language and gives [us] undeveloped concepts, which are indeed ...
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Logical Interpretations of Probability

According to Wikipedia's page on probability interpretations... Logical probabilities are conceived (for example in Keynes' Treatise on Probability) to be objective, logical relations between ...
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Should a non-expert default to trusting 'mainstream knowledge' in the face of many mutually incompatible claims?

First, a couple of assumptions: People are constantly bombarded by claims others want them to believe. Example: E=mc^2, a teacher wants their pupils to know. In many cases these claims are mutually ...
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Is Polanyi's conception of personal knowledge accepted?

In Michael Polanyi's Personal Knowledge, the "personal" is defined with: This distinction [of personal and subjective] establishes the conception of the personal, which is neither ...
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Are There Finitary Logical Constraints on Converting Recursive Syntax to Semantics?

From the logical standpoint can we continue these series on and on and still be able to make sense of it? 1. I know <--- no problem 2. I know ...
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What is unique about the quantum state of superposition?

In the state of quantum superposition, as most famously illustrated by Schrodinger's Cat, we have a well-defined set of probabilistic outcomes that is not determined until observed. The cat is then ...
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Scientific inquiry not using the 5-step method

As a result of my recent interest in the field of epistemology, I read that there is no such thing as a unique scientific method. However, during my medical studies I had been told that every ...
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Why is mind/body duality so widely accepted?

It seems strange that Cartesian mind/body duality is so widely accepted, given that it leads to scepticism around the possibility of human knowledge. Why is it so widely accepted, and how do its ...
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Truth condition in JTB

I have been told that knowledge is usually analyzed as being justified true belief (although this conception has been criticized - namely after Gettier published his famous article - it seems to be ...
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Is post foundationalism prescriptive?

Is post foundationalism prescriptive: does it tell us anything about how best to come to knowledge, to learn or to act? Or is it just an abstract philosophical thesis with no bearing on e.g. science? ...
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Was Sellar the first philosopher to posit that someone's scientific view of the world is partially build on his/her normative values?

I was reading a text by Bas van Fraassen that casts some doubts about Sellar's manifest and scientific images and I was wondering of how much of the formers theory was new to him. So was Sellar the ...
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Philosophical assumptions underlying science

I am a medical student and have been interested lately in the foundations of the scientific research method I have been taught. I've read that there is in fact no such thing as a unique scientific ...
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How do we know certain things to be “obvious”, in general?

Sometimes while discussing things, we might come across statements which are pretty obvious to us. And, in English, sometimes we use statements such as -- "It's pretty obvious". But without ...
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How can beliefs be justified when they are always subject to Cartesian skepticism?

It seems obvious to me that after glancing at my watch I "know" what time it is. But this apparent "knowledge" can be explained away by infinitely many skeptical hypotheses. ...
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Are dimensions a priori for innately senseless people?

Dimensions (space, time etc.) are considered to be a priori knowledge, but if a person is born to be senseless, how can he/she perceive a world of dimensions? Since he/she is unable to have experience,...
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From “what-is” to “why-is” to “ought” — can “why-is” close the “is-ought” gap?

[UPDATE: Clarified that choosing what-ought-to-be from what-can-be is based on our knowledge of ourselves, not on our knowledge of good and evil] “I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of ...
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What is the relationship between the primitive notion and a priori?

The primitive notion is the origin of definition to avoid circularity since definition must be defined by other terminologies which involve new definitions. So in maths we have set, point, space and ...
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Is “thoughts exist” a synthetic a priori statement?

I'm working off of Kant's conception of analytic/synthetic and a prior/a posteriori judgements. The definition of "thoughts" does not subsume their existence. That is, it is logically ...
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Are there any generalization of the lexical hypothesis that are being studied in philosophy?

The lexical hypothesis according to wikipedia is related to the following two postulates: The first states that those personality characteristics that are important to a group of people will ...
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Is atheism the null hypothesis on god's existence? Can the null hypothesis be accepted? Is the proposition “god does not exist” falsifiable?

 Is Atheism the Null Hypothesis?  Is Atheism Falsifiable?  Does Atheism Carry the Burden of Proof? Atheism has distinct definitions which can be categorized as follows: • Weak/Soft ...
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Help with Circular Reasoning example and whether this example is fallacious

I thought of a scenario that raised some question for me, consider you: [A] Face prejudice because of X --> [B] Makes you more inclined to assume the next person who mistreats you is doing so ...
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What is the meaning of “epistemic”, “epistemological” and “ontological” in this context?

I was reading The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky and in some paragraphs of this books, The writer uses the words "epistemic",...
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Where does Moore admits that none really knows the truth about those propositions that supposedly we all know?

Alfred Jules Ayer, in a conference where he exposes the achievements of Moore, starts it by saying: "It is true that Moore diminishes the force of his position by adding that no one knows the ...
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Can god violate the laws of thought (i.e., the logical absolutes)? If so, can such a god be ruled out of existence? [duplicate]

**The Laws of Thought** Laws of Identity, Non-Contradiction, Excluded Middle Something is what it is, ...
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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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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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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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