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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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What is the one true universal definition of knowledge? [closed]

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy, so surely there are multiple definitions of knowledge that have been propounded over the centuries. But which one, if any, is universal, in the sense that it's ...
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Is it epistemologically self-consistent to use the scientific method to justify some beliefs and non-scientific justifications for others?

Let’s call B(p) the set of all beliefs a person p holds. We can denote S(B(p)) as the subset of beliefs held by p for which they can provide a scientific justification, and NS(B(p)) as the set B(p) ...
Mark's user avatar
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If the supernatural were real, would we be able to study it scientifically?

Hypothetically, if there were a supernatural realm, would it be reasonable to expect that we would be able to study it using the scientific method? On the other hand, is it possible that the ...
Mark's user avatar
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What is the most accurate definition of logic?

Suppose you are writing a book on logic, and you want to define 'logic'. What is the best choice of words for the definition? If your definition is different from the accepted definition, please ...
lee pappas's user avatar
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Can probability amplitudes be used as credences?

Probability amplitudes in quantum mechanics are sometimes called a "generalization" of probabilities. They are complex numbers a + bi. The probability associated with the probability ...
causative's user avatar
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How do ethical intuitionists avoid relativism?

Why doesn't ethical intuitionism (the form which actually uses intuition as the foundation of morality rather than some other non-inferential method) fall into relativism? It seems that different ...
edelex's user avatar
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Metaphysical (Hard) Solipsism vs Epistemological (Soft) Solipsism

I’ve seen these terms tossed around as if they are actually different things but it does not appear to me that they are different philosophical positions/beliefs. Perhaps I am wrong, but here is my ...
Matt Harper's user avatar
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Descartes Statement in Second Meditation is illogical?

In the second paragraph of Meditation Two: Concerning the Nature of the Human Mind: That it is better known than the Body, Descartes writes “Therefore I suppose that everything I see is false. I ...
Matt Harper's user avatar
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Can causality be translated into logical formalism to analyze it via mathematical logic?

An observation about causality: It produces state change. It happens via some thing operating on another thing changing it into the effect. A thing happens that's not an invariant. Furthermore, it ...
Myers Hertz's user avatar
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How can Weber's approach be comptabible with evolutionism?

Weber's epistemology is synthesized in one paragraph in Economy and Society (1921): Sociology (in the sense in which this-highly ambiguous word is used here) is a science concerning itself with the ...
Starckman's user avatar
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What is the relation between the uniformity of nature and determinism?

I read about Hume's argument that the uniformity of nature is a necessary condition for inductive reasoning to be valid, but we only have inductive reasons for believing in the uniformity in the first ...
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What types of observations necessitate postulating more complex theories without violating Occam's Razor?

This question is inspired by the related question How could both Occam's Razor and complex theories like Quantum Mechanics be correct at the same time?. The accepted answer reasonably argues: The ...
Mark's user avatar
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Responding to Berkeley's Likeness principle

I would really appreciate some ideas regarding possible responses to Berkeley's Likeness principle as an attack against representative/indirect realism. My understanding of the role of the Likeness ...
Chanakya Seetharam's user avatar
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upward downward topdown bottomup causation

can u tell me more about upward and downward causation . Is it same as bottom up and top down causation. What about one cause having lot of effects and one effect having lot of causes ? Any chart/...
quanity's user avatar
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How does the direct realist explain illusions like the Müller-Lyer illusion?

The argument from illusion against direct realism is almost always phrased in terms of something like a stick in a puddle appearing bent. I find this very unconvincing given that the misleading part ...
edelex's user avatar
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How does Bias affect the reliability of a process?

So my attempt is to define a process and test it on its reliability. In a discussion, an argument was made that a consensus on the reliability of the process is needed for a process to be reliable. ...
telion's user avatar
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The application of logic to knowledge seems problematic

I was reading Dretske's text on 'Is knowledge closed under known entailment?' and I saw him using the material conditional while claiming entailment. But, in my head these two seem different. Since ...
Bessel's user avatar
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How can objects be nonexisting?

A square circle. Obviously, this is contradictory, but i feel odd saying it doesnt exist as well. thats not the bestw ay to say it. but, then again, whatg do we even mean in mathematics or logic by ...
Lawrence Lee's user avatar
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Similarities and differences between an evidentialist justification and a reliabilist justification for a belief?

Evidentialism Evidentialism in epistemology is defined by the following thesis about epistemic justification: (EVI) Person S is justified in believing proposition p at time t if and only if S’s ...
Mark's user avatar
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Is belief in abiogenesis justified under evidentialism and process reliabilism?

Asking whether a belief X is justified can lead to very opinion-based answers (e.g., Does life have a natural or supernatural origin?), but I don't think this necessarily has to be the case if we ...
Mark's user avatar
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Shortcomings with considering firsthand knowledge as supreme

I think it is really common for people to believe something just because they are told it, although there may be implicit contextual factors like if they consider the source of information worthy of ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
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Can a reliabilist have a reliably justified belief in God?

Reliabilism is defined by several sources as follows: Reliabilism is an approach to the nature of knowledge and of justified belief. Reliabilism about justification, in its simplest form, says that a ...
Mark's user avatar
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What sorts of beliefs can be justified non-scientifically?

Can I be justified in believing in a proposition X through a justification that doesn't meet the standards of the scientific method? What sorts of beliefs would be justifiable in this way (non-...
Mark's user avatar
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Are there non-scientific ways to have a justified belief in levitation?

Levitation, as a paranormal phenomenon, has been reported more than once. For instance, it is not totally uncommon to hear about reports of levitation among exorcists (e.g., see these sources). Is it ...
Mark's user avatar
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help with understanding Deleuze's argument on "difference first, identity second"

if i'm not mistaken, deleuze says you only know about "apple" because you know apple is not an orange, is not a tea, is not justice, is not rock,... so by differentiating "apple" ...
Parsa Fakhar's user avatar
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2 answers
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How do you respond to this common critique of American Pragmatism?

I frequently argue the virtues of anti-epistemological pragmatism(neopragmatism) with people who hold more traditional epistemological views. The most common argument that I hear is: Well, if we take ...
Dylar's user avatar
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Is it possible for an individual to adopt a new better general epistemic system?

In an epistemic system, I refer to the rules one decides based on which propositions are true and which are false, either consciously or unconsciously. We all have a general one that we use for ...
Neo Granicen's user avatar
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What were the reactions to Hume's problem of induction from scientists practicing in the field?

I'm well aware of all the discussion in the field of philosophy of science spurred by Hume's formulation of the problem of induction: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/ My question ...
Francesco Ghizzo's user avatar
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Do combinations defy logic? [closed]

At computers base they view everything through a lense of true (1) or false (0). Computers are the best logical machines we have created because of this but because of this a computer doesnt know what ...
Wayne Irving's user avatar
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Suppose something we thought was subjective was in fact chaotic (in the mathematical sense). How would we test for that?

I'm a mathematics PhD student, and I've often wondered how one distinguishes subjective phenomena from those that, instead, depend extremely upon initial conditions (i.e., are mathematically chaotic). ...
Shaun's user avatar
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Can one know something (a thing) exists without knowing that thing or what it is or any of its properties?

This question stems from my scant knowledge on dark matter which supposedly seem to constitute almost 95% of our universe together with dark energy, this matter is one which we cannot interact with ...
How why e's user avatar
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Knowing-that-we-know in plenitudinous Platonism

SEP background: If every consistent mathematical theory is true of some universe of mathematical objects, then mathematical knowledge will, in some sense, be easy to obtain: provided that our ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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3 answers
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Explain the answer from Reddit and give an explanation about Occam's Razor

https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/bwcjpv/does_occams_razor_imply_solipsismsimulationism/ It says that Occam's razor can only be applied to competing theories: "Occam's Razor is a ...
Arnold's user avatar
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Have any formal ontologies focused on the category of knowledge, rather than the content?

The ontologies I am aware of select core categories they believe the world may be constructed from, presumably because they take them as irreducible. Aristotle had what now appears a slightly quirky ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
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1 answer
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Give advice on justifying belief in the existence of other minds [duplicate]

Solipsism has the fewest entities (only my mind) and therefore it is the most minimal explanation. Does that make it more likely than the existence of other minds? Because other minds offer billions ...
Arnold's user avatar
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Does having certainty about anything imply being omniscient?

The question might initially startle you, but let me clarify what I mean. In our daily lives, we operate on a probabilistic model, making decisions based on what we perceive to be certain. For ...
HAMDI ABDERRAHMENE's user avatar
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Do we have evidence that explanations that contain a minimal number of entities are true? [closed]

Does our universe require all our explanations to be the most minimal? For example, entropy indicates that everything in our universe tends to a minimum. So all explanations should be as minimal as ...
Arnold's user avatar
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6 answers
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What's the difference between objectivity and intersubjective agreement?

Suppose a multitude of people all recount similar experiences. They describe seeing a cup on a table or observing the Moon in the sky. Each person reports their own subjective experience of perceiving ...
Mark's user avatar
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9 votes
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Are there any philosophies related to different structures of organization of information?

I am interested to explore different ways to organize information, for example in different libraries and archives or even museum. And I wonder whether there are philosophies that discuss the ...
SAFI's user avatar
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The question about "trumping" in Lewis's "causation as influence

In Lewis's "Causation as Influence," in section 1.4 titled "Trumping," Lewis describes a scenario as a case where a causal chain can be said to preempt a potential causal chain ...
유준상's user avatar
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6 answers
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Causation in physics equation

Granted that physicists have always been concerned about causation, the laws of physics stated in terms of equations have nothing to say about causation. Are they correlational laws, causal ...
quanity's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
187 views

How can I justify trusting my own thoughts without begging the question?

Suppose I attempt to justify trusting my own thoughts with an argument. Suppose I read the argument and find it compelling. The very process of reading an argument (presumably written in English or ...
Mark's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Kantian Subjectivism Contradiction?

Kant rendered the judgments of reason as subjective, neither narrating nor accurately reflecting the reality of things. "We only sense from external objects, thus perception does not express ...
Sam's user avatar
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6 answers
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Ground vs justification?

I'm wondering if there is a technical distinction I've been missing between 'ground' and 'justification' in philosophy. If I say that my true belief is 'grounded', isn't that the same as saying that ...
John Smith's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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What type of reasoning is this? Abduction, inference to the best explanation, induction?

My mind is responsible for my behavior. Other people are very similar to me biologically. Other people have behaviors similar to mine. Possible explanations: Solipsism says that my mind created other ...
Arnold's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What did Haugeland mean when he said that the grounding of ontical truth can be transcendental only as existential?

This is probably a narrow question, and so it's my job to motivate it. Due to the fact it would be inappropriate to expect many people to have read what I'm referencing, I'll try my best to explain my ...
Alias K's user avatar
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6 answers
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Is the principle of uniformity of nature an abduction or an analogy?

Is the principle of uniformity of nature an abduction or an analogy? To what type of reasoning does the principle of uniformity of nature belong? Is it abduction, analogy, deduction? Here they refer ...
Arnold's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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If A is justified in believing in X based on their personal experience, can B also be justified in believing in X based on A's testimony?

The title already expresses the question perfectly well, so I don't see much point in complicating the question further, beyond including a few thought-provoking examples below: Example 1: The ...
Mark's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Approaching the knowledge of knowing using premises

The only thing(knowledge) that I know is that I don't know anything/I know nothing. (Universal Quant.). Does this mean that I don't even know that I know to begin with? The only thing(knowledge) that ...
How why e's user avatar
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Have any philosophers discussed “coherentizing” as a solution to the “paradox of analysis”?

This is largely a reference request, but supplementary explanations are welcome. I describe my thoughts on the paradox of analysis here. I recently tried to derive the form of first-order logic more ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar

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