Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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To obtain knowledge must we acquire specific other knowledge first?

It would seem obvious we must acquire some knowledge before other knowledge. I want to emphasize specific prior knowledge though. I don’t want to just say to get to Paris you just travel through an ...
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How could one distinguish crankery from serious work?

Suppose I read a work, and I don't understand it or see its meaning, then it could be that either the information itself is inconsistent/non-sensical or I don't understand it personally. How do I know ...
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How likely is the simplest explanation of something the correct one?

When assuming how something is the way it is, you choose the simplest explanation. But what is the chance of this actually being the explanation? For example, say a cucumber randomly appeared on the ...
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What does Hume mean when he relates association of ideas to languages?

In the Enquiry, section 3 Hume says: Among different languages, even where we cannot suspect the least connexion or communication, it is found, that the words, expressive of ideas, the most ...
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Justification versus mental causation

A justification: "we know A is true because B is true." A mental causation: "I concluded A because first I believed B and that led me to A." There is certainly a strong ...
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A question on knowledge as justified true belief

I am not a philosophy student and I have a question on the term "justified" in the definition of knowledge. Suppose that I have some reasons for justifying a proposition. Is it necessary ...
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Does Kant implicitly commit the paralogism of pure reason when saying that to have a representation it is necessary to accom­pany it with 'I think'?

In Caygill's Kant Dictionary entry of 'I Think' there is this part: Kant further claims that 'I think' is the necessary vehicle/form/accom­paniment of experience: to have a representation it is ...
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Are mathematical proofs subject to the problem of induction?

When I consider a proof, such as Euclid's proof of the infinitude of primes, it can give a sense that something necessarily true has been obtained. I cannot remember where I got the idea, but a few ...
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Gradations of epistemological categories

For my philosophy discussion group, I am looking for real life examples that would fit the above illustration. What would be some good examples? Data is a collection of facts, while information puts ...
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How to accomodate hyperintensionality in a Bayesian framework?

Generally, propositions are modelled as sets of possible worlds, and Bayesians define a credence function on the set of those propositions. They then adopt new credence functions in response to new ...
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What approaches are there to resolving the problem of new theories in Bayesian epistemology?

Bayesianism is thought to have a problem accounting for the development of new theories/beliefs. Since Bayesians would like to proceed by updating prior credences in response to new evidence via ...
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Necessary A Posteriori

Saul Kripke’s example is clear to me: I look at a star in the morning and call it(rigidly designate) Hesperus and I see a star in the evening and call it(rigidly designate) Phosphorus. If I go out and ...
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A "combining logic" moment in Kant

In "Ethical Theories and Moral Guidance", Pekka Väyrynen goes over proposals and arguments concerning the knowability of moral claims. Kant's relevant proposal (in the second Critique) is: ...
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Russell v. Meinong

Was the crux/essence of Russell's quarrel with Meinong a matter of epistemology or ontology? As I recall, it had primarily to do with fictive objects/non-denoting expressions, and Russell's theory of ...
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Is "there are synthetic a priori truths" a synthetic a priori truth?

Disregarding any modern objections to the division of synthetic/analytic and a priori/a posteriori, how would one argue for or against this claim, using Kant's definitions and assumptions? Also, is ...
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In Kant, what would happen if singular objects that we perceive in space didn't necessarily have the spatial properties that we perceive them to have?

In Paul Guyer's Kant, section "Space and Time: the pure forms of sensible intuition", Guyer argues that "Kant’s argument for transcendental idealism is incomplete." For that, he ...
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Is there any good argument that time moves?

We all experience that time moves, and most people just assume that it is the truth. However, I see no solid ground behind it, since our perception would not change if it does. Our perception of ...
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Kant's Prolegomena Note I - Geometry being an objective representation of nature

I'm trying to understand this part of Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Note I to "How is pure mathematics possible?": It would be completely different if the senses had to ...
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On Kant's third antinomy (CPR)

The thesis of Kant's third antinomy is based on the fact that, if the antithesis was true (i.e. there is no causality through freedom and thus only causality by natural laws) then, for any given ...
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Kant's Prolegomena §13 - triangle example argument

In Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Kant argues that space (and time) are not qualities of objects, but a priori intuitions that allow the concepts of objects in our minds. To argue in favor of ...
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Are Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems a refutation of Rationalism?

According to Putnam, Gödel's theorems show that the set of truths in Number Theory (i.e., true propositions involving natural numbers and their properties) is not recursively enumerable, whereas all ...
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Why is the argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized independent of the "appearance" premise?

In Paul Guyer's Kant, section "A Life in Work", the author claims this: this argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized is independent of the general ...
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In Kant, are "pure intuition" and "intuition a priori" synonyms?

I'm reading the prolegomena, and in §7, Kant presents both "pure intuition" (reine Anschauung), mentioned many times, and "intuition a priori" (Anschauung a priori), mentioned ...
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Finding the laws of logic logically

Consider the statement ''The laws of classical logic compraised of Identity, Excluding middle and Non-contradiction'', In which type of knowledge the above statement comes under? Is it purely ...
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Are there unfalsifiable statements that, in the end, turn out to be true?

changing a little bit the famous black swan example to: not all swans are white it seems to be unfalsifiable, but in the end (when we discovered australia), it turned out to be true.
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What do poststructuralists mean by "power legitimates itself"?

"The post-structuralists assert that in any culture power legitimates itself through its connection to the validating mechanism for truth claims." How is it possible to use truth as an ...
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When and how should a philosophy student start to give his/her own ideas?

I am not a philosphy student, but I am a philosophy enthusiast who loves and studies philosophy on his own. I completely understand what philosophy books are trying to say, but I dont know how and ...
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Second-order skepticism

Let "kS" = "It is known that S." Then kkS or k2S is a common hypothesis in epistemic logic (the full hypothesis can be stated as kS → k2S). So a second-order skeptic [SOS] at least ...
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Is the search for knowledge morally compelling for the time being?

UPDATED VERSION: Argument: Definition: Moral facts exist objectively and are independent of what any human thinks. So they are not just based on agreement or convention. Premise A: The existence of ...
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Truth vs Knowledge

I'm a little confused when philosophers speak of truth and knowledge. Is there any meaningful difference between truth and knowledge in epistemology? Or are they really the same thing, since false ...
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How can you know if your judgment is unbiased?

If one want to develop the skill that optimises the efficiency of the constant feedback loop that we engage in with ourselves (with intentions of self-development or a better understanding of the ...
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Must beliefs be consciously entertained?

In discussing the Innate Knowledge Thesis in the article titled Rationalism vs Empiricism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, there appears to be a discrepancy (emphasis mine). A serious ...
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How do fact and belief relate to each other?

So I understand the main differences between facts and beliefs, but is there a part where they overlap? Is it possible that there is a point where one can find similarities between both concepts? How ...
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What precisely are brute contingent facts?

In my philosophical discourses typically relating to cosmological arguments, I've been astounded by brute facts, and how they relate to contingency and necessity. My reflections can be adduced by a ...
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Who was a philosopher who prefered theoretic knowledge?

There was a philosopher who thought that theoretical knowledge has more value than practical knowledge because it can't be used as a means, you can't trade with the results of this knowledge. It has ...
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AI philosophers

Which modern philosophers examine problems of ethics and knowledge between artificial, intelligent agents, leaving their relationship to humans aside? What I'm looking for: The assumption that AIs ...
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What is a "disorder"?

The is-ought gap makes it so we can not derive an ought from an is, correct? Without teleology to determine normativity, how can there be such a thing as a "disorder" or "disability&...
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Why do interpretivist ignore basic statistical assumptions when supporting their theories by empirical evidence?

Interpretivism is the stance that the social realm cannot be studied with the same methods as the natural realm. Although I personally don't belief this assumption is true I can understand some ...
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Are there contemporary analytic defenders of the view that pattern/meaning is metaphysically fundamental and directly knowable?

Background: Much of philosophy since Kant has taken for granted that our basic experience of reality is structured by our cognitive apparatus, including notably our background conceptual frameworks. ...
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What are the results of the current discussions on "limits of knowledge"? [closed]

I would like to know the general status of the current academic discussion on this result. Ask for a brief introduction.
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Impersonally-accountable communities

I'd like to lay out a few thoughts about how ideas rise and fall within communities. Is there a philosopher I can read that expresses these kinds of ideas better? Some communities adopt ideas more as ...
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How Exactly Do You Define Truth?

I've been trying to learn about the multiple theories of truth and I've taken a look at the popular Stanford article. The first section has this to say about the neo-classical theories of truth: ...
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Can an intellect judge itself?

Suppose you want to measure the length of something, e.g. the length of a kitchen table. It's not an easy task, but luckily you have a meter stick on hand! So you take your meter stick and make your ...
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Is there such a thing as completely objective truth?

Apologies if this question has been asked before, I looked at similar ones and couldn't find one that answered this exact question. Is there such a thing as truth completely independent of conditions, ...
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Is Mathematics a form of experience?

When someone experiences the mental clarity of 2 + 2 = 4, is this a form of experience similar to let's say, seeing red, or the sour taste of a pickle. On the one hand it seems like it is a form of ...
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Does Münchausen's trilemma apply to mathematics?

I'm a mathematician/statistician, and I've been recently reading about epistemology and philosophy of science in my particular field of study. In statistics, there is a deep concern for the objective ...
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Can something be considered fake just because it's man-made?

They say "if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, it is a duck". But is there a philosophy that considers man-made things fake? For example, suppose ...
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"you cannot know more than is known": Karl Popper's quote?

I seem to remember this quote of Karl Popper, but I cannot find its source. Here is the context in which I intend to cite it. Do you believe that the Popper citation is authentic, and do you agree ...
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Can one be a nihilist?

From Wikipedia: [Nihilism]... rejects general or fundamental aspects of human existence, such as objective truth, knowledge [...] Rejecting something means to me, claiming that something is not true ...
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Is there a word for the belief in truth? [closed]

I just wonder if there is a word for the belief in truth to look it up and learn more about it.
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