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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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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? [on hold]

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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Account of Priori knowledge in Critique of Reason

As I understand, a priori statements are propositions that are conceived independently of one's experience. However, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that The sensible world, or ...
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The relationship between truth and consistency

It is often claimed that a scientific theory can be proven false, but can never be proven true. In abstract terms, for a particular experiment, let T represent a theoretical prediction, and let E ...
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Will AI make falsifiability obsolete?

With the advances in machine learning, data mining and process of big data, soon machines will find patterns that could either interpreted as causation or correlation while we have no idea of the ...
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Is there a theory that trying to solve intuition and fear at the same time?

I'm looking for a school of thought or theory that solves these problems, preferably at once: The way to make a profound, advanced knowledge more straightforward and imaginative, without having to ...
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Is it possible to be 100% certain of the existence of reality?

I don't really understand why some philosophers claim that it's impossible to be absolutely certain of anything except my own consciousness. Isn't that absurd? Personally I believe that this kind of ...
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Is/should “appeal to scientificity” be considered a fallacy?

Is/should "appeal to scientificity" be considered a fallacy? Some examples: -Some economics theory that has no predictive power, even if it might be mathematically correct. -Expecting that ...
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Can we logically prove that anything exists?

Suppose I want to prove that negative numbers exist. Well, I could easily do that using a mathematical proof. However, all I would be doing is adding another logical object to a list of known logical ...
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Do logic and reasoning need to be validated by an ultimate authority?

A lot of presuppositional appologists argue that the Abrahamic God is real because the Bible is self validating and that everyone "knows" God (except you have to presuppose sense perception and that ...
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What is the root of the idea of unseen causes?

As science, at least as it is now, is about the search for unseen causes, what can we say the root of this is ? Does it start with first development of senses in organisms and the quest to find prey ...
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What kind of incommensurability does Kuhn claim rules out convergent realism?

A standard conception of the transition from classical to relativistic physics is that although Einstein's theory of relativity supersedes Newton's theory, what we have is an improvement or ...
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Should we think twice about dualism?

With the rise of Materialism and Physicalism a dualistic ontology has fallen out of favor. The successes of Science makes makes us comfortable to deny any entity beyond the "Observable Universe". ...
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Where does Kuhn talks about the five characteristics for the choice of theory?

Kuhn (1977, 321–2) identifies five characteristics that provide the shared basis for a choice of theory: 1. accuracy; 2. consistency (both internal and with other relevant currently accepted ...
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Are Hume's 'impressions' Kant's 'phenomena'?

Why do some philosophers like Carl Stumpf or Immanuel Kant use the word 'Phenomena', whereas British empiricist philosophers, like Locke and Hume, or even Kant, use the word 'Impressions'?
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What are the logical fallacies of this argument?

SCIENTIFIC FACT: Nothing in the universe, ceases to exist, it just appears in some other form. LOGICAL FACT: We can be absolutely sure that what we experience right now, exists. Let's mark ...
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Is time more “real” than math and, if so, why?

How is time different from math? Is time a part of math? For me time is like math rather than a "real" thing. Time is just a tool rather than a "fundamental thing". I feel confident saying that an ...
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How can we know that we're thinking?

How can we know there isn't an illusion of thought? This question stems from Descartes' assertion of "I think, therefor I am." He regards the notion that he thinks as an absolute fact. But how does ...
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which books or essays “Kuhn [1981]” is referred to?

I found a quote by Thomas Kuhn and the source reports: Kuhn [1981] but I cannot find that year in his bibliography . By googling "Kuhn [1981]" I found the following: What are Scientific ...
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What logic does Fitch's paradox use?

So I have been looking into Modal Logic as well as epistemic logic (and its dynamic versions) with the hopes of studying their applications to Fitch's paradox. Fitches paradox refers to the proof ...
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How can I understand “I should email you so that you know that I know that you know that I’ve received your acceptance”?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 73. Human reasoning is ...
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Where did Kuhn draw a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation?

About Thomas S. Kuhn, In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I read: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268) Which is the ...
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What does Helmuth Plessner mean by : 'the human being is at a distance to her boundary'?

Plessner defines living organims in terms of a boundary between It and the environment. http://helmuth-plessner.de/en/helmuth-plessner/denken/ This question concerns the following statment: ...
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Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place? [closed]

To be viewed from the perspective of epistemology and/or the philosophy of science. Preamble: Darwin, like scientists of his day, often spoke of “Laws” that inevitably cycle forth the results ...
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Thomas Kuhn's “paradigm” and its 22 different uses

Thomas S. Kuhn, both in his Second Thoughts of Paradigms [1971] and in the Postscript to the second edition of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [1970], refers to someone who found 22 different ...