Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Did Naomi tell the truth to the police? [on hold]

One day, while Naomi was paying for her coffee, a guy dropped a “white rabbit” keychain. While Naomi was handing it back to guy, the guy said “I always bring this with me because it has sentimental ...
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What kind of questions can science answer?

Please bear with me, as I am self-studying philosophy as a beginner. My questions are about the limitations of empirical science. During my reading of some books, I've come across statements of the ...
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Why de re modality is a problem for Quine?

I have read that Quine "accepts" de dicto modality because he is able to extensionalize it. But I have also read that Quine rejects de re modality because it is not extensionalizable and because in ...
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Ontological Foundations of Epistemology

A review of the SEP article of epistemology indicates that there are 5 sources of knowledge: perception, memory, introspection, reason, and testimony. Robert Audi in his Epistemology: A Contemporary ...
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What is the justification for the claim that observing something that is both a raven and black increases the likelihood that all ravens are black?

Suppose that I have access to a machine that allows me to input a positive integer (perhaps up to ten decimal digits) and the machine will -- depending only on the input -- output a statement. If the ...
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Objective idealism and realism can be similar?

So, Hegel's objective idealism believes in manifestations of reason which is nothing but ideas. And which exists in this world is nothing but the ideas, everything is idea and idea is everything. ...
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Difference between objective and absolute idealism

While reading western philosophy, I found these three words. Subjective idealism of Berkeley, Absolute idealism and objective idealism of Hegel. So confusion arises between last two objective and ...
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Are some expressions such as 'In my opinion', 'I think', 'In my view' philosophical?

All of us went through some periods where he philosophized. When we philosophise, we use normally, and naturally, expressions like: In my opinion, In my point of view, I think, I propose, I suppose ...
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Do questions of Infinite regress, uncased cause and nothingness just point to our limits?

A lot of debates and conversations with theists seem to end up with the "ultimate" questions where the questions themselves seem to me to be conceptual/linguistic/psychological dead ends. Infinite ...
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If I accept as a truth that I do not know everything wouldn't it be not right than to say that I can be absolutely certain of something? [duplicate]

Without accepting that I know everything, the only thing I'm left with is inductive reasoning. But inductive reasoning is never 100% and I cannot be therefore sure for 100% that I am correct with my ...
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Is there any new concept in Marxism that didn't exist in classical economics?

Surplus value is just economic profit. The organic composition of capital is just the investment rate. Capitalist mode of production is just a verbose way of saying capitalism. Exchange value is price....
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Is it possible to prove that a particular statement cannot be disproved without creating a contradiction?

In the following link (http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Metaphysics_ExistenceExists.html) the authors are basically arguing that there are statements that we cannot deny without contradicting ...
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Does Marxism say a hot dog stand owner is in a higher class position than a doctor?

Marxism says capital owners are Capitalists. Does this mean the hot dog stand owner is a Capitalist? If not, how many hot dog stands/employees does he need until he is a Capitalist?
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What does it mean for a statement if we cannot disprove it?

In the following link (http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Metaphysics_ExistenceExists.html) the authors are basically arguing that there exists some truth that we cannot disprove by any other ...
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How do we call a statement that is unthinkable for any person to not be the case? [duplicate]

The example of such an unthinkable or unimaginable thing for a person could be non-existence, therefore argument against existence seems to be so absurd. Aren't we calling such things axioms or ...
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Problem of Induction: Dissolved

Whenever we make some claim about the world, the phenomena, whatever you want to call it, we necessarily draw from our immediate and past experience, i.e. we engage in any act of induction in the most ...
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How can you determine if a hypothesis (mathematical logic ones) is falsifiable enough to be “good”?

We had a group discussion and the prof gave us the following question and left. The problem is that I hardly understand the question. How can you determine if a hypothesis (in particular, ...
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Can one have propositional knowledge without knowing the corresponding proposition?

The concept of propositional knowledge -- knowledge that one has through holding a justified belief in a proposition that states a fact -- is a foundational one in epistemology (for example, it is ...
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Does “Uncertainty is the only certainty” cause any paradox?

It seems to me that this avoids the self contradictory "everything is uncertain, even uncertainty" while allowing agnostic positions, by allowing only uncertainty as the only thing certain, sort of ...
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Can we really learn anything?

After some reading of Kritik der reinen Vernunft by Kant, I laid down on the warm soft bed of knowing there are 'absolute truths' about the world. If one wants an example from the sciences, one ...
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Is it true in some sense that the only “truth” people are capable of knowing is the “truth” that they assume to be true?

What are some viewpoints on the following assertion in philosophy and logic? Anything people argue to be true is only their assertion based on some axioms or premises which they assume to be true (...
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What is the procentual probability that we live in the objective reality independent of our consciousness rather than in some virtual reality?

I am aware than it is impossible to prove anything in real life. Therefore we can't prove that the picture of the reality we are percieving through our senses is a subjective picture of an objective ...
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Uncertainty and evidence

Under uncertainty, precise probability cannot be assigned, see my other question: How valid is assignment of probabilities when evidence is totally lacking, as in Pascal's Wager? In this case, either ...
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Has the manifestation of ideas been explored before?

I'm trying to figure out whether the manifestation of ideas has been explored before. It's similar to Richard Dawkin's concept of memes, but I'm not quite sure if it is the same. Suppose an ...
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Quine's perspective on laws of nature

I am studying Lewis and his best system account of laws of nature so I am wondering what is Quine's viewpoint on laws on nature and if his perspective is similar to the lewisian one.
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Is this an argument about the world or about human cognition?

This is a question about a thesis I have encountered regarding the relation of abstract mathematics ( Category Theory in particular ) with reality and the nature of human cognition. The argument goes ...
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Application of Epistemology to Robotics or other machine-based “exploration” systems?

So, as epistemology is the main branch of philosophy dealing with knowledge, it would be reasonable to assume that (multiple) people tried to apply ideas from it to practical knowlegde-accumulating ...
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Contemporary problem of induction

What is the contemporary opinion on the problem of induction? It seems that no justification can be given, according to the SEP and an Oxford lecturer. It seems that the SEP does not provide any ...
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Why are there never any disagreements about what date today is? [closed]

Today is 8/20/2019. I know this because my computer says so. But when I was growing up, people did not have computers to tell us the date. Yet somehow, everyone agreed on what date it was. And this ...
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Are some religious claims subject to empirical testing?

Almost all (Christian) theists assert that humans experience everlasting bliss in heaven. Is this possible? So the real issue is whether it is logically possible that an unending life (in which one ...
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How do we establish that external world knowledge is at least likely to be true?

Knowledge of the external world seems to be fallible in any case if we put the threshold of success at the highest level, namely 100% certainty. But this still raises a question: if we want to avoid ...
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Doubt about the possibility of knowing someone is actually saying the truth [closed]

Except for a few cases in which you can have proof someone is saying the truth, can you actually ever know if someone is being honest when they say things like "I love you", "this is nice" or "you ...
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Two questions on the principle of indifference

(Sorry if it is not within the format of the site to ask two questions like this, please tell me if I should break it up into two separate questions) The principle of indifference states that ...
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If a person claims to know anything could it be disproven by saying 'prove that we are not in a simulation'?

Everyone starts out at 0 and if anyone wants to say that they know something they have to prove that claim. Is the counter to this person claiming that they know something logically correct? Person ...
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What is the difference between faith and belief in philosophy?

Is there any difference between faith and belief philosophically speaking? I am trying to think of these two concepts as separate, but I am unable to unlink them. Is there any answer or any texts ...
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All philosophers are nerds. So, no squares are circles [duplicate]

Can the above argument be valid? If it can, I want to know why, as far as I see, even though the conclusion (no squares are circles.) is true, it doesn't seem to be following the premises (not a ...
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How does one argue for the rationality of assigning subjective probabilities in the context of Pascal’s Wager?

As a follow up from this discussion on a previous question I asked, I’m wondering how defenders of Pascal’s Wager/“strong” atheists who hold that the probability of God’s existence is zero justify ...
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In an argument: why True P and False C is invalid, but False P and True C is valid?

P= premises; C= conclusion. Some Americans are women (True). Brad Pitt is an American (True). Therefore, Brad Pitt is a woman (false)-- invalid. All dogs are ants (False). All ants are mammals(False)...
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Could an argument with false Premises and a true Conclusion be logically valid?

Am unsure (leaning more towards no): true P and true C is valid, false P and false C is valid, True P and false C is invalid, how about false P and true C? P= Premises; C= Conclusion. People who ...
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Would answering belief challenges be the same as the scientific method?

Let's say I believe this statement: "all swans are white". Someone comes and asks me these Socratic questions: "is it true that all swans are white?", "is there an instance that a swan is not white?", ...
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How can the position of skepticism avoid becoming incoherent on the problem of the criterion?

Concerning the problem of the criterion, there has been said to be three traditional responses: methodism, particularism, or skepticism. Although other philosophers have proposed that there are more ...
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The notion of knowledge for Kant and mathematical objects

As far as I understand the notion of knowledge in Kantian philosophy, we cannot speak of knowing something unless there is a relation between its concept and some object of intuition showed in ...
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Why do we punish crime?

I have no formal training whatsoever in philosophy but have a question nonetheless. I am sorry if this is way off topic for this site. Crime begets punishment: let us say that punishment is prison. ...
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How can we decide which view to accept concerning our ultimate justification of our knowledge (Münchhausen trilemma)?

I recently came across the Münchhausen trilemma, which I think helps to explain my question. Basically, according to the trilemma, we have three options for explaining the ultimate justification of ...
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How valid is assignment of probabilites when evidence is totally lacking, as in Pascal's Wager?

The SEP article discussing Pascal's Wager states, Premise 1 presupposes that you should have a probability for God’s existence in the first place. However, perhaps you could rationally fail to ...
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Why is Plato's visible world said to be Heraclitean and Plato's intelligible world said to be Parmenidean?

I have been learning about Plato's Theory of Forms, and I have read that Plato's visible world is Heraclitean, and Plato's intelligible world is Parmenidean. I think I understand the parallel between ...
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Are formal sciences rationalistic and natural sciences empiricist?

As the title say, are the formal sciences (mathematics, logic, etc) fundamentally rationalistic while the natural ones (chemistry and physics) fundamentally empiricist? Physics, Chemistry, and ...
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Can Fallibilism itself be fallible?

It says: from IEP Fallibilism tells us that there is no conclusive justification and no rational certainty for any of our beliefs or theses. So, I am just applying fallibilist theses to ...
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Popper on probability

I cannot understand how and why Popper rejects the idea of a theory being "probably true". If a theory can be -more likely- than another (as he states), it means that a theory is more likely to be ...
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Using differential equation to estimate epistemological growth constant

I found some tweets (1,2) describing a philosophy paper as follows: I came across this paper from the academic journal of philosophy that tries to solve a differential equation for an ...