Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Methods for telling how another creature is feeling

Assuming that there are different "beings" in this world, and that those beings have something like "emotions" (those are two big pills to swallow, I know), how do you tell whether a particular being ...
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Based on these 8 beliefs, which school of philosophy should I focus on?

I’m interested in world philosophy and have tried to make sense of what I have read thus far on my own, mainly as regards secure foundation, or central axis, upon which to gradually build some kind of ...
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A Gettier-like argument about the future

It occurred to me a Gettier-like argument about the future: Assume that a man predicted X using some kind of scientific method (thus the belief is verified) And he believes that X (the belief) ...
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To prove or disprove that objectivity does not exist, would lead to circular reasoning

So I was thinking about this and I realized one thing. If we say “Objectivity does not exist”, we would have to use “objectivity” to prove it. Since we’re claiming that objectivity does not exist, if ...
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How do Probably Approximately Correct algorithms work, and is the PAC model generalizable to human brains

I recently read a fascinating review (in issue no. 136 of Philosophy Now) of Probably Approximately Correct written by Harvard Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Leslie Valiant. ...
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How/Why is the explanation/prediction of physical phenomena not deductive?

Why is the explanation of the triboelectric effect or the electrostatic effect(indicative examples) not deductive? How so we have a set of premises and from them follows the conclusion which is what ...
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Axiomatic system and symbolic, formal, mathematical language

Is there any need for axiomatic systems to be in a symbolic, formal, mathematical language? Equivalently is there any prohibition of axioms in axiomatic systems being in natural language? In other ...
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Methodological universalities in Physics

Is there any methodological characteristic universal in Physics? Even if some branches of Physics lose their reproducibility, their experimental testing, their deterministic predictivity isn't some ...
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Relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method

What is the relation of reproducibility and the lack of contigencies with the scientific method? Quantum mechanics and Statistical physics/mechanics are vurnerable/suspectible to contigencies. We ...
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Epistemology, Scientific Method and Formal Theory, Economics

Why is Economics considered not to apply the scientific method in its pure form, nor develop scientific theories and how so? Trade and Government policies(For political economics/positive political ...
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Epistemic pluralism’s potential slippery slope into epistemic nihilism

William James long ago noted that: “Up to about 1850 almost everyone believed that sciences expressed truths that were exact copies of a definite code of non-human realities. But the enormously ...
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Does Russell prove the existence of synthetic a priori knowledge?

In the Problems of Philosophy he proves that there are certain a priori knowledge such as logical principles and mathematical principles. However does he think these types of knowledge are just ...
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Post hoc fallacy Vs. Slippery slope fallacy

What are the differences between Post hoc fallacy and Slippery slope fallacy? Why they are different?
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Does a belief need to be necesarily true to constitute “knowledge”

In a recent answer to a post, @Ted Wrigley posited that a belief [his own] that is not necessarily true, is not “knowledge in the exacting sense of the term.” (last paragraph of this answer) An ...
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Why Are Physical Observations Mathematical?

Why does Newton's law of gravitiation look the way it does? Why is the Gravitiational Consntant this specific value? Why do Maxwell's Equations look the way they do? Why is it that abstract quantities ...
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Can a data-driven scientific method produce new knowledge?

Let us classify the state of knowledge into four simple categories: what do we know (known knowns)? What are the limitations of what we know (known unknowns)? What is our degree of certainty about ...
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Why is moral cognitivism called 'cognitivism'

I don't get it? "Cognitive" usually refers to do with the mind, mental processes, thinking, or the brain. In ethics, it refers to whether or not something is a "statement" or can be "true or false". ...
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How does Kant's claim of discovering the 'structures of human knowledge', escape the same dogmatic accusations which he leveled?

Immanuel Kant was a genius and wrote eloquently on many topics. His original thinking set the tone for much that has followed and continues today to exert great influence. Notwithstanding all of this, ...
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How do we formulate philosophical theories?

Various epistemological systems have their own way of arriving at knowledge. For example, the cornerstone of arriving at scientific knowledge is both induction and observation. Then, what is the ...
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what is called the view that all knowledge “bottoms out” in intuition and/or psychological prejudice?

Suppose I see a tree through my window; I naturally believe that there's a tree outside. From my experience, I simply intuit (so it seems to me) the existence of that tree. Of course, I could ...
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Are the conclusions we draw from science inherently more certain than those we draw from history?

When it comes to forming historical conclusions, one starts with a limited dataset (the sources available to them simply by virtue of how history has played out) with which to draw inferences from. ...
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“Dinosaurs did exist once”. Is it knowledge or is it only justified belief?

On Wikipedia, knowledge is defined as justified true belief: The concept of justified true belief states that in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the ...
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Do we only know statements when we think of them?

I once asked whether we only believe statements when we think of them. Now I am asking a similar but different question, about knowledge rather than belief. Do we only know statements when we are ...
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Experts in which area can be considered relevant / authoritive to validating religious claims?

Some consider that in today's word a layperson should rest their opinion on problems of field X what the majority of experts of field X say. (RationalWiki link) Quoting this article: When ...
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How does Kant's transcendental idealism account for things that are known to exist, but cannot be experienced?

I've been trying to explain Kant's transcendental idealism to a friend of mine. By transcendental idealism I am referring to a world of appearances which receive their character from the point of view ...
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Why do I accept some inconsequential claims as “obviously true” without evidence? E.g. “Most people don't like to be hit on the head with a hammer.”

There are certain claims that I accept as obviously true without (much) evidence. For example: Most people don't like to be hit on the head with a hammer. Donald Trump ate dinner some time last week....
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Do philosophers think beliefs are bearers of truth-value?

In the literature about what sorts of things have a truth-value, the idea that acts of belief bear truth-value seems present, yet uncommon. On the other hand, objects of belief like propositions or ...
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Epistemic Realism vs Anti-Realism and Quantum Events

So I was recently talking with my friend about epistemic norms. I'm arguing for Kant's transcendental perspective (as a response to epistemic anti-realism). Transcendental perspective (for those who ...
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Why do we need repetitive demonstration to accept miracles happening?

From the highest upvoted answer on Is any aspect of the supernatural testable? What level of proof is possible for the supernatural?: However, you are probably wasting your time on the various ...
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Is there a name for the phenomenon that something becomes less so as it becomes more popular? [closed]

Apologies in advance if this is silly. I've come to think that some things become less so as they become more popular. I'm wondering if someone ever wrote/talked about this and if it has a name. For ...
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Empiricism vs Irrationalism

Empiricists think that we should rely on our senses as a source of information but they also agree that using induction, and therefore reason as well, to make conclusions are reliable, whereas ...
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Can something indubitable be inferred from something dubitable?

I’m trying to respond to an argument. But I need this principle: Consider a set of propositions P1, P2,...Pn that entails Q, where n>1. If (1) any one of the Pk alone does not entail Q, and (2) at ...
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Is this principle indubitable? [closed]

Principle: One should be certain in a proposition p if and only if one should be at least as confident in p as in every other proposition. Is this principle indubitable?
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Regarding a priori propositions

How is "All bachelors are unmarried males" an a priori judgement? For it to be a priori there has to be an innate concept of bachelor-ness which evidently man does not have. In order to acquire this ...
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Gettier counterexamples for Goldman

I was wondering if there are any Gettier-style counterexamples or deeper objections to either of Goldman's reliabilist (1979) or causal (1967) theories of knowledge? Thanks in advance!
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Does Kant's concept of 'representations' advocate for any agency as a function of the mind?

Kant never seems to define his usage of the concept of 'representations'. Nevertheless it appears to play a central role in his depiction of the mind's cognitive capability. When he says that 'that ...
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What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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Is Gettier Problem a metaphysical/ontological problem or a epistemological problem?

Gettier Problem is a metaphysical/ontological problem about what is "knowledge" or a epistemological problem about how to judge whether others have knowledge or not? In fact, I think it's true that ...
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How do Descartes' definitions of 'a priori' and a 'posteriori' effect the current generalized understanding of these two distinctions?

The noted and highly respected pluralist, Dr. Richard Mckeon, in his introductory comments to the International Institute of Philosophy's 'Entretiens in Jerusalem, in 1977, quotes from Descartes ...
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Ontology and Abstract Concepts [closed]

Can ontology study abstract concepts as an object of study in themselves supporting that concepts and ideas are and exist since someone thought of them? Please provide references explaining how and ...
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Informal fallacies and their fallacious nature

What imparts to informal fallacies their fallacious nature? I have been reading Wikipedia because of the ease of access, as well as some references listed there, like https://www.humanities.mcmaster....
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Is science based on David Hume's “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence”?

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. … no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more ...
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Humean Supervenience and the Mosaic

I have read a lot of times the definition of Humean Supervenience and the usual quote by Lewis according to which Humean supervenience is “ It is the doctrine that all there is to the world is a vast ...
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Is there a logical argument for the limit of knowledge?

It is justifiable to assert that certain knowledge could not be disseminated without the invention of writing. One could say that humanity needed the knowledge of writing before further knowledge ...
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Some questions about skepticism and the principle of knowledge?

What about this principle? ("if K (P - > ~ Q), then ~ k (~ Q) - > ~ k (P)") (if you know (P implies non-Q, then you don't know non-Q implies don't know P) I learnt about that Nozick gave an anti ...
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Why did Berkeley denounce 'abstract' ideas?

George Berkeley- Berkeley is best known for his early works on vision (An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, 1709) and metaphysics (A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710; ...
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Who Killed Bob? [closed]

We have a mach zhender type interferometer that can receive quantum bullets. Charlie fires the bullets continuously into the device and (assuming a perfect experiment) the bullets all exit at output A....
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What does it mean for someone to “found a state/government”? And why can they do it? [closed]

What does it mean for someone to "found a state/government"? And why can they do it? E.g. George Washington is referred to as the "founder" of American republic. But what's a republic and how can ...
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How/when can categorization of things be correct?

How/when can categorization of things be correct? Meaning just "categorization" in general. It's intuitive that categorization is a "primitive" cognitive and linguistic phenomenon. Without ...
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What is the value of a formal model in science?

In science we often use formal models (by which I mean a mathematical structure composed of assumptions, variables, and equations, which might be solved/simulated to derive analytical insights and/or ...

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