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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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Circularity between truth and meaning?

These two common claims are equally appealing: (1) the meaning of a ( declarative) sentence consists in its truth conditions (2) the truth of a sentence depends on its meaning But are we moving ...
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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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What are the identity conditions for “ a truth” [on hold]

Here I'm not talking about "truth" in general ( as when one says " truth is correspondence between thought and reality") but about truth considered as a particular truth, as when one says " this ...
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Nozick's Tracking Theory Problems

I have been studying Bonjour's clairvoyant rebuttal to externalist theories and also the New Evil Demon problem by Cohen and Lehrer. I wanted to ask whether Nozick's tracking theory can respond ...
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Emotion and Knowledge [closed]

I was always curious, how largely do emotions play a part in our decision making using individual knowledge possessed? This question is making me feel confused as this may imply does being completely ...
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Are Wittgenstein's propositions analytic or synthetic?

Wittgenstein provides a logical analysis of propositions in the Tractatus. Does he there admit the Kantian distinctions between analytic/synthetic and a priori/a posteriori divisions; or does his ...
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How does Epistemology show that it's not a language game?

I'm looking for pointers towards texts that treat the issue of "doing philosophy with language" as a foundational problem-- which must be justified in order to go on and make meaningful statements ...
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What justified consciousness is an experience and not an thing? [closed]

No philosophers has justified that consciousnesses can be measured. Many philosophers have tried to describe the mind, but are there any specific scholars who describe justified methods to describe ...
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Why is it obviously false that the distribution of prime numbers can only be a matter of knowledge and never of opinion?

I'm reading "The Routledge Guidebook to Plato's Republic" (3rd edition) and Plato's "Republic". In the Guidebook (chapter 7, pg 158, the section on Knowledge and Opinion), the 12th fundamental ...
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How does Locke's realism differ from Kant's realism?

I've been studying Locke recently and I'm having trouble understanding how his epistemic position differs from Kant's, and by implication, why did Kant see his epistemology as being so revolutionary ...
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Aristotle's epistemology: the proper objects of perception?

I think we can safely say that for Aristotle the proper objects of perception are sensible forms. The proper objects of reason are intelligible forms. It is often said that in seeing, sense and its ...
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Is physicalism an unfalsifiable position?

A follow up from this question: is materialism a self refuting position Does physicalism include epistemological principles that make it impossible to disprove by its own standard ? If I am a ...
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How should we understand the oracle's dilemma in making a prediction?

Let's look at a thought experiment: There is an oracle who has exact knowledge of the state of a deterministic universe, so her predictions about the universe's future have always turned out to be ...
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Understanding Hintikka's scandal of deduction (as depicted by D'Agostino)

I am having trouble understanding Hintikka's Scandal of Deduction, as depicted in D'Agostino's article. According to this account, the problem stems from the fact that, while first order logic is ...
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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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Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of them are the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? What is ...
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Can analogues of moral non-naturalism make some metaphysical hypotheses more defensible?

One common position in meta-ethics is that facts about morality exist, but are not natural properties of the universe but rather are something else. I can't measure the wrongness of slavery the same ...
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Are there non-empirical kinds of aposteriori justifcation?

I'm asking here about what exactly constitutes aposteriori statement. The idea is that an aposteriori statement is one whose truth necessitate experiential evidence to be established. like in ...
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Can other than natural phenomena be facts?

Can other than natural phenomena be facts? At the moment, I think that no. The reason is that everything else requires "interpretation" and everything else than "spontaneously created, emerged, ..."...
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Is there an example of an innate idea?

I don't see any justification to argue a person has an idea or knowledge that is not derived from its environment. How come Plato raised this question at all: How is it that we have certain ideas ...
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An Argument that Knowledge is a Matter of Choice

I have met someone who argues as follows: What I know depends on what axioms I take. As these axioms are left unjustified, I have as much justification for them as for their negations, so I could ...
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Why do people assume that good has more existence than evil? [closed]

There is a common metaphor that compares the good to the warmth or the light, and the evil to the cold or the darkness. Physicists tell that the cold is the absense of the heat, and does not exist. By ...
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Intention and Means-End Reasoning in Epistemology

In his paper, The logical foundations of means-end reasoning, John Pollock describes a notion of "means-end" reasoning, which is planning with a certain end goal in mind. Human plan-construction ...
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Quine, subjective probability and QM

I have just read Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist where Quine says: “Probability? Of events? Restore extensionality (...). Of states of affairs? Treat quotationally, like de dicto. How much ...
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what is a “discursive site”?

I am looking for a definition of "discursive site". I have looked up Foucault's definition of discourse, but can't find anything. Any references or explanations welcome.
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Is fallibilism a better option than absolute certainty?

Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as ...
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Is a proof still valid if only the author understands it?

Some time ago I was reading about the recent Shinichi Mochizuki's proof for the famous ABC conjecture. It's enormous and so incredibly difficult that at that time virtually nobody was able to ...
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Is there another state besides existence and nonexistence?

Today I told someone who said that there is no objective truth the next thing: "For example, we, as humans, cannot know if God exists or he does not but we can know for sure that one of these two ...
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Can one know and not know at the same time the same truth?

How to analyse the fact that , at the age of 6, (1) I knew that : 1 + 1 =2 but, at the same time, (2) I did not know that 1² + 1² = square root of 4 ? Can someone know the first thing ...
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What are some important essays/philosophical views on experiencing things objectively? [closed]

I'm looking for some names/essays/philosophers on the topic of objective reality. Questions like, "Can we experience anything objectively?" and, "Is there an objective reality?" Anyone have any ...
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How can you argue for a classification without assuming the classification?

Assume population x differs from population y by characteristic z. One group of scholars argues that x and y belong to the same class and that z is incidental and irrelevant to the classification. ...
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Would it be sensible to say “I know Santa does not exist”?

Would it be sensible to say "I know Santa does not exist", and more generaly, what do we really say when we say "I know that [some fact]" ? It is a well known principle that "absence of evidence is ...
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What specific knowledge is purposefully held back by the universities from their students? [closed]

I read a quote once that this is done as a grocer would hold back the knowledge of the second half of a punnet of strawberries being mouldy. I have my theories but was there a specific knowledge set ...
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Moral 'ought' and the Principle of Generic Consistency?

Late philosopher Alan Gewirth introduced the Principle of Generic Consistency, or the PGC, which says that moral agents ought to respect the generic rights of freedom and well-being because they are ...
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Has the Problem of Induction been solved?

The problem as to acquiring knowledge about times where we cannot experiment/observe. For e.g, you haven't seen the future, so you cannot make any definitive statements, or rather, scientifically ...
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Is there a way to tell which philosophers are correct in their musings? [closed]

Is quoting an authoritative source a useful or effective way to demonstrate that an assertion is correct?
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Epistemology of “Creationism Debate”

Epistemologically, is there any difference between a belief in non-interventionist evolution and a belief in young-earth creationism? If so, what is it? I'm not interested in the question of whether ...
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In Spinoza's Epistemology what role is played by his concept of 'idea'? How do the idea in 'thought' and the object in extension interrelate?

Depending on which among the diverse variety of depictions of the status and possibility of humans being in possession of 'knowledge', Spinoza's Epistemology has been described in various ways. The ...
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Should truth entail possible truth?

It is a well-accepted axiom of modal logic that truth implies possible truth. Is there any philosophical argument against this conclusion? In other words, should truth entail possible truth?
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what does it mean to have philosophical study of something

Because we see there are many philosophical Study at present like philosophical study of education, philosophical study of Judgement etc. Therefore please explain me what does it mean to have ...
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How should “knowledgeability” be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? [closed]

How should "knowledgeability" be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? What about things that science cannot measure? Or are there other "reasonable" forms of knowledge? Why ...
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Bayesian epistemology and paraconsistent logics

My philosophical background I read a little on Bayesian epistemology, a while back, and I was both impressed by it and really disappointed that it was not, being a 20th century invention, embedded ...
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Are there writers on the topic of an inherent human bias towards the value of rational thinking?

Some people place humans as 'higher animals' because we are uniquely capable of rational thought, while most other animals are not. This assumes that the trait of rationality is superior to other ...
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Questions concerning Hume's argument for the unknowability of ultimate causes

I'm currently reading through Hume's An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I'm having trouble understanding one of his big arguments in the section entitled "Skeptical Doubts Concerning the ...
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Is it possible to infer the non-existence of a thing?

Is it possible to rationally infer the non-existence of a phenomenon or a thing, because of a lack of evidence? I've heard of the Null Hypothesis - I heard it says that you can infer that something ...
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Questions on Descartes' Certainty? [closed]

1)What is the certainty that Descartes discovers in the Second Meditation? 2)What does Descartes go on to attempt to prove in the Third Meditation and how is this proof related to what was ...
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How did Kant define knowledge?

A recent question about the Plato's formula K=JTB (knowledge is justified true belief) made me curious as to what Kant thought on the matter. In the prefaces and the Introduction to the first Critique ...
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Epistemology: What role does “ intensionality” play in the knowledge relation? Is “ intension” a third term in the knowledge relation?

How to analyse the fact that , at the same time, my 7 y. old nephew (1) knows that : 1+1 =2 (2) does not know that : sqrt (1) + 1² = the absolute value of the cube root of -8. ? Certainly, "...
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Is it possible to track the truth?

Epistemology seems to show that knowledge is always fallible. How can that position be satisfying at all? It seems to me that we are eternally condemned to hope we are going in the right direction and ...
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Definition of Kant's synthetic a priori

My understanding of Kant's synthetic a priori is that it refers to a kind of knowledge that can be deduced, but without reference to experience. This would mean there are two conditions limiting what ...