Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Is Kant committing the reflection fallacy? ( Kant's epistemology)

(1) I see a tree. (2) Therefore the tree is the object of my perception. (3) So I see the object of my perception. (4) Hence, without grasping the concept of object in general and subsuming the ...
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How do we know we could be brains in vats? [closed]

So-called skeptics usually claim that we don't know some normal facts because they know some abnormal fact about some possibility that undermines knowledge. How do these people know their modal claims ...
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Are the questions “Do I exist” and “Why do I exist” related to metaphysics, epistemology or another branch of philosophy?

Does the universe (or anything) exist? I assume that question would fall under metaphysics. But could it also touch on epistemology (e.g. how we define "universe" or "exist")? Do I exist? To me, ...
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Is economics a science?

In class, I made the argument that economics is not science, because it cannot undertake repeatable experiments. Someone rebutted: this would mean that I am ignore an emerging body of work, some by ...
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Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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Have Kant, Hegel or Fichte. etc. talked about hallucination or illusion?

How do Kant (a Constructivist), idealists such as Hegel, or subjectivists like Fichte deal with hallucination or illusion, given that it appears to show their beliefs about the world are uncertain? ...
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Is a set that contains itself always logically incoherent? [closed]

This is an ontological engineering question, please treat it that way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_engineering I am examining this question from the point of view of ontological ...
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Prove the following facts about Conditionalization

Prove that when an agent conditionalizes on new evidence, her credence in a proposition that entails the evidence cannot decrease. That is, when H entails E, it must be the case that cr2(H) is greater ...
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Why does Kant say that some imperatives are analytically justified?

In the Groundwork and the second Critique, IIRC, Kant for some reason tries to explain the "argument" for the categorical imperative as synthetic a priori. He does this not just for assertoric forms ...
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Can certain knowledge be experienced without words?

This question has been framed from a reading of Ruth Lydia Saw's book, "The Vindication of Metaphysics", (Macmillan, 1951). It's being termed, the 'parrot' example from pp.50-52. Saw poses a very ...
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Is this argument against the possibility of epistemology correct?

(1) Epistemology is looking for a definition of knowledge. (2) Suppose an epistemologist claims that he has come upon a correct definition, this claim would amount at saying " now, I know what is ...
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Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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Post-Positivism's Relationship to Post-Modernism

In A Nice Derangement of Epistemes by John H. Zammito, he attempts to "deflate" certain "extravagant gestures in philosophy of language" as he believes they "threaten to undermine indispensable canons ...
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Corroboration in Popper's system

Why corroboration gives to a theory increasing "value", as he states in his "logic of scientific discovery". The question is simple, but I need a complex answer, one that can't be used to justify ...
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What is the fundamental axiom of reasoning?

Is it true that a fundamental axiom of logical reasoning is that reality doesn't contradict? Can someone explain why this assumption is a reasonable starting point if true or what a more accurate ...
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Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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Should we pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge without considering the possible consequences? [closed]

For example, should Alfred Noble be blamed for suicide bombers as he created dynamite?
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How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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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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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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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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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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