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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 does one tell apart left from right?

I can look at one hand and know (not necessarily immediately) that "This is my left hand". How do I know this? (How can I be so successful at judging this?) This question is inspired by the classic ...
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Are there JTB epistemologies which reject the knowledge of some Gettier problems, but in which religious experiences still justify belief?

Such is my current worldview that there is no religious experience or numinous feeling that could justify faith in any god. This is because, in the wake of a slew of discoveries about the ...
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Is the classification of information a result of properties inherent to that information or inherent to human reasoning?

In a paper I wrote for a class last quarter, I began with the concept of "music as a lens for culture" and ultimately ended up drawing parallels between culture, language, and music -- more ...
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What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly inspired by a god?

Many of the world's religions are based on a book or text that adherents claim to have been written by or directly inspired by a god, perhaps omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. My question is ...
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1answer
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What are the major points of Meillassoux's critique of correlationism?

What are the major points of Quentin Meillassoux's critique of correlationism? I am beginning to work through After Finitude and am finding it difficult to grasp exactly what his critique consists in;...
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Is the simulation hypothesis outside of science?

On the question of the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that reality is a simulation), a friend of mine once remarked he didn't accept it on the grounds of Ockham's razor. To me (with my admittedly ...
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1answer
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Was Rorty a Relativist?

Richard Rorty spent much of his career defending his work against accusations of Relativism, and yet his name is often mentioned in such discussions. Are these accusations of Relativism directed at ...
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1answer
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What are the most important papers regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement?

There's been a debate recently about what is the right way to react to learning that you disagree with someone you take to be your epistemic peer. One approach is the "Equal Weight View". I associate ...
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What should philosophers know about math and natural sciences?

My question is whether a lack of knowledge about formal mathematics or theoretical science in general would have an impact on a philosopher's ability to think and make judgments. Why should a ...
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3answers
866 views

What is the difference between mathematical knowledge and other knowledge?

We know that these can all be considered as knowledges: 1 + 1 = 2 free delivery for purchases over $100 there are approximately 100 people in this village Alice is dating Bob universe is probably ...
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3answers
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What are the philosophical implications of the uncertainty principle?

What, if any, are the major philosophical consequences of the uncertainty principle? Wikipedia describes the principle this way: [T]he principle implies that it is impossible to simultaneously ...
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7answers
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What are examples of analytic a posteriori knowledge?

There is the analytic/synthetic distinction and the a priori/a posteriori distinction. These two distinctions form four types of knowledge: analytic a priori synthetic a priori analytic a posteriori ...
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1answer
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What journal should I read for cutting-edge epistemology?

I'm a PhD candidate, but I still don't read many journals. Where should I start if I want to be up-to-date? One of my areas is epistemology, but this can be a more open ended question if need be.
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Is Science about Truth or Adequate Models?

Is it the general view amongst philosophers of science that science isn't about truth but rather adequately predictive models and therefore it doesn't make sense to speak of a scientific theory as ...
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9answers
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What basis do we have for certainty in current scientific theories?

Given there is much past scientific belief that we now know NOT to be true, what basis do we have for the seemingly increasing certainty in our scientific beliefs held today being true? On the one ...
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3answers
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What epistemological systems effectively handle the infinite regress?

I have been following apologetics for quite some time and have run into many claims that certain epistemological methods typically associated with non-theism (for example, empiricism and logical ...
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Existence of an Intelligible Physical World beyond the Mind [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any philosophical arguments to disprove or weaken solipsism? What justification(s) exist for the generally-agreed-upon axiom that a physical world beyond our mind ...
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2answers
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Did Kuhn “recant”?

I've heard (from a source which now escapes me) that later in his life Kuhn retreated from some of the more relativistic claims of The Structure of Sceintific Revolutions. Specifically, I think I ...
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6answers
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Is a language its dictionary?

A dictionary defines words in a language, in terms of other words in that same language. An English dictionary is not the same as a Spanish dictionary, simply because the sets of English words and ...
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4answers
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What are the philosophical implications of Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem?

Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem states Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any ...
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7answers
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When and why do we say that two things are the same?

In a preceeding question I have asked about the foundations of rational reasonning. It seems the concept of identity plays a key role. However "identity" is not observed in the real world: our mind ...
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20answers
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Is the “omniscient-omnipotent-omnipresent” definition of God consistent?

God is commonly defined as an omniscient (infinite knowledge), omnipotent (unlimited power), omnipresent (present everywhere) entity. Is there any logical inconsistency in this definition? I have ...
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6answers
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Are there any philosophical arguments to disprove or weaken solipsism?

My philosophy professor once told our class: The only people who believe in solipsism are infants and madmen. I was inclined to agree at the time. Yet years later, I have still not encountered any ...
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What kind of things do we actually know about teapots?

This question is not meant to deal with the religious side of the Teapot (or FSM or the Invisible Pink Unicorn), but rather the inherent epistemological claims and their export to other areas of ...
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When can we call an explanation “rational”?

There are a lot of questions involving rational judgment, rational choice, rational explanation, etc... And at the same time, it seems that "being rational" is a guiding principle for a lot of people. ...
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5answers
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Is Skepticism the most rational standpoint?

Is Philosophical Skepticism - the one that advocates true knowledge is impossible, the most rational standpoint? I am asking this based on the observation that there are very few things whose ...
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What's the relevance of falsifiability in regards to logical arguments?

Is it reasonable to classify logical propositions that rely on deduction and are non-falsifiable as being inherently not worthy pursuing or does this just applies to inductive reasoning?
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Are the unexamined lives of others worth examining?

Socrates continually admonished his interlocutors to become more introspective, arguing passionately for self-examination: The unexamined life is not worth living. But an examined life is painful, ...
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Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?

I've heard it postulated by some people that "we can't truly know anything". While that does seem to apply to the vast majority of things, I can't see how 'cogito ergo sum' can possibly be false. ...
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1answer
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A reference for understanding current trends in epistemology [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding all the various theories of epistemology and how they relate, and which are considered current. Is there a good resource or reference to understand the current state ...
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1answer
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Does Alvin Plantinga's account of epistemic warrant require belief in God?

On Plantinga's account, true belief becomes knowledge under epistemic warrant; and epistemic warrant requires the 'proper functioning' of our cognitive faculties in the right kind of cognitive ...
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2answers
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Why aren't pure apperception and empirical apperception structurally identical, even though they are functionally identical in Kant's Anthropology?

I can't be the only one who finds this strange. Section 7 of Anthropology from a Pragmatic Perspective, entitled "On Sensibility in contrast to understanding", reads as follows: In regard to the ...
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24answers
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How does one know one is not dreaming?

How does one know one is not dreaming? How could one logically demonstrate to a skeptic that one is "really" there, awake and not just dreaming the entire situation/world around him? Specifically ...
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Was mathematics invented or discovered?

What would it mean to say that mathematics was invented and how would this be different from saying mathematics was discovered? Is this even a serious philosophical question or just a meaningless/...