Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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What is a mathematical or logical name for the process of proving a statement by exhausting the domain?

I am trying to understand logic and I came across a set of actions that I describe below that I can't get my head around. Suppose you have a bag of multiple colored balls. Situation 1. Argument: ...
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What is Kant's argument about the relationship between logic and reason?

At Wikipedia, I read: Logic arose (see below) from a concern with correctness of argumentation. Modern logicians usually wish to ensure that logic studies just those arguments that arise from ...
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How can I solve my contradictory thoughts about the relevance of human knowledge?

I have been thinking about how much we can know and more importantly: which knowledge should be relevant to us? First I will explain my thoughts to you. They will end in a questionable conclusion for ...
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What role does “counting histories” play in Deutsch's critique of the “simulation argument”?

In his book The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch argues that there is a problematic assumption behind the simulation argument that "virtually all instances of us are in ... simulations and not in ...
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Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views on science and epistemology?

Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views relevant to the philosophy science and epistemology? I'm quite a beginner in these things and the titles of the Dialogues are ...
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What is the connection between these two theories in the Theaetetus?

In the Theaetetus, one of the theories of knowledge examined by Socrates and Theaetetus is that all knowledge comes from perception. At the same time, they are examining another theory: that ...
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710 views

Is the Cartesian methodological doubt deeply flawed?

In order to acquire irrefutable knowledge, Descartes first doubted everything, even the existence of an external world. Then, starting from the "cogito, ergo sum", he started proving the existence of ...
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Is there an accepted term for the idea that: “an idea's validity is increased with age”

Is there a field or term which can be used to describe conjecture on the notion that: The validity of an idea is related to the length of time it has been debated. Such a field would concern (or, ...
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Is there an accepted term for the idea that: “an idea's validity is increased by the number of proponents”

Is there a field or term which can be used to describe conjecture on the notion that: The validity of an idea is related to the number of proponents/opponents of the idea. Such a field would ...
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What caused the turns from monism to dualism in Russell and Chalmers?

Why did Chalmers shift from idealism to dualism? And Russell from materialism to neutral monism? Edit: The particulars of Russell is recounted in A.C. Grayling's 'Russell: A Very Short Introduction' (...
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What consequences has Locke's theory of knowledge had on modern political thought?

According to John Locke's notion of tabula rasa, there are no innate ideas in the mind. All human knowledge comes from sensible experience. Assuming this principle, it follows that there is no innate ...
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Is it reasonable to arrive at a conclusion based on lack of evidence to the contrary?

I was having a discussion last night about my atheism, and it was suggested to me that agnostism is the only reasonable conclusion, as it leaves the door open for new information. This made me think, ...
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Did Wittgenstein's maxim about doubt and knowing originate from Descartes?

Wittgenstein said, "If you cannot doubt a thing, you cannot know it." For example he said that you cannot know your pain because you cannot doubt that you are in pain. I don't quite understand this ...
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Have there been any attempts to “redo” epistemology without the factivity of knowledge?

Mainstream analytic epistemology seems to take for granted that for S to know p, p must be true. I do not share this intuition. It seems that to be properly internalist about knowledge, one can't ...
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What does Epistemic Closure mean?

I keep coming across this term and would appreciate it if someone could define it for me and also provide a relevant example.
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Do all sciences use the same fundamental approach - the scientific method?

Even so I admit that the statement "All sciences use the same fundamental approach - the scientific method" may be true or false, it is not obvious to me whether it is actually true or false. I ...
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What are the epistemic problems or justifications for obtaining knowledge from StackExchange sites?

What philosophical problems are there with obtaining knowledge by picking the correct or closest answer from a small set of solutions? And further, what are the problems/justifications for judging ...
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Was Aristotle an Empiricist?

When I was taught about Aristotle and Plato, the picture I got was very much like this image from a Raphael fresco: Usually Plato is said to be pointing to the heavens, which represent abstract Forms,...
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Are there any differences between the Eastern and Western philosophical traditions on what constitutes rationality?

I am aware of the way Western philosophers define rationality but I do not know whether Eastern philosophers define it. Are there any differences between the Eastern and Western philosophical ...
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Are the arguments of the Critique of Pure Reason still considered?

Realizing its importance in intellectual history, I am considering an intense study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. However, I wonder what the current status of the text is? To clarify: has it ...
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Is mathematics founded on beliefs and assumptions?

Note: I originally posted the question in meta.math.stackexchange.com but I reckon this would suit a more philosophical audience so I am posting it here. Background: I am a 28 year old ...
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Is the concept of “knowledge” important for philosophy?

I learned the definition of “knowledge” of justified true belief. I wonder whether it is important in any branch of philosophy? If I think about information per se, this boils down to technical ...
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How can we understand the Schematism of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding?

This has been a particularly difficult section for me. Please forgive me if things sound opaque, but Kant is a particularly difficult writer and my reading is hurt by the fact that it isn't occurring ...
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100 coins paradox [closed]

I was wondering what are some proposed solutions in the literature to the following, well-known paradox: Say two rational, intelligent players A and B stand in front of a stack of 100 coins, and ...
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Did Aristotle know about non-empirical science?

In Aristotles' Metaphysics the following can be read: Met. I 981a: […] αποβαίνει δ` ἐπιστήμη καὶ τέχνη διὰ τῆς ἐμπειρίας τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. […] but really science and art come to men through ...
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How do we know how to follow a rule?

This question seems to either be at the forefront or the background of countless philosophical enquiries. Much has been written on Wittgenstein's rule paradox (e.g. Kirke's Wittgenstein: On Rules and ...
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How can we know if God is lying or not? [closed]

Stated more generally: Are there entities whose claims—by the nature of their existence—are outside the scope of rational inquiry? Consider the example of the Abrahamic God, the relevant matter not ...
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What is the relationship between philosophy and science?

While philosophy and science as held as separate disciplines (and often taught in completely different colleges within a university [i.e. College of Liberal Arts vs. College of Science]), it is ...
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What does 'consciousness' indicate in the context of the anthropic principle?

The anthropic principle postulates that our universe is selected for the presence of consciousness in it. I cite Wikipedia: the anthropic principle is the philosophical argument that observations ...
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Structural understanding vs. emotional connection [closed]

Question: Is there a line of philosophical thought or a named theory/area-of-inquiry that deals with the phenomenon of a person perceiving/believing that appreciation for an event/topic/item decreases ...
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What is the difference between knowledge and belief?

Sometimes this image is used to explain what agnosticism is and how it's independent from belief: It makes some sense but I still have confusion understanding it. What is the difference between ...
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Is perfection conceivable?

It is a given that we can conceive normal things like a regular hot dog or a space shuttle. It is also a given that we can conceive perfection in things that are fully understood, like a perfect cube ...
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What are some methods of defining things?

In my experience, many definitions define an object/idea by merely listing it's characteristics. For example: Avocado a large, usually pear-shaped fruit having green to blackish skin, a single ...
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Is it possible for a layperson to suitably evaluate scientific disputes?

As a layperson, I try not to fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger effect. As an example, one area where I know that I am vulnerable is when biochemistry intersects with nutrition and disease. Is it ...
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Is a priori and a posteriori knowledge objective or subjective?

In a description of David Hume, examples of a priori and a posteriori are given: a posteriori: "Dogs are carnivores" a priori: "Bachelors are unmarried" I am having trouble differentiating between ...
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What are some good critical readings of the film The Matrix?

Where might I find some thoughtful philosophical or critical readings of The Matrix, in particular which treat the primary theme of virtual reality?
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Can a lack of knowledge or understanding invalidate a positive claim?

Consider the example of causal determinism. It can be phrased in many ways, all with identical meaning: - The idea that "every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is ...
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Why don't color blind people have a different theory of physics? [closed]

I have heard from numerous sources that our senses cannot be relied upon and therefore all knowledge that we have is subjective & relative. In other words, many people claim that variance in ...
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How to characterize Kant's usage of the term “noumena”?

Wikipedia gives an explanation of Kant's usage of the term noumena, part of which reads as follows: By Kant's account, when we employ a concept to describe or categorize noumena (the objects of ...
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What is the best scientific argumentation against the Dust Theory?

The "Dust Theory", by Greg Egan, states that... ... there is no difference, even in principle, between physics and mathematics, and that all mathematically possible structures exist, among them ...
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Are there any philosophers who advance a non-foundationalist absolutism?

I'm sure my terminology is poor here (background in math more than philosophy), but are there any philosophers who have advanced a distinctly non-relativist epistemology without ultimately coming out ...
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Representation versus cartography in Deleuze and Guattari?

Can someone help me contextualize and concretize the theme of representation (what they sometimes call "tracing") versus cartography ("mapping," "diagramming," even "meta-modeling", etc.) in Deleuze ...
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To what extent do we choose our beliefs?

Are we free to choose our beliefs? Or is our belief in a proposition something that is thrust upon us by the weight of the evidence we have in favor and against the truth of it? For example, is it ...
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Can Kant's Copernican revolution be viewed as an extension of Wittgensteinian language games?

Forgive me if this question is clumsily posed. The so-called 'Copernican revolution' of declaring the mind as bringing objecthood and properties to objects, rather than their perception bringing ...
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How can adults understand the feelings of infants?

Freud claimed that we forget our childhood, not because our brain is not powerful enough to retain memories, but because our first three years of childhood are so daunting and difficult that our brain ...
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how are rationalism and empiricism related to modern epistemology? Should epistemology be seen as incorporating both? [closed]

Epistemology by simplest definition is the theory of knowledge and one of the things it addresses is the source of knowledge. On the other hand we know that rationalism (deduction) and empiricism (...
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Philosophy of Philosophy and Experience [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the practical use of philosophy? Does philosophy move us toward a deeper understanding of the human condition, or does philosophy push us away from understanding the ...
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Are all philosophers subject to a variation of the Socrates problem?

Obviously, the specific problem of knowing who Socrates was and what he taught is wholly unique to the man. However, reading books and articles about philosophers and philosophy, I'm struck by the ...
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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 ...