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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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Need of philosophy experts! [closed]

I am a beginner philosopher and I have to explain Hume's "Doubts concerning the operations of the understanding" as part of a short exercise for my class. Would anyone be willing to give their honest ...
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Nozick's truth tracking theory?

I simply just do not understand this concept, everything from the idea of close possible worlds to the counterfactual conditions. So, 1. P is true. 2. You believe that P (following the famous "...
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A priori and a posteriori within an axiomatic framework?

I am not a philosopher, so please excuse my limited understanding of these basic philosophy concepts. I am having some difficulty understanding what truly constitutes an a priori statement/truth (I'm ...
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Have philosophers explored the ideas of accuracy and precision when considering the truth of a statement?

I'm a physicist interested in exploring philosophy. As a motivation, let me give a few contradictory statements about gravity: "Acceleration due to gravity is a constant 9.81m/s^2" "Gravity follows ...
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How to construct a proposition about God (which is not a thing, nor a non-thing)?

I am reading a paper right now by Andrey V. Smirnov, published in the journal Philosophy East and West, Vol. 43, No. 1 titled Nicholas of Cusa and Ibn Arabi: Two Philosophies of Mysticism. Both ...
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Has any philosopher argued our concepts resemble reality along this line?

There are 2 cases. Either (1) Some of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there or (2) None of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there If we take (1) = p ...
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Is it true that there is no “long-run relative frequency” for a theory being true?

I watched a lecture on Bayesian statistics which made the point that theories are either true or not. Thus, there can be no "long-run relative frequency" at which the theory is true, and Frequentist ...
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What is common between the rationalists and empiricists?

Philosophy counsels us to begin with the most certain of definitions. In that spirit, returning to a question I've often avoided, what is the common definition of knowledge between the rationalists ...
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Do we believe what is true, oppose to, for example, what is good for us?

This question came to me after watching a nice debate between theist and atheist. In one of the atheist arguments, he ultimately based his atheism on the basis that we (should? It's not clear from his ...
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Epistemic Parity

I am trying to work out if I understand the term epistemic parity. This is in the context of pluralism exclusivism ect. The resource I am working from states A religious exclusivist would deny the ...
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Is it possible to know infinitely many propositions?

Consider the infinite set of propositions {0+0=0, 0+1=1, 0+2=2, 0+3=3, 0+4=4,...}. It seems clear that one knows all of them, because, they all follow from "0 plus any natural number is that natural ...
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Is extra-sensory perception considered a valid source of knowledge in any Western branch of philosophy?

I have read that some Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhist philosophy, have considered extra-sensory perception (as attained through meditation), a valid source of knowledge. For example, the Buddha ...
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Historically speaking, what have been considered “reliable” sources of knowledge in Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy?

Historically and in general, what have Eastern and Western philosophies considered "reliable" sources of knowledge? Where do they tend to converge or diverge in this matter?
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Is epistemological potential relational?

There was a thought experiment that came to me. Suppose there would only be a cube, and you as an observer. These are the restrictions. You do not have any knowledge of yourself. i.e. questions ...
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Contingent vs. Necessary Truth in Classical Philosophy

I am reading "Ancient Philosophy" by Anthony Kenny (Vol 1 of his "A New History of Western Philosophy", OUP, ISBN 0–19–875273–3). I was intrigued by the following statement (p.176): "However, ...
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Do theories come from observations or do they determine what is observed?

While re-reading Shimon Malin’s “Nature Loves to Hide” I was trying to get a better grasp of the distinction between Ernst Mach’s philosophy that theory comes from observable magnitudes alone and what ...
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Is assuming nothing equal to assuming something?

When someone assumes there's something, the general consensus is that it means there was nothing, and he added a layer of "somethingness". I'd like to question that and ask, when someone argues that "...
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Why do we seek to “limit” our scope for the search after truth?

In philosophy and science, we quite often make systematic approaches that limits our thoughts to be as accurate as possible. Examples are endless - basically every logical system, every ...
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Is there anything left in contemporary epistemology and science from the German Idealism?

Kant, Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel.. Is there anything left from the Kantian movement today in the thoughts of knowledge and nature? The question is focused especially after Popper essentially "...
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Metrics of the complexity/richness of theories

Are there methods proposed to "measure" the complexity of a theory? either quantitatively or qualitatively. Let me explain with an example: I'd say that theories of the type of Hooke's law: F = k.x ...
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Axioms in science and the scientific method

Do axioms exist in the scientific method like in physics, chemistry, biology, …? E.g. Ockham's Razor for picking the best theory – is it an axiom? Another example is that science gathers data, ...
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If an argument can be valid in one logical system, but invalid in another, are logical arguments “meaningful”?

Typically, classical logic, or extensions of classical logic, are used in all scientific and mathematical contexts to justify conclusions. By doing this, aren't we implicitly assuming that all other ...
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philosophical quotation

Who said the following? "what is isn't and what isn't is" I can't remember where I picked up that line but I seem to remember hearing it being repeated by some fictional character, possibly ...
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The Origin of Thought

What is the most fundamental form of thought? In Tibetan Buddhism, there is the concept of the Three Vajras, or The Three Doors, which are body, speech, and mind. The human mind can be said to think ...
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Connections between concepts

How can it be possible that two concepts have a connection between them? Even when we admit that every such connection is empirical, we have a necessary connection between the concept "connection" and ...
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What works have been done of applying theories about philosophy of mind to other branches of philosophy?

On several occasions I have heard that Philosophy of Mind is "the first philosophy" of our time. But if this is true, I think thoeries about Philosophy of Mind should be able to be applied to other ...
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a priori and a posteriori

Where can I find a systematic review of the concept a priori and a posteriori and investigations on their proper distinction? Classical texts are prefered but Kant, Aristotle are excluded. Actually ...
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What is the name of the position that is skeptical about the existence of categories created by the mind?

Is there a name for skepticism about the existence of categories (or properties) and objects that the mind may create to classify the "real world"? In other words thoughts, concepts, and so forth may ...
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Updating Credences in the case of prolonged lack of evidence that confirms the belief

Let's assume that there is a proposition P, and we have started updating our credence about it at time t0 until some time t100. Our final credence for P ended up being .7 (at t100) . But let's say ...
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Is evolutionary “morality” really the same thing as human morality?

In a different question I asked, Chris Johns' answer pinpointed exactly why all of the answers didn't satisfy me, so I'd like to ask a follow-up question which will further focus my question - would ...
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Evolution - how (epistemologically) an instinctive moral is possible?

I've asked a question about how evolution would explain morality, which lead me to a more basic question - if an instinct would tell the group members to act altruistically, where would that instinct ...
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Is an epistemological realism-idealism (at the same perspective) possible?

Can an idea/action/creation/perspective be both realistic and idealistic at the same time? For example, when I think of a form, or a matter, can I think about/create it as real and ideal? I know a ...
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Ontology…Epistemology…and (insert here)

If ontology is a study of being (reality) and epistemology is a study of knowledge, then what would be considered a study of 'doing', or 'action'? I am interested because a statement was made to me ...
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What would it mean to “solve” metaphysics? [closed]

What would it mean to solve metaphysics and what might a solution look like? How could the contention that there is a solution be defended? What would be the implications for society if it were ...
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Origins of the reflection of knowledge, lately known as Epistemology

What is the essential or fundamental entity that triggered the emergence of reflection of knowledge (lately known as Epistemology) as a declarative or descriptive knowledge ? May the origin be found ...
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Is there a unison in the interpretation of primary emotions?

Is there a unison in the interpretation of primary emotions? Is the expression of primary emotions like happiness, sadness, shock, excitement, culturally uniform? The body language and facial ...
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When is something necessary, according to Hume?

Something is necessary when it is fundamentally true in all contexts, this is what I've understood from what I've read regarding Hume's problem of induction. However, uniformities are not true in ...
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Is there any evidence for 'identity epistomology'?

Thomas Chatterton Williams writes: For having the temerity to defend himself, Mr. Packer was accused on social media of “excusing racism” and “whitesplaining.” Such logic extends a disturbing trend ...
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Can shared-subjective knowledge be part of science?

On one hand, Einstein's relativity was non-scientific knowledge until it was proven using the scientific method. Since then, we can say that relativity is part of scientific knowledge. On the other ...
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What makes a basic belief a properly basic belief?

I'm currently looking into Plantinga's reformed epistemology and I'm trying to wrap my head around what makes a basic belief a properly basic belief. I understand what a basic belief is, in that it ...
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Linguistic philosophical distinction between 'believe in' & 'believe that'

Can someone explain the linguistic philosophical distinction between 'believe in' and 'believe that'? (HH Price came up with the initial idea of the two entities)
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Bayesian Confirmation / Justification

Bradley in his book titled " A critical introduction to Formal Epistemology" mentions the grasshopper example (page 122) where: Hypothesis: Unobserved grasshoppers live south of Canada ...
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Memory and self

How do I know that the subject of my memories and me are the same person? I have a memory of waking up this morning. How do I know that the subject who woke up and the subject remembering it are the ...
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Dichotomy problem: limits of binary systems

What are the limitations of accumulating or storing knowledge in a binary system? For a more concrete question, can all knowledge information be represented by an infinite sequence of 1's and 0's or ...
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Is the statement “I exist” an example of an analaytic a posteriori statement?

"I exist" is not synthetic since the concept of "exist" is contained int he predicate "I". "I exist" is not a priori since it requires my experience of I to be known. The fact that "I exist" is not ...
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Is coherence a fact or value, a la Hillary Putnam?

Is there a collapse between fact and values? Are they the same thing or not? See the essay: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-25249-7_15 Where Putnam states: So far, what I ...
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Has epistemology of science got any sense after pragmatism?

Pragmatism proposes that scientific method exists because it works -as far as I remember. If it is so, is there any need of epistemology?
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Can descriptive accounts of distant past or future be falsified?

An earlier question Can explanatory historical accounts (as opposed to descriptive ones) ever be falsified? seems to contain the opinion that descriptive accounts can be falsified. In connection with ...
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What are the theoretical limits of self-awareness?

Let us sidestep fundamental questions such as whether there is in fact self-awareness. In this, let us define self-awareness in its common form of usage, typically meaning awareness of one’s ...
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Are all Informal Logic really just Formal Logic in disguise?

Are all systems of informal logic really just systems of formal logic that have not yet been understood mathematically?