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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 do I know what I should know? [closed]

I think this is a tough question, because every time the moment you know for sure that you know one thing, you realize that you don't know anything about it, not to say that whether you should know it ...
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Pascal's cœur = Aristotle νόος = Scholastics' intellectus? Pascal's raison = Aristotle's ἐπιστήμη = Scholastics' scientia?

Copleston, S.J., quotes, on p. 164 of A History of Philosophy (vol. 4): Descartes to Leibniz, the following from Pascal's Pensées, S142/L110: Nous connaissons la vérité non seulement par la raison ...
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Is it possible to know a priori the statement 'I know mathematical theorem X a priori' providing X is true

I'm looking for arguments against the idea that you can have a priori knowledge of a priori knowledge. Perhaps appealing to an internalist account of knowledge and claim that the justification for the ...
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Does epistemology = logic?

Is epistemology—the study of knowledge, how knowledge is acquired—really the same as logic? If not, what are the differences between epistemology and logic? By logic, I mean the art by which we order ...
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Memory and self II

"The condition necessary for the act of recollection, is the identity of the being who remembers, with that being whose former states are recalled by memory. To remember experiences of another would ...
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How does ethics influence epistemology?

I was thinking about the connection between ethics and epistemology. I understand there is a whole sub-field of philosophy (moral epistemology) that concerns itself with how epistemology affects our ...
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What are the criteria for existence?

What are the criteria for existence, i.e. the answer to "what exists and what doesn't exist?" in modern schools of philosophy? My trial: Something exists if and only if it can affect our senses, ...
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Does Sosa's modal definition of knowledge beg the question?

In his 1999 paper "How to Defeat Opposition to Moore", Ernest Sosa argues that sceptical, Nozickian tracking, relevant-alternative, and contextualist accounts of the sceptical paradox rely on the ...
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What does model-theoretic semantics have to do with the problem of multiple generality?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on logic, and in the section of semantics, it says: The introduction of quantification, needed to solve the problem of multiple generality, rendered impossible ...
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Is it possible for radical skeptics to have internally consistent beliefs?

Is it possible to be a radical skeptic and still believe statements to be true in a way that is internally consistent? Why or why not? The definition of "Radical Skeptic" I'm using is as follows. A ...
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Cartesian Skepticism within a Coherentist Epistemology

I recently decided that it is high time I reacquaint myself with the early moderns, and I thought there could be no better place to start with than Descartes' Mediations on First Philosophy. Reading ...
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Is there any way disputes over a knowledge claim due to different interpretations of data can be resolved?

I'm quite stumped as to how to answer the question because it would be rather difficult to correct the interpretations of others...
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Difference between “epistemological” belief and “theistic” belief

This question might sound odd, maybe because of lack of better phrasing, maybe because it's simply odd thinking, but I think there's something really interesting here. The epistemological stages ...
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Fundamental idea on proving God's existence with science

I think that proving God's existence or any deity from any culture with the rigors of science is fundamentally absurd. The popular arguments usually involve space-time and the big bang theory. (I ...
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What is the difference between epistemic targets and epistemic motivations for simulations and experiments?

Now I am reading an article here about philosophy and epistemology of science. And here is a quote: Peschard's more sophisticated picture involving a distinction between epistemic targets and ...
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Warranted Atheist Belief

Is there anything like a satire or serious response to Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief for Naturalism / atheism / agnosticism..... something along the flavor of the title?
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An epistemological comment on Newcomb's paradox

There is a predictor [who is never wrong], a player, and two boxes designated A and B. The player is given a choice between taking only box B, or taking both boxes A and B. The player knows the ...
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Is it possible to have truth if objective randomness exists?

I will do my best to describe both of my terms as clearly as possible. I would describe true randomness as a process that has absolutely no predictability : even if you knew absolutely everything you ...
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Non-euclidean geometry = decisive argument against rationalism?

Why is non-Euclidean geometry, as encountered in relativity theory, always used as the prime counterexample to rationalism – and regarded as pretty much decisive? The parallel postulate was ...
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Seminal, accessible work on defeasible reasoning

I am taking a graduate-level course in a business-y/sociology-y field, and the logic presented in the literature is typically of the following format "X is a relatively simple and reasonable cause for ...
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Worldview hierarchy. Epistemology or ontology more fundamental?

When evaluating a worldview and checking for coherence, is one's ontology or epistemology a more fundamental building block? Could anything be more fundamental? I ask because I heard a criticism ...
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Is it sure that there is always room to improve ourselves?

There is always something that is stuck in my mind. I am afraid that one day... I mean what if one day, we know everything and did everything to improve ourselves and there is no more room for ...
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Historical Knowledge Paradox, how do you characterize the epistemology of it?

I have become aware of what Yuval Noah Harari calls the "Historical Knowledge Paradox", in which the utility of knowing the past is placed in conflict with itself. Can somebody please help me to see ...
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Descartes' Theory of Innate Ideas

Can you guys explain to me about Descartes' three levels of ideas. The first level represents mode, the second finite substance and third infinite substance. How do these three levels of ideas relate ...
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Are humans becoming more hive-like? Does this have philosophical implications?

Have any philosophers taken up human hive-like behaviour and its implications? EO Wilson and others have outlined eusociality, a mode of group selection acting in addition to selection at the ...
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What do we mean by philosophy of physics or math what does it tell us about them?

what do we mean by philosophy of physics or math what does it tell us about them ? Does it tell about how these disciplines of knowledge develop? For example to develop math we use axiomatic approach ...
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What is the term for the fallacy/strategy of ignoring logical reasoning intended to disprove a belief?

Updated 10/19/2018 -- Regards for all the responses. Much appreciated. To address the point of fact that one cannot "prove" anything about reality: Yes, I agree. This is the reason I now set my ...
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Why should there be nothing rather than something?

While this question sounds like this one, bear with me and I'll explain why it's more of a revised version of this one instead (and to be honest I wasn't sure if I should've just edited it, but I ...
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Why did ancient Greeks think of “heart as seat of soul”?

What does this actually mean and why did some Ancient Greek philosophers seem to believe that the heart was the seat of the soul?
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What is the difference between knowledge and know how? [closed]

What is the difference between "knowledge" and "know how"?
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Help me understand Earman and Salmon's pragmatic vindication

"Hume showed convincingly that, if nature is uniform, inductive reasoning will work very well, whereas, if nature is not uniform, inductive reasoning will fail. This much is pretty easy to see. [Some ...
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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 "...