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 can we know that we're thinking?

How can we know there isn't an illusion of thought? This question stems from Descartes' assertion of "I think, therefor I am." He regards the notion that he thinks as an absolute fact. But how does ...
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which books or essays “Kuhn [1981]” is referred to?

I found a quote by Thomas Kuhn and the source reports: Kuhn [1981] but I cannot find that year in his bibliography . By googling "Kuhn [1981]" I found the following: What are Scientific ...
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What logic does Fitch's paradox use?

So I have been looking into Modal Logic as well as epistemic logic (and its dynamic versions) with the hopes of studying their applications to Fitch's paradox. Fitches paradox refers to the proof ...
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How can I understand “I should email you so that you know that I know that you know that I’ve received your acceptance”?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 73. Human reasoning is ...
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Where did Kuhn draw a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation?

About Thomas S. Kuhn, In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I read: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268) Which is the ...
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What does Helmuth Plessner mean by : 'the human being is at a distance to her boundary'?

Plessner defines living organims in terms of a boundary between It and the environment. http://helmuth-plessner.de/en/helmuth-plessner/denken/ This question concerns the following statment: ...
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Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place? [closed]

To be viewed from the perspective of epistemology and/or the philosophy of science. Preamble: Darwin, like scientists of his day, often spoke of “Laws” that inevitably cycle forth the results ...
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Does non-empirical knowledge exist?

I think this question might be dismissed very easily, but I'd like to try to provoke a sort of blurring-the-lines idea that may be interesting. I'll start by putting two definitions here, the first ...
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Is Deductive Reasoning Alien to the Material World?

A quick survey of literature: Goel V. Anatomy of deductive reasoning. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Oct https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685028/ García-Madruga JA, Gutiérrez F, ...
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What is the name of the school of thought that holds “humans did it”?

My world view is that there is no way to peek behind the curtains of the universe to reveal its truths-- whether spiritual, religious, or even scientific. I don't think the word to describe this is ...
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Should/could politics and/or political science abide to the same epistemological notions as hard formal-empirical sciences? [closed]

Is it reasonable to expect that politics and/or political science should/could abide to the same epistemological notions as hard formal-empirical sciences?
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Responses to the problem of Underdetermination

Underdetermination and the arationality in the process of theory choice is often brought up by anti-realists on science as a proof of the problems with the scientific process in tracking truth. What ...
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Please explain Good's solution to why we should make new observations

IJ Good's paper (1967) gives a solution to Ayer's problem on why we should make new observations. I'm trying to follow the steps in his solution. His assumptions are that: There are r mutually ...
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Do we need knowledge, defined as “Justified, True Belief”, at all?

The Justified, True Belief account of knowledge is problematic and none of the solutions proposed seems to solve all possible Gettier problems (at least, that's what I have come to believe). Do we ...
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Can “Gettier problems” be solved by changing Justified, True Belief without introducing a fourth condition?

It seems to me Gettier problems challenge the Justified, True Belief account of knowledge. As I see it, they can be solved by assuming that knowledge requires something else: a set of propositions Q ...
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integrity and identity

I have a quite straight forward question yet the answer does not appear to me as straight forward as I would like it to be. I would appreciate it, if someone could help me with the difference between ...
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Nietzche quoting Descartes… without source

In the Will to Power Nietzche quotes Descartes omne illud verum est, quod clare et distincte percipitur However I cannot find the quoted source. Can anyone identify it?
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Aristotle's epistemology: the proper objects of perception?

I think we can safely say that for Aristotle the proper objects of perception are sensible forms. The proper objects of reason are intelligible forms. It is often said that in seeing, sense and its ...
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Are there non-empirical kinds of aposteriori justifcation?

I'm asking here about what exactly constitutes aposteriori statement. The idea is that an aposteriori statement is one whose truth necessitate experiential evidence to be established. like in ...
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At base, do all disagreements in philosophy come down to differences in intuition?

I am coming at this from outside philosophy, though I have had a lifelong amateur interest. It seems to me that rigorous philosophical writing sets out clear axioms before using propositional logic to ...
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How is the concept of “beyond word” viewed in many school of thoughts?

This is my review on the concept of "beyond word": Taoism and Buddhism seems to share that wisdom can't be grasped intellectually. In Zen practice, the koans are presented as nonsensical questions so ...
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Is there such a thing as philosophical rigour?

Is rigour always related to definitions and axioms? Whatever be the case, can a set of philosophical analyses be rated in terms of rigour?
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The social aspect of epistemology

Though not an issue in the debates surrounding rigorous, theoretical epistemology, in practice culture and trust in authorities plays an enormous role for most of our beliefs outside of our expertise. ...
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What is the relationship between subjectivity and vagueness?

Suppose statement S is talking about concept C. There are 4 different possibilities: S is subjective and C is vague. S is objective and C is definite. S is subjective and C is definitie. S is ...
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Swinburne's solution to Grue

In the new riddle of induction, Swinburne proposes the idea that there is a genuine distinction to be made between the predicate 'green' and the predicate 'grue' in that 'green' is a qualitative ...
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How does a Bayesian respond to the Grue-hypothesis?

According to Bayesian inference/confirmation theory, your confidence in a hypothesis increases as you observe more and more evidence predicted by that hypothesis (according to bayes theorem and the ...
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What is wrong in the first premise of open question argument?

Let us use the original argument: Premise 1: If X is good, then the question "Is it true that X is good?" is meaningless. Premise 2: The question "Is it true that X is good?" is not meaningless. ...
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How can an omniscient being prove it 's omniscient and not just delusional?

Let's assert the existence of an omniscient being for the sake of this question. (Questioning possibility of existence is e.g. done here.) By its very nature, the being knows it is omniscient. It ...
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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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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 ...