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 specific knowledge is purposefully held back by the universities from their students? [closed]

I read a quote once that this is done as a grocer would hold back the knowledge of the second half of a punnet of strawberries being mouldy. I have my theories but was there a specific knowledge set ...
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Is there a way to tell which philosophers are correct in their musings? [closed]

Is quoting an authoritative source a useful or effective way to demonstrate that an assertion is correct?
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What justified consciousness is an experience and not an thing? [closed]

No philosophers has justified that consciousnesses can be measured. Many philosophers have tried to describe the mind, but are there any specific scholars who describe justified methods to describe ...
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Would it be sensible to say “I know Santa does not exist”?

Would it be sensible to say "I know Santa does not exist", and more generaly, what do we really say when we say "I know that [some fact]" ? It is a well known principle that "absence of evidence is ...
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Should truth entail possible truth?

It is a well-accepted axiom of modal logic that truth implies possible truth. Is there any philosophical argument against this conclusion? In other words, should truth entail possible truth?
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In Spinoza's Epistemology what role is played by his concept of 'idea'? How do the idea in 'thought' and the object in extension interrelate?

Depending on which among the diverse variety of depictions of the status and possibility of humans being in possession of 'knowledge', Spinoza's Epistemology has been described in various ways. The ...
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Is fallibilism a better option than absolute certainty?

Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as ...
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How should “knowledgeability” be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? [closed]

How should "knowledgeability" be defined? Is it merely w.r.t. to best scientific knowledge? What about things that science cannot measure? Or are there other "reasonable" forms of knowledge? Why ...
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Bayesian epistemology and paraconsistent logics

My philosophical background I read a little on Bayesian epistemology, a while back, and I was both impressed by it and really disappointed that it was not, being a 20th century invention, embedded ...
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Is there another state besides existence and nonexistence?

Today I told someone who said that there is no objective truth the next thing: "For example, we, as humans, cannot know if God exists or he does not but we can know for sure that one of these two ...
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Can one know and not know at the same time the same truth?

How to analyse the fact that , at the age of 6, (1) I knew that : 1 + 1 =2 but, at the same time, (2) I did not know that 1² + 1² = square root of 4 ? Can someone know the first thing ...
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Questions concerning Hume's argument for the unknowability of ultimate causes

I'm currently reading through Hume's An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I'm having trouble understanding one of his big arguments in the section entitled "Skeptical Doubts Concerning the ...
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Epistemology: What role does “ intensionality” play in the knowledge relation? Is “ intension” a third term in the knowledge relation?

How to analyse the fact that , at the same time, my 7 y. old nephew (1) knows that : 1+1 =2 (2) does not know that : sqrt (1) + 1² = the absolute value of the cube root of -8. ? Certainly, "...
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Questions on Descartes' Certainty? [closed]

1)What is the certainty that Descartes discovers in the Second Meditation? 2)What does Descartes go on to attempt to prove in the Third Meditation and how is this proof related to what was ...
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Is it possible to infer the non-existence of a thing?

Is it possible to rationally infer the non-existence of a phenomenon or a thing, because of a lack of evidence? I've heard of the Null Hypothesis - I heard it says that you can infer that something ...
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Help with epistemology homework related to film Shutter Island

I am really sorry to ask this but I need some help regarding the philosophical interpretation of the movie Shutter Island. Hope someone can help me! I need to analyze how does Teddy Daniels know who ...
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Is it possible to track the truth?

Epistemology seems to show that knowledge is always fallible. How can that position be satisfying at all? It seems to me that we are eternally condemned to hope we are going in the right direction and ...
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What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'?

Question What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'? Overview I tried to read https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/#PragEncr but it was too dense + wordy (too many unnecessary complex ...
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Does the demand for evidence run contrary to faith?

As the title suggests, and in accordance with a recent theme here on philosophy stack exchange, I'm wondering if the demand for evidence runs contrary to faith. My intuitive notion of faith is that it ...
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Is there anything in epistemology beyond exploration+reinforcement learning (RL)? [closed]

I am trying to build consciousness in artificial intelligence. The general mechanism is that agent (randomly or based on some preexisting knowledge) performs some actions (gets some knowledge, makes ...
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Through what epistemological means is one's gender identity discoverable?

Though the epistemological means through which one's gender identity is often erroneously directed solely at transgender persons, I think --- as a cisgender person --- that it can uniformly apply to ...
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Is there a rigid model for distinguishing opinion, informed opinion and fact consistently and unambiguously?

Is there a rigid model for distinguishing opinion, informed opinion and fact consistently and unambiguously? What makes this confusing is that depending on the context, it's possible to deviate from ...
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Does Kant’s argument against idealism refute Cartesian epistemology?

While Kant arguably manages to show in section 65 of the Critique of Pure Reason (“Refutation of Idealism”) that the concept of a self existing through time cannot be reconciled with skepticism of the ...
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Is there a traditional concept for virtues that inform our ideas of what we can know?

Is there a traditional (singular and delimited) concept for virtues that inform our ideas of what we can and can't know, virtues that mean that their bearers show prudence (I can't know I'll roll a ...
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Is beauty a property?

If beauty is not a property, because it is subjective, then why is the color red a property? Seeing a color is subjective, not only it is subjective, but we cannot confirm we see the same color, and ...
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What are some of the paradigm shifts in how we think about logic and rationality in the history of philosophy [closed]

I am wondering if there was any shift or big revelations about logic that occurred in the history of philosophy. I am thinking it's highly likely, because if you read some of the thinkers during ...
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Seeking literature on whether all beliefs should be justified

This is more or less just a reference request. Sometimes, when a belief is revealed to be unjustified, we should respond by either giving up that belief or at the very least, yielding a certain ...
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Did any philosopher make the claim that mathematics can be as illusory as visual information?

The Greeks postulated that the world we observe may be just an illusion and Kant based some of his philosophy on that very idea. From that idea, came the idea that mathematical truths are more certain ...
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Is there any philosophy that associates the absolute truth with monism?

I never know what people mean by absolute truth, it sounds like they're referring to a truth above all truths, but there are many truths. So I was wondering if there were a lot of philosophy that ...
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Why should I trust experts - and what's the place of experts in a democracy?

If we trust experts, do we then elevate them as determiners of the truth? When we trust our surgeon to do a good job in surgery because he is an expert, do I forfeit my right to criticize experts on ...
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What is an event that was a counterexample to Occam's Razor?

I am asking for a set among n competing hypotheses where the simplest one was H_i but the correct one was H_j where i is not the same as j. That is, a time when scientists tested a bunch of hypotheses ...
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How do I keep up with the latest in the cutting edge of philosophy? [duplicate]

I always viewed philosophy to be dead after the arrival of modern science. The last great philosopher in metaphysics was Kant, I believe the others who followed him were made irrelevant by the ...
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Is there an example of an innate idea?

I don't see any justification to argue a person has an idea or knowledge that is not derived from its environment. How come Plato raised this question at all: How is it that we have certain ideas ...
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Are there writers on the topic of an inherent human bias towards the value of rational thinking?

Some people place humans as 'higher animals' because we are uniquely capable of rational thought, while most other animals are not. This assumes that the trait of rationality is superior to other ...
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Do picture proofs of the Pythagorean theorem make it empirical?

As I understand it, the Pythagorean Theorem, which defines the metric for Euclidean space, is said to be strictly mathematical in the sense that it is derived from a set of purely theoretical axioms (...
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Where is the line between Quantum Mechanics and Relativity?

I've asked the question below on Physics SE but it seems an answer may not be straight forward... Question: Is there any answers from Epistemology or philosophy-of-science? Its often said QM is ...
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What if the Evil Genius in Descartes' “I think therefore I am” put into our minds the action of doubting?

I am briefly aware of Descartes' argument that even if an Evil Genius made us believe that the world is real the fact that we can doubt this shows that we are thinking and that through thought we can ...
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Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." I think this statement raises some kind of epistemic problem. Like, how are we supposed to conclude the potential non-existence of something, like ...
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Does bayesianism accept the idea of knowledge

In bayesianism, you get probalities for the truth of any given statement. As I understand it, this can never be 100%. Since there is no "most certain" you can be, does that mean there is no conception ...
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What does Hume's “customary connection” between objects mean?

David Hume writes "All belief of matter of fact or real existence is derived from some object, present to the memory or the senses, and a customary conjunction between that and some other object." ...
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Question about the Argument of Recollection from Plato's Phaedo

Under the argument of recollection, what would the answer to the following scenario? A young child has not learned a single thing about geometrical shapes. If a person were to draw a triangle and ...
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What is the difference between Theory of Knowledge and Epistemology?

What are the differences, similarities, and contrasts between the two fields of study, namely, Theory of Knowledge and Epistemology? Are these terms interchangeable? Are they near-identical? What ...
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Is a proposition a priori if the premises require empirical evidence?

If I say that 50% of birds are black, and so I then say that I have a 50% chance of choosing a black bird if I pick a bird at random. Is this an a priori or a posteriori proposition? Given the ...
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Are there any attempts to define “doubt”?

Traditionally, Knowledge is defined as a True Justified Belief (Let us ignore epistemic caveats and objections to this definition). According to Wittgenstein, there is no place for knowledge where ...
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Philosophers who did not think that language is more special than cognition as a whole

There are pretty many philosophers who talked and wrote on the philosophy of language. Usually language only means the use of words and symbols, however, I noticed that symbols may have different ...
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What are the relationships between Foucault's medical gaze, scientific investigation, and Buddhist detachment?

From this note from a clinical psychologist, the Foucault's gaze is described as: ... with this powerful gaze the physician could penetrate illusion and see through to the underlying reality, that ...
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Does Descartes' internalism make him vulnerable to scepticism?

I've been reading about internalism and externalism and their responses to scepticism. I'm aware that many regard internalism as more susceptible to a sceptical attack than externalism, for example ...
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What kind of circularity, if any, is it acceptable for a philosophical argument to contain?

I'm studying circularity in arguments and was wondering if there is any acceptable circularity possible in a good philosophical argument. For instance, I gather that some regard rule-circularity as ...
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What irreducible functions constitute thinking?

Because all new knowledge, to be not illogical, must obey logic i.e. every thinking step must be consistent with rules of logic; so can we write an effective procedure/algorithm which may be followed ...
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Can the affirmation “All taxes are theft” be considered an a priori truth?

Hans Hermann Hoppe is a popular Economist from the Austrian School whose central ideas seem fundamentally right. However, I see him as having very poor argumentation skills and more than once I read ...

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