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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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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?
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Reductionism as explanation of facts

I was wondering why is so frequent to hear explanations in science relying on what -in philosophical terms- is called reductionism. Do you have any idea why explain and reduce it to minimal part of ...
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Does Sokal & Bricmont's book offer proof of the vacuity of Post-Modernism? Can any schools of Philosophy be proven to be pure Sophistry?

Is Sokal & Bricmont's lambasting of Post-Modern Intellectuals proof of the vacuity of Post-Modernism? Does this offer us a hope at proving that some schools of Philosophy can be proven to be pure ...
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Does Bitcoin disprove solipsism?

According to Wikipedia, solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. In 1993, Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor proposed the idea that one could use proof-of-work to ...
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How can one use a phenomenon in science to calculate anything? [closed]

When doing science in any field the goal is to obtain knowledge. How can one be justified in using ideas that are classified as a phenomenon? Yet be considered the mainstream? Example. Scientists ...
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Referring to a subject

I have a couple of questions to an assignment for my bachelors course in Philosophy. It is regarding Timothy Williamsons book, 'Knowledge and its limits' that we are reading and discussion. I have ...
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Can we establish the truth by eliminating the impossible

What conditions would have to hold for Sherlock Holmes' dictum, 'Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth', to be true ?
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How Relativistic is Social Constructivism?

Social Constructivism is a theory that cuts across a number of social science and humanities disciplines. Its fundamental claim is that certain aspects of social reality are not mind-independent. In ...
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Why does science carry so much weight in philosophy when it is highly fallacious?

Science works like this: We observe some phenomenon X. We form one or more hypothesis about what the relationship between X and something else might be. We evaluate the predictive power of the ...
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What are the similarities/differences between how Kant thinks 'noumenon' limits understanding compared to C.S. Peirce?

Kant stated in Critique of Pure Reason, pg. 273: What our understanding acquires through this concept of a noumenon, is a negative extension; that is to say, understanding is not limited through ...
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What are counters of the anthropic principle

The anthropic principle states that observations of the Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some people say that it explains why this universe has the age ...
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What does it mean when something is called “fundamental”? [closed]

Most philosophers and scientist alike, talk about the "fundamental" parts of science in reductionist terms. But, I wanted to ask how do those "fundamental" parts of science appear in non-reductionist ...
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Knowing whether a discipline is science or philosophy [duplicate]

There are certainly no clear boundaries within science and philosophy. Science is about knowledge of nature, hypothesis, tests and repetition, and philosophy is about knowledge generated purely by ...
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Was Aquinas a foundationalist?

Foundationalism is, generally speaking, the belief that a group of undoubtable beliefs 'ground,' or 'justify' other beliefs. As of late, foundationalism has fallen out of favor in many different ...
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Philosophical Writing at a Graduate level

I need some book recommendations or other source recommendations on where to find a good book on the actual act of writing philosophy. I won't be able to attend graduate school for philosophy ...
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What is the philosophical notion of “intelligibility”?

Can you please point me to philosophical discussions of intelligibility or of what counts as intelligible? — or to an accepted intelligible view of intelligibility, if there is such a thing (pun ...
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Does ontological claim not have its separate existence?

Considering these definitions: Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Epistemology ...
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Why substitutivity doesn't work in an intensional context?

I was trying to grasp some more insights on the difference between intensional and extensional. I started reading this article by Melvin Fitting on intensional logic. It seems interesting but I ...
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What does epistemological phenomenon mean by?

A great Kashmiri Shiava philosopher or AchArya Somananda who started Pratyabhina school said this: Ignorance is not an ontological reality but an epistemological phenomenon. I can understand the ...