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 does Quine effectively shift from points he has made about knowledge acquisition to conclusions he makes about knowledge simpliciter?

Quine propagated forward an approach to epistemology wherein there was no need of any sort of justification "beyond observation and the hypothetico-deductive method" (Quine 1981). Quine is going ...
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Does Kant implicitly commit the paralogism of pure reason when saying that to have a representation it is necessary to accom­pany it with 'I think'?

In Caygill's Kant Dictionary entry of 'I Think' there is this part: Kant further claims that 'I think' is the necessary vehicle/form/accom­paniment of experience: to have a representation it is ...
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How does one differentiate epistemological and ontological claims?

I'm taking an introductory philosophy course and I find it fascinating. I can't really figure out an assignment though because I'm a bit foggy on what the difference between ontological and ...
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The problem of iterative skepticism

I mean the following tactics: Christina: "There is a tree outside in the garden." René: "I grant that this might be right, and even that your sensory information would justify your ...
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How is it determined which explanation is simpler?

One of the criteria of IBE is simplicity. How to determine which explanation is simpler if there are two types of simplicity: one type counts the number of hearings, and the other type counts the ...
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Doesn't fallibilism complexify Pascal's wager further?

We can never know whether we have accumulated all the knowledge in the world or not. This is a general statement. For example, a powerful counterargument against the contingency argument might exist ...
tryingtobeastoic's user avatar
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Examples that tracking theories of knowledge violate epistemic closure

E.g. in this video at 9:00, I have the same question as a user there: At 9:00, I don't see how the example you gave violate the closure principle. If he were in fact looking at a disguised mule, the ...
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Why is the argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized independent of the "appearance" premise?

In Paul Guyer's Kant, section "A Life in Work", the author claims this: this argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized is independent of the general ...
gsmafra's user avatar
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Is it logically coherent to imagine a person who has no prior conception of the world?

I'm working my way through An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I've come to realize there's a specific problem I've had with several philosophers' writings: they tend to assume as part of ...
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Question about knowledge acquisition

Apologies. I'm not sure what I'm asking and I'm not a philosopher. It's about knowledge acquisition. If you lack knowledge about a certain subject it's difficult to evaluate the quality of the answers ...
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Are there any philosophers after Kant but before Peirce that developed the Kantian concept of schema further?

I was reading Peirce's writings on schemata and I was wondering if there was any other known philosopher before him who tried to use or extend schemata in his work. Are there any philosophers after ...
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Question about the IEP’s (Michael Huemer’s) formulation of phenomenal conservatism

(I posted the identical question on the AskPhilosophy subreddit.) I first learned about phenomenal conservatism under a different name, “the principle of credulity”, from the philosopher of religion ...
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What is the "Factive Turn" in epistemology?

In 1967 Richard Rorty edited/published what I consider to be one of the finest philosophical anthologies of the Twentieth Century. The Linguistic Turn: Essays in Philosophical Method, formally ...
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Hume Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding "Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic" from "senses and experience"?

Here are two quotes in Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. They seem to contradict one another, and I want to know how/where Hume or his adherents reconcile them. I have not yet finished ...
fyodrpetrovich's user avatar
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Using differential equation to estimate epistemological growth constant

I found some tweets (1,2) describing a philosophy paper as follows: I came across this paper from the academic journal of philosophy that tries to solve a differential equation for an ...
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Explanation vs. prediction in statistics and in the philosophy of science?

In the realm of statistics and machine learning, a lot of discussion has arisen recently around the difference between explaining and predicting: That the two are not the same, and that the difference ...
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Looking for a book to compliment Zammito and Mohanty in understanding the ethos of post positivistic realism

There are two books which I consider to be indispensable to an understanding of contemporary western culture’s post-truth/alternative facts (scientific and cultural post modernism/structuralism/...
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What to read for an introduction on the epistemology of logic?

I would like to read about the epistemology of logic, preferably at a undergraduate level (not being a philosopher myself). What (text)book should I read for a good introduction on these topics? The ...
GambitSquared's user avatar
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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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On the distinction between "objecthood" and "knowability" in Kantian philosophy

What pre-Copernican philosophy treats as two distinct matters-objecthood and knowability-are thus [in Kant's CPR] treated as one. [...] In pre-Copernican philosophy, there is a clear ...
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Difference between Carnap and Quine's views

Could someone explain to me, in easy language, what the main differences are between Carnap and Quine's views regarding internal / external questions and realism? Quine called Carnap a Platoist, yet I ...
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Parsing the actionable in standpoint theory

A recent Hugo Schwyzer article laid out the following explanation of "Strong Objectivity": We can never adopt a true “view from nowhere.” We can defy gravity in outer space, but we can never slip ...
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Can the AC-DC argument against infinitism be defused?

Infinitism is the epistemic theory that claims that justification is only achieved by an infinite chain of non-repeating reasons. At first, this feels like the "troll" theory of epistemic ...
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Difference between the correspondence and the picture theory of meaning/language

Was Wittgenstein's picture theory of meaning/language, as posited in the Tractatus, and which was closely aligned with his analytic realism/logical atomism, simply an elucidation and elaboration of ...
gonzo's user avatar
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Is Logic Pre-Human?

It was German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) who famously said, "animals are poor in world." Although this may be true, I do not see them as being poor in logic. Paleontologists have ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
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Looking for source of quote: People that cannot distinguish rocks from coconuts exhibit a pitiable but praiseworthy tendency to die ,,,

I'd like to find the author and source of a quote. I recall it as: People that cannot distinguish rocks from coconuts exhibit a pitiable but praiseworthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind.
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Can moral truths be known a priori or are they based on experience?

I am currently working on an essay that explores the concept of a priori knowledge and whether or not it can exist. I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions on this topic that anyone may have. ...
cricket900's user avatar
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"Truth" as a description of our cognition versus "truth" as a description of reality

In reading about the feud of foundationalism, infinitism and coherentism, there seems to be some arguments based on how cognition/reasoning works. However, an argument of the form (vaguely put by me) ...
user1113719's user avatar
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A variant for panpsychism of shapes and matter?

What is the name of the variant of panpsychism that argues that not only matter, but also shapes and objects have conciousness?
Maya Rahto's user avatar
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Is analytic philsophy the most associated with "armchair" knowledge and is that subject to change?

*By armchair I mean knowledge one can gain by not going out into the world very far. And by my title I get the impression (perhaps mistakenly) that if armchair knowledge was lessened, so too would ...
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Positive vs negative classes in ontology

I am interested in the nature of ontological classification and whether there exists some form of accepted terminology to distinguish classes that are 'positive' (matching characteristics) and classes ...
geotheory's user avatar
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How can Descartes intuit/think without memory?

Descartes presented the Memory response against the cartesian circle. Descartes assumed the reliability of intuition all along. The doubt he laid to rest by proving God's existence is one of memory: ...
tryingtobeastoic's user avatar
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What are the formal semantics of the word "really"?

(This question involves semantics, epistemology, and empirical studies of speaker judgements - wasn't sure if I should post in philosophy or linguistics, hope this is an OK place for it.) I've been ...
Justin's user avatar
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How to accomodate hyperintensionality in a Bayesian framework?

Generally, propositions are modelled as sets of possible worlds, and Bayesians define a credence function on the set of those propositions. They then adopt new credence functions in response to new ...
Rando McRandom's user avatar
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What approaches are there to resolving the problem of new theories in Bayesian epistemology?

Bayesianism is thought to have a problem accounting for the development of new theories/beliefs. Since Bayesians would like to proceed by updating prior credences in response to new evidence via ...
Rando McRandom's user avatar
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Do the rules of basic logic have to presupposed to gain philosophical knowledge?

First, let me apologize if my question is nonsensical in any sense. I do not have any philosophical training whatsoever, but I am really interested in some philosophical questions. I was thinking ...
SebastianLinde's user avatar
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Question about Russell's distinction between knowledge of things and knowledge of truths in 'The Problems of Philosophy'

In his book, Russell distinguishes several types of knowledge. He first distinguishes knowledge of truths, and of things. "the sense in which what we know is true (...) i.e. to what are called ...
Dimen's user avatar
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Question from a high school student about role of natural sciences?

I am doing my essay on natural sciences methodology therefore, I wanted to give the example how according to the scientific method, new valid evidence could add to or correct previous knowledge. ...
General MO7's user avatar
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Material theory of induction: why not abandon induction altogether?

John Norton defends a material theory of induction, based on the idea that universal inference schemes cannot account for the strength of inductive inferences. Whether a specific induction is good or ...
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How would a monistic approach account for these categories of probabilities?

Donald Gillies, in his book "Philosophical Theories of Probability," draws a distinction between monistic views and dualistic views of probability, the latter of which, at least in his ...
user48231's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
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Is "thoughts exist" a synthetic a priori statement?

I'm working off of Kant's conception of analytic/synthetic and a prior/a posteriori judgements. The definition of "thoughts" does not subsume their existence. That is, it is logically ...
Mark's user avatar
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
Rajan Aggarwal's user avatar
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Query the salient differences between the neo pragmatistism of Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam (may they RIP)

While I have over the years read most of what Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam have “popularly” written/edited [that is aside from their scholarly treatises in academic journals that have for years ...
gonzo's user avatar
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Can the analytic/synthetic distinction be accounted for as an erotetic difference?

Although Kant was the first to refer to the distinction as such, his belief that there is a form of truth based on predicates-contained-in-subjects actually goes back at least to one definition from ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Are there any good arguments against Berkeley's immaterialism?

Basically, Berkeley writes that the only things that are real or existing are either (1) the active, perceiving mind or soul, or (2) the passive perceived things. He argues that we can only have ...
Devries's user avatar
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Is there a logical argument for the limit of knowledge?

It is justifiable to assert that certain knowledge could not be disseminated without the invention of writing. One could say that humanity needed the knowledge of writing before further knowledge ...
christo183's user avatar
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Occam’s razor vs. rejecting all explanations

Let’s say two geologists study a singular natural process, an eruption of a certain special volcano, and do a series of measurements for one hour, one every minute. The data points look like this: ...
viuser's user avatar
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Why do some actions contain normative implications and some do not

Off the bat, my specific question is actually if someone can point me to the philosophic domain of inquiry which deals with the above question. In context, I am doing a paper on Rawls. Joseph Raz ...
LootHypothesis's user avatar
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The extended problem of criterion

The problem of criterion simply states two claims: I can only identify instances of knowledge provided I already know what the ?>criteria for knowledge are I can only know what the criteria ...
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Circularity between truth and meaning?

These two common claims are equally appealing: (1) the meaning of a ( declarative) sentence consists in its truth conditions (2) the truth of a sentence depends on its meaning But are we moving ...
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