Questions tagged [epistemology]

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, acquisition thereof, and the justification of belief in a given claim.

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A Neo-Kantian View on Causality?

Quantum non-determinism seems incompatible with Kant’s defense of causality in his Second Analogy. Stephen R. Palmquist however provides an interesting and appealing case against this supposition, ...
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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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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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The notion of knowledge for Kant and mathematical objects

As far as I understand the notion of knowledge in Kantian philosophy, we cannot speak of knowing something unless there is a relation between its concept and some object of intuition in experience. ...
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Can analogues of moral non-naturalism make some metaphysical hypotheses more defensible?

One common position in meta-ethics is that facts about morality exist, but are not natural properties of the universe but rather are something else. I can't measure the wrongness of slavery the same ...
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Kant's Transcendental Apperception and al-`Ilm al-Huduri

What is transcendental apperception in Kant's Philosophy? Is it an instance of knowledge-by-presence (al-Ilm al-Huduri) in Islamic philosophy (especially Mulla Sadra's al-Hikmah al-Mutaaliyyah)?
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Are Wittgenstein's propositions analytic or synthetic?

Wittgenstein provides a logical analysis of propositions in the Tractatus. Does he there admit the Kantian distinctions between analytic/synthetic and a priori/a posteriori divisions; or does his ...
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499 views

Moral 'ought' and the Principle of Generic Consistency?

Late philosopher Alan Gewirth introduced the Principle of Generic Consistency, or the PGC, which says that moral agents ought to respect the generic rights of freedom and well-being because they are ...
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What is the relationship between scientific explanation and interpretability?

I am trying to understand the relationship between Scientific Explanation and Intelligibility / Understanding. I believe the former is grounded in the Metaphysics of Causation while the latter is ...
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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 ...
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106 views

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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170 views

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 ...
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196 views

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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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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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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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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135 views

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 ...
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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 ...
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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: ...
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Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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Is there any new concept in Marxism that didn't exist in classical economics?

Surplus value is just economic profit. The organic composition of capital is just the investment rate. Capitalist mode of production is just a verbose way of saying capitalism. Exchange value is price....
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Are formal sciences rationalistic and natural sciences empiricist?

As the title say, are the formal sciences (mathematics, logic, etc) fundamentally rationalistic while the natural ones (chemistry and physics) fundamentally empiricist? Physics, Chemistry, and ...
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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 ...
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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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188 views

Can other than natural phenomena be facts?

Can other than natural phenomena be facts? def. ideal of fact: a thing that's consistent among all participants, i.e. a thing that appears intersubjectively "the same". And that has empirical/...
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Quine, subjective probability and QM

I have just read Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist where Quine says: “Probability? Of events? Restore extensionality (...). Of states of affairs? Treat quotationally, like de dicto. How much ...
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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 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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Does Psychology benefit Philosophy?

This question got me thinking: It is widely held that Philosophy precedes the Sciences, birthing them. and continue to inform them. It is also evident that there are times when science has informed ...
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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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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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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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190 views

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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Relationship between Kant's logic and predicate logic

My question relates to the relationship between Kant's logic and predicate logic. My intuition is that Kant's notion that some ideas transcend the bounds of logic, is evidence for the insufficiency ...
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What was Putnam's position re truth and/or word/world relationship at the time of his death.

The formidable philosopher of science and mathematics, Hillary Putnam, died last year, at 89, shortly [relatively] after his retirement. His was an intellectually peripatetic career. Though he ...
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How can we understand the “canvas” of Poincaré's representative space?

In speaking of the nature of representative space, Poincaré introduces the idea of a flat surface, or "canvas" if you will, upon which a painter might paint: "Our representations are only the ...
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Just what is it that makes todays theoretical posits so different, so appealing?

... from those of yester-years, or yester-millenias? Westerhoff, writes in his transaltion of the Nagarjunas Madhyamakarika (Verses on the Middle Way) that: The idea of fire-atoms as ultimately ...
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Unity of Apperception vs. Self Consciousness in Critique of Pure Reason

What is the difference between Unity of Apperception and Self- consciousness? From what I gather so far, Unity of Apperception is a particular part of Self-Consciousness in that UoA brings to ...
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Hypothesis and thesis

Hypothesis means several things, but I think (and Wikipedia roughly agrees) that there are two main senses: A. Epistemological - a tentative affirmation, posed as explanation for a phenomenon. In the ...
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A critique of the epistemoloical models of religion

I'm interested to find any existing critique of the epistemological models by which religions (especially the various branches of Christianity) determine their theological conclusions. What I ...
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Is this a proper counter-example to the causal theory of knowledge?

The causal theory of knowledge says: S knows P iff (1) It is the case that P. (2) S believes P. (3) There is an appropriate causal connection between the fact that P and S's belief ...
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Materialist Epistemology?

In a normal theory of knowledge, a person's phenomenal consciousness is taken as basic. Thus, the sciences are an attempt at explaining the "world" that affects phenomenal consciousness. Excising ...
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Is Parmenides a Dualist?

It's commonly understood that Parmenides denied the reality of change. That the world we perceive is an illusion. But is Parmenides better understood as the SEP indicates: Both Plato and ...
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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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Peter Lipton's response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives/ 'underconsideration'

In his book, "Inference to the Best Explanation", Peter Lipton lays out a response to Stanford's problem of unconceived alternatives (also referred to as the problem of underconsideration) by saying ...
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How to start Philosophy and find the branches that are related to my questions?

From Wikipedia: Ontology: philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Epistemology: study of the nature ...
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How does Descartes definitions of 'a prior' and a 'posteriori' effect the current generalized understanding of these two distinctions?

The noted and highly respected pluralist, Dr. Richard Mckeon, in his introductory comments to the International Institute of Philosophy's 'Entretiens in Jerusalem, in 1977, quotes from Descartes ...