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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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help with understanding Deleuze's argument on "difference first, identity second"

if i'm not mistaken, deleuze says you only know about "apple" because you know apple is not an orange, is not a tea, is not justice, is not rock,... so by differentiating "apple" ...
4 votes
0 answers
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How can Weber's approach be compatible with evolutionism?

Weber's epistemology is synthesized in one paragraph in Economy and Society (1921): Sociology (in the sense in which this-highly ambiguous word is used here) is a science concerning itself with the ...
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What type of reasoning is this? Abduction, inference to the best explanation, induction?

My mind is responsible for my behavior. Other people are very similar to me biologically. Other people have behaviors similar to mine. Possible explanations: Solipsism says that my mind created other ...
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Is it epistemologically self-consistent to use the scientific method to justify some beliefs and non-scientific justifications for others?

Let’s call B(p) the set of all beliefs a person p holds. We can denote S(B(p)) as the subset of beliefs held by p for which they can provide a scientific justification, and NS(B(p)) as the set B(p) ...
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What is the one true universal definition of knowledge? [closed]

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy, so surely there are multiple definitions of knowledge that have been propounded over the centuries. But which one, if any, is universal, in the sense that it's ...
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If the supernatural were real, would we be able to study it scientifically?

Hypothetically, if there were a supernatural realm, would it be reasonable to expect that we would be able to study it using the scientific method? On the other hand, is it possible that the ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Did what I do in this game constitute a logical fallacy or not?

Thinking about my previous question, I'm starting to think I didn't ask the right question. I'm making this to determine if I did or not. I don't think this is the typical type of question that goes ...
3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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6 answers
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Can probability amplitudes be used as credences?

Probability amplitudes in quantum mechanics are sometimes called a "generalization" of probabilities. They are complex numbers a + bi. The probability associated with the probability ...
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What is the most accurate definition of logic?

Suppose you are writing a book on logic, and you want to define 'logic'. What is the best choice of words for the definition? If your definition is different from the accepted definition, please ...
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How do ethical intuitionists avoid relativism?

Why doesn't ethical intuitionism (the form which actually uses intuition as the foundation of morality rather than some other non-inferential method) fall into relativism? It seems that different ...
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Metaphysical (Hard) Solipsism vs Epistemological (Soft) Solipsism

I’ve seen these terms tossed around as if they are actually different things but it does not appear to me that they are different philosophical positions/beliefs. Perhaps I am wrong, but here is my ...
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Similarities and differences between an evidentialist justification and a reliabilist justification for a belief?

Evidentialism Evidentialism in epistemology is defined by the following thesis about epistemic justification: (EVI) Person S is justified in believing proposition p at time t if and only if S’s ...
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Descartes Statement in Second Meditation is illogical?

In the second paragraph of Meditation Two: Concerning the Nature of the Human Mind: That it is better known than the Body, Descartes writes “Therefore I suppose that everything I see is false. I ...
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1 answer
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Responding to Berkeley's Likeness principle

I would really appreciate some ideas regarding possible responses to Berkeley's Likeness principle as an attack against representative/indirect realism. My understanding of the role of the Likeness ...
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2 answers
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upward downward topdown bottomup causation

can u tell me more about upward and downward causation . Is it same as bottom up and top down causation. What about one cause having lot of effects and one effect having lot of causes ? Any chart/...
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Can causality be translated into logical formalism to analyze it via mathematical logic?

An observation about causality: It produces state change. It happens via some thing operating on another thing changing it into the effect. A thing happens that's not an invariant. Furthermore, it ...
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1 answer
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Shortcomings with considering firsthand knowledge as supreme

I think it is really common for people to believe something just because they are told it, although there may be implicit contextual factors like if they consider the source of information worthy of ...
10 votes
6 answers
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Is there a known limit to relationship between physics and mathematics?

I am much interested in discussions such as Wigner's "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences". It's quite amazing that mathematics so well applies to our universe, and ...
3 votes
1 answer
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What is the relation between the uniformity of nature and determinism?

I read about Hume's argument that the uniformity of nature is a necessary condition for inductive reasoning to be valid, but we only have inductive reasons for believing in the uniformity in the first ...
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13 answers
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Can religious, mystical, or spiritual experiences reveal truth?

To what extent can we acquire reliable knowledge about the world through religious, mystical, or spiritual experiences? Does the answer hinge on the context of these experiences? Does the answer hinge ...
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6 answers
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What types of observations necessitate postulating more complex theories without violating Occam's Razor?

This question is inspired by the related question How could both Occam's Razor and complex theories like Quantum Mechanics be correct at the same time?. The accepted answer reasonably argues: The ...
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5 answers
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Is belief in abiogenesis justified under evidentialism and process reliabilism?

Asking whether a belief X is justified can lead to very opinion-based answers (e.g., Does life have a natural or supernatural origin?), but I don't think this necessarily has to be the case if we ...
4 votes
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The application of logic to knowledge seems problematic

I was reading Dretske's text on 'Is knowledge closed under known entailment?' and I saw him using the material conditional while claiming entailment. But, in my head these two seem different. Since ...
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Can axiomatic (in-)dependence provide insights to the relation between natural and supernatural?

Suppose the natural world and supernatural world differ from each other by premises that both share, i.e. they are dependent on the same axioms. Then the supernatural should also be a subsection of ...
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6 answers
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Does having certainty about anything imply being omniscient?

The question might initially startle you, but let me clarify what I mean. In our daily lives, we operate on a probabilistic model, making decisions based on what we perceive to be certain. For ...
7 votes
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How does the direct realist explain illusions like the Müller-Lyer illusion?

The argument from illusion against direct realism is almost always phrased in terms of something like a stick in a puddle appearing bent. I find this very unconvincing given that the misleading part ...
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How does Bias affect the reliability of a process?

So my attempt is to define a process and test it on its reliability. In a discussion, an argument was made that a consensus on the reliability of the process is needed for a process to be reliable. ...
1 vote
4 answers
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How can objects be nonexisting?

A square circle. Obviously, this is contradictory, but i feel odd saying it doesnt exist as well. thats not the bestw ay to say it. but, then again, whatg do we even mean in mathematics or logic by ...
5 votes
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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 ...
2 votes
8 answers
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What sorts of beliefs can be justified non-scientifically?

Can I be justified in believing in a proposition X through a justification that doesn't meet the standards of the scientific method? What sorts of beliefs would be justifiable in this way (non-...
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Why is it impossible to predict or foresee the future but, if we could, what is the closest method to do so

I threw a question wondered in my head for sometimes which I cannot prove specifically. The titled question I guess is every where every time and even across the culture. To be detailed: In some times ...
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The deception clause in lying

What if I am asked a question, and respond with an untruth I know is untrue, and I don't really care if I am believed, but definitely don't want to be found out (I don't want anyone to know Ive ...
5 votes
1 answer
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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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What if the premise of CPR's Transcedental Deduction is wrong?

The transcendental unity of apperception is that unity through which all the manifold given in an intuition is united in a concept of the object. It is therefore entitled objective, and must be ...
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Can a reliabilist have a reliably justified belief in God?

Reliabilism is defined by several sources as follows: Reliabilism is an approach to the nature of knowledge and of justified belief. Reliabilism about justification, in its simplest form, says that a ...
3 votes
7 answers
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Are two persons equally rational in choosing different dogmatic stopping points in their chains of justification as per the Münchhausen trilemma?

In epistemology, the Münchhausen trilemma is a thought experiment intended to demonstrate the theoretical impossibility of proving any truth, even in the fields of logic and mathematics, without ...
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Do all theories require frameworks or assumptions to be supplied? If so, why?

In a philosophy class, particularly in Epistemology, the professors seem to have the assumption that to conceive the concept of anything at all, including even this very sentence, require us to have ...
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In what fundamental ways, if any, does Husserl break with Kant?

I've read only slim secondary works on Husserl some time ago, and recently started "The Crisis in the European Sciences." So far, the framework seems faithfully Kantian. Husserl, for example, ...
1 vote
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Are there non-scientific ways to have a justified belief in levitation?

Levitation, as a paranormal phenomenon, has been reported more than once. For instance, it is not totally uncommon to hear about reports of levitation among exorcists (e.g., see these sources). Is it ...
2 votes
2 answers
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I'm running into this weirdness using the concept of certainty. Why?

I cannot be certain of anything. (Assumption.) I am not certain that I cannot be certain of anything. By asserting (2), I am certain that I am not certain that I cannot be certain of anything. I can ...
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What are the arguments for innatism, essentialism, and rationalism?

How do people justify some existents being absolutely necessary. Why cant it just be against a backdrop of a relative nothingness? How can someone justify certain ideas being absolutely essential and ...
33 votes
9 answers
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When is absence of evidence 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 ...
4 votes
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How do you respond to this common critique of American Pragmatism?

I frequently argue the virtues of anti-epistemological pragmatism(neopragmatism) with people who hold more traditional epistemological views. The most common argument that I hear is: Well, if we take ...
3 votes
5 answers
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Is it logically permissible to neither believe nor disbelieve a proposition X? Or does this violate the law of excluded middle?

Given a proposition X, one can either believe it or disbelieve it. Is it logical however to neither believe X nor disbelieve X? Is it logical to neither believe proposition X nor its negation ~X? I ...
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Is it possible for an individual to adopt a new better general epistemic system?

In an epistemic system, I refer to the rules one decides based on which propositions are true and which are false, either consciously or unconsciously. We all have a general one that we use for ...
6 votes
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What were the reactions to Hume's problem of induction from scientists practicing in the field?

I'm well aware of all the discussion in the field of philosophy of science spurred by Hume's formulation of the problem of induction: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/ My question ...
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Explain the answer from Reddit and give an explanation about Occam's Razor

https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/bwcjpv/does_occams_razor_imply_solipsismsimulationism/ It says that Occam's razor can only be applied to competing theories: "Occam's Razor is a ...
6 votes
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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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Have any philosophers discussed “coherentizing” as a solution to the “paradox of analysis”?

This is largely a reference request, but supplementary explanations are welcome. I describe my thoughts on the paradox of analysis here. I recently tried to derive the form of first-order logic more ...

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