Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Could there be a universe where the concept of order and logic and numbers and objects and space and time don't exist?

Could there be a universe where the concept of order and logic and numbers and objects and space and time don't exist ? This would preclude math as we know it. Maybe there is something better than ...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of math and ethics?

I'm studying epistemology, and I want to use reason and language as tools for carrying an investigation. How do I discuss the subjectivity inherent in change and progress, and also whether change and ...
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Does Procedural/Non-propositional Belief Exist?

In the SEP article on knowledge-how, procedural knowledge is said to be "the knowledge that is manifested in the performance of a skill", whereas declarative/propositional knowledge is "...
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Are there any philosophers who are experts on conceivability and have written texts about it?

I recently asked about a definition of conceivable. Now I am asking a slightly different question. I want to know if there are philosophers who have written texts clarifying (and perhaps even defining)...
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How can scientific objectivity be possible in a phenomenological world?

Consider this question as a thought experiment. If human perception of the sensible world is phenomenological in nature, then all experience and apperception are fundamentally veneers or glimpses or ...
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Is it necessary for something to be observed for it to exist?

Say something was to happen in the universe, so minuscule that no one notices it, and it has no effect on history whatsoever. Is it correct to say that it never happened, because when we say something ...
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Why does statistics work?

Statistics deals with probability, where even an extremely unlikely event has some chance of happening. What if there's a series of these unlikely events going on for thousands of year. I mean it ...
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What's the difference between Justification and Evidence?

Q: In what ways does use of the term "Evidence" differ from that of the term "Justification" in philosophy? Ive read Evidence posed as the internalist counterpoint to the ...
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Does “Uncertainty is the only certainty” cause any paradox?

It seems to me that this avoids the self contradictory "everything is uncertain, even uncertainty" while allowing agnostic positions, by allowing only uncertainty as the only thing certain, sort of ...
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Why do many philosophers attach so much importance to laymen intuition?

For instance, when discussing "what is Justice", one of Rawls's key argument for "justice has to be a universal concept" is that we do not talk about anything that is "just ...
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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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Has the manifestation of ideas been explored before?

I'm trying to figure out whether the manifestation of ideas has been explored before. It's similar to Richard Dawkin's concept of memes, but I'm not quite sure if it is the same. Suppose an ...
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Are there examples of ideas that rationally-trained persons agree on?

This question is meant for a bit of fun as a comedic corollary to JDH's top-voted question, "What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly ...
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A material-constitution model of truth

On one end, let there be the correspondence model of truth, that S is true if and only if S corresponds to the appropriate fact. On the other, let there be the identity model, that S is true if it IS ...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of art, design and perhaps business management?

I do Theory of Knowledge (IBDP) at school and in regards to the subject areas, I was thinking of linking the arts and design (human sciences? design of products) to reason, sense perception, intuition ...
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Does truth not require belief?

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.--Neil Degrasse Tyson Such scientific medievalism runs rampant today and speaks to the propaganda of vacuous ...
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Why is belief necessary for justified true belief?

In justified true belief it is said that for a person to know a fact it must be true, she must believe in it and she must be justified in believing it. My question is: Is belief necessary? Why is the ...
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If Descartes reasoned that nothing was knowable, why is “cogito ergo sum” exempt?

For instance, if Descartes reasoned that knowing 1+3 with certainty was impossible, for an evil demon or other countless possibilities may manipulate his mind into believing it was indeed 5, shouldn't ...
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the area of history and natural sciences?

I'm studying a branch of philosophy that is considered with knowledge. I'm studying theory of knowledge(epistemology) and I want to use faith, reason, and memory as tools for carrying this ...
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Does a belief need to be necesarily true to constitute “knowledge”

In a recent answer to a post, @Ted Wrigley posited that a belief [his own] that is not necessarily true, is not “knowledge in the exacting sense of the term.” (last paragraph of this answer) An ...
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Where does Kuhn talks about the five characteristics for the choice of theory?

Kuhn (1977, 321–2) identifies five characteristics that provide the shared basis for a choice of theory: 1. accuracy; 2. consistency (both internal and with other relevant currently accepted ...
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Are opinions considered statements?

‘Aristotle was great’. Is this a statement? I consider a statement to be something either true or false (but not both). For an individual, this may be considered a statement (because either you ...
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Does aleatoric uncertainty exist?

I am wondering whether the distinction into epistemic and aleatoric uncertainty really makes sense. The way I have understood it (and Wikipedia seems to define it) the distinction is: epistemic ...
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Why does a hypothesis not self-defeat under fallacy of the gaps?

I was listening to an atheism-vs-theism debate on YouTube, and the two debaters came to a disagreement when talking about God of the Gaps. Person A: "If we look at all the evidence, we can see ...
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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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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the field of ethics?

I'm studying a branch of epistemology(theory of knowledge) and am currently working on a project concerned with the change and progress in knowledge. The topic I want to specialise in is ethics. How ...
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What is the position of the Traditionalist School on Epistemology?

I am at a lower intermediate level when it comes to philosophy, having started by studying Hindu philosophy and the Traditional School of René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon and their ilk. I mainly focused ...
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Representation versus cartography in Deleuze and Guattari?

Can someone help me contextualize and concretize the theme of representation (what they sometimes call "tracing") versus cartography ("mapping," "diagramming," even "meta-modeling", etc.) in Deleuze ...
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How can I understand “I should email you so that you know that I know that you know that I’ve received your acceptance”?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 73. Human reasoning is ...
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Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of them are the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? What is ...
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To prove or disprove that objectivity does not exist, would lead to circular reasoning

So I was thinking about this and I realized one thing. If we say “Objectivity does not exist”, we would have to use “objectivity” to prove it. Since we’re claiming that objectivity does not exist, if ...
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A same object being analysed by different fields of study

I've been studying Bachelard lately and I haven't been convinced by his propositions that different sciences can't study the same object. I know that "the object of a science" is not a ...
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Should a non-expert default to trusting 'mainstream knowledge' in the face of many mutually incompatible claims?

First, a couple of assumptions: People are constantly bombarded by claims others want them to believe. Example: E=mc^2, a teacher wants their pupils to know. In many cases these claims are mutually ...
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Does Bayes' Theorem justify rejecting an argument for the supernatural from a well-supported miracle?

Suppose you have really good evidence for a miracle. Let's say that given the evidence, the probability of the miracle having occurred is about 80%. Now, you also know that miracles can only occur if ...
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Does the Strong Anthropic Principle lead to Idealism?

I have to admit this question isn't very neatly thought out, but I've always been a bit puzzled by the Anthropic Principle. I realize there are various forms or "strengths" of the idea, and ...
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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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What is the axiological basis of the preference of truth to falsity?

Axiologically speaking, why is truth the preferred logical value by humans? In general, why do we prefer true statements to false ones? What about the value of true makes a statement "right,"...
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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 ...
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What justification was there for Russell and Wittgenstein to posit 'atomism'?

In light of the history of philosophy's recognition that the scientific method appeared to be becoming a type of role model for the other 'natural' sciences and thus that obtaining to objective proof ...
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Why is mind/body duality so widely accepted?

It seems strange that Cartesian mind/body duality is so widely accepted, given that it leads to scepticism around the possibility of human knowledge. Why is it so widely accepted, and how do its ...
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Which aspects of consciousness are most often addressed by philosophers of mind?

What are the most discussed parts of consciousness according to philosophers? Epistemologists cite perception, memory, reason, and testimony as frequent objects of philosophical discourse in respect ...
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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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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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Justification for the phenominal/ noumenal distinction?

Cartesian dualism has purportedly been debunked. How does the phenomenal/ noumenal distinction avoid being characterized as the same mistake? Is it really impossible to visualize a symbiosis-in-agency ...
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distinction between solipsism and skepticsm

i have come across this question in UPSC 1996 previous year question paper and I am looking for an short answer in not more than 150 words. i have tried writing an answer taking help of wikipedia but ...
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Does this sentence of Kant contains in an embryonic form some of the critical parts of his later work, “Critique of Pure Reason”?

In the universal silence of nature and in the calm of the senses the immortal spirit’s hidden faculty of knowledge speaks an ineffable language and gives [us] undeveloped concepts, which are indeed ...
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Are dimensions a priori for innately senseless people?

Dimensions (space, time etc.) are considered to be a priori knowledge, but if a person is born to be senseless, how can he/she perceive a world of dimensions? Since he/she is unable to have experience,...
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Logical Interpretations of Probability

According to Wikipedia's page on probability interpretations... Logical probabilities are conceived (for example in Keynes' Treatise on Probability) to be objective, logical relations between ...
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We know substances by means of their accidents?

Where does Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas say we know substances by means of their accidents? For example: To know the substance of an apple, I first have to sense its quantity and qualities: shape, ...
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Does Russell prove the existence of synthetic a priori knowledge?

In the Problems of Philosophy (PoP) Bertrand Russell proves that there is certain a priori knowledge such as logical principles and mathematical principles. However, does he think these types of ...

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