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 atheism a proposition?

Theism proposes the existence of God. Atheism makes no proposition, it is simply the absence of a belief in God. Theism is the proposition. Atheism is the negation. The negation is not a proposition. ...
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Do Gödel's incompleteness theorems and Tarski's theorem of indefinability of truth show we can never discover and prove every truth?

I thought I had a grasp on this. Do Gödel's apply to just math; logic, too; or more, and what does its applicability entail? If it applies to math, does it apply to physics? Similarly with Tarski: can ...
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Can philosophy be useful?

I cite the article by Hans Radder entitled "Everything of value is useful: How philosophy can be socially relevant", published by Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. He ...
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Will artificial intelligence lead to experimental philosophy?

Let us clarify some terms, so we do not turn our ankle in some linguistic rabbit-hole before we start. All experimental science used to be called 'Natural Philosophy'. Modern usage re-labels this as '...
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Chaos vs statistical mechanics vs complexity science

could someone shed some light on difference between chaos and complexity ? What is the difference both ontological and epistemological between complexity science and statistical mechanics ?
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Can private experiences justify private belief in supernaturalism?

Is it ever rational or justified to believe in supernaturalism on the basis of private experiences (of the kind for which publicly accesible evidence can hardly be produced)? If someone has private ...
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What is the best reference for understanding inductive theories of knowledge?

I am looking for a pedagogical outline of the inductive theory of knowledge. Something along the lines of a level textbook (graduate or undergraduate) reference rather than references to classic texts....
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What is the relation between idealism and science?

My understanding of idealism is that it rests on the primacy of the mind and conscience over matter. The Encyclopædia Britannica provides the following "basic" forms of idealism: The two ...
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What do philosophers think about the beauty?

When we see someone beautiful we understand what is beauty. The definition may not be absolute but it can be roughly defined. For example - symmetrical form may be considered beautiful. Fair color can ...
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To what extent is intersubjective agreement required for one to be justified in trusting one's own subjective experiences?

Context: this is a follow-up to my last question Is the hallucination hypothesis always the best explanation? Suppose A has a subjective experience (or multiple subjective experiences) that leads them ...
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Are atomic particles abstract objects?

By "atomic particle", I mean everything from molecules to quarks---objects that are outside the realm of normal experience but used in physics and chemistry to explain macroscopic events. By ...
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Is Bhaskar's argument, that epistemology and ontology are separate, correct?

Roy Bhaskar [1] is credited with developing a version of Critical Realism [2] with applications in the social sciences. What is the meaning of Roy Bhaskar's notion of epistemic fallacy (as distinct ...
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Is the hallucination hypothesis always the best explanation?

Suppose there are two persons A and B. A attests to having witnessed some extraordinary event, e.g. A claims to have had an extraordinary religious experience with an other-worldly entity. Let's say ...
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How does a necessary being fully explain contingent beings?

X contingent <=> there is W s.t. W -> S, where "->" is derivation, not material implication X necessary <=> X not contingent Theists claim, without further clarification, ...
Myers Hertz's user avatar
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What if we abandon all assumptions?

By the title I mean that "What would happen if we didn't assume anything as true?" My first thought was that nothing could be stated (since there isn't logic/reason to hold any argument/...
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Can I know something but not be able to justify it to anyone else?

Can I know something but not be able to justify it to anyone else? I don't necessarily mean metaphysical puzzles, but everyday examples. If I cannot - and I know I cannot - prove to anyone else, all ...
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Numbers and Time

This is my first post on philosophy stack exchange, so I apologize in advance if this question is not well-defined or if it happens to be a duplicate. If so, feel free to link the corresponding post(s)...
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Can disputes over what is reasonable or unreasonable to believe be resolved objectively?

Suppose there are two debaters A and B, and a proposition X. A thinks X is reasonable, and believes X. B does not think X is reasonable, and therefore lacks a belief in X. Thus, A and B are in ...
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Can an extraordinary hypothesis ever be the best explanation for a set of historical facts?

As a motivating example, I have in mind the minimal facts argument for the resurrection of Jesus, espoused by Christian apologists such as Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, and William Lane Craig. The ...
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What is the burden of proof? Has this principle ever been challenged?

I have been surprised to find that some people doubt this principle. Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat - the burden of proof lies with the speaker, not with the one who negates. I ...
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Assumption About What Could Make A Belief Justified

I was reading the IEP's article on epistemic justification, and came across the following paragraph(s): https://iep.utm.edu/epi-just/#SH1a I'm having a hard time with the sentence "Proposition 3 ...
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Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

In conversations and debates between atheists and theists, is it enough for the atheist to assert that they are skeptical of theism without providing justification, or does the atheist bear the burden ...
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Can God make the belief in His own existence justified (if He exists)?

In a hypothetical scenario in which God exists, would God be able to make the belief in His existence justified for humans? If so, how? What would God need to do to accomplish that goal? If not, does ...
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Are we lost in the details?

A hypothesis. https://theworld.org/stories/2021-05-20/imagining-gaia-earth-one-great-living-organism Simply put, the Gaia hypothesis says that Earth is a living system and uses similar mechanisms that ...
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Falsifiability of Assumptions

Karl Popper maintained that empirical sciences should be based on the principle of falsifiability rather than verifiability for no amount of observations can guarantee veracity but a single ...
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How far can the concept of realism be extended?

How far can the concept of realism be extended? “Metaphysically, realism is committed to the mind-independent existence of the world investigated by the sciences” A more compact definition would be to ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
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Can only one object exist?

Suppose so, then: What exactly can distinguish it from not existing, if the object itself is all there is? Any object trivially maps to itself via identity, so in order to deviate from the trivial ...
Myers Hertz's user avatar
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Does the universe have an ultimate purpose? [closed]

Objective purpose is an alternative? Universal, fundamental purpose?
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If we don't know anything for certain, how do we know that?

I think it is the case that we don't know anything for certain. But if that is the case, how can we know that we don't know anything for certain? This is related to Socrates's famous remark that all ...
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Limitation of knowledge in real terms

In the "real world," economists are not rich, political scientists are not successful politicians, and so on. My question is: is there some limitation on success imposed by knowledge (in ...
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How does fallibilism not collapse into skepticism?

First let's define fallibilism as the view that there's no belief that can't turn out to be false no matter how much credence we lend to it. This implicitly entails that we take ourselves to not be ...
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Do we agree that true knowledge comes from thinking? [closed]

Reality doesn’t seem to be same as it appears to be. For example - Quantum mechanics says that matter is governed by some kind of wave with the wavelength given by de Broglie’s equation. Do ...
Dheeraj Verma's user avatar
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Does philosophy involve long inferential chains?

An inferential chain is a series of inferences where each depends on the previous in sequence. "From A we conclude B, from B we conclude C, and from C we conclude D." That would be a chain ...
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What are some seminal books and papers in "pure" epistemology

Ideally this would involve a somewhat mathematical treatment of the subject. A good contemporary textbook would also be welcome. I just want to avoid heavy metaphysics and stay firmly in the realm or ...
Noah Mancino's user avatar
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What defines if an inference is correct or not, (regarding different logics)?

For me, it makes sense to say for example: From a follows b. Not b. Therefore not a. I can't explain it, but it's "logical". Now I've read that there are different kind's of logic out ...
iwab's user avatar
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Do we know that we don't know whether we are in a skeptical hypothesis scenario?

Novice here, so please don't use jargon or advanced topics (I've had experiences like this on the math stack exchange lol). I was reading through the book Philosophy for Everyone, and I was just ...
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If something is massless like light does it exist?

I'm asking: If something is massless does it exis? Because in Einstein's equation E=mc2 Einstein said and I quote: If something doesn't have mass like light it would move at the speed of light.
Ahmad Ghandour's user avatar
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Is the complexity paradox inherent to human theory and practice?

First of all, sorry for the lengthy body of the question. A little background: I'm a musician, and an active thinker. In my career there's a seemingly inevitable bifurcation: the path of academic ...
Simón Flavio Ibañez's user avatar
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Does the halfer position in the Sleeping Beauty problem make for an irrational gambler?

It's my understanding that the Sleeping Beauty problem doesn't have a consensus answer, with major camps along the lines of "halfers," "thirders," and "the-question-statement-...
Feryll's user avatar
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Does a large language model show signs of an emergent awareness of semantics?

It is well established that computers have semantics of some sort. After posting the question Is non-deterministic automated reasoning a viable strategy for solving problems in mathematical logic? (...
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Is non-deterministic automated reasoning a viable strategy for solving problems in mathematical logic?

EDIT 2023/10/06 There are objections that this is too technical to be philosophy, and while I've seen questions on this forum go far beyond what I'm asking here in set theory, computability theory, ...
J D's user avatar
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Does the use of senses require any knowledge about what is sensed? [closed]

Does the use of any sense (hearing, sight, pitch, proprioception, heat/cold, pain) require any knowledge about what is sensed in order to be used effectively? I phrased this poorly. I really mean &...
BigMistake's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why does Immanuel Kant never doubt the existence of matter and external world themselves?

Why does Immanuel Kant never doubt the existence of matter and external world themselves? Does he presuppose their existence? If so, why? What I mean to ask is according to Immanuel Kant if we know ...
Adriraj Mukhopadhyay's user avatar
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Did Locke think that animals have innate knowledge?

Locke famously believed that humans were born as a tabula rasa. Did he also think the animals are blank slates?
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Fallacy of the Devil You Know

I just made up that name for the fallacy, but I'm wondering if there is a more common term for it. The fallacy is basically inferring from an inconclusive set of evidence to a particular explanation ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
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Question about effect

There is an order to the Universe we live in. Roughly speaking, little things affect big things. Not the other way round. This is something you already know: particle physics underlies nuclear and ...
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Do some philosophers-of-mathematics give priorities to different epistemologies of math, rather than (over)committing to one epistemology?

Take Kant and Gödel, for example. Kant was neither just an intuitionist nor just a formalist, nor even absolutely a non-realist (the forms of space and time are, after all, empirically real and ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Does the incomputability of kolmogorov complexity imply that we will never have a final theory of everything?

The Kolmogorov Complexity is the size of the simplest program that produces a specific output. By the Curry-Howard Correspondence, "programs" are isomorphic to "axiomatic systems" ...
charmoniumQ's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does "p is true for S at t" mean?

In Alvin Goldman's article "What Is Justified Belief", what does "p is true for S at t" mean? where p is a proposition, S is a person and t is time. More specifically, how is it ...
Charles's user avatar
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What did Hegel meant when he said that the universal continually engenders itself while maintaining its identity throughout the process?

The patriotic sentiment acquires its specifically determined content from the various members of the organism of the state. This organism is the development of the Idea to its differences and their ...
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