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 evolutionary "morality" really the same thing as human morality?

In a different question I asked, Chris Johns' answer pinpointed exactly why all of the answers didn't satisfy me, so I'd like to ask a follow-up question which will further focus my question - would ...
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Does non-empirical knowledge exist?

I think this question might be dismissed very easily, but I'd like to try to provoke a sort of blurring-the-lines idea that may be interesting. I'll start by putting two definitions here, the first ...
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Are extraordinary first-hand subjective accounts more likely to be true the more people report the same experience?

For illustrative purposes, let's take as an example the following claim X = "I went to sleep, but then I suddenly woke up at 3:00 a.m. feeling a terrifying evil presence, and then my bed began to ...
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What is Kant's view of a mathematical object?

I wonder what are mathematical objects - say, the number 1, a circle, etc. - for Kant? Do they have some kind of special status for him compared to ordinary (empirical) objects? Where exactly does he ...
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What are the characteristics of an 'objective' statement or argument?

Can anyone explain what an "objective" statement or argument really is? How can we decide that one statement is more objective than another?
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Question on learning type in Plato Cave Allegory

My question is based on the Cave of Plato. In this myth I see two types of learning. The first type of learning is the person that is released from the cave and climbs up to the light. The second ...
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Is this a legitimate solution to the brain in a vat problem?

The problem: "Since the brain in a vat gives and receives exactly the same impulses as it would if it were in a skull, and since these are its only way of interacting with its environment, then it is ...
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Is number π empirical or a priori?

I used the example of π, but this applies to other transcendental numbers as well, such as e Kant classified statements into 4 epistemic categories based on two criteria: The Analytic/Synthetic ...
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What kind of philosophical questions are transcendental philosophical questions?

There are a lot of different philosophical questions and I'm interested in knowing what kind of questions are asked in or what kind of questions does transcendental philosophy try to answer. I've ...
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Are we born critically synthesising concepts?

Following this question asking about whether we are born 'critically thinking'; which suggested this question asking whether we are born with Kants categories. Expanding further on the original ...
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What is res in res cogitans or res extensa?

Substance is that which has no dependent relation on any other; and unlike an atom, is infinitely differentiable - it has parts; and those parts thus distinguished have relations amongst themselves; ...
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My first thought is always: I AM

This question is derivative of the question here: Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false? It is noted by authors such as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard that there are several assumptions ...
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The coherentist solution to Agrippa’s Trilemma and the possibility of pure/impure justification?

I'm trying to get a grasp on coherentism and what is proposes is the epistemological justification for knowledge. From what I've taken so far, coherentism relies on what is commonly referred to as "...
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Why should there be nothing rather than something?

While this question sounds like this one, bear with me and I'll explain why it's more of a revised version of this one instead (and to be honest I wasn't sure if I should've just edited it, but I ...
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Have the implications of cybernetics on epistemology been studied?

I would like to know what is the state of the art. There are several approaches in epistemology, from the various variants of positivism, to pragmatism, and many others. In cybernetics a system ...
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Is there an accepted term for the idea that: “an idea's validity is increased with age”

Is there a field or term which can be used to describe conjecture on the notion that: The validity of an idea is related to the length of time it has been debated. Such a field would concern (or, ...
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Has the Problem of Induction been solved?

The problem as to acquiring knowledge about times where we cannot experiment/observe. For e.g, you haven't seen the future, so you cannot make any definitive statements, or rather, scientifically ...
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Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us?

Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us? Do our senses (for space and time) fool us into this notion all the way into the need for discretizing abstractions themselves, e.g. An ...
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How do philosophers formally characterise mathematical objects?

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article, 'Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics', the following formalisation is given for the existence of a mathematical object: Existence can be ...
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"cogito ergo sum" and then...?

After his ever so famous "cogito ergo sum", Rene Descartes' second (deep?) thought was something like "God exists" (according to my literature). I think he brought this up mainly due to historical ...
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Is the Cartesian methodological doubt deeply flawed?

In order to acquire irrefutable knowledge, Descartes first doubted everything, even the existence of an external world. Then, starting from the "cogito, ergo sum", he started proving the existence of ...
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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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What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'?

Question What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'? Overview I tried to read https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/#PragEncr but it was too dense + wordy (too many unnecessary complex ...
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The Origin of Thought

What is the most fundamental form of thought? In Tibetan Buddhism, there is the concept of the Three Vajras, or The Three Doors, which are body, speech, and mind. The human mind can be said to think ...
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Is assuming nothing equal to assuming something?

When someone assumes there's something, the general consensus is that it means there was nothing, and he added a layer of "somethingness". I'd like to question that and ask, when someone argues that "...
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How do we understand something?

Is there some theory that explains this. When I reflect on how I reason through to an understanding of something (the Eureka moment), it appears that to me that the steps are never sufficient and that ...
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Nature of self-evident statements

Can there exist a "self-evident" statement? That is, can there exist a statement that offers sufficient substantiation for itself? For example, a statement can be constructed This statement is ...
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Why are negative facts more 'shadowy' than positive facts?

Source: p 268 Middle, Introducing Philosophy for Canadians: A Text with Integrated Readings (2011 1 ed).   Second, the theory doesn't satisfactorily explain what true beliefs correspond to. With ...
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Why do some philosophers argue that we do not know, a priori, that something thinks?

The Cartesian argument seems to explicate the fact that I necessarily know that something thinks, and that I necessarily know that something thinks even if I don't checking the world to verify whether ...
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Is it possible to prove the invalidity of logic without using logic?

Is it possible to validly invalidate logic without using logic? Mere assertion gives rise to the question, "How do you know?". At that point, you end up having to use logic to justify the thesis ...
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Can you adequately discuss Philosophy, without doing philosophy?

In order to convey a philosophical idea, a speaker must regularly interpret an original work. Not only that, but subsequent to the all to frequent 'discussion', he must interpret the listener's point ...
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What is the ontological basis for sentience arising from complexity?

Recently I read a comment that most physicalists believe that some threshold of complexity must be surpassed prior to any sentience being exhibited. I've heard of similar ideas a lot, but I've never ...
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Is the Socratic Method is the best way to teach philosophy?

Maybe it is for younger people, but what are better ways for adults? What is better for andragogy?
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How do Probably Approximately Correct algorithms work, and is the PAC model an eludication of Piercean abduction

I recently read a fascinating review (in issue no. 136 of Philosophy Now) of Probably Approximately Correct written by Harvard Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Leslie Valiant. ...
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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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Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place? [closed]

To be viewed from the perspective of epistemology and/or the philosophy of science. Preamble: Darwin, like scientists of his day, often spoke of “Laws” that inevitably cycle forth the results ...
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How does plato distinguish between knowledge and belief?

How does plato distinguish between knowledge and belief? How is it based in his metaphysics?
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Kant's need of God [closed]

My main issue is not the understanding of the text in question, it really is a question about his conception in general: Kant defends the idea of God by hypothising a "supreme (original) good", ...
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Should modern empiricists embrace string theory?

Conventional wisdom says "no", lack of new predictions being the main criticism. Johansson and Matsubara review string theory from various empiricist perspectives, and the best they can say (for ...
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What consequences has Locke's theory of knowledge had on modern political thought?

According to John Locke's notion of tabula rasa, there are no innate ideas in the mind. All human knowledge comes from sensible experience. Assuming this principle, it follows that there is no innate ...
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What is "intuition" for Kant?

Intuition appears to be a relatively abstract concept, an incomplete cognition, and thus not directly experienceable. Kant says that all knowledge is constituted of two parts: reception of objects ...
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Why is Hesperus necessarily Phosphorus?

"Hesperus (the evening star) is Phosphorus (the morning star)" is one of Kripke's examples of necessary aposteriori, statements that are true necessarily if true at all, even if their truth can only ...
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Missing Shade of Blue in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume [duplicate]

I was reading An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding by David Hume, and came across (a couple days ago) a part wherein Hume draws a counterexample towards his epistemological theory and drops it. ...
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Does Quine consider the Homeric gods to have predictive power?

Quine wrote in his 1951 paper "Two Dogmas of Empiricism": "Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but ...
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How does Wittgenstein's argument against recognizing private sensations work?

Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations in paragraph 270: Let us imagine a use for the entry of the sign "S" in my diary. I discover that whenever I have a particular sensation a ...
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Do philosophers think beliefs are bearers of truth-value?

In the literature about what sorts of things have a truth-value, the idea that acts of belief bear truth-value seems present, yet uncommon. On the other hand, objects of belief like propositions or ...
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What is the "simple logical truth" that makes omniscience self-contradictory?

Patrick Grim claims in "Problems with Omniscience" that there is a "simple truth well established as a logical theorem", which shows that omniscience is a contradictory concept. I am failing to see ...
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What is Wittgenstein's "criterial solution" to the problem of other minds?

I'm having difficulty with the language in this article on the Problem of Other Minds. It provides 3 solutions to the epistemological problem of other minds in section 1.1 - "The Epistemological ...
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Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place?

Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place? If yes, then is it justified to say that "Fact is a Fact irrespective of one's awareness of it being true"? For example: ...
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Through what epistemological means is one's gender identity discoverable?

Though the epistemological means through which one's gender identity is often erroneously directed solely at transgender persons, I think --- as a cisgender person --- that it can uniformly apply to ...

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