Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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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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Quine and the Myth of the Given

To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to ...
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Descartes and his taxonomy of ideas

Given the context of philosophical ideas such as tabula rasa, empiricism, and rationalism, René Descartes is known for his philosophy of mind and his attempt to analyze thinking as well as his ...
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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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736 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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126 views

According to Logical Positivism, why is it that for a statement to be meaningful, its contradiction must also be meaningful?

I am trying to understand the argument for the supposedly paradoxical nature of the verifiability criterion. The argument goes as follows: Suppose that the principle of verifiability is itself ...
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47 views

Question about knowledge acquisition

Apologies. I'm not sure what I'm asking and I'm not a philosopher. It's about knowledge acquisition. If you lack knowledge about a certain subject it's difficult to evaluate the quality of the answers ...
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126 views

How can materialists make claims?

I dont have all the modern philosophical terms down, but I cannot see how materialists/physicalists can make any claims. If there is nothing but physical universe, then there is no “truth”. Actually ...
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Question about the IEP’s (Michael Huemer’s) formulation of phenomenal conservatism

(I posted the identical question on the AskPhilosophy subreddit.) I first learned about phenomenal conservatism under a different name, “the principle of credulity”, from the philosopher of religion ...
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3answers
139 views

Should real possibilities be considered a part of reality and, as such, be regarded as evidence?

Can we say, with respect to reality, that "I AM not just What I AM"? That, aside from things actually existing or having been in the past, the real possibilities too must be treated as part ...
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68 views

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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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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114 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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477 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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115 views

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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227 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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1answer
188 views

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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162 views

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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1answer
139 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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3answers
143 views

What is the difference between truth and fact in mathematics and science?

I am particularly curious on how one can closely talk about truths and facts with the areas of knowledge mathematics and science. I cannot seem to distinguish between these two terms with respect to ...
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1answer
73 views

What is the relationship between Anekantavada and Pyrrhonic skepticism?

Best skeptic arguments, five tropes of Agrippa are these: (wiki) Dissent – The uncertainty demonstrated by the differences of opinions among philosophers and people in general. Progress ad infinitum – ...
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Is it logically coherent to imagine a person who has no prior conception of the world?

I'm working my way through An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I've come to realize there's a specific problem I've had with several philosophers' writings: they tend to assume as part of ...
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78 views

Question about Russell's distinction between knowledge of things and knowledge of truths in 'The Problems of Philosophy'

In his book, Russell distinguishes several types of knowledge. He first distinguishes knowledge of truths, and of things. "the sense in which what we know is true (...) i.e. to what are called ...
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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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2answers
125 views

What did Kant mean by "objects" and how do they relate to intutions and concepts?

I am trying to understand Kant's taxonomy of ideas (or "representations") and I am stuck on his meaning of "intuition", in particular, whether or not the object of an intuition ...
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60 views

Question from a high school student about role of natural sciences?

I am doing my essay on natural sciences methodology therefore, I wanted to give the example how according to the scientific method, new valid evidence could add to or correct previous knowledge. ...
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2answers
101 views

Is it consistent to argue for a properly basic belief?

I'm currently trying to understand Plantiga's proposed reformed foundationalism and this may be a stupid question but if say you agree that God is a properly basic belief is it still consistent to ...
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142 views

Material theory of induction: why not abandon induction altogether?

John Norton defends a material theory of induction, based on the idea that universal inference schemes cannot account for the strength of inductive inferences. Whether a specific induction is good or ...
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47 views

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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327 views

Top-down vs bottom-up approaches in science?

I am a student of a natural science but very interested in philosophy. During my studies, I have noted a perceived difference in how various disciplines approach the explanation of data they obtain. I ...
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89 views

Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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Query the salient differences between the neo pragmatistism of Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam (may they RIP)

While I have over the years read most of what Richard Rorty and Hillary Putnam have “popularly” written/edited [that is aside from their scholarly treatises in academic journals that have for years ...
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266 views

Are there any good arguments against Berkeley's immaterialism?

Basically, Berkeley writes that the only things that are real or existing are either (1) the active, perceiving mind or soul, or (2) the passive perceived things. He argues that we can only have ...
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110 views

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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3answers
380 views

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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48 views

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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44 views

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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48 views

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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55 views

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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72 views

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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44 views

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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263 views

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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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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235 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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185 views

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 ...