18

I recently answered a similar question on physics.SE here. What is special about the probabilities of quantum mechanics is that the randomness cannot be explained by a theory of nature that is both local and realist, while classical probabilities can. Quoting myself: A "local hidden variable" theory is basically the classical idea of how the world ...


16

It may be a misnomer to say rationalism was created to oppose empiricism, but I see what you are getting at. All rationalism claims, is that some knowledge about the world comes a priori - either innate or by thought alone. This doesn't say all knowledge has to come from thought. So, it is kind of agnostic about the scientific method here. Descartes tried ...


9

First off, rationalism predates empiricism. Rationalism is arguably the normative mode of philosophical enquiry all the way back into prehistory; clearly (for instance) most of ancient Greek philosophy falls closer to the rationalist camp than the empiricist. Empiricism was a late Western technique developed to deal with some of the failings and foibles of ...


6

You seem to confuse belief (which is subjective) and the actual truth value of a proposition. The LEM only applies to the latter, not to the former. If you wish to stay inside a mathematical framework, one might view probabilities as being degrees of belief. This is the subjective probability interpretation, or the Bayesian view. In your example, we would ...


6

If different times are involved, then there is no contradiction. S can be a theist at time t1 and an atheist at time t2. It is possible and quite common for a person not to realise the full implications of their beliefs. It is possible for S to believe b1, b2, b3 and also to believe b4, b5, b6, without realising that b1, b2, b3 imply theism and b4, b5, b6 ...


6

We do not have too many original sources for Zeno of Sidon, most are cited in Sedley, Epicurus and the mathematicians of Cyzicus. But Proclus gives an extensive response to his critiques of Euclidean geometry in A commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements, 214-218. Heath's comment is a close paraphrase of Proclus's: "Since some persons have ...


5

The "classical" form of quantum mechanics (no hidden variables or "pilot waves") maintains that a state exists as a superposition of all possibilities until the act of measuring that state causes the associated wavefunction to collapse. The collapse of the wavefunction then follows the probabilities for each possible state (for example, ...


5

The key characteristic of a quantum superposition is that all superposed states are equally real (or potentially real) at the physical level. This is quite different from a classical probability, which assumes that one state is real and the probability reflects our ignorance of the true state of affairs. That, basically, is it. We know this to be true ...


5

Descartes doesn't actually reason that nothing is knowable. In Meditation I he merely practises what is generally called methodological doubt. In constructing the foundations of knowledge he will not accept any belief if beliefs of that kind could be false. So he will not accept sense-based beliefs because the senses can deceive us. He will not believe that ...


5

At the time Nozick wrote Philosophical Explanations, the theories of conditionals advanced by David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker were still fairly new. Lewis' book Counterfactuals was published in 1973 and Stalnaker's work was published in a series of papers from about 1968 onwards. Previously there hadn't been any generally accepted account of how ...


5

Rationality is essentially human logic plus empirical facts. Science is essentially a systematic and rigorous application of human rationality. The scientific method is therefore rational. Thus, rationality precedes science but science is designed to perform better. There are several important empirical facts concerning rationality. First, it is possible to ...


4

This is discussed at length in "The Legend of the Justified True Belief Analysis" by Julien Dutant (Philosophical Perspectives 26(1)). He writes at one point (bolded mine): In 1960, Gilbert Ryle still ascribes the infallible mental state view to the tradition in his “Epistemology” entry for Urmson’s Concise Encyclopedia. Seven years later, in the “...


4

Nozick does not evade such examples, he bites the bullet on their consequences. Since the tracking/sensitivity conditions (the last two bullets of the OP) are fulfilled the brain in a vat (BIV) does know who won the World Series. He does know it despite not knowing that he is a brain in a vat. This is an example of what DeRose dubbed "abominable conjunctions"...


4

The logical opposite of "I believe X is true" is not "i believe X is false" but "I do not believe X is true". While "X true" and "X false" are contradictory, and can't be both part of your beliefs without contradiction, not believe that X is either true or false is valid, and equivalent to "I don't know ...


4

(Edit note: From the comments I’ve received, it seems that the paragraph beginning with “On the other hand” was not clear enough and can be misunderstood, so I add some clarifying sentences at the end of the paragraph – they are the italic sentences after (5).) Q (the original question): Which aspects of consciousness are philosophically most important? A: ...


4

The terms only comes up in a handful of SEP articles, but it looks like your strongest bet is to use those in SEP: The Epistemology of Modality. It is definitely jargon for a subset of philosophers interested in modal aspects of epistemology. Some of the names thrown around are van Inwagen, Yablo, and Chalmers, all of whom are of some contemporary ...


4

TL;DR It hinges at what we understand under "mind" and "independent". Since spirit can only become as instantiated in individual objects apprehended by minds - coming back into itself in a spiral, dialectical movement as illustrated in the figure below - a reality completely independent from subjects seems nonsensical. On the other hand, ...


4

The Elusinian Mysteries were a widespread Greek cult practice which had exceptional continuity, focused on Demeter & Persephone, thought to continue a Minoan cult (so pre-Greek), and which continued well into the Roman era, and only ended with full Christianisation of the Roman Empire around 400AD. What exactly the Mysteries were, is the subject of much ...


4

Philosophically speaking, 'agency' is a euphemism for the concept of free will, a euphemism meant to sidestep all of the knotty problems that arise whenever one talks about free will. With that in mind, an 'agent' is anything that senses its environment and makes (implicitly non-deterministic) alterations in its state. That parenthetical is necessary — we ...


4

When a person is arguing some point of uncertain truth, and to justify his argument he says, "it's a fact that X," what he means is that he asserts X is true and also he considers the truth of X to be firmly supported. It may carry a connotation that his listener would be irrational not to accept X. The arguer would not say "it's a fact that ...


4

None of the other answers (so far) addressed the actual mathematical inquiry here. Firstly, your question is straightforwardly formalized as follows: Suppose you have an oracle O that when given any computable formal system S and a sentence Q can determine in finitely many steps whether or not Q is a theorem of S. Then you ask whether or not O can be used to ...


4

It's conceivable that science will go through an infinite series of progressively finer explanations as you say (or potentially infinite but actually only during the finite time humans exist). This possibility assumes that the universe has no "base level" we can discover. On the subject of progressively finer scientific explanations, Asimov's ...


4

I think this SEP article does a decent job at that: Bonaventura (ca. 1217–1274), one of the most renowned theologians of the time, explicitly places emphasis on the sign's relation to the significate, claiming that … a sign has a twofold comparison: both to that which it signifies, and to that to which it signifies; and the first is essential and the ...


4

To expand slightly on what Conifold mentioned, according to IEP the "modest foundationalism" has Alvin Platinga as a prime exponent; Wikipedia mostly covers that under "reformed epistemology" although it does say under "modest foundationalism" that: Reformed epistemology is a form of modest foundationalism which takes religious ...


3

It seems like, a question about practical epistemology - how do we begin to know, before we have even defined knowledge? Sartre's aphorism response is 'Existence before essence', we begin by being, and living, and only then can abstractions and systemising them begin. There is the generalisation of the problem beginning in any specific place, expressed in ...


3

No, because the cogito guarantees the existence of the subject whenever the subject enacts it. It does not, of course, guarantee the existence of the subject as a continuant. But there is a catch which helps you. The cogito is not self-standing. Its validity, at least according to Descartes, depends on the existence of a non-deceiving God whose veracity ...


3

No, there is no "fallacy" in perceiving it this way, the sleight of hand is rather in the presentation. Two types of effects, which often work in concert, conspire to create this perception of "inevitable simplicity" of the solution. I will illustrate with examples from mathematics. In a post Coming up with short “magical” proofs on Math SE a user shared ...


3

This is essentially the same as ACuriousMind's answer but a little more practical, which I find helps in considering philosophy. The key difference is that quantum mechanics includes, more or less, negative probabilities, such that you can superimpose situations that both allow for some phenomenon P and this combination disallows P. To quote Scott Aaronson, ...


3

The sentences continue to make sense in theory, but beyond some point it just becomes too much for our human working memory to track. From this article: Now try the fifth sentence: The malt that the rat that the cat that the dog worried killed ate lay in the house that Jack built. Are you still following me? That last example is perfectly grammatical, but ...


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