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There were Epicureans in Judea, as we learn mostly, or entirely, from their opponents. As it turns out, Epicurus' name has the distinction of being the only1 philosopher named in the Mishnah (Avot 2:14), used to refer to a member of the school. Henry Fischel (Rabbinic literature and Greco-Roman philosophy pp. 2-3) lists the following evidence for ...


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Two writers who have produced 'global' hypotheses about the features of polytheism are Jean-Pierre Vernant and Walter Burkert. Vernant identifies the following features: A god is a power that represents a type of action, a kind of force. Within the framework of a pantheon, each of these powers is defined not in itself as an isolated object but by virtue of ...


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I don't think the question can be usefully answered in the round. If we assume that we have no certain knowledge, which means at least no beliefs which are immune from error, then neither science nor history can offer such knowledge. But you ask about degrees of certainty - whether the conclusions we draw from science are 'more certain' (? less uncertain, ...


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Part of the problem you are having lies in the way you are framing the issue, i.e., where you say: The worshiped gods [...] require the care of humans worshiping them at their "houses" (temples) on earth You've inverted the relationship. Gods do not need the care of humans on earth; humans want to appeal to the power that gods ostensibly have, and ...


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To date, we have seen the Higgs boson (I believe) twice, and gravitons exactly zero times, and yet both of these are considered properly scientific concepts. So something in your presentation of 'empirical reliability' is decidedly off. Science is not really as data-driven as most people seem to believe. In science one makes a theory (often by looking at a ...


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A key tenet of science is reproducibility - the same experiment should yield the same results, no matter where or when or by whom it is conducted. If it does not, there is a problem with either the experimental setup, or the underlying theory. This gives us the ability to make predictions about the future with near-certainty (in areas of well-understood ...


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Judea Pearl's book on causality[1] was written precisely due to such type of issue, mainly to define a method to establish the causal relationship of a fact of perception with another (I think he says somewhere that people did not believe the causal link between vaccines and sickness, so he tried to formalize the process to establish causality with such book)...


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Induction Inferring present and the future states or events from past states and events - the kind of activity you appear to have in mind in your opening sentences - is a form of induction. Popper on induction is a tangled topic but, to express a standard interpretation, Popper finds no proper use for induction in science : [As an empiricist he] ...


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Regarding the issue of monism and special and general relativity, any useful answer to this question requires mastery of the mathematics that underlies both SR and GR. It also requires a compelling mechanistic connection be made between that math and monism in general. Absent either of these, the idea of tying monism to relativity or otherwise relating ...


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I incline to distinguish historicism from determinism. In my view neither implies the other. Historicism As a historicist, I argued that human life was ineluctably historical, so explanations of ideas, texts, actions, and practices should rely on historical narratives, not appeals to formal classifications, correlations, systems, or models. (Mark ...


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