16 Answered Questions for the topic epistemology


What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly inspired by a god?

Many of the world's religions are based on a book or text that adherents claim to have been written by or directly inspired by a god, perhaps omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. My question... more

What should philosophers know about math and natural sciences?

My question is whether a lack of knowledge about formal mathematics or theoretical science in general would have an impact on a philosopher's ability to think and make judgments. Why should a... more


What does "physical" mean to philosophers?

A childish question (literally) - My 8 year old asked me this morning: "Dad, what does 'physical' mean?" - and I found myself at loss for an ordinary language answer. Every answer I could come up... more
Epistemology Philosophy Logic Causation


Can a lack of knowledge or understanding invalidate a positive claim?

Consider the **example** of causal determinism. It can be phrased in many ways, all with identical meaning:<br /> - The idea that "every event, including human cognition and behavior,... more


What basis do we have for certainty in current scientific theories?

Given there is much past scientific belief that we now know NOT to be true, what basis do we have for the seemingly increasing certainty in our scientific beliefs held today being true? On the one... more
Epistemology Philosophy Reality


Can we prove reality?

I heard someone make an assertion that *'We cannot really prove that there is reality.'*. *'Reality'* here would mean **the universe and everything in it**. You could look at an apple and think... more


What is the term for the fallacy/strategy of ignoring logical reasoning intended to disprove a belief?

Mr. Pink practices a lifestyle of New Age religion/belief. He buys books about new age healing, reincarnation, magic powers, holy god men, etc. Although Mr. Pink doesn't outwardly proclaim his... more
Epistemology Philosophy Plato Socrates


Are the unexamined lives of others worth examining?

Socrates continually admonished his interlocutors to become more introspective, arguing passionately for self-examination: > The unexamined life is not worth living. But an examined life is... more


How does one know one is not dreaming?

How does one know one is not dreaming? How could one logically demonstrate to a skeptic that one is "really" there, awake and not just dreaming the entire situation/world around him? Specifically... more
Epistemology Philosophy Logic Skepticism


Is 1+1=2 true by definition ?


Is scientism a self defeating epistemology?

Some who have argued against the validity of scientism have argued that the view that only science can uncover truth is not a scientific discovery but rather a epistemology. Hence it has been... more


Is Science about Truth or Adequate Models?

Is it the general view amongst philosophers of science that science isn't about truth but rather adequately predictive models and therefore it doesn't make sense to speak of a scientific theory as... more

Fundamental idea on proving God's existence with science?

I think that proving God's existence or any deity from any culture with the rigors of science is fundamentally absurd. The popular arguments usually involve space-time and the big bang theory. (I... more

Do any philosophers disagree with Occam's razor?

I never bought into the razor. For example, if I have two hypotheses A and B with equal evidence, the razor would have me pick the simpler one. But personally in my mind, I create a sort of... more
Epistemology Philosophy


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." I think this statement raises some kind of epistemic problem. Like, how are we supposed to conclude the potential non-existence of something, like... more
Epistemology Philosophy Logic Descartes


Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?

I've heard it postulated by some people that *"we can't truly know anything"*. While that does seem to apply to the vast majority of things, I can't see how *'cogito ergo sum'* can possibly be... more

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