Epistemology

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Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 08:07 pm
I'm sorry but i searched for what this field of philosophy means and couldn't get a clear answer. Can someone help me?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 05:48 am
@Yogi DMT,
Epistemology comes from the Greek combination of episteme (knowledge) and logos (theory), and is the branch of philosophy which attempts to give an account what we know (or can know) for certain, the structures of the various ways of human knowing, and the methods by which we can claim something is truly known (indeed the very possibility of such knowledge).
In short, it asks "What can I know" and "How can I know it?"
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Wed 13 May, 2009 08:13 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Thanks for the clarification.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 06:37 am
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:
Epistemology comes from the Greek combination of episteme (knowledge) and logos (theory), and is the branch of philosophy which attempts to give an account what we know (or can know) for certain, the structures of the various ways of human knowing, and the methods by which we can claim something is truly known (indeed the very possibility of such knowledge).
In short, it asks "What can I know" and "How can I know it?"



And also, "what is knowledge?"
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 12:36 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Justified true belief, of course!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 06:56 pm
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey wrote:
Justified true belief, of course!


Well, necessary conditions, but probably not sufficient conditions.
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 08:19 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Perhaps I should have accompanied that with a little dance number and a Wink
 
Paggos
 
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 06:47 pm
@Yogi DMT,
How to you say it? I always have trouble pronouncing it.
 
dharma bum
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:34 am
@Paggos,
Paggos;73176 wrote:
How to you say it? I always have trouble pronouncing it.


As did I Smile

Eh-Pist-Tem-ology with emphasis on the second syllable.

For months I mistakenly pronounced it Epi-Stem-Ology
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:22 am
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;76810 wrote:
As did I Smile

Eh-Pist-Tem-ology with emphasis on the second syllable.

For months I mistakenly pronounced it Epi-Stem-Ology


It is pronounced both ways. They are alternative pronunciations.
 
Leonard
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 04:14 pm
@Yogi DMT,
One question: The terms "a priori" and "a posteriori" often confuse me. What is the distinction(s) between them here?
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 09:07 pm
@Yogi DMT,
A priori = prior to (independent of) experience of the outside world
a posteriori = dependent on experience of the outside world
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 08:51 am
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey;95701 wrote:
A priori = prior to (independent of) experience of the outside world
a posteriori = dependent on experience of the outside world



Yes, but thenthe question is, what is dependent or independent of experience? The answer is, knowledge. Knowledge independent of experience is a priori knowledge; and dependent on experience is a posteriori (empirical) knowledge.The notions of dependence, and independence, also need explanation. Those terms are ambiguous as between causally dependent (independent) or justificationally dependent or independent. That is, in one sense of dependent (independent) knowledge may be caused (or not caused) by experience. In another sense, our knowledge is justified (or not justified) by experience. As Kant points out, although all our knowledge may come from experience, it does not follow that all our knowledge is justified by experience.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 09:16 am
@Yogi DMT,
The two terms when applied to statements or to ideas can also indicate a difference in how we know them to be true, or how we accept the evidence for the truth.
Thus, an a priori statement can be known to be true without reference to experience, for example a classic deductive syllogism or the statement "circles are round." On the other hand, an a posteriori statement can be known to be true only by referencing a fact of experience, for example, "this dog is spotted," or the inductive statement "all bodies fall toward earth."
Quite often,though, different philosophers will have slightly different meanings attached to the two concepts.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 09:26 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;95827 wrote:
The two terms when applied to statements or to ideas can also indicate a difference in how we know them to be true, or how we accept the evidence for the truth.
Thus, an a priori statement can be known to be true without reference to experience, for example a classic deductive syllogism or the statement "circles are round." On the other hand, an a posteriori statement can be known to be true only by referencing a fact of experience, for example, "this dog is spotted," or the inductive statement "all bodies fall toward earth."
Quite often,though, different philosophers will have slightly different meanings attached to the two concepts.


Yes, indeed. The difference between origin, and justification, as I just pointed out in the post before this one. Of course, the Rationalists believed that a priori truths were a priori in both ways. Thus, innate knowledge. Empiricists, on the other hand, held that all knowledge comes from experience, and is also justified by experience. It was Kant who held that although all knowledge comes from experience, it is not all justified by experience. Thus his synthetic a priori knowledge.

But although all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it arises from experience.

Kant (The Critique of Pure Reason)
 
ACB
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 05:25 pm
@kennethamy,
Two questions:

1. Are statements such as "Something exists" or "The universe is not empty" synthetic a priori? If not, how should they be classified? They are not necessarily true (an empty universe is logically possible), but they are certainly true ("the universe is not empty" could not be stated in an empty universe).

2. In mathematics, where does one draw the line between a synthetic statement and an analytic one? Mathematical statements can range from obvious tautologies such as 4=4 or 4+3=3+4 to complex theorems which have to be painstakingly proven. What was Kant's view?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 05:33 pm
@ACB,
ACB;96075 wrote:
Two questions:

1. Are statements such as "Something exists" or "The universe is not empty" synthetic a priori? If not, how should they be classified? They are not necessarily true (an empty universe is logically possible), but they are certainly true ("the universe is not empty" could not be stated in an empty universe).

2. In mathematics, where does one draw the line between a synthetic statement and an analytic one? Mathematical statements can range from obvious tautologies such as 4=4 or 4+3=3+4 to complex theorems which have to be painstakingly proven. What was Kant's view?


1. I don't know that an empty universe is logically possible. Not if a universe is individuated by its members. How then could it be determined whether one empty universe was different from another?

2. Kant believed that mathematics was synthetic. He did not believe (his example) that the subject, 5+7 was contained in the predicate, 12. I don't see how the complexity of the equation would be relevant to whether the equation was analytic or synthetic. I would think that either all of mathematics was analytic, or all was synthetic.
 
ACB
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 06:57 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96076 wrote:
1. I don't know that an empty universe is logically possible. Not if a universe is individuated by its members. How then could it be determined whether one empty universe was different from another?


But that problem would not arise if there were only one universe. Or more than one universe but only one empty one.

kennethamy;96076 wrote:
2. Kant believed that mathematics was synthetic. He did not believe (his example) that the subject, 5+7 was contained in the predicate, 12. I don't see how the complexity of the equation would be relevant to whether the equation was analytic or synthetic. I would think that either all of mathematics was analytic, or all was synthetic.


Well, it seems that 4=4 must be analytic, since it is true by definition. Let us, for the sake of argument, agree with Kant and say that 5+7=12 is synthetic. What is your view (and what was Kant's view) about such intermediate cases as 4+3=3+4, or 0x0=0, or 1x1=1, or 1x2=2? Are any of those true by definition?

Incidentally, does 4=4 count as a "mathematical" statement in the Kantian sense, or would he have regarded it as a purely "logical" statement (a tautology), and thus analytic?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 07:03 pm
@ACB,
ACB;96105 wrote:
But that problem would not arise if there were only one universe. Or more than one universe but only one empty one.



Well, it seems that 4=4 must be analytic, since it is true by definition. Let us, for the sake of argument, agree with Kant and say that 5+7=12 is synthetic. What is your view (and what was Kant's view) about such intermediate cases as 4+3=3+4, or 0x0=0, or 1x1=1, or 1x2=2? Are any of those true by definition?

Incidentally, does 4=4 count as a "mathematical" statement in the Kantian sense, or would he have regarded it as a purely "logical" statement (a tautology), and thus analytic?



How could you tell whether there was one empty universe or two if empty universes were indistinguishable from each other?

You are asking me questions about Kant I don't know the answer to. But if he thought that all mathematics was synthetic, I would suppose he would have thought that the statements you suggest were also synthetic. I don't know about "4=4". That is a good question.
 
Emil
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 08:08 am
@ACB,
ACB;96075 wrote:
Two questions:

1. Are statements such as "Something exists" or "The universe is not empty" synthetic a priori? If not, how should they be classified? They are not necessarily true (an empty universe is logically possible), but they are certainly true ("the universe is not empty" could not be stated in an empty universe).


I do not think statements/sentences are true or false, or are synthetic or a priori or analytic etc. It is propositions that are that. Some people think that sentences/statements are the bearers of truth/falsity, but I don't. That gets one into all kinds of trouble and confusion.

Given that it is propositions that are bearers of truth/falsity, then both the propositions you talk about are contingent, unless you think that the universe itself is a thing and thus "something exists" is true. But you'd need to clarify what "universe", "world", "thing" means in that case. Everything depends on definitions. Is it possible that there is no universe? Maybe. That depends on definitions.

Surely no statement exists in an empty universe, but is it true that no statement could be stated in such a universe? I don't think so. But in my view even though no statement has ever been made in such a universe, some things are still true or false. Propositions exist even in empty universes. (I think universes have to do with contingent facts/objects, and propositions are non-contingent.

ACB;96075 wrote:
2. In mathematics, where does one draw the line between a synthetic statement and an analytic one? Mathematical statements can range from obvious tautologies such as 4=4 or 4+3=3+4 to complex theorems which have to be painstakingly proven. What was Kant's view?


I don't know what Kant's view was but I think all pure mathematical propositions are analytic.
 
 

 
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