pw201 + epistemology   25

Quine's Naturalism - 3:AM Magazine
"Sense data, Quine came to realize, are just as much theoretical posits as the electrons, bacteria, and chromosomes we supposedly construct from them. We do not see ‘patches of green, brown, and grey’ when we are walking through a forest; we see trees, logs, and squirrels. This is why it requires severe training to teach amateur painters to reproduce their everyday three-dimensional view of the world on a two-dimensional canvas."
quine  philosophy  naturalism  science  epistemology 
january 2019 by pw201
Epistemic extremism – UseOfReason
Contra Internet ("shoe") atheism: I don't need to be able to prove a thing to you before I can rationally believe it.
philosophy  belief  epistemology  Atheism  proof 
march 2018 by pw201
Recommendations please: Is there more to Belief than Credence above a certain threshold? : askphilosophy
Apparently, the thesis that this is all there is to belief is known as the Lockean thesis and is regarded as wrong. Some interesting references to dig into.
philosophy  epistemology  belief 
january 2018 by pw201
Stephen Law: 'Skeptical Theism and the Pandora's Box Question' - YouTube
Stephen Law did a half hour talk on the sceptical theist response to the Problem of Evil ("you can't know that God doesn't have good reasons for allowing some apparently gratuitous evils merely because you can't think of such reasons"), and how adopting such a response leads to more general scepticism about just about everything (the Pandora's Box objection, as he calls it).
theodicy  theology  religion  philosophy  problem-of-evil  stephen-law  epistemology 
july 2015 by pw201
A Manual for Creating Atheists - Godless Haven
"Godless Haven" has a good review of Boghossian's book, "A Manual For Creating Atheists".
review  atheism  peter-boghossian  epistemology 
may 2015 by pw201
Justin Schieber on Twitter: "Nobody just lacks belief in unicorns. We all believe (for good reason, mind you) that they are fictions. So too is it the case with gods."
Justin Schieber (an atheist) argues against the claim that "atheism is just a lack of belief". This seems fair enough: what atheists tend to use the claim for is to say that they don't have a duty to rebut any random stuff someone comes up with, but in fact, we consider the eixstence of gods and unicorns unlikely based on our background knowledge and the lack of expected evidence (which is evidence of absence), and this is a legitimate belief.
belief  god  atheism  theism  unicorns  evidence  epistemology 
april 2015 by pw201
Peter Boghossian vs Tim McGrew - YouTube
Here's an "Unbelievable" show in which Boghossian ("A Manual For Creating Atheists") talks to Tim McGrew, who's reasonably well known for his arguments in favour of belief in miracles. I've linked to a set of comments from "MrShamuto" where he undertakes more or less the process Boghossian describes in the books, of Socratic dialogue with "AdeToz", a Christian. It is long and occasionally interrupted by other people who are bonkers, but it's interesting to see Boghossian's stuff in action.
street-epistemology  epistemology  peter-boghossian  tim-mcgrew  philosophy  evidence  unbelievable  premier  christian  radio  socratic 
april 2015 by pw201
Stephen Law in Stockholm 7 nov 2012 on Vimeo
Stephen Law talking to some Swedes about his "Believing Bullshit" book.
stephen-law  epistemology  rationality  philosophy  bullshit 
february 2014 by pw201
Arguments From My Opponent Believes Something | Slate Star Codex
1. Argument From My Opponent Believes Something, Which Is Kinda Like Believing It On Faith, Which Is Kinda Like Them Being A Religion: “The high priests of the economic orthodoxy take it on faith that anyone who doubts the market is a heretic who must be punished.”
argument  belief  debate  epistemology 
july 2013 by pw201
On the stupidity of asking, “but where’s the evidence we need evidence for things?”
"it’s a mistake to think that if someone thinks maybe you should have some evidence for a particular thing you believe, they are therefore committed to a sweeping philosophical doctrine about needing evidence for absolutely everything."
evidence  philosophy  epistemology 
may 2013 by pw201
Web of Beliefs 2012: Complete Edition - Greatplay.net
Peter Hurford's summary of his beliefs, which links to a lot of his interesting essays. I should do myself one of these, I reckon.
religion  belief  philosophy  epistemology  science 
february 2013 by pw201
What Thomas Kuhn Really Thought about Scientific “Truth” | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network
"To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Structure, I’m posting an edited version of my write-up of Kuhn in The End of Science (Addison Wesley, 1996), which draws heavily on my meeting with him. I hope that this profile—which is longer and more critical of Kuhn than “Reluctant Revolutionary,” my May 1991 profile for Scientific American—provides insights into the complicated views of this complicated man."
epistemology  paradigm  science  Kuhn  philosophy 
june 2012 by pw201
The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind by Eric Schwitzgebel
"Crazyism about X is the view that something that it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is “crazy” in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. .... Well developed metaphysical theories will inevitably violate common sense, I argue, because common sense is incoherent in matters of metaphysics. No coherent and detailed view could respect it all. Common sense is thus impaired as a ground of choice. Nor can scientific evidence or abstract theoretical virtue compellingly favor any one moderately specific metaphysical approach over all competitors. Something bizarre must be true about the mind, but which bizarre propositions are the true ones, we are in no good position to know."
crazyism  david-chalmers  epistemology  descartes  dualism  idealism  materialism  consciousness  metaphysics  philosophy 
march 2012 by pw201
Evangelism, disbelief, and being 'without excuse' » » The Polemical MedicThe Polemical Medic
"Christians who indulge in evangelism and apologetics often hold to a thesis of disbelief as epistemic pathology – that disbelief is the result of some culpable error of judgment. Such an attitude is a poor fit for the facts and counter productive to the cause of evangelism. Ironically, the urge of these people to pathologize disagreement is diagnostic of their own epistemic pathology." I've mentioned this attitude (inspired by Romans 1) before: Thrasymachus neatly dissects it.
philosophy  epistemology  christianity  religion  apologetics  evangelicalism  evangelism 
february 2012 by pw201
The Apologist's Turnstile
"the idea that no particular level of knowledge is needed to assent to a religion, but an impossibly, unattainably high level of knowledge and expertise is needed to deny it. In the minds of many believers, the entrance to their religion is like a subway turnstile: a barrier that only allows people to pass through in one direction."
apologist  epistemology  religion  atheism 
february 2012 by pw201
Scientific presuppositions and the supernatural « Just Another Deisidaimon
Konrad Talmont-Kaminski on the metaphysical/methodological naturalism distinction, which he thinks is a distortion of actual naturalist views: "it effectively assumes the primacy of ontology over epistemology... assumes that to understand science one must begin with the ontology of science. This is very much understandable from the point of view of someone who was brought up on a Christian religion that is presented as having its basis in a number of ontological claims that must be taken as true. It is also a profound misunderstanding of what science is. It would be better to think of science in terms of various methods that are used to investigate the world. The scientific ontology is an a posteriori result of the application of those methods to the world. To put it in other terms again, ontological naturalism is the a posteriori result of accepting epistemic naturalism. Yet, even that is not quite right as it suggests that science can be identified in terms of some set of methods."
philosophy  science  religion  epistemology  naturalism 
december 2011 by pw201
Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth - opinion - 19 May 2010 - New Scientist
"...denialism, the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe. There's a lot of it about, attacking evolution, global warming, tobacco research, HIV, vaccines - and now, it seems, flu. But why does it happen? What motivates people to retreat from the real world into denial?"
climate  conspiracy  creationism  epistemology  politics  psychology  religion  science  denialism  denial 
june 2010 by pw201
Aretae: Cognitive Antivirus
"Suppose that you are a bear of very little brain, or perhaps an average human on the street, of nearly average proportions, intellect, and character. What is the best thing you can do, belief-wise, in order to make your life better. I am beginning to believe that you should believe in your parents' God, and go to church on Sundays. God and tradition are perhaps the best and strongest way to avoid believing really stupid stuff that could actually mess up your life, or others' lives." Via the Less Wrong threads on undiscriminating scepticism.
religion  epistemology  rationality  cognitive-bias 
march 2010 by pw201
On knowledge and consistency « Evolving Thoughts
John Wilkins talks about the on-going debate on whether religion and science are compatible.
religion  science  jerry-coyne  knowledge  epistemology  philosophy 
march 2010 by pw201
Luke on reformed epistemology and moral realism : The Uncredible Hallq
Nice: "A better response to Plantinga is just to point out that belief in the Christian God isn’t very much at all like most of the common-sense beliefs commonly cited as threatened by Descartes & Hume-style skepticism (like belief in the reliability of our senses), but is an awful lot like beliefs most Christians wouldn’t accept without evidence–namely, the beliefs of other religions."
philosophy  plantinga  hume  descartes  alvin-plantinga  epistemology  religion  reformed 
january 2010 by pw201
Plantinga: Religious Beilef as Properly Basic
A nice introduction to Plantinga's ideas. I've not read his books, so I don't know how accurately they're summarised, but it seems to fit with what I've read elsewhere.
belief  philosophy  plantinga  epistemology  christianity  religion  alvin-plantinga 
october 2009 by pw201
Science, Pseudoscience and Bollocks
An interesting essay which talks about the demarcation problem in science and argues that we should be against creation science because it's wrong, not try to argue about what science is. I'm shocked he referred to a Christian belief as "bollocks". I got told off for that once.
bollocks  science  pseudoscience  epistemology  empiricism  logical-positivism  karl-popper  popper  creationism  dover 
september 2009 by pw201
"A Different Way of Knowing": The Uses of Irrationality... and its Limitations
Greta Christina talks about "other ways of knowing" and their uses, as applied to the theism/atheism debate.
religion  epistemology  science  atheism  greta-christina  empiricism 
september 2009 by pw201
Pancritical Rationalism
Yummy yummy epistemology: something for me to read later, linked from comments on autopope's LJ.
philosophy  epistemology  rationality  rationalism 
august 2009 by pw201

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