Tag Archives: Epistemology

Why are we real?

Nathaniel Stein has an interesting article at Aeon, The why of reality: The easy question came first, a few months after my son turned four: ‘Are we real?’ It was abrupt, but not quite out of nowhere, and I was … Continue reading

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Strong vs weak emergence

The Neuroskeptic has an interesting post on a paper challenging theories of mind based on strong emergence. A new paper offers a broad challenge to a certain kind of ‘grand theory’ about the brain. According to the authors, Federico E. Turkheimer … Continue reading

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How do we establish causation?

Ross Pomeroy at Real Clear Science discusses five logical fallacies that often get misidentified and abused in arguments.  Identified by Steven Novella in his book The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, one of these is the old Correlation and Causation fallacy: … Continue reading

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We entered the reputation age a long time ago

Aeon is currently highlighting articles from throughout 2018 that are editor favorites.  This morning, they highlighted one by Gloria Origgi, Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now: There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a … Continue reading

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What is knowledge?

In the discussion on the last post on measurement, the definition of knowledge came up a few times.  That’s dredged up long standing thoughts I have about knowledge, which I’ve discussed with some of you before, but that I don’t … Continue reading

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Are there things that are knowable but not measurable?

It’s a mantra for many scientists, not to mention many business managers, that if you can’t measure it, it’s not real.  On the other hand, I’ve been told by a lot of people, mostly non-scientists, and occasionally humanistic scholars including philosophers, … Continue reading

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What do scientific theories actually tell us about the world?

One of the things that’s exciting about learning new things, is that often a new understanding in one area sheds light on what might seem like a completely separate topic.  For me, information about how the brain works appears to have shed … Continue reading

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xkcd: Squirrel Plan

I have to say that this is along the lines of what I think about when people confidently assert the existence of the multiverse, their favorite interpretation of quantum physics, or any other metaphysical assertion. via xkcd: Squirrel Plan.  

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The evolution of the scientific method.

Empiricism, the idea that sensory experience is a source of knowledge, is ancient.  People have obviously learned through sensory experience as long as there have been people.  Studying the night skies gave ancient humans insight into the flow of the … Continue reading

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How do you separate the objective from the subjective?

So, I’m a skeptic, and I’ve had my share of debates on comment threads with people about purported phenomena without scientific evidence.  One of the claims often asserted is that so many people have experienced it, there must be something … Continue reading

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