Epistemological Problems (epistemological + problem)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

What is Frege's Julius Caesar Problem?

DIALECTICA, Issue 3 2003
Dirk Greimann
This paper aims to determine what kind of problem Frege's famous "Julius Caesar problem" is. whether it is to be understood as the metaphysical problem of determining what kind of things abstract objects like numbers or value-courses are, or as the epistemological problem of providing a means of recognizing these objects as the same again, or as the logical problem of providing abstract sortal concepts with a sharp delimitation in order to fulfill the law of excluded middle, or as the semantic problem of fixing the referents of the corresponding abstract singular terms. It is argued that, for Frege, the Caesar problem is a bundle of related problems of which the semantic problem is the most basic one. [source]


Bas C. VanFraassen
In the philosophy of science, identity over time emerges as a central concern both as an ontological category in the interpretation of physical theories, and as an epistemological problem concerning the conditions of possibility of knowledge. In Reichenbach and subsequent writers on the problem of indistinguishable quantum particles we see the return of a contrast between Leibniz and Aquinas on the subject of individuation. The possibility of rejecting the principle of the identity of indiscernibles has certain logical difficulties, leading us inexorably from ontology into epistemology. For the epistemological problem we attend to the differences that emerged between the (neo-)Kantian and logical empiricist traditions, also saliently displayed in Reichenbach's writings. After examining the contrast between Kant's and Leibniz's conceptions of empirical knowledge, specifically with respect to the irreducibility of spatiotemporal determinations, we explore an application of a neo-Kantian view to the same problem of indistinguishable quantum particles. [source]

Feminist Epistemology, Contextualism, and Philosophical Skepticism

Abstract: This essay explores the relation between feminist epistemology and the problem of philosophical skepticism. Even though feminist epistemology has not typically focused on skepticism as a problem, I argue that a feminist contextualist epistemology may solve many of the difficulties facing recent contextualist responses to skepticism. Philosophical skepticism appears to succeed in casting doubt on the very possibility of knowledge by shifting our attention to abnormal contexts. I argue that this shift in context constitutes an attempt to exercise unearned social and epistemic power and that it should be resisted on epistemic and pragmatic grounds. I conclude that skepticism is a problem that feminists can and should take up as they address the social aspects of traditional epistemological problems. [source]

Giving Voice to Children's Voices: Practices and Problems, Pitfalls and Potentials

In this article, I explore the lessons that the anthropological debates of the 1980s about writing culture might have for contemporary childhood research within anthropology and the social sciences more generally. I argue that the current rhetoric about "giving voice to children," commonplace both inside and outside the academy, poses a threat to the future of childhood research because it masks a number of important conceptual and epistemological problems. In particular, these relate to questions of representation, issues of authenticity, the diversity of children's experiences, and children's participation in research, all of which need to be addressed by anthropologists in their own research practices with children. Unless anthropologists do so, childhood research risks becoming marginalized once more and will fail to provide an arena within which children are seen as social actors who can provide a unique perspective on the social world about matters that concern them as children. [source]

Biography Matters: Carol Shields, Mary Swann, A. S. Byatt, Possession, Deborah Crombie, Dreaming of the Bones

Heidi Hansson
The interest in life writing in recent years has led to an awareness of the close connections between biographical and fictional writing, which in turn has made the art of biography an important theme in contemporary fiction influenced by feminism, New Historicism and poststructuralism. The main issue in works like A. S. Byatt's Possession, Carol Shields's Mary Swann and Deborah Crombie's Dreaming of the Bones is to what extent a biography can be trusted to tell the truth of someone's life, and how far it is compromised by the biographer's motives. Works like these can be said to stand in a metaphorical relationship to the genre of biography, drawing attention to the epistemological problems of biography-writing by emphasising the slippage between fiction and biography. Yet, while these novels continually question the veracity of biographical evidence, they also make clear that biography is of vital importance for our understanding of literature. [source]