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Uncertainty

Uncertainty
We are frequently presented with situations wherein a decision must be made when we are uncertain of exactly how to proceed. Uncertainty is a term used in subtly different ways in a number of fields, including philosophy, physics, statistics, economics, finance, insurance, psychology, sociology, engineering, and information science. It applies to predictions of future events, to physical measurements that are already made, or to the unknown. Uncertainty arises in partially observable and/or stochastic environments, as well as due to ignorance and/or indolence.[1] Concepts[edit] Although the terms are used in various ways among the general public, many specialists in decision theory, statistics and other quantitative fields have defined uncertainty, risk, and their measurement as: Uncertainty: The lack of certainty. Knightian uncertainty. A taxonomy of uncertainty For example, if you do not know whether it will rain tomorrow, then you have a state of uncertainty. Measurements[edit] . Related:  philosophy tree

Fallibilism Fallibilism (from medieval Latin fallibilis, "liable to err") is the philosophical principle that human beings could be wrong about their beliefs, expectations, or their understanding of the world, and yet still be justified in holding their incorrect beliefs. In the most commonly used sense of the term, this consists in being open to new evidence that would disprove some previously held position or belief, and in the recognition that "any claim justified today may need to be revised or withdrawn in light of new evidence, new arguments, and new experiences."[1] This position is taken for granted in the natural sciences.[2] In another sense, it refers to the consciousness of "the degree to which our interpretations, valuations, our practices, and traditions are temporally indexed" and subject to (possibly arbitrary) historical flux and change. Such "time-responsive" fallibilism consists in an openness to the confirmation of a possibility that one anticipates or expects in the future.[3]

Solipsism Solipsism ( i/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning "alone", and ipse, meaning "self")[1] is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. Varieties[edit] There are varying degrees of solipsism that parallel the varying degrees of serious skepticism. [edit] Epistemological solipsism[edit] Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known. Epistemological solipsists claim that realism requires the question: assuming that there is a universe independent of an agent's mind and knowable only through the agent's senses, how is the existence of this independent universe to be scientifically studied? Methodological solipsism[edit] Main points[edit] History[edit]

Agnosticism Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims—are unknown or unknowable.[1][2][3] According to the philosopher William L. Rowe, in the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively.[2] Thomas Henry Huxley, an English biologist, coined the word agnostic in 1869. Since the time that Huxley coined the term, many other thinkers have extensively written about agnosticism. Defining agnosticism[edit] Thomas Henry Huxley said:[11][12] Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle ... According to philosopher William L. Etymology[edit] Early Christian church leaders used the Greek word gnosis (knowledge) to describe "spiritual knowledge".

Skepticism Skepticism or scepticism (see American and British English spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.[2] Philosophical skepticism is an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence.[3] Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the 'Skeptikoi', a school who "asserted nothing".[4] Adherents of Pyrrhonism, for instance, suspend judgment in investigations.[5] Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses.[6] Religious skepticism, on the other hand, is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)".[7] Definition[edit] In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (UK) (Greek: 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to think, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to: Philosophical skepticism[edit] Scientific skepticism[edit] Media[edit]

Epistemology A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge Epistemology (; from Greek ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Etymology[edit] The word epistemology is derived from the ancient Greek epistēmē meaning "knowledge" and the suffix -logy, meaning "logical discourse" (derived from the Greek word logos meaning "discourse"). The title of one of the principal works of Fichte is ′Wissenschaftslehre,′ which, after the analogy of technology ... we render epistemology. It was properly introduced in the philosophical literature by Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier in his Institutes of Metaphysics (1854):[8] This section of the science is properly termed the Epistemology—the doctrine or theory of knowing, just as ontology is the science of being... Defining knowledge[edit] Belief[edit]

Rhetoric Painting depicting a lecture in a knight academy, painted by Pieter Isaacsz or Reinhold Timm for Rosenborg Castle as part of a series of seven paintings depicting the seven independent arts. This painting illustrates rhetorics. From Ancient Greece to the late 19th century, it was a central part of Western education, filling the need to train public speakers and writers to move audiences to action with arguments.[4] The word is derived from the Greek ῥητορικός (rhētorikós), "oratorical",[5] from ῥήτωρ (rhḗtōr), "public speaker",[6] related to ῥῆμα (rhêma), "that which is said or spoken, word, saying",[7] and ultimately derived from the verb ἐρῶ (erō), "say, speak".[8] Uses of rhetoric[edit] Scope of rhetoric[edit] Scholars have debated the scope of rhetoric since ancient times. Because the ancient Greeks highly valued public political participation, rhetoric emerged as a crucial tool to influence politics. However, since the time of Aristotle, logic has changed.

Sophism The term originated from Greek σόφισμα, sophisma, from σοφίζω, sophizo "I am wise"; confer σοφιστής, sophistēs, meaning "wise-ist, one who does wisdom," and σοφός, sophós means "wise man". Etymology[edit] The Greek word sophist (sophistēs) derives from the words sophia, and sophos, meaning "wisdom" or “wise” since the time of Homer and was originally used to describe expertise in a particular knowledge or craft.[1] Gradually, however, the word also came to denote general wisdom and especially wisdom about human affairs (for example, in politics, ethics, or household management). Sophists of ancient Greece[edit] Sophists were philosopher-teachers who traveled about in Greece teaching their students everything that was necessary to be successful in life including rhetoric and public speaking. Early Sophists were well respected but they soon became unpopular and were subject to much opposition and controversy due to their high fees and their radical challenges to convention. See also[edit]

Naturalism Naturalism is "the idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world; (occas.) the idea or belief that nothing exists beyond the natural world."[1] Adherents of naturalism (i.e., naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the changing universe at every stage is a product of these laws.[2] "Naturalism can intuitively be separated into a [metaphysical] and a methodological component In contrast, assuming naturalism in working methods, without necessarily considering naturalism as an absolute truth with philosophical entailments, is called methodological naturalism.[5] The subject matter here is a philosophy of acquiring knowledge. With the exception of pantheists—who believe that Nature and God are one and the same thing—theists challenge the idea that nature is all there is. The term "methodological naturalism" for this approach is much more recent.

Physicalism Physicalism is closely related to materialism. Physicalism grew out of materialism with the success of the physical sciences in explaining observed phenomena. The terms are often used interchangeably, although they are sometimes distinguished, for example on the basis of physics describing more than just matter (including energy and physical law). Common arguments against physicalism include both the philosophical zombie argument[3] and the multiple observers argument,[4] that the existence of a physical being may imply zero or more distinct conscious entities. Definition of physical[edit] The use of "physical" in physicalism is a philosophical concept and can be distinguished from alternative definitions found in the literature (e.g. Two common approaches to defining "physicalism" are the theory-based and object-based approaches. David Papineau[15] and Barbara Montero[16] have advanced and subsequently defended[17] a "via negativa" characterization of the physical. Emergentism[edit]

Nihilism Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of their theistic doctrine entails nihilism. Forms of nihilism[edit] Nihilism has many definitions, and thus can describe philosophical positions that are arguably independent. [edit] Metaphysical nihilism is the philosophical theory that there might be no objects at all—that is, that there is a possible world where there are no objects at all—or at least that there might be no concrete objects at all—so that even if every possible world contains some objects, there is at least one that contains only abstract objects. Epistemological nihilism[edit] Mereological nihilism[edit] This interpretation of existence must be based on resolution.

Materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions. Materialism is closely related to physicalism; the view that all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved from materialism with the discoveries of the physical sciences to incorporate more sophisticated notions of physicality than mere ordinary matter, such as: spacetime, physical energies and forces, dark matter, and so on. Overview[edit] Despite the large number of philosophical schools and subtle nuances between many,[1][2][3] all philosophies are said to fall into one of two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: Idealism, and materialism. The materialist view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically, famously by René Descartes.

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