“Epistemology” is the subject matter that deals with truth on a meta level: e.g., questions such as “What is truth?” and “What methods of reasoning are most likely to lead to true beliefs?” Epistemology can be considered as a child subject of Rationality. Many Arbital Discussion Practices have their roots in a thesis about epistemology—about what forms of reasoning are most likely to lead to true beliefs—and you may have ended up looking at this subject after trying to track down how a Discussion Practice is justified.
- Central examples
- The empiricist-theorist false dichotomy
- Intension vs. extension
“Red is a light with a wavelength of 700 nm” vs. “Look at this red apple, red car, and red cup.”
- Guarded definition
- Strained argument
- Perfect rolling sphere
If you don’t understand something, start by assuming it’s a perfect rolling sphere.
- Strictly factual question
A “question of strict fact” is one which is true or false about the material universe (and maybe some math) without introducing any issues of values, perspectives, etcetera.
To call something a fallacy is to assert that you think people shouldn’t think like that.
It’s sometimes important to consider how other people might be led into error. But psychoanalyzing them is also dangerous! Arbital discussion norms say to explicitly note this as “psychologizing”.