epistemology

The Talmud debates whether there is such a thing as ‘breira’ or not. ‘Breira’ literally means clarification, but in the Talmudic debate that I’m talking about, it would better be translated as retroactive clarification…. or something like that. If a legal system allows for breira, then agents are allowed, in certain circumstances, to say, ‘x...
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There is an argument known as the Kuzari Principle. It tries to justify belief in whole swathes of the Biblical narrative, especially in the revelation at Mount Sinai. In this blog post, I hope to show that the argument is much stronger than it might seem. The name of the argument is slightly unfair, as it was first put forward not in R. Yehuda Halevi's Kuzari, but in Saadya Gaon's Emunot Vadeot.
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Since the foundation of this blog, I have slowly come round to the following questions. These questions are not posted here because I have something by way of an answer to them; something that I’d wish to share. I don’t have answers. But the discussions that we’ve had on this blog have led me to...
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Sometimes, absence of evidence for p does not count as evidence for not-p. So, there being an absence of evidence for, say, that there are 1.2 billion ants in Jerusalem does not count as evidence that there are not 1.2 billion ants in Jerusalem. At other times, however, absence of evidence for p does count as evidence for not-p. So, that there are no signs of footprints in the mud is not only an absence of evidence that somebody has just recently walked in the mud, but is evidence that nobody has walked there.
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