Eric Pacuit Rohit Parikh, Introduction to Formal Epistemology
“Formal epistemology explores knowledge and reasoning using “formal” tools, tools from math and logic. For example, a formal epistemologist might use probability theory to explain how scientific reasoning works. Or she might use modal logic to defend a particular theory of knowledge.
The questions that drive formal epistemology are often the same as those that drive “informal” epistemology. What is knowledge, and how is it different from mere opinion? What separates science from pseudoscience? When is a belief justified? What justifies my belief that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that the external world is real and not an illusion induced by Descartes’ demon?
And yet, the tools formal epistemologists apply to these questions share much history and interest with other fields, both inside and outside philosophy. So formal epistemologists often ask questions that aren’t part of the usual epistemological core, questions about decision-making or the meaning of hypothetical language, for example.
Perhaps the best way to get a feel for formal epistemology is to look at concrete examples. We’ll take a few classic epistemological questions and look at popular formal approaches to them, to see what formal tools bring to the table. We’ll also look at some applications of these formal methods outside epistemology.”
(tratto dalla Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)