Portal:Epistemology

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Introduction

Epistemology (/ɪˌpɪstɪˈmɒləi/ (About this sound listen); from Greek ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and λόγος, logos, meaning 'logical discourse') 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. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification, (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "What does it mean to say that we know something?", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?".

Selected article

The Gettier problem is considered a fundamental problem in modern epistemology or first-order logic, issuing from counter-examples to the definition of knowledge as justified true belief, and dealing extensively with the concept of justified true belief (JTB), and the scope of the concept of JTB, as well as those attacks upon JTB which Gettier exemplars introduce. The problem owes its name to a three-page paper published in 1963, by Edmund Gettier, called "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?", in which Gettier argues that this is not necessarily the case. Many or most analytic philosophers would wish to be able to hold to what is known as the JTB account of knowledge: the claim that knowledge can be conceptually analyzed as justified true belief — which is to say that the meaning of sentences such as "Smith knows that it rained today" can be given with the following set of necessary and jointly sufficient conditions:

A subject S knows that a proposition P is true if, and only if:

  1. P is true
  2. S believes that P is true, and
  3. S is justified in believing that P

Selected biography

Wang-yang-ming.jpg
Wang Yangming (王阳明, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Xi. He was known as Yangming Xiansheng or Yangming Zi (both mean "Brilliant Master Yangming") in literary circles.

Born Wang Shouren (王 守仁) in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, his courtesy name was Bo'an (伯安). His father was an earl and a minister of civil personnel. He earned the "recommended person" degree in 1492 and the "presented scholar" degree in 1499. He served as an executive assistant in various government departments until being banished for offending a eunuch in 1506.[1] However, his professional career was later ensured when he became the Governor of Jiangxi.[2]


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  1. ^ Chan 1963: 654.
  2. ^ Needham, Volume 5, Part 7, 372.
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