Portal:Epistemology

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Epistemology

According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed

Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief.

The term "epistemology" is based on the Greek words "επιστήμη or episteme" (knowledge or science) and "λόγος or logos" (account/explanation). It was introduced into English by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864).[1]

Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims. In other words, epistemology primarily addresses the following questions: "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", and "What do people know?".

Selected article

In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey 286). In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke 263). Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the radical position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge" (Audi 771). Given a pre-modern understanding of reason, "rationalism" is identical to philosophy, the Socratic life of inquiry, or the zetetic interpretation of authority (open to the underlying or essential cause of things as they appear to our sense of certainty). In recent decades, Leo Strauss sought to revive Classical Political Rationalism as a discipline that understands the task of reasoning, not as foundational, but as maieutic.

Selected biography

Robert Nozick (November 16, 1938 – January 23, 2002) was an American philosopher and Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University. Nozick, schooled at Columbia, Oxford and Princeton, was a prominent American political philosopher in the 1970s and 1980s. He did additional but less influential work in such subjects as decision theory and epistemology. His Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) was a libertarian answer to John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, published in 1971. He was born in Brooklyn, the son of a Jewish entrepreneur from Russia. He was married to the American poet Gjertrud Schnackenberg. Nozick died in 2002 after a prolonged struggle with cancer. His remains are interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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  1. ^ "James Frederick Ferrier", Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
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