is The study of general and fundamental
problems, such as those connected with
existence, knowledge, values, reason,
mind and language.
Pythagoras was the first man to
call himself a philosopher.(one who
attempting to find out). Before that time the
wise men had called themselves a
Sage,(those who know)
What is Epistemology?
The study of the nature and scope of
knowledge and justified belief.
The study of our method of acquiring
The study of how knowledge is relates to truth,
belief, and justification.
It investigates the origin, nature, method and
limits of human knowledge.
Epistemology (from Greek ἐπιστήμη –
episteme, Latin-scientia "knowledge" +
λόγος, "logos") or theory of knowledge
1- What is knowledge? What are the sources of
knowledge? Where does genuine knowledge come
from? How is knowledge acquired?
Question of origin.
2- What is the nature of knowledge? Is there a real world
outside the mind, and if so can we know it?
Question of appearance versus reality.
3- Is our knowledge valid? How do we distinguish truth
from error? What makes justified beliefs justified?
Question of testing truth and verification.
What you didn’t know
You didn’t know that you didn’t
Since you didn’t know you didn’t
miss what you didn’t know
Why is Epistemology important?
Epistemology is the explanation of how
Without epistemology, we could not think.
distinguish truth from error.
consequences are obvious.
flaws in epistemology will make it harder
to accomplish anything.
What are the key elements of a proper Epistemology?
Valid- Our senses are valid, and the only
way to gain information about the world.
Reason- is our method of gaining
knowledge, and acquiring understanding.
Logic- is our method of maintaining
consistency within our set of knowledge.
Objectivity- is our means of associating
knowledge with reality to determine its
Concepts- are abstracts of specific details
of reality, or of other abstractions.
What Is Knowledge?
Knowledge: isthe awareness and underst
anding of particular aspects of reality.
three necessary and
truth, belief and
In Response to
justification;there are several schools of thought on
the definition of justification:
Evidentialism: what makes a belief justified in this sense
is the possession of evidence.
Reliabilism: suggest that justification is not necessary
for knowledge provided it is a reliably-produced true
Infallibilism: holds that a belief must not only be true and
justified, but the belief must necessitate its truth, so that
the justification for the belief must be infallible.
• Externalists think that factors
deemed "external", meaning
outside of the psychological states
of those who gain knowledge, can
be conditions of knowledge
• all knowledge-yielding
conditions are within the
psychological states of those
who gain knowledge.
Types of Knowledge acquisition based on sources:
• is knowledge that is known
independently of experience (that
is, it is non-empirical, or arrived at
beforehand). e.g. knowledge of
logical truths and of abstract
• is knowledge that is known by
experience (that is, it is empirical,
or arrived at afterward). shape of a
physical object, or knowledge of
theories of knowledge acquisition:
Empiricism: A role of experience, especially experience based
on perceptual observations by the five senses.
Rationalism: A knowledge acquired by intuition or is innate
Constructivism: all knowledge is "constructed" in as much as it is
contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience.
Regress Problem: to justify a belief one must appeal to a further
justified belief. Justification just meanders in and out through our
network of beliefs, stopping nowhere
Foundationalism: some beliefs that support other beliefs do not
themselves require justification by other beliefs.
Importance of Epistemology theory in scientific research
EPISTEMOLOGY: recognize four different sources of
INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE: based on feelings rather
AUTHORITATIVE KNOWLEDGE: based on information
received from people, books, a supreme being, etc.
LOGICAL KNOWLEDGE: arrived at by reasoning from
"point A" (which is accepted) to "point B" (the new
EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE: based on demonstrable,
objective facts determined through observation
Scientific Research often makes use of all
these four ways of knowing:
INTUITIVE: when coming up with an initial
idea for research.
AUTHORITATIVE: when reviewing the
LOGICAL: when reasoning from findings to
EMPIRICAL: when engaging in
procedures that lead to these findings.
The study of knowledge is one of the most
fundamental aspects of philosophical inquiry. Any
claim to knowledge must be evaluated to determine
whether or not it indeed constitutes knowledge. Such
an evaluation essentially requires an understanding of
what knowledge is and how much knowledge is
possible. While this entry provides on overview of the
important issues, it of course leaves the most basic
questions unanswered; epistemology will continue to
be an area of philosophical discussion as long as
these questions remain.
 Epistemology Page, maintained by Keith De Rose (Yale University).
 Alston, William. 1989. Epistemic Justification. Essays in the Theory
of Knowledge. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
 SLIDE SHARE prepared by: APRIL L. CENTES M.A.T.-P.E
 1998. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of
Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
 1999. Moral Knowledge and Ethical Pluralism. In: Greco and Sosa
1999, pp. 271–302.
 Some web slide shares