What is epistemology

What is epistemology - 20 March 2007 Mark Rivera Exam 2...

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20 March 2007 Mark Rivera Exam 2 What is epistemology? What similarities and differences do you see between it and metaphysics (which examines the nature of reality)? How does knowledge relate to reality? Metaphysics, as we have talked about, is interested in truth and reality; we have also talked about how knowledge (at least according to the JTB theory) depends on truth. In your opinion, do you think that all knowledge depends on truth? Is it possible to have knowledge that is independent of truth? Or can different types of knowledge recognize different truths? Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, and in ancient Greek, the word epistemology literally means “an account of knowledge”. Epistemology asks what it is we really know, like do we really know the world, facts, beliefs, desires, or the letter P. How is it that we know these things? Did we really know that the Earth was flat, or did we simply believe that the Earth was flat? When these items that we say we know change, is it true that we didn’t know them? Epistemology examines whether or not there are different types of knowledge, and if there are what their levels of importance are. Philosophers have determined that there at least three different types of knowledge. The three types of knowledge are knowledge of personal acquaintance, knowledge of mastery of data, and, knowledge of truth claims. An example of knowledge of personal acquaintance could be “I know James; an example of knowledge of mastery of data could be I know how to speak English, and an example of knowledge of truth claims could be I know the ocean is blue. In Western philosophy, most philosophers focus on the knowledge of truth claims. 1
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Western philosophers study the knowledge of truth claims more so because unlike the other two types, the knowledge of truth claims tends to tell us something interesting about truth and reality in general. In both of the other two types of truths we do learn something that may be true, but it
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Sullivan during the Spring '08 term at ASU.

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What is epistemology - 20 March 2007 Mark Rivera Exam 2...

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