Questions about the nature of the physical world are among some of the oldest and most prominent in philosophy. Such problems challenge our most basic beliefs about the structure of the world and force us to reconsider everything we think we know. How do we know that we are not dreaming, or in The Matrix? For that matter, how do we know there is a material world at all, and that we are not simply immaterial minds whose ideas create our perceptions?
Back to Top Epistemology is the study of the nature and scope of knowledge and justified belief. It analyzes 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. It is essentially about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry.
Epistemology asks questions like: Back to Top Knowledge is the awareness and understanding of particular aspects of reality. It is the clear, lucid information gained through the process of reason applied to reality. The traditional approach is that knowledge requires three necessary and sufficient conditions, so that knowledge can then be defined as "justified true belief": As Aristotle famously but rather confusingly expressed it: However, to say of something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true.
The most contentious part of all this is the definition of justification, and there are several schools of thought on the subject: Different varieties of Reliabilism suggest that either: Yet another school, Infallibilism, holds that a belief must not only be true and justified, but Knowledge and reality on skepticism the justification of the belief must necessitate its truth, so that the justification for the belief must be infallible.
Another debate focuses on whether justification is external or internal: Externalism holds that factors deemed "external" meaning outside of the psychological states of those who are gaining the knowledge can be conditions of knowledge, so that if the relevant facts justifying a proposition are external then they are acceptable.
Internalismon the other hand, claims that all knowledge-yielding conditions are within the psychological states of those who gain knowledge. As recently asthe American philosopher Edmund Gettier called this traditional theory of knowledge into question by claiming that there are certain circumstances in which one does not have knowledge, even when all of the above conditions are met his Gettier-cases.
Suppose that the clock on campus which keeps accurate time and is well maintained stopped working at On my way to my noon class, exactly twelve hours later, I glance at the clock and form the belief that the time is My belief is true, of course, since the time is indeed And my belief is justified, as I have no reason to doubt that the clock is working, and I cannot be blamed for basing beliefs about the time on what the clock says.
Nonetheless, it seems evident that I do not know that the time is After all, if I had walked past the clock a bit earlier or a bit later, I would have ended up with a false belief rather than a true one. How Is Knowledge Acquired?
Back to Top Propositional knowledge can be of two types, depending on its source: Knowledge of empirical facts about the physical world will necessarily involve perception, in other words, the use of the senses. But all knowledge requires some amount of reasoning, the analysis of data and the drawing of inferences.
Intuition is often believed to be a sort of direct access to knowledge of the a priori. Memory allows us to know something that we knew in the past, even, perhaps, if we no longer remember the original justification.
Knowledge can also be transmitted from one individual to another via testimony that is, my justification for a particular belief could amount to the fact that some trusted source has told me that it is true. There are a few main theories of knowledge acquisition: Empiricismwhich emphasizes the role of experience, especially experience based on perceptual observations by the five senses in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas.
Refinements of this basic principle led to PhenomenalismPositivismScientism and Logical Positivism.
Rationalismwhich holds that knowledge is not derived from experience, but rather is acquired by a priori processes or is innate in the form of concepts or intuitive. Representationalism or Indirect Realism or Epistemological Dualismwhich holds that the world we see in conscious experience is not the real world itself, but merely a miniature virtual-reality replica of that world in an internal representation.
Constructivism or Constructionismwhich presupposes that all knowledge is "constructed", in that it is contingent on convention, human perception and social experience. What Can People Know? Back to Top The fact that any given justification of knowledge will itself depend on another belief for its justification appears to lead to an infinite regress.
Skepticism begins with the apparent impossibility of completing this infinite chain of reasoning, and argues that, ultimately, no beliefs are justified and therefore no one really knows anything.
I. Questions about the nature of the physical world are among some of the oldest and most prominent in philosophy. Such problems challenge our most basic beliefs about the structure of the world and force us to reconsider everything we think we know. Philosophy Knowledge and Reality. STUDY. PLAY. Philosophy. The search for truth. Metaphysics. The study of reality-what is real/what is there to know? Practical skepticism-suspending judgment regarding epistemic matters. True seekers of knowledge. Relativists believe that this is a disease. 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.
Fallibilism also claims that absolute certainty about knowledge is impossible, or at least that all claims to knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken.
Unlike Skepticismhowever, Fallibilism does not imply the need to abandon our knowledge, just to recognize that, because empirical knowledge can be revised by further observation, any of the things we take as knowledge might possibly turn out to be false.
In response to this regress problem, various schools of thought have arisen:Metaphysics: Skepticism Quotes from Famous Skeptics / Skeptical Philosophers Discussion on the Metaphysics of Skepticism, Philosophy as the Study of Truth, Reality & the Certainty of Knowledge.
SKEPTICISM The theory that certain knowledge is impossible. the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain Doubt or . Knowledge and Skepticism in Descartes’ Meditations SCOTT CAMPBELL M actual reality, and conversely; how it is that one knows what we perceive as our waking hours not to be the ﬁctitious.
The Knowledge and Skepticism in Descartes’ Meditations. Knowledge and Reality – Skepticism Essay Sample.
Are you a skeptic? Yes, I am a skeptic – I believe that there is progress to be made and that progress is derived from . Skepticism: Skepticism, in Western philosophy, the attitude of doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas.
Skeptics have challenged the adequacy or reliability of these claims by asking what principles they are based upon or what they actually establish. They have questioned whether some such claims. Philosophical skepticism (UK spelling: scepticism; from Greek σκέψις skepsis, "inquiry") is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.
Skeptic philosophers from different historical periods adopted different principles and arguments, but their ideology can be generalized as either (1) the.