Basics
Specifics
Technicalities

Epistemology

What is Epistemology?

Epistemology is the study of our method of acquiring knowledge. It answers the question, "How do we know?" It encompasses the nature of concepts, the constructing of concepts, the validity of the senses, logical reasoning, as well as thoughts, ideas, memories, emotions, and all things mental. It is concerned with how our minds are related to reality, and whether these relationships are valid or invalid.

Why is Epistemology important?

Epistemology is the explanation of how we think. It is required in order to be able to determine the true from the false, by determining a proper method of evaluation. It is needed in order to use and obtain knowledge of the world around us. Without epistemology, we could not think. More specifically, we would have no reason to believe our thinking was productive or correct, as opposed to random images flashing before our mind. With an incorrect epistemology, we would not be able to distinguish truth from error. The consequences are obvious. The degree to which our epistemology is correct is the degree to which we could understand reality, and the degree to which we could use that knowledge to promote our lives and goals. Flaws in epistemology will make it harder to accomplish anything.

What are the key elements of a proper Epistemology?

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 validity. Concepts are abstracts of specific details of reality, or of other abstractions. A proper epistemology is a rational epistemology.

Basics

Philosophy
Objectivity
Logic
Reason
Knowledge
Standard Of Evaluation
Perception

Specifics

Concepts
Definitions
Words
Emotions
Integration
Values
Certainty
Deduction
Induction/Abstraction
Focus
Evasion

Technicalities

Context
Fundamentals
Knowledge is Hierarchical
The Arbitrary

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands