I need to understand the importance of epistemology.
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. I am assuming that you have already discussed in your class or are familiar with the notion of epistemology - its definition. But if you are still having difficulty with it, don't worry, many do. The solution below should get you started. Good luck with your studies!
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
What is Epistemology?
Epistemology is basically the 'study of knowledge'. As such it is called also the 'philosophy of knowledge' as it seeks to explain, explore and investigate what knowledge is, how it is acquired, how things are known, how we know, or even why we know what we know. It is very broad and it covers just about any system of 'knowledge'. When you hear or read scientists or philosophers questioning the 'epistemology' of a particular science or theory, what they are really doing is questioning the way that particular theory or science has 'put together' the foundation of the 'knowledge' that it presents/proposes.
To make it easier to understand, I am going to make a simple example. Let's say that a friend of yours believes that a particular movie is fantastic. This movie in this example is going to stand in for a 'theory'. The theory or knowledge in question is that the movie is 'fantastic'. Now, you would like to know why your friend things that way. What makes the movie cool? How come it is fantastic? Can your friend explain it to you? Why did your friend adjudge the movie in that way? Is it something personal or is it something that can also appeal to you? By questioning your friend about a 'knowledge claim' - which is that a movie of his/her choice is fantastic, then what you are doing is asking an 'epistemological' question because you are asking to explain the nature of that knowledge - what makes it what it is to your ...
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