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,
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.
Standard Of Evaluation
Knowledge is Hierarchical
(This page mirrored from Importance of Philosophy.com)