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Charting the Terrain of Knowledge-1  Epistemology– the area of philosophy that deals with questions concerning knowledge and that considers various theories.

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Presentation on theme: "Charting the Terrain of Knowledge-1  Epistemology– the area of philosophy that deals with questions concerning knowledge and that considers various theories."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charting the Terrain of Knowledge-1  Epistemology– the area of philosophy that deals with questions concerning knowledge and that considers various theories of knowledge

2 Charting the Terrain of Knowledge-2  Types of knowledge Knowledge by acquaintance Competence knowledge Propositional knowledge  Knowledge as true justified belief

3 The Issue of Reason and Experience  Analytic statements  Synthetic statements  A priori knowledge  A posteriori knowledge

4 Three Epistemological Questions  Is it possible to have knowledge at all?  Does reason provide us with knowledge of the world independently of experience?  Does our knowledge represent reality as it really is?

5 Perspectives on Knowledge  Skepticism  Rationalism  Empiricism  Constructivism  Relativism

6 Early Greek Skeptics  Cratylus  Pyrrho  Carneades

7 René Descartes  The quest for certainty Methodological skepticism Meditations on First Philosophy

8  Meditation I Doubting of senses The possibility of a "malicious demon" Radical doubt (methodological skepticism)  Meditation II One point of certainty "I am, I exist” or cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore, I am)

9 David Hume  Empiricism  Principle of induction  Uniformity of nature

10 An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding-1  Cause and effect questioned constantly conjoined events  Uniformity of nature questioned  Appealing to past experience to justify the principle of induction is circular

11 An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding-2  We cannot know that there is an external world impressions are always internal to our experience  Hume does not deny that the external world exists  Fundamental beliefs rest on psychological habits, beyond the proof of logic and experience

12 Three Anchor Points of Rationalism  Reason is the primary or most superior source of knowledge about reality  Sense experience is an unreliable and inadequate route to knowledge  The fundamental truths about the world can be known a priori: They are either innate or self-evident to our minds

13 The Rationalist Perspective on Epistemology  Knowledge is possible  Only through reason can knowledge be obtained  Beliefs based on reason represent reality

14 Socrates on Epistemology  We can distinguish true from false  Standards for distinguishing true from false are based on the soul  Rational knowledge gives us an adequate picture of the world

15 Plato on Epistemology  Difference between knowledge and opinion must be rationally justified  Agrees with Socrates that reason is able to provide knowledge

16 Phaedo  Discusses perfect Justice, Beauty, Goodness, and Equality  We have never seen these things, yet we know they exist  Knowledge of perfect things must be innate  Doctrine of recollection

17 Plato on Universals  Universals or Forms  Universals are unchanging; experiential reality is in flux  Phaedo

18 René Descartes  Methodological doubt  One point of certainty: "I am, I exist" or cogito ergo sum  Something cannot arise from nothing, and there must be at least as much reality in the cause as in the effect

19 Descartes’ Meditation III  Innate ideas  Idea of a perfect God  Because Descartes is not perfect, the source of the idea of God must be God

20 Three Anchor Points of Empiricism  The only source of genuine knowledge is sense experience  Reason is an unreliable and inadequate route to knowledge unless it is grounded in sense experience  There is no evidence of innate ideas within the mind that are known apart from experience

21 John Locke’s Perspective on Epistemology  Knowledge is possible Simple ideas (ideas of sensation, ideas of reflection) Complex ideas  Reason not sufficient for knowledge of the world  Knowledge represents reality primary qualities (objective) secondary qualities (subjective)

22 George Berkeley on the Representation of Reality  Berkeley thought Locke's representative realism was dangerous  Berkeley thought that even Locke's primary qualities were subjective

23 David Hume  Radical empiricist  An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Huge gulf between reason and the world Reason can only tell us about the relationship between our own ideas


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