What is Epistemology?
A. Theory of Knowledge
B. Relation to Other Branches of Philosophy
b. Ontology presupposes epistemology. You can\u2019t know the beings of the world without knowing that knowledge is possible, that our epistemic resources are reliable.
b. Of skills (\u201cknowing how\u201d)
c. Of facts, propositions: \u201cjustified, true belief\u201d
2. Belief (the subject): a commitment to the truth of a proposition,
leading us to think and act consistently with that proposition. (Belief
can also be used of persons: the pisteuein eis eme of Scripture.)
Expressed by clauses, not (as things) by nouns. Usually
athat is present or implied, e.g., \u201cthe factthat the world is
Include things, properties, relations.
(1) Things: objects, expressed by nouns, noun-phrases.
(2) Properties: qualities, attributes, expressed by
(2) Such sentences expresspropositions, the factual
content. \u201cThe window is open\u201d and \u201cla fenetre est
ouverte\u201d express the same proposition. A proposition
is a \u201cmeaning complex that makes an assertion.\u201d
Necessary truths (whatmust be\u2014in any possible world)
vs. contingent truths (what may or may not be, depending
(1) Analytic: the predicate is part of the meaning of the
subject, e.g., \u201cA square has four sides.\u201d \u201cTrue by
virtue of the meanings of the terms.\u201d
b. Laws, regular patterns in the facts.
c. Particulars: individual objects of thought (as large as you like).
d. Universals: general concepts grouping particulars under various
4. Justification (the norm)
a. knowledge vs. opinion
b. theories of justification for believing p
Internalism (subjective justification): justification by other beliefs or mental contents. I can justify my own believing by reference to these.
(A) Foundationalism: p is derivable from a \u201cproperly basic\u201d
(1) The foundation
(c) Abduction, retroduction: best explanation of data
(B) Coherentism: p fits well the whole system of my beliefs.
(C) Pragmatism: believing p enables me to accomplish valid
reality that actually makes my beliefs true.
(A) Reliabilism: my epistemic equipment is working well.
(B) Plantinga: my epistemic equipment is properly
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