Talk:Epistemology/Archive 4

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tasks for when the article is unlocked...

  1. Clarify the section on the "no accident account"
  2. Describe Gettier problem in terms of the diagram - it's the grey bit.
  3. Edit list of epistemic philosophers
  4. Clean the muck out of the talk page.
  5. link to ido page: io:epistemologio

Please add more... Banno 23:55, August 27, 2005 (UTC)


Added a relativism secion.

Dot Six temporary injunction

For those that missed it:

DotSix, using any IP is prohibited from editing any Wikipedia page other than his talk page and the pages of this Arbitration case until a final decision is made in this case. [1]

As I understand it, if he edits here again, we report it to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents to have him blocked; add a link to the diff of the arbitration decision by way of explanation.

Perhaps it would be worth unlocking this page now? Banno 10:51, August 29, 2005 (UTC)

Well, that worked well, didn't it? Banno 12:24, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

Reply to Dotsix Re: Gettier

DotSix continues to push his misinterpretation of Gettier; I've remained silent on the issue, not wanting to feed the troll. But I now think a few brief comments might be needed, since the argument is not well known (for obvious reasons) outside of philosophy circles.

The first things that the interested reader should note is that what DotSix says above is for the most part a cut-and-paste from the article Gettier problem; it is a good article, so please, read the argument there in context to gain a better insight.

The second thing is that DotSix is alone in the idea that the "belief has nothing to do with knowledge". No other philosopher or editor has supported this view.

Up until Gettier presented his argument, Philosophers pretty much followed Plato's account. Plato argued that Knowledge was Justified True Belief. Gettier showed that these three criteria are insufficient, by giving examples of instances of Justified true beliefs that do not count as knowledge. That is, he showed that Knowledge is not just justified true belief; some further analysis is needed.

There are a range of possibilities; one approach is to add another criteria - the article calls this the "JTB+G" approach. Several other possibilities are listed in the main article. One thing that they all have in common is that they agree that our knowledge is a subset of our true beliefs.

That is, none of the responses to the Gettier problem agree with DotSix's position.

DotSix has been asked to provide citations or references to anyone that agrees with his position; not surprisingly, he has not done so.

Epistemology has been carefully written to accommodate Gettier's account. Plato's theory is presented first because of its historical significance. The Gettier problem has been there since the start of the discussion with DotSix - perhaps it has simply taken him this long to read to the end of the article?

In summary, the Gettier argument does count against Plato's definition of knowledge. But it does not count against the view that knowledge is a subset of our true beliefs. So it does not in any way support the perverse contention pushed by DotSix. That is his own peculiar invention.

The upshot is that the discussion here is not about the content of the article. DotSix's position is so perverse it is not worthy of consideration; it is like someone attempting to edit out all the references to rocketry from NASA, or Darwin from evolution.

DotSix's usual response when presented with this sort of rebuttal is to insert a range of derogatory comments within the post, with links to other articles. That will make this post difficult to read, but if you are sufficiently interested go to the main articles Epistemology and Gettier problem; you will find they do not support DotSix. Banno 21:38, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

To Anyone Really Interested in the Gettier Problem

I just added a bit on this subject to the article on Robert Nozick, the author of my own preferred solution. In effect, Nozick proposes not to add a fourth element to JTB, but to redefine the 'J', replacing justification with subjunctive conditionality. --Christofurio 13:35, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

You are right that no fourth element is needed, but no solution is needed either...only some fisking. The so-called "Gettier Problem" is flawed; there is no problem. Gettier-type-problems conflate the sense-reference distinction. The flaw is that the element of "true" in the "justified, true belief" formula is typically missing because the referent of belief shifts in these sorts of "problems". B|Talk 18:47, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Not necessarily. This sort of dissewction is inadequate, although interesting. When (to go back to the problems of Jeff the bridge engineer, below) is a bridge the "same" bridge? If a bridge is rebuilt, plank by plank, over a period of a year (because that's how many planks there are) then when would it become a new bridge? Such a question isn't very far from epistemology, anyway, because our notion of continuing thinghood is crucial to our learning process. But re-work the hypothetical if you like. The terrorists (or Nazis, or whomever) loosen the bolts on the bridge, in the hope and expectation that a large truck will come by the next morning and the bridge will then dramatically collapse under its weight. The bus doesn't come by. But our former bridge engineer DOES come by, and walks across the bridge in (accurate) confidence that he'll make it safely across. I've already stipulated where that confidence came from.

Is this the "same" bridge, removing the identity difficulty? Does the tampering nonetheless defeat the equation of the engineer's confidence with knowledge? --Christofurio 23:08, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Retrieved (with a bit of modification) from ""

Or consider the "barn" problem I've outlined in the Talk page of Gettier problem. --Christofurio 15:01, September 11, 2005 (UTC)

More about Knowledge vs. Belief

From the article:

Knowledge is distinct from belief and opinion. If someone claims to believe something, they are claiming that they think that it is the truth. But of course, it might turn out that they were mistaken, and that what they thought was true was actually false. This is not the case with knowledge. For example, suppose that Jeff thinks that a particular bridge is safe, and attempts to cross it; unfortunately the bridge collapses under his weight. We might say that Jeff believed that the bridge was safe, but that his belief was mistaken. We would not say that he knew that the bridge was safe, because plainly it was not. For something to count as knowledge, it must be true.

Okay. Rewind a bit to back when Jeff thought that the bridge was safe and would not collapse on him. Did he have knowledge /back then/? If he did, then that means the only criterion for knowledge is being subjectively justified belief; but if he didn't, that means any justified belief which's truth is not necessitated by the justification (i.e. might be wrong) is not knowledge, and thus NOTHING is knowledge because due to strong underdetermination no body of evidence can absolutely necessitate a theory. Jeff has no useful way of differentiating between justified belief that seems to be true and IS true (eg the bridge still being there at all) and justified belief that seems to be true but is false (the bridge being safe). What gives? --AceMyth 20:03, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

For what it is worth, in the Kirkham article listed in the references at the end of the page, Kirkham argues this same point. Knowledge requires evidence that necessitates the truth of the belief. Any less stringent justification condition is subject to some kind of counterexample or other. He seems to agree that this does imply a very sweeping skepticism. But I think he has a way of taking the sting out of that. --Nate Ladd 21:02, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
Personally I think the appropriate way of taking the sting out of that is, in the absence of certainly true knowledge, settling for knowledge that is probably true which is perfectly acceptable for all practical purposes (see Quine's various theses and their application to instrumentalism). I'll go read the article now to see what this Kirkham fellow says. --AceMyth 21:12, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
Well, Kirkham's point (and yours I thought) is that there's no such thing as knowledge that is merely probable. If the belief is not certain, then it doesn't count as knowledge. --Nate Ladd 21:24, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, and I was talking about a new, unconventional way to define "knowledge" based on this problem - knowledge as a belief justified such that it appears to probably be true. This type of knowledge, which is the only type we can have, is fallible yet useful. --AceMyth 22:07, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
This view is also apparent in F. P. Ramsey's writings, in which he attempted to replace true with various levels of probability. I think it problematic; such probabilism presents its own problems. For instance, what is the probability that 1+1=2?
For my own part - and this is personal mussing, so not eligible for inclusion in the Wiki - an amalgam of Quine's coherence theory, Wittgenstein and Austin's language as use, and Popper's falibalism is sufficient to give an account of knowledge. But unfortunately we should not discuss such things here; I'll meet you all in the forum of your choice, if you like. Banno 20:45, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
"The probability of 1+1=2" thing is the well known problem of whether "Self-evident" truths exist or not. Quine said they don't; I personally think that as "1" and "2" are auxiliary concepts of our own creation, conceived precisely to fit into their role such that two "1"s would make a "2", it would be really silly to fear the universe suddenly turning on us and proving us wrong when it had nothing to do with the whole thing in the first place. --AceMyth 05:47, September 4, 2005 (UTC)

Just for fun, let's make this a Gettier problem. Jeff believes the bridge is safe for him to walk across. The bridge in fact IS safe for him to walk across. What is his justification? He is an engineer, and he was at this spot on the river bank when the bridge was being built. He observed that it was built with up-to-date methods and should be able to hold X number of tons, etc. So there is JTB, and knowledge, right? Well, unbeknowst to Jeff, the night before a group of terrorists substituted the sound bridge that he saw being constructed with an identical paper-mache duplicate, similar enough in appearance to fool even him. It just so happens, though, that even the paper mache bridge can support Jeff's weight, and he walks across safely. Did Jeff have knowledge of the safety of the bridge or not? The conditional account addresses such problems by asking: if the bridge were not safe, would Jeff's view of its safety have been different? If the terrorists had substituted a slightly more flimsy paper mache than the one they did employ, then the bridge would not have been safe for Jeff. But that wouldn't have changed Jeff's view of it, because his view would nonetheless have been based on his observations of a year before. So it isn't knowledge. Christofurio 14:57, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

(sideline: What interests me here is that the substitution was done by terrorists. Presumably twenty years ago it would have been communists. And prior to that, Nazis. Curious, don't you think?)
I think there is another problem with this example - it deals with two bridges, not one. Jeff was correct in thinking that the bridge he saw built would hold his weight, but mistaken in thinking that this was the bridge on which he walked. It is problem of identity, not epistemology. Banno 20:15, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Banno, my point exactly made above: so-called Gettier "problems" conflate sense-reference, as if Jeff's belief in the example above had a JTB about the bridge the entire time as if it were the same referent, BUT Jeff doesn' is not the same bridge/referent. B|Talk 19:41, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
In another twenty years, somebody will use the same hypothetical, except the substitution will be accomplished by Martians. Tricky red-planet devils.

Problems with the Knowlege and belief section

Moore's paradox is misdescribed in the Knowledge and belief section. It would be be better to distinguish "belief" in the sense of either belief in or understanding/comprehension of. I can understand a proposition/concept/etc, but not believe in it. The way the term "belief" is used in that section is confusing. B|Talk 19:47, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Hi, Bo. your change "Knowledge is a true belief" won't do, since someone could misconstrue the "is" to be that of equivalence, which would clearly be wrong. Banno 20:13, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

First, it is NOT clearly wrong to an epistemic minimalist, and second it is much better than the gobbledly gook that was there before: "believed to be true" is NOT an element of knowledge..."belief", yes, but not "believed to be true". B|Talk 21:53, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Post-gettier definitions

I've removed this from the article:

Some examples of these new definitions include (where S is the belief holder and p is the belief):

  • Peter Unger's "No accident account of knowledge", which defines knowledge as "S knows p if and only if it is not at all accidental that S's belief in p is true".
  • The "Defeasibilty account of knowledge", where "There is no other proposition (q), such that if S became justified in believing q, S would no longer be justified in believing p". Under this account, q is known as the "defeater".
  • The "Causational Account", where "The fact of p causes S's belief in p"
    • A problem with the Causational account is that deviant causal chains can emerge. Philosopher Alvin Goldman added that "Fact that p, causes fact that q, causes S's belief in q is not knowledge, but belief in q, from which p is inferred, is knowledge". However, there must be an awareness of the causal chain.
  • The Conditional Account associated with Robert Nozick. S believes in p, p is the case, and if p were not the case, then S would not believe it.
  • The "Reliable Analysis" account, which adds to the "justified true belief" definition that "S arrived at p by a reliable method, or S is a reliable judge in such matters".

Although it is accurate, I wonder at the purpose of having these theories mentioned in such a brief and formalistic way. Perhaps someone might re-write this section in plain prose, or with examples. or perhaps it belongs at Gettier problem?

Has anybody written an account of what happens when you try feeding the regress argument to any of these definitions? i.e.
    • (Causational account) To know P you need to know that P causes S and observe S,
    • Therefore you need to know that (P causes S) causes T plus that (your observing S) causes Q, and observe both T and Q,
    • (Ad infinitum) Wheeeeeeee.... --AceMyth 05:39, September 4, 2005 (UTC)

Feature article?

Is this up to submission for feature article status? See Wikipedia:What is a featured article. Banno 10:11, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Gettier references from the knowledge page

I eliminated the discussion about Gettier from knowledge, since it's already here in much greater detail. Here are some left-over references to articles that don't seem to exist in this article. I'll let you decide if this should be added to this article, since I'm not really qualified or interested enough to figure it out myself. Sbwoodside 07:05, 23 October 2005 (UTC)


  • Creath, Richard, "Induction and the Gettier Problem", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol.LII, No.2, June 1992.
  • Feldman, Richard, "An Alleged Defect in Gettier Counterexamples", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 52 (1974): 68-69.
  • Gettier, Edmund, "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?", Analysis 23 (1963): 121-23.
  • Goldman, Alvin I., "Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge", Journal of Philosophy, 73.20 (1976), 771-791.
  • Hetherington, Stephen, "Actually Knowing", The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.48, No. 193, October 1998.
  • Lehrer, Keith and Thomas D. Paxon, Jr., "Knowledge: Undefeated Justified True Belief", The Journal of Philosophy, 66.8 (1969), 225-237.
  • Levi, Don S., "The Gettier Problem and the Parable of the Ten Coins", Philosophy, 70, 1995.
  • Swain, Marshall, "Epistemic Defeasibility", American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.II, No.I, January 1974.

A "Moonie Way of Knowledge"

I wonder if anyone here would be interested in Unification Epistemology as an alternative to traditional epistemologies? For example:

Cognition is always accompanied by judgment, and judgment can be regarded as a kind of a measuring act. For measurement, standards (criteria) are necessary, and it is the ideas within the human mind that serve as the standard of cognition.

Lots more where that came from. You might not agree with it all, but after compraing Dr. Lee's explanation with what you already think, at least you'll know where you stand. Uncle Ed 21:16, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Epistemic philosophers

Combining two of the comments at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Epistemology/archive1, I suggest we remove the long list of philosophers from the See also section to here, and re-insert them by placing citations to each at the appropriate place in the article. Banno 03:05, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The following is the full list:

Epistemic philosophers

Eastern Epistemology

I have started a article on Eastern epistemology. I don't know a lot about this area myself, but I hope those interested in Epistemology would contribute to this article. Thanks. deeptrivia 05:05, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Deeptrivia's assessment of the article. This is a problem that runs throughout the philosophy articles. I wonder at your solution, though.
To have a single article on Eastern epistemology conflates a range of distinct traditions. That is, I don't think that there is necessarily anything that units the various "Eastern" traditions apart from their geography; and that therefore to unite them in a single article is to do so without a relevant reason. It also might give the mistaken impression to a lay reader that there are two sorts of philosophy - the Eastern stuff and the "real" European sort. I think it wold be far better to treat Eastern traditions in the same way as we have treated the various Western traditions - by giving them each a separate article, and a paragraph link here in the main article.
Since in the interests of consistency what we do here should also be done in the other philosophy articles, [[I'll refer this discussion to WikiProject Philosophy . Banno 21:03, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
Is there such a creature as Islamic epistemology? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass in asking, I really don't know if there's any body of theory distinctive to the Koranic tradition that addressed theory-of-knowledge questions. If the answer is "yes," would it be eastern or western? -- 01:40, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
BTW, 68.9 etc. is Christofurio, when I forget to log in before posting. --Christofurio 01:51, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't know, either. My guess would be, given the heavy influence of the Greeks on Islamic philosophy, that such a thing woudl resemble Plato anyway. I don't think that we should go on a fishing expedition, looking for rare and endangered epistemologies. Rather I think some arrangement might be possible for new epistemologies to be added as a main article is added for each. Banno 20:41, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Sure. I fully agree that it is a good idea not to classify epistemologies as eastern and western. Any suggestions on how to go about it will be highly appreciated. I would prefer that the main epistemology page briefly describes all kinds of epistemologies, and we have separate detailed articles on them. (We can of course, then delete the article on Eastern epistemology) I think this would work perfectly well everywhere except in one place: when we discuss how these theories evolved (for example if we have an article like History of epistemology.) We might have a problem combining everything there since these theories developed almost independently in east and west. deeptrivia 17:00, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

On the question of whether there is a distinctive Islamic epistemology. I think there must be, they had a rich philosophical tradition (al-kindi, avicenna, Averroes, to name those I can remember) and while it was greatly influenced by Greek philosophy it had plenty of distinct claims (partly because they: tried to make Greek philosophy compatible with Islam; had a 'unitarian' idea of Greek philosophers (i.e. they all agreed with each other!); and were clever guys who could think for themselves). I'm talking from very vague memory here, but I think I recall a really interesting argument that had similarities to Cartesian doubt. But finding someone who could say something about its tradition in epistemology would be very difficult, I imagine. --Dast 10:40, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Recently removed text

Imagine a banana. Now imagine a banana sitting in a field. How do you know it is there? Is it the yellow colour? Or the green of the field. Now imagine yourself eating the banana. How does it taste? How do you know it is a bananana if all you have ever eaten is dodo meat.

It sounds funny, but it does deal with epistemology of course, so it's not vandalism like the hairtrigger reverter thought :-) I hope the editor who added it comes back and does more useful stuff. Kim Bruning 04:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

John Locke

Surely there should be some mention of John Locke within this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

The Caption... 03:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)There are many ways of knowing and epistomolgy is only one way. We can acquire knowledge through perception, introspection, emotion etc. Therefore if epistmology and knowledge were to be merged then all these would have to be covered in that merged section. 03:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)-- 03:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC) go to first listing-- 03:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm very much against the Merger. Epistemology is a theory of knowledge, the philosophical study of how human beings could have knowledge, it's not one way in which people come to know things. The major reason I have against the merger is that epistemology is really studying a specific use of the term 'knowledge.' If you read the beginning of Lehrer's Theory of Knowledge, he talks in there about how epistemologists are really only interested in how it's possible to have knowledge in the sense of correct information, but what the philosopher is really analyzing is something much more than the mere possesion of information. Epistemologists aren't doing learning theory in psychology and attempting to show how people come to know things, they're trying to find the most logically possible way in which a subject could know something. --Brizimm 20:17, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Inevitably, any small jokes placed into an article are removed. The diagram here is intended to show the relation between knowledge, belief and truth; it should also at least point to the problem of justification or warrant. This was done using the ellipsis, pointing out that there was more to the definition than is represented in the diagram. This strikes me as preferable, both stylistically and philosophically, to any longer literal construct. Opinions? Banno 21:57, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Should the Venn diagram be altered so that "Knowledge" overlaps an area of "Belief" that is not part of "Truth"? Certainly there is such a thing as false knowledge.--Ratsobrut 23:15, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

No; if it is false, then ipso facto it is not known. Banno 10:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm torn about what to do here. Obviously, the existence of knowledge itself is a topic that's debated within Epistemology, so having a section defining "knowledge" in any way becomes a POV in that debate. Except in the rigid world of mathematics, the "True" part of JTB is something that always comes after-the-fact, ya know? "I believe the bridge is safe because of xyz" can be a justified belief, but doesn't really become "true" until you walk across the bridge. However, it's equally (if not even more) absurd to assume that because humans are capable of error, that they must inevitably be in error in all cases. That just denies the existence of knowledge, which plunges the proposer of that theory into the hopeless land of inconsistency -- as he professes a theory about knowledge which, in effect, says that no human can ever profess any theories about knowledge.

    Anyway, that's neither here nor there. The point is to write a good encyclopedia article that would present this topic and debate to a layperson, with sufficient links for the more advanced individual to dive into the subsections (such as Justification Theories and whatnot). I think the whole top section defining knowledge needs a rewrite with that in mind.

    As for the caption -- I see your point about the "and ...". However, I still maintain that it does not really look good in an article. I propose that the picture be reworked to include a "Justification" circle, and bear a title that says something like "Plato/Socrates definition of knowledge". Either that or rework the caption to explain the debate, as opposed to looking like an omission. Ex: All philosophers agree that knowledge must be true beliefs, but the necessity of further components (such as justification) is still debated). --Michael (talk) 06:56, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Michael: I am not sure what your point is. First, one need not endorse a POV by stating a theory of knowledge even if knowledge does not "exist". Pegasus does not exist, but we may define Pegasus as a mythical winged horse. By positing a definition we are in no way committed to the view that there actually is something that meets the definition.

Secondly, the Truth condition of JTB need not come "after the fact." If I were to assert the proposition that the bridge is safe, roughly speaking, that proposition is true of false before I walk across it. What might be the source of your confusion is that YOU are in a position to judge that the proposition was true only after you walk across it. But this surely does not imply that your statement became true as a result of your walking across it. I don't believe that there needs to be any revision along the lines of that advocated by Michael. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 3milepilot (talkcontribs) 18:48, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Might I suggest you list the difficulties you seer with that section under a new heading at the end of this page? Banno 10:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it is important to note that the "diagram" of the Platonic sense of knowledge is actually wrong. The field marked as knowledge should actually be labeled "right opinion." There is a profound difference for Plato between right opinion and knowledge. Knowledge is specifically no part of the world of "belief", i.e. pistis, but rather in the realm of dianoia and noesis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Gettier and quality

I'd like to see this article become featured, but it's not very cohesive. I think that a big part of the problem is the over-representation of Gettier. While the Gettier problem is important in epistemology, I'm not sure that it has to be explained at length in three separate places (here, the Gettier article, and the Gettier problem article). Could we just trim it down? Alienus 21:39, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure what is meant by the term gettier. As I continue my look into knowledge i'd like to understand some more of the terminology and I haven't been able to find anything to explain a lot of these things. (The Mule 01:20, 27 February 2006 (UTC))
Edmund Gettier is a philosopher who came up with a way of challenging the traditional (back to Plato) idea that knowledge is justified true belief, which was widely accepted before he came along. His example showed that a belief could be a true and justified (to the believer) belief, but nevertheless was not knowledge. This is called the Gettier problem which dates to a short article published in the 1960s. Some philosophers disagree that it is a problem, or claim to have solved it, but for many it remains a problem. Perhaps the explanation of the Gettier problem could use a little clarification... from the example in the article Smith's belief that ‘a person with ten coins in his pocket will get the job’ is justified and true, but arrived at accidentally, and therefore should not constitute knowledge, according to Gettier. Let me know if that helped, or if it is still unclear. WhiteC 05:00, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad the question was asked. I was a little worried that I missed something in my educational process. Evidently Gettier was just a figment of some philosophers' imaginations. - KitchM (talk) 02:18, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Knowledge is justified true belief. Mr Gettier fails to realize that the justification itself must also be true. Case closed. Not exactly a mystery to me.

Gettier move

Moving Gettier to the definition section breaks the roughly historical sequence in the article. It also places it before the discussion of knowledge and belief, and so the criticism of JTB appears before some elementary theory is discussed. This considerably reduces the readability of the article. I will re-move it. Also re-insert biographical link. Banno 21:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I've never entered into discussion about an article before, but here goes, this is why I think that my edits should be reinstated:

  • The article isn't in historical order anyway and in any case all my edit did was move insert a description of Gettier cases at the first point they are mentioned. For example, the previous ordering had: Gettier, JS Mill, GE Moore...
  • Surely all the material under Justification and Epistemological Theories should definitely go after a full discussion of Gettier cases?
  • Gettier cases are the foundation of the modern debate about knowledge; they shouldn't be relegated to the end of the article.
  • If you want to define 'belief' before the term is invoked, then it should be defined before the introduction of the theory of JTB. Which it isn't. In fact, since the common-sense definition people have of belief is sufficient for understanding both JTB and Gettier, I don't believe it matters. But I think a coherent solution should be proposed.
  • The only interesting thing under the Knowledge and Belief heading is the reference to Moore's paradox which is marginal to the question, since very rarely does it obtain.
  • I also believe that my edit added detail and was written in a clearer fashion - was, in fact, easier to read.
  • Though my entry on Gettier was longer than the one before, it remains much shorter than the Gettier problem article.
  • I removed the biographical link because Edmund Gettier was wiki-linked in the first line anyway, and a biographical article shouldn't be (and isn't) where information about his theory of knowledge is best situated. People are better off looking at the Gettier problem page.

I'd like too revert to my edit, and also move the Contemporary Approaches section upward - let me know what you think. Best, Breadandroses 21:45, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

You are right, the article is no longer in roughly historical order. I'll eat my words. So my case now becomes one of readability. The section on knowledge and belief is very elementary. It is also very important. The distinctions made in that section remove several misunderstandings that have previously plagued the article. The article will be read and edited by those who are unaware of the distinctions made in that section, often resulting in gobbledygook. Those with a background in philosophy might not see the point of that section, but remember that this is an article for the general reader. Remove it at our peril.
Now it seems to me obvious that such elementary material should come before the far more difficult material discussed in the Gettier section; that is, that the article should proceed from quite elementary discussion of knowledge, through the various historical theories, to the present discussion about Gettier. In that way, the reader will proceed from elementary material through material of increasing difficulty, and then the Gettier problem can be presented in its proper context.
But it is also important that the Gettier objection receive mention in the introduction - hence the brief mention.
In any case, the Gettier material should occupy only a brief section of the article. This is not an article on Contemporary epistemology, nor should the material at Gettier problem be re-produced here.
Take these comments into consideration; be aware that your changes affect the overall readability of the article, and be prepared to edit more of the article. But if you wish to revert to your version, I will not interfere, and will list this discussion with Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy, so that others might comment.
Welcome to the Wiki! Banno 23:17, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Cheers Banno - well, I've reverted, and done a few more changes, such as add a note early on in the article to look at the section on belief (which I've slightly shortened), moved the a priori/posteriori section (which isn't really about definition of knowledge) and moved the contemporary approaches section up. I'd be interested to hear what people think. I'm not sure I've got the time for it, but I think a 'definition of knowledge' page might be an idea, as the Gettier Problem page is getting very long, and could lead into debates only marginally connected with that problem... for example, Timothy Williamson's approach. Breadandroses 11:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
OK. Perhaps you would like to do some editing on Knowledge? Banno 22:04, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Interlanguage links

There is a big problem with the interlanguage links. In many languages (e.g. French and Spanish), the word epistemology (with slightly different spelling) doesn't mean epistemology, bur rather philosophy of science. I have now edited the French link, and deleted the Spanish one (couldn't find a Spanish article on this topic), but maybe other links also need to be edited. We need to work out, which articles in other languages are really equivalent to the English "Epistemology". Marcoscramer 15:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I have now found the right Spanish article: es:Gnoseología. However, we should still check whether all the other links are right. Marcoscramer 22:06, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The Norwegian link is OK. --Alvestrand 22:32, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
We may wish to consider whether the interlanguage links section is even necessary. Once you bring up the topic of language in a philosophical discussion, you start running into problems of word meaning. My addition bringing Mandarin into the picture was deleted. We'd be on shaky ground if We want to accept only Anglo-Saxon and Romance langage as philosophical. My diatribe started as follows:
In Mandarin, verbs related to knowledge, familiarity and ability differ from English in degree and nuance.
And I went into how the word zhīdào 知道 is like the German erkennen, the verb 認識 rènshì is like the German verb kennen and how líaojiĕ 瞭解 means "to know where someone is coming from." Then I explain how, when it comes to "fully understand someone" in the sense that one "empathizes" or has "been in ones shoes before," the verb tǐhuì 體會 should be used. The verb dong 懂 is used to express a "deeper understanding" than líaojiĕ 瞭解, and would be used by someone who "has been there and back time and again".
Hinudus believe in seed consciousness (種子識) or container consciousness. That, too, is in the realm of Asian epistomology, but by talking about language one really bring so much more in that may be divergent from the intended English concept for "epistomology". --QASIMARA —Preceding comment was added at 06:50, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

epistemological (as adjective)

I have a question: what is an "epistemological" something? The article explains what Epistemology is, but I'm having a rather hard time grasping the meaning of things like "epistemological confrontation" or "epistemological subject". What are those? --Eqvinox 19:00, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

An epistemological confrontation is a confrontation about the origin or scope of knowledge. An epistemological subject is a topic centrol to epistemology, so the Gettier problem is an epistemological subject. The Rod (☎ Smith) 21:36, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

epistemology and religious faith

Not very sure if this is the place to put a thought such as this but I am wondering if it would be able to produce some kind of section about the knowledge that is attributed to the respect and fear of God. As Proverb's 1:7 says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." What then can we really accomplish if we are not within this realm of fear. Can it be possible to have any true understanding? Would epistemology be more "credible" if it were tied through fear of God, if it were then it would seem that it would be close to impossible to not find what we are looking for in the scope of knowledge. Hopefully we will be able to figure how to handle this kind of idea. (The Mule 01:16, 27 February 2006 (UTC))

Descartes is one of the most famous philosophers who tied knowledge of the world to God's existence, at the start of what is called modern philosophy (1600?). He starts by doubting everything, then says 'I think therefore I am', and later goes on to mention God, although several philosophers disagree with his reasoning even before he gets that far.
Your "credibility" would presuppose God's existence, and simply moves the question from "how do we know the world exists" to "how do we know that God exists?" and "how does this show us that the world exists?" WhiteC 18:45, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I suggest, if you'd like to study Epistemology more in-depth, picking up books by Nicholas Wolterstorff and Alvin Plantinga. Also, Van Til. Perhaps there should be a section about these three somewhere in the main page.--NWalterstorf 21:26, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Descartes' expression "I think therefore I am" Has a problem, depending upon what you think Descartes was talking about when he said I. If he's talking about the human body, he is correct. But if he's talking about his mental identity, which may be defined as a unique set of ideas, then he's talking about something that doesn't exist in the real physical universe, but is a mental synthesis of neuron connections developed in his mind, and he's wrong. And we can't say that a programmed computer is any more in existence than an unprogrammed computer, can we. It is interesting to note that when a discussion arrises between two people about a real physical entity, what is really discussed is 3 sets of ideas namely: A's idea, B,s idea, and a set of ideas that have been accepted as (accurately?) representing the real physical entity. You see the Problem with that?WFPM (talk) 18:46, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
In Science there are communications that may be lumped into 2 categories of information. There are 1, Facts and 2, Opinions. And these sets are not mutually exclusive, so a communication can be both a fact and an opinion. But the first question to be asked about these communications is: Is that a fact or only an opinion? For example, there is a lot of discussion of particle separation and/or deflection actions on the part of physical entities and they are said to have "repelled" each other. But the best that can be said about the existence of a force of repulsion is that it is a prevailing opinion, and that it conforms to the activity predicted by the repulsion rules developed to explain the observed behavior. WFPM (talk) 20:03, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Clean up

Article removed from Wikipedia:Good articles

This article was formerly listed as a good article, but was removed from the listing because although there is a lot of excellent content, references and external links should be in separate sections so that the sources used in writing the article can be identified. Also, 'see also' sections are generally not necessary - relevant links should be in the main text anyway. Worldtraveller 22:03, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

References & citations clean up

I just separated the references and external links section. I also cleaned them up and alphabetized them. They could use some more cleaning up though. The article also needs to cite the sources more and so on. There's a lot that could be done in the way of improvement. - Jaymay 00:35, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The External links section is still pretty long. It seems to have a lot of links that would be better fit to be placed under sub-topics in epistemology. For example, there are a couple of links to thinks on Reformed epistemology. But, there's an article here on Reformed epistemology. Any objections to moving these kinds of links over to those more specific articles? - Jaymay 04:56, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Epistemological theories

Suggestion: Cut down the descriptions under the "Epistemological theories" section to only couple of sentences or just links to the main articles. There are simply too many theories and many of them warrant their own articles. We can even merge the descriptions we have with existing articles or use them to create non-existing ones. Any objections? - Jaymay 06:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Lack of belief in things that are true and justified?

I was wondering if anyone knew the term for this. It seems like an opposite of a belief, in that it is an actual justified truth, yet one is unable to believe it. I can't really class it under an opposite belief, because... is a lack of belief a belief? It may just be due to a lack of grasp or personal acceptance. Tyciol 03:57, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Does the term "justified truth" make sense? Wouldn't that just be "actually the case" or just simply "truth"? After all, what is "justified" in JTB is the belief and not the truth... Ig0774 04:04, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Yep. Justification refers to the belief. Namely, whether you're justified in believing something to be true. Alienus 04:31, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Skepticism? I would say skepticism (in its many forms) is a part of epistemology. WhiteC 18:30, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Skepticism is certainly an important part of epistemology, but I am not sure that even a skeptic can fail to believe something that is both true and (somehow) justified. What are they skeptical of? The truth of something that is true? This might be possible, but I tend to think that even a diehard skeptic would question something justifiably true. I might go for "stupidity", but that has some serious POV to it. I'm not sure there is a particularly neutral term for what Tyciol seems to be getting at...
Let us say for the sake of argument that there is something that is justified and true, but I don't believe it. Now the question arises: do I know that it is justified and true? If I do know that it is justified and true, my lack of belief probably qualifies as "faith in the absurd" (cf. Camus and Kierkegaard). On the other hand, if I do not know that it is justified and true, then my lack of belief seems to be on the same psychological level as my lack of belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn (for all you true believers out there, no offense intended), which is to say it is psychologically "disbelief" and epistemologically probably best called "ignorance". Ig0774 23:59, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

"Skepticism is certainly an important part of epistemology, but I am not sure that even a skeptic can fail to believe something that is both true and (somehow) justified." --There's an infinity of things that are both true and justified on your evidence but you don't believe them. There are logical consequences of things that you know that you don't recognize as logical consequences. They are justified on your evidence, but not part of your evidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

It's possible to be convinced by some justification for the truth of a thing, yet still admit that there is the possibility that it's false. It's called fallibilism. Alienus 23:19, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
True, but the specific thing here seems to be something that is true and justified as true, at least as I understand the original point. Ig0774 23:59, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
This is a different approach, anyway. Usually I think of justification as referring to a belief. If something is (objectively) true, but I do not believe it is (probably) true in spite of what I think is a good justification for believing that it is true, then... this IS absurd. If the justification does not refer to the belief, then I would need to know what it does refer to. WhiteC 01:20, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
In the whole JTB thing, the word "justified" does refer to the belief. But on the other hand, "justification" can be understood independently of my beliefs (impersonal first person). That is to say, when I hear a justification for a particular point of view, I can either believe that it is a good justification or that it isn't a good justification. Now, the proffered justification may be a justification of someone else's beliefs, or it may be a justification of what someone might believe, even if no one actually believed it. All that is just to say that justification doesn't necessarily refer to my belief, but JTB, as I understand it, is primarily concerned only with the justified beliefs "I" have. Ig0774 19:26, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, the way I take the J in JTB is that it refers to their being sufficient evidence and argument to justify this belief over the alternatives. In other words, if I shared the justification with other rational people, they would likewise be compelled to believe. Alienus 19:36, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think what I said is necessarily in conflict with your definition, but by that account, not everything for which a "justification" can be offered would therefore be "justified". Ig0774 01:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. The fact that something is offered as a justification does not mean that it succeeds. For example, if I tell you that my justification for believing in the inherent superiority of women is that I'm a woman, you can probably understand my thinking just fine, and yet you would not consider it to be sufficient evidence and argument to compel a rational person (such as, presumably, yourself) to agree with me. In contrast, if I offered you a syllogistic proof that Socrates was a man, you would have to accept my conclusion as necessarily true, given the premises. Pardon the rather pat examples, but I think they're at least clear. Alienus 09:30, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, my terms were bad. What I mean is that you have formed an intellectual conclusion, agree that other people's beliefs are justified and probably true, yet are unable to accept them due to mental/emotional barriers or habits, like you do not incorporate the truth into your life. It's not really disbelief, yet it's as if you do not really believe it. Mental conditioning perhaps? Lack of connection with reality? All nice and descriptive but a single word would be much greater. Tyciol 08:23, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

"Irrationality" Alienus 09:30, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I might go with "intellectual belief" as opposed to "belief". Ig0774 09:40, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Maybe everyone here is just confused about the existence of absolutes. - KitchM (talk) 03:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Epistemology and gnoseology

Yes, yes, I know, there is no such distinction in English-speaking philosophy. In Italy, and apparently in several other European countries, what is called epistemology (what does on know, what is the nature of knoweldge,, justified true belief, warrant, reliabilism, etc) is called gnoseology (even among analytic-school philosophers and in the Universities). Epistemology proper, on other hand, deals with scientific knowledge and methods of achieving knowledge. Just an interesting fact that not many people are aware of.--Lacatosias 11:40, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Interesting... you could list that as another meaning or refer to a separate gnoseology section I guess... Tyciol 02:40, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
No, actually I just noticed that this had already been discussed earlier. It's basically the same as in the Spanish case, I just linked this article to gnoseologia and linked philosophy of science to epistemologia. There does seem to be some very slight distinction between epistemologia, as intended in Italian, and philosophy of science, however. Once I get clear enough on exactly what the heck it is, then I can probably add some mention of this subtle distinction in one of the articles.--Lacatosias 09:06, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
You may base your research on the assumption that the etymological origin of sciences like epistemology and gnoseology is the same despite the language, for example English and French (where many words, especially relating to sciences, share common origins). However, phonems in words, by analogy, helps us to clarify (or create) meanings out of puns: for example in the french word "Épistémologie", you find the word "piste", which means "track", "trail" -which implies that there should be such puns in English. Although this is historically accidental, it creates analogies in the human mind which differ form culture to culture, especially in non-written ones, like Eastern societies. Here I assume that philosophy has a social value thus basis; perhaps two different philosophic branches could be complementary in the fact that their predominant quality is either theoretical or functional. --OllieTheKid 00:37, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
O.K. After some experimentation, I have arrived to the conclusion that puns don't bear the slightest philosophical value (my apologies to Freud fans, but I'm sure they'd understand). --OllieTheKid 22:56, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
So how's you research been? I cannot yet grasp how come distinction between gnoseology and epistemology is harder to fathom in English culture; maybe partly because of the the way the sacred, in this very culture, is interlaced with the prosaic, makes the use of analysis more strenuous in that particular field. The distinction is not that subtle, to my point of view. OllieTheKid 23:19, 18 December 2006 (UTC)


Look, I cited one published source (Keith DeRose) and you deleted it. I will cite fifteen billison others if you give me a moment to lok them up. Why did you delete DeRose?? You ibviously know nothing whatver about philosophy, my friend!! What the hell is going on here?

--Lacatosias 09:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

You and I both had the article open for editing at the same time. Your citation had not appeared when I opened it to revert. That happens sometimes. Try to be civilized about it. Feel free to add it back if you like. --Nate Ladd 09:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Is the Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy satisfactory...


Actually, no, it wouldn't be. It is not a peer-reviewed publication. But journal articles would be fine. --Nate Ladd 09:05, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I meant does this help you to get the idea that the concepts are well-known even outside the mainstream philosophical community. They are not only commonly used and univerally recongnized terms among anyone with a serious philospherical education but they are also probably known even by the average man on the street!! But I've given you about fifteen journal references just in case. I'll give you thirty more later. The point is: you could have googled the term and found thousands of journal articles and books about the topic. It is central to morern epistemology. In fact, it may have surpassed in importance the old dicussions about justified true belief and Gettier cases. Ok, you're making me exagerrate now out of frustration. Ill find more links right now and add all of them!!--Lacatosias 09:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what this is about, but coming across it I had to say something: the IEP is peer-reviewed. Nathan's statement is false, unless by "peer-reviewed" he means that Putnam, Kripke, and the like review the articles.

De re-de dicto?

Frederick beleives that the sun will rise as midnight is true. Is there a problem with this sentence? Does it say "Frederick beleive that the sun.." is true OR "Frederick beleives that the sun... is true" is true? In order to clarify, I've reformulated this as "S beleives that it is true that the sun..." because I suspect that the de re reading was intended. --Lacatosias 19:44, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Fredreick believes that the sun will rise at midnight is true says excatly the same thing as Frederick beleives that the sun will rise at midnight. The truth-predicate adds absolutely nothing to this assertion. What about "S believes that it is true that the sun.."? Still ambiguous. Does S beleive that it is true that "the sun will rise at midnight" or soes he beleibe that it is true "of the sun" that it will rise at midnight. The introduction of "is true" accomplishes nothing to clarify the anmbiguity of opaque contexts. I can see no other reason why it was introduced, so I have eliminated it. Also, as I explained on my talk page, S,P, A,B, etc.. are all sentence or proposition variables. Hence, no need for brackets. Thank you.--Lacatosias 09:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Lacatosias, you seem to have reached an important point, one that others have reached in the philosophy of language. The statement of say, "snow is white is true," doesn't seem to be a statement contingent upon facts of the world, it's merely a statement of truth value. If "snow is white" is made true by the world, "x is y is true," specifically the "is true" in the sentence seems to be completely unecessary and tautological. I might just be misinterpreting the whole of some philosophers of language here, before Kripke but maybe now Russell, but it also seems to be the case that there are different scopes or occurances of the use of "x is y" in regards to adding "is true." On the one hand, "x is y is true" and on another interpretation or use we get, "it is true that x is y." Kripke writes about all of this in his work on names and definite descriptions and even in his theory of truth. Perhaps a more practical example making explicit the different uses would be that it is necessarily the case for the person named Bush that that person and only that person is the president, or it is necessarily the case that the president, which there is one and only one of, is Bush. In other words, it's necessarily true that Bush is president, and it's necessarily true that the president is Bush. The truth conditions in both statements change because they contains different scopes. Hope this helps and I'm not just talking out my ass. --Brizimm 00:42, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

No, you seem to be on the right track. What you have identified is precisly the problem of de-re and de-dicto ambiguity in attitute attributions. But there are really two issues: the scope issue (de-re versus de-dicto) and the meaningfulness of the truth predicate itself. It's important not to confuse these. The truth-pedicate question is more a matter of truth theories than philosophy of language---see my recent article on deflationary theory of truth which discusess the main versions of deflationism and the interpretations of "it is true" or "is true" as predicate, anaphoric prosentence and so on.--Lacatosias 08:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
P.S. for readers who have no idea what the relevance of any of this is to the article on epistemology: the whole matter arose because someone kept adding "is true" and [P] with brackets to the logical statements made in the article. I interpreted this as some way to clarify that the statements were intended to be interpreted de-re and not de-dicto. But after further clarification on my talk page, it turned out that it was a simple matter of misunderstanding the standard notation for sentence variables.

Now,since this has nothing to do with epistemology, if there is still any confusion please discuss on User talk:Lacatosias. --Lacatosias 08:12, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Bateson's Epistemology

I would like to request a article on Gregory Bateson's cybernetic epistemology - it was suggested that I ask here before starting an article on the topic. Just to give some view of the popularity of Bateson's epistemology:

  • There are 102,000 hits for Bateson+epistemology on Google.
  • There is less than 10 results in PubMed and only a small number of articles indexed on Bateson's Double Bind theory.
  • According to Google Scholar "Steps to an ecology of mind : Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology" is cited in at least 2000 books and articles. ---=-C-=- 09:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I would strongly suggest that you write up a summary of Bateson's epistemology and then add it to the main article on Bateson with a link to a more specific and detailed article on Bateson's epistemology. I don't see what objections there could be. If it IS such an important part of Bateson's work, then it should be mentioned in the article dedicated to him. If there is opposition this proposal on the Bateson page, then I personally would just go ahead and create the separate page. After all, there are infinitely more dubious or absolutely worhtless topics (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer) that have entire projects dedicted to them on Wikipedia.--Lacatosias 10:18, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
If you're asking for someone to write it for you, I can't help you out there. I don't know anything about Bateson's epistemology nor very much about Bateson.--Lacatosias 10:24, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
When I have some more time, I'll write an outline and first draft. I'd appreciate if I could get some feedback from experts in this area. ---=-C-=- 12:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge with knowledge

Epistemology is not knowledge. It is how we know what we know, not what we actually know. It should not be merged.

>> Agreed, epistemology is not at all the same as knowledge. 17:33, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Merging with knowledge

I would agree that is should not be merged, and would add: Many people arive at this page quite correctly by searching for the term 'epistemological'. If this page did get merged then not being able to find this page would do them a disservice.

(From another reader): I am surprised to hear that some believe "epistemology" should not be a distinct Wikipedia article. As any philosophy student knows, epistemology is one of the major branches of philosophy, on an equal standing with ethics and metaphysics. It would be quite bizarre to not find a distinct article on the subject.

I agree that the articles should not be merged. "Epistemology" and "knowledge" are not the same thing. Epistemology is the theory and study of knowledge, not knowledge itself. For example, knowledge would deal with the results of the studies of Epistemology (such as "I am being appeared to Father-like" [Plantinga]), a rational, justified belief, studies of the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is it's own field of study.--NWalterstorf 21:19, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Merging with knowledge

I recommend leaving epistomology in its own category because next fall i'm taking a senior level epistomology class and insist that it be in its own category for this reason.

And with logic like this you managed to make it to your senior year? :^ --Otheus 14:28, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Epistemological Theories and Irrationalism

I've noticed that some of the epistemological theories listed in the article have little to do with contemporary epistemological theories. Specifically, one will not find empiricism, idealism, naive realism, phenomenalism, or representationalism in a book used or written by some of the leading epistemological scholars. Instead, you find much more written about Gettier, reliabilism, skepticism, etc. Perhaps one could argue that these are historical epistemological theories or have some use in continental philosophy. I motion that these theories either be deleted, or even better, have a separate category. Maybe this isn't such a great idea, but what I really want to hear are peoples opinions about whether or not these are still valid epistemological theories.

Also, while I respect that there are types of philosophers and religious people who believe that knowledge can be obtained through non-rational methods, I don't see the relvance those methods have to contemporary epistemology. Once again, a leading contemporary scholar in epistemology (yes, of the analytic tradition), would want to talk about contextualism, Gettier, or evidentialism, for example, rather than nihilism and mysticism.

I believe a great deal of this article would be better if non-rational, Eastern Religious, continental, and analytic ways of approaching epistemology were more distinctly separated rather than oddly thrown together. Of course, this proposal may only show my analytic ways, but it must also seem awkward for a person of a different philosophical persuasion to see their theories juxtaposed with something else that has nothing to do with it. Maybe, there really should just be different articles on knowledge and epistemology, or at least a better introduction, or lay out, flow, and outline of the article that would be sure to not give the reader such a confusing impression.

One last thing, while the article labels foundationalism, coherentism and the like as being a part of rationality, such a label doesn't capture the essence of what these philosophies are attempting and I've yet to see such a label applied to them. Of course, they're dealing with reasoning and are philosophies made by very rational analytic scholars, but things like foundationalism are really attempting to argue for a form of reasoning immune to the Agrippan or Pyrrhonian modes like hypothesis, and regress ad infinitum. The label "rationality" may be the best label for them, but they're more concerned with justification and chains of reasoning rather than mere rationality. Also, "irrationalism" may be just as poor a label for the other theories.

What does the writer (unsigned) of this feel regarding the difference between two forms of reasoning:

1. Didactic reasoning.

2. Circular reasoning.

Analytic thought versus Circular thought. Eastern thought often uses Circular reasoning and often more persuasive in truth than Analytic thought, no..?

We need to begin with: How we reason anyway, without prejudice. And are we open to all forms and their cultures?

Saint John's Gospel uses, in some cases, an unfamiliar form. A different form again in the Book of Job.

Is Jung's answer to Job justified?

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:18, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

We shouldn't be jumping on the trendy bandwagon of contemporary accounts of epistemology as they are irrational because they ignore the rationalism of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and even empiricism. What you should be pointing out is that the article wrongly defines idealism and rationalism. Rationalism is what idealism is in the Branches section and idealism is part of metaphysics and enters into the philosophy of the mind. Rationalism upholds the a priori, empiricism (irrationalism and antirationalism) upholds the a posteriori. --BlueRider12 (talk) 17:33, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

publications in philosophy

at List of publications in philosophy, there is an ongoing editwar of inclusion/exclusion of one of rand's texts that clearly doesn't fit on the list, please comment or expand the list with enough other popular texts so the rand text would be appropriate.--Buridan 12:16, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Fear & Tweaking & the [Sic]ness Unto Death

JA: There's a problem that's arisen with the last few tweaks to the Empiricism and Epistemology articles:

It is generally taken as a fundamental requirement of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than by relying principally on abstract reason, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature.

JA: The scope of the qualifier principally is now ambiguous. Does it cover only abstract reason? Or does it extend over intuition and revelation, too? If the reader takes it to be the latter, then reason, intuition, and revelation have been lumped together and the restrictions on intuition and revelation have now been weakened. Another thing, intuition is a very ambiguous word. It can mean anything from ordinary common sense to the term of art, as in Kant, that connotes an infallible source of knowledge. The aim of setting up a dichotomy between experience and reason is just not a good idea. Best to avoid it. Jon Awbrey 06:30, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Hello JA -- (1) Frankly, I think that the sentence is true with or without the "principally" and that it is appropriate for there to be an ambiguity concerning whether the "principally" applies only to reason or to all 3 (reason, intuition, and revelation). Contemporary scientific method demands that postulates be tested by means of empirical observation of the natural world, and this means that any other cognitive faculties we may have can, at best, have a supporting role and, at worst, no role. Like you, I have no doubt that scientists will inevitably use their faculties of reason (and intuition!) during the testing process, but reason takes a back seat in the sense that no scientist can permit a postulate to be verified solely by means of any kind of pure thought experiment (and please note that I was careful to say "abstract reason" in the edit). (2) "Intuition," "reason," and even "revelation" and "natural world" all have complex ranges of meanings, but that just comes with the philosophical territory. I appreciate the perplexities of this as much as you do, and, specifically with respect to intuition, I have just been over in that article trying to improve its discussion of the philosophical meaning of the term. (3) I don't think that the paragraph you've blockquoted asserts that there is a "dichotomy between experience and reason". Every act of personal knowledge acquisition (whether via sense perception, reason, or intuition) is experiential in its own way. This paragraph simply points out, rightly, that contemporary scientific method embraces a theory of knowledge which gives precedence to empirical observation as the experiential sine qua non for verification. Anyhow, JA, you do too much good work in Wikipedia for me to enjoy arguing with you. - WikiPedant 07:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Hello again JA -- I just saw the tweak to the tweak to the tweak which you made late last night, to wit:

It is a fundamental requirement of scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature.

I'm completely satisfied with replacing "principally on abstract reason" with "solely on a priori reasoning." That is a definite improvement. I'm still a bit uncomfy with the structure of the first sentence though. There's something wrong with "must be tested against..., rather than resting solely on...". Isn't there an inconsistency between the verb formations in the 2 halves of the sentence (before and after "rather than")? - WikiPedant 19:43, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

JA: I have a few remaining scruples about the guilt by association involved here, as if reason, intuition, and revelation were a line-up of "usual suspects", but as Fagin says, "I'm reviewing the situation".

JA: Resting on means two things here, supported by and terminating with, as in "the end of inqury", and both senses make sense to me in this case. Jon Awbrey 02:48, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Hello JA -- Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I have a problem with the meaning of the expression "resting on." I meant to express doubt about the grammatical integrity of the sentence. Wouldn't something like the following be more grammatically correct?

It is a fundamental requirement of scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than rest solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation.

The sentence could also be rewritten to step around this concern:

Scientific method fundamentally requires that all hypotheses and theories be tested against observations of the natural world, and disallows any methodology which would support hypotheses and theories solely by a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation.

- WikiPedant 03:41, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

JA: Don't see the problem. Consider: "Heroes must be tested in battle, rather than resting on their laurels." Jon Awbrey 04:08, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that sentence is grammatically misconstructed in exactly the same way. I wonder if there are any credentialed Wikipedian English grammar experts who could make a definitive ruling. - WikiPedant 15:00, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Gadzooks, JA, I found an authoritative write-up (The American Heritage® Book of English Usage, 1996) on precisely this issue at It discusses the controversy concerning whether it is acceptable to use "rather than" with a gerund ("resting", in the case of our example) and the verdict is: Yes, in some situations it is, but to avoid controversy you might just want to find an alterate expression. - WikiPedant 18:57, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

knowledge implies belief

I know P but I believe P to be untrue-- the article says this is a contradiction, but is it? I know the bible God, but I believe the bible god to be untrue seems a perfectly rational statement for an atheist who can know the bible god as well as any believer without believing this god to be true.Jiohdi 22:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

do u believe?

im lost i don't know what i want,i dt know who i am i'm totally lost.i can't believe in anything untouchable i'm so tired of reaching nowhere!!!!!!!!!

Here's something to make you think, and perhaps help you out. Do you "remember"? You have memories, right? They play through your mind day and night, images and thoughts of the past brought back to rememberance. But these memories are not physical objects, and yet they exist. They are a part of information stored within your mind. While these memories lack a physical substance, they exist. Secondly, language. Let's say we were standing in a room with no books, no notepads or anything, and we were talking. The words themselves would be of no physical substance. Not all information and means of knowledge demands physical substance.--NWalterstorf 03:07, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Technically...I don't think you can prove that memories are not physical "objects". It may be that memories are physically encoded structures in the brain. How they are encoded is not known, arguably it is at the quantum level of the neuronic structures but -- most scientists (who happen to be materialists) would assert that memories have a physical existence. SunSw0rd 21:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
They would probably have about as much physical existence as does a program in a computer.WFPM (talk) 18:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Constructivist epistemology

I add something about Constructivist epistemology, an important lack actually for this article, even if the wikipédia article is not developped, there are at least links about the main proponents. Chrisdel 12:46, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Interesting study, thanks for the inclusion of it. The study seems like a cross between Empiricism and MEMEtics. It says it's a recent development, which explains why I have heard so little about it.--NWalterstorf 14:57, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Well the name "constructivism" might be recent but some references are old like Giambattista Vico (18th century), Gaston Bachelard "Nothing is given, everything is constructed" (1938, La formation de l'esprit scientifique ISBN 2711611507). For a quick presentation see "Le Moigne's Defense of Constructivism" by Ernst von Glasersfeld (i may create "Le Moigne"'s article soon...). Chrisdel 10:38, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

The Lottery Paradox

"Afterall, there's always one winner." This is mistaken, and depends on the type of lottery. A draw will always have a winner if there is one ticket in the hat for every player, but a lottery where players try to guess a combination of numbers that will later be drawn randomly there is not necessarily a winner.

- Actually, there is. As tongue in cheek as it may be, the organising/managing entity is always a winner in any lottery. -- 18:20, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


I obtained this from the net "Some European continental philosophers will use the term gnoseology to refer to the theory of knowledge. The use of this term was introduced in the 19th century by German philosophers. Yet, epistemology is sometimes generally used instead to refer to the theory of knowledge as studied in analytic philosophy as such by American and British philosophers". Nonetheless I doubt this is a full explanation on the difference (if any) and equivalence between Gnoseology and Epistemology which deserves its part here as Gnoseology redirects here and some professors (particularly marxists one8-)) tend to define Epistemology as Theory of Science. --GTB 17/10/2006

Episteme in Greek knowledge or science, logos in Greek knowledge or discurse. Knowledge of knowledge, discurse on science or discurse on knowledge. There are 2 questions on knowledge : what is it and how to make (or learn / teach / study / build) it. How is the methodology. Gnoseology, seen as the theory of knowledge, is what, epistemology then is both, plus the study of the knowledge's value or validity. Chrisdel 16:37, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


I don't see a reason for including the scepticism section - so I have removed it. Two orphaned headings and a paragraph of unsupported claims will not, I hope, be missed. Banno 21:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Certainty series

I believe that it would be appropriate to use all, or most, of the topics found in the so-called certainty series (which I have suggested be renamed the Epistemology series) as headers in this article, as they are all topics which touch on epistemology.

If they do not get sections of their own, they should in the very least be linked to from the article, and many of them already are. -FrostyBytes 12:04, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Link to fr

Chrisdel reverted my edit on the interwiki link to the French Wikipedia. I had changed it to link to w:fr:Théorie de la connaissance, and Chrisdel changed it back to link to w:fr:Épistémologie with the following argument: "rv fr link fr:Théorie de la connaissance to last version fr:Épistémologie : even if fr word Épistémologie means more than eng Epistemology it's better to have a link toward the largest concept"

Now as I understand it, "Épistémologie" does not at all mean more than "Epistemology", but just refers to a certain way of doing philosophy of science common in France; so these two words mean quite different things. "Théorie de la connaissance" on the other hand means precisely what "Epistemology" means in English; that's also why on w:fr:Théorie de la connaissance, the link back to the English Wikipedia goes to Epistomology.

So I propose to change the link back w:fr:Théorie de la connaissance. But maybe someone who knows French philosophy better than I do should also say there opinion. Marcoscramer 00:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

“Épistémologie” is defined in french wikipedia as the knowledge of knowledge or study of knowledge : that comes from the translation of Episte and Logos in greek. So Épistémologie gives an answer to 3 questions. The 1st one is "what is knowledge ?", the answer is a theory (or definition or philosophy which is stronger) of knowledge, that's why a theory (or definition or philosophy) of knowledge is part of Épistémologie, that's why “Épistémologie” DOES MEAN MORE than “Epistemology”. The 2 other questions are : how knowledge is built (that's Methodology), and what is the value of this knowledge. I would not pretend having the truth regarding this matter and there was this discussion in french wikipedia as well as there is one in spanish wikipedia where “Epistemologia” has just been separated with “Filosofia de ciencia”. In french wikipedia, after the same kind of discussion, it was said that Épistémologie is more also than philosophy of science, because knowledge doesn't come only from science. The better would be for me to have a quite similar definition in both encyclopedia, as the words Episte and Logos come from the same greek language. I’m not sure (particularly in France) there is a strong tradition regarding Épistémologie as the word has only 1 century. So up to us in wikipedia to give a restricted or broad definition of the concept. But anyway when talking about knowledge we have to answer to the above 3 questions. Cheers Chrisdel 12:31, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
However, w:fr:Épistémologie doesn't link back to this article, but to Philosophy of science. So it seems some link has to change, either here or there. The problem is that w:fr:Philosophie des sciences is also linked to Philosophy of science.
I just discovered that the German Wikipedia has a separate article on w:de:Épistémologie (spelled in the French way). Probably the English Wikipedia should also have such an article, as French Épistémologie can neither be identified with Epistemologe nor with Philosophy of science. Once the English Wikipedia has such an article, that article should be linked to w:fr:Épistémologie, whereas this one should be linked to w:fr:Théorie de la connaissance (and Philosophy of science should be linked to w:fr:Philosophie des sciences).
What do other people think? Marcoscramer 22:42, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. Chrisdel 04:11, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

"If someone claims to believe something, he or she is claiming that it is the truth." -- this makes no sense.

"If someone claims to believe something, he or she is claiming that it is the truth. "

i believe that if someone claims to believe, someone claims to believe, and that is distinct from claiming knowing the truth.

Markmark206 06:34, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

To believe something is to believe it to be true. To say "I believe Santa Claus brought my presents" is to say (a) Santa Claus, in fact, brought my presents, (b) I know this to be true although (c) there are probably other people who would dispute it. That's just the ordinary verncular-English sense of the phrase. --Christofurio 16:13, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I do not think this is true.(To claim that if you believe something then that person clames it is true). Pilate asked: "What is truth"? Here, we should as well. And what is: "belief in something"?

To claim to believe something, can mean that that is the best available to accept at that point in time. To claim something is true and believed-in are two very distinct ideas.

Not everyone accepts that the spirit of man is as unique as is asserted in the Christian faith.

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:22, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Personal essay is original synthesis

I removed this interesting, but original essay from the article. Where "disputes among philosophers" are mentioned, the philosophers in dispute should be named. Elsewhere, an explanation of what definitions in the article are "rough" tends more toward editorial commentary than encyclopedic content. The phrase "This should also make it clear" raises doubt about the clarity of what is being clarified. If the sentence could stand on the assertion that "A proposition can still be said to be known a priori..." it would pass, but in this case, it doesn't stand ecause the sentence synthesizes for us what can and cannot be said. Originally synthesized knowledge is not consistent with Wikipedia policies and guidelines for contributions. Max Werner

These definitions, though standard, are "rough" because they do not adequately make clear exactly how a priori knowledge must be independent of experience. Consider a proof of some (not immediately apparent) logical truth. Someone reading (and understanding) this proof will thereby come to know - and know 'a priori' - the logical truth. But the simple act of reading the proof involves having certain perceptual experiences which play a causal role in the subject coming to believe (and know) the logical truth. So, in one sense, the knowledge is not independent of experience. But this is not the sense of independent that features in the definition of a priori. The relevant sense is that the knowledge does not rest on any 'justificatory force' coming from the character of the subject's experience.

This should also make it clear that a proposition can still be said to be known a priori even though perceptual experience is needed (at some stage in the subject's development) to acquire the concepts featuring in the proposition.

In addition to disputes over the nature of the distinction, there are disputes among philosophers regarding its relation to other distinctions, such as the semantic distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions and the metaphysical distinction between the necessary and contingent.

  • The distinction between "editorial commentary" and "encyclopedic entry" is an important one to keep in mind. But it is misapplied in the above comment. The clarification of the definition (as "rough") is simply not commentary. It is explaining what the concept means. That is all. Read any first rate philosophy encyclopedia - the Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy or Rutledge's - and the entries are replete with discussions like this.
  • Re the remark that a proposition can be knowna priori though containing concepts requiring experience to acquire:
    • the comment is true and a simple fact about the nature of the concept a priori. It is absolutely appropriate for an encyclopedic entry. The phrase "This should make it clear that..." is meant to indicate why this simple and true fact holds. Again, I refer you to any first-rate philosophical encyclopedia for tons of examples of entrys like this. I worry that your efforts to be "encyclopedic" will make the entry very misleading. Gepstein 04:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


Removed the following:

Belief is not to be confused with Faith. Faith is "...The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1. One could say that They don't know p, but have faith that p is true. Belief may imply knowledge, but Faith does not imply knowledge.

It doesn't say why belief is not the same as faith. Perhaps an extended discussion of this might be added to the article on belief, but it is not needed here. The last paragraph is simply wrong: belief does not imply knowledge; rather knowledge implies belief. Looks like OR. Banno 19:50, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Meta-epistemology

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The result was keep as separate articles. -- Anarchia 21:42, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

This merge was proposed only on the Meta-epistemology page in April of last year. I have no opinion one way or the other, but I am trying to clear old merge templates. I'm renominating it properly to generate discussion either for the merge (in which case someone should do it) or against (in which case the templates can be deleted). --Selket Talk 19:49, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Conceptually, I would say that Meta-epistemology should be a separate article, with a "See Also" link from the Epistemology page. But the current meta-epistemology article is so weak that I'm not sure it deserves any links at this stage. (Except for the first sentence, the meta-epistemology article does not seem to me to clearly maintain the distinction between meta-epistemology and regular old "non-meta"-epistemology.) If I get around to doing a little research on meta-epistemology, I'll take a run at improving that article. -- WikiPedant 16:48, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with WikiPedant. Meta-epistemology should remain a separate article.Newbyguesses 23:38, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I too believe that Meta-epistemology ought to remain a seperate article as it desribes the study of Epistemology itself. --Martian.knight 01:40, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


"The distinction is between theoretical reason (knowing that) and practical reason (knowing how), with epistemology being interested primarily in knowledge of the theoretical kind. This distinction is recognised linguistically in many languages but not in English. In French, for example, admittedly not a perfect parallel, to know a person is 'connaitre', whereas to know how to do something is 'savoir'."

This statement isn't quite right, I don't think. First, the "theoretical reason" link redirects to "pure reason," which is not the only subject of epistemology. Propositional knowledge doesn't have to be theoretical, it can also be empirical. Second, the connaitre vs. savoir distinction, it seems to me, is more akin to Russell's distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description, both of which are addressed by epistemology. For these reasons, I think the paragraph should be deleted.Aldrichio 21:19, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Keith Lehrer

I was wondering if it might be appropriate to mention some of the modern approaches to epistemology, citing the work of Keith Lehrer for example. Just a thought. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:15, 17 March 2007 (UTC).

responses to Gettier

Surely Gettier must distinguish in some way between the following cases ;

I know I had ten coins in my pocket yesterday {I counted them).

I know I have ten coins in my pocket today {I counted them).

I know I will have ten coins in my pocket tomorrow {I can't possibly have counted them so I am guessing, not knowing).

I am making a FORECAST that I will have ten coins in my pocket tomorrow { so I am guessing, not knowing).

Given that each statement suffers in at least some way from verifiabilty worries, is it still not so that the very difference between scientific method and sociology is that in science, experiments must be carried out before conclusions are drawn, whereas in sociology, or economics, the conclusions are drawn in advance, since no experiments are able to be carried out in these soft fields. It is only on such a basis that one could be tricked into thinking that a prediction about the future has the same evidentiary status as a conclusion drawn from the results of observations already made.

If what I suggest here is a valid response to Gettier, just asking, but where would I fit it into the article, (which does seem to wander on a bit here and there IMHO) if I find that I am able to find support in the literature and can write this up in a wiki way? The article needs a little work maybe, but I don't want to put in Original Research, especially not amongst the heavy hitters.Newbyguesses 18:19, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Reliabalism/ Reliability/

Of course , Henry "concludes" that he has just seen barns.

His belief is that "I, being Henry , have been before in the situation of observing things (such as barns), and (to the best of my memory) in most or many of those cases it has turned out to be the case that "the propositions that I formed and articulated given such input" turned out indubitably to contribute substantially to the proven recognition of my success in not being wrong; and, therefore, I, "think", I (again, me Henry??yoo woo??) saw some barns or...(turn left here quickly ...? .? .? .

Henry thought he saw some barns.

He was driving his car, (fastly)

Henry wasn't paying more than a modicum of attention to the scenery.

He thought he saw some barns. (As you do)

He was probably right.

Is this a counter-example to the counter example? Newbyguesses 14:29, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

(Think about the road. And require it to be an actual road, actually located somewhere. Then, how did the “facades” get there? Without somehow giving the game away to someone? If it isn’t an actual, drive-on-able road, then who knows, and who cares?)Newbyguesses 02:01, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

proposed merge of Meta-Epistemology into Epistemology

To discuss this proposed merge, I was directed here. I would like to endorse the view that the merge not be done, and the Article Meta-Epistemology be retained. The structure of the collected articles in Philosophy is sound. The Meta article does need expanding by someone who knows what they are talking about though. If it is deleted, someone will relist it if they come up with some souces for statements. Hope this is the right place to express IMHO this view to retain Meta-Philosophy at this time. (I have no prior experience of the Deletion process, and am not quite sure whether a decision has yet been made and the next steps in the process.Newbyguesses 08:16, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal: Alethiology into epistemology

I am proposing this merger because the alethiology page is brief, in-practice orphaned, rarely edited, it is not a concept that is ever likely to develop into a decent page, and epistemology seems the most sensible page into which the information might be put. Truth or maybe Wiktionary seem the only alternatives.Anarchia 10:10, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree the definition proposed for alethiology is the same as what is often proposed for epistemology. Chrisdel 10:47, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, they're two distinct subjects. Alethiology might be considered a sort of subset of epistemology, but it's not as if there aren't other redundant articles. I don't think the terms are interchangeable; there are two different words for a reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

As it happens I have been doing some research for a project in which the distinction between alethiology and epistemology is quite crucial, even central, to the argument. I can't give details here, since for the time being that would count as divulging the results of original research, but I personally would be very reluctant to merge the two articles simply because the potentially useful distinction has not yet been exploited (but will be exploited in the near future if I can help it) Vremya 04:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I am going to remove the merge proposal. Anarchia 21:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


I just noticed that epistemology is linked and mentioned in the lead of ontology, but not vice-versa. For some reason, I'd like to suggest reciprocal linking. Best, Smmurphy(Talk) 03:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Sure ! Chrisdel 19:09, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I no longer see such cross-links in the lead of either article. A popularizer I lost track of (any help?) explained that ontology asks 'what is real?' and epistemology asks 'how do you know?' If I can find the source, would it improve the lead or would it be a digression? (talk) 02:05, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a relevant thing to include. Sometimes people confuse the two, running together issues of epistemology and ontology (and anti-realism actually argues something similar to epistemology=ontology), but otherwise, it's not necessary to make the point. Anyone reading the two articles should see how they're different.JustinBlank (talk) 03:03, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, just a thought. (talk) 20:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Overall quality

Just a note: this article needs a lot of work to become a real overview of epistemology. Any philosophy academics out there? Hgilbert (talk) 02:08, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Noölogy & Epistemology?

Is there any differentiation between Noölogy & Epistemology? Has any author attempted putting one in subordination to the other or qualifying one as in any way different from the other? And if not, maybe the term should be mentioned as synonymous somewhere in one of the articles and a merge be created. However in the field of philosophy it is likely in my opinion that an author somewhere qualified the terms or used one to the exclusion of the other. Nagelfar (talk) 06:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

'Noölogy' is not a commonly used word in philosophical writings--compare the results for google searches on 'noölogy' and 'epistemology.' I'd actually never encountered the word before seeing you link to it. So I'd advise against any mention. JustinBlank (talk) 03:02, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposal concerning the interwiki links

Bots keep updating wrong interwiki links for de, es and fr. At meta:Interwiki synchronization/Epistemology I proposed a solution to this problem (see meta:Interwiki synchronization for the general page about such problems). Please comment there. Marcoscramer (talk) 14:37, 17 October 2008 (UTC)