Talk:Epistemology/Archive 5

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Are we putting the truth before the knowledge?

"It would not be accurate to say that he knew that the bridge was safe, because plainly it was not. By contrast, if the bridge actually supported his weight then he might be justified in subsequently holding that he knew the bridge had been safe enough for his passage, at least at that particular time. For something to count as knowledge, it must actually be true."

Maybe it depends on your philosophy, but this section seems to me to be a bit absurd.

If something must be true to be knowledge, what test can be used to determine what is actually true? Do we have any yardstick other than inter-subject validity in our own knowledge? If something must be externally validated as true to be knowledge, then it seems we can know nothing, because there is no basis for validation external to our minds.

Is not the designation of something as "true" a quality of (a portion of) our knowledge, which is in itself also knowledge? If truth is itself knowledge, then how can use truth as an external validation of what constitutes knowledge. That's circular!

It seems to me the correct way to describe the situation here is that the man knew that the Bridge was safe before he crossed and knew it was not afterward, assuming he had no doubts as he approached it. And both views were true in their respective times, because the truth value of the situation changed as he was crossing the bridge. It is only inaccurate to say that the bridge was safe conditional on information that became available upon crossing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Knowledge is a function of the mind which demands an arbitrary level of confidence in order to declare something is true. That's as close as anyone can get to truth. Since the declaration is conditional while our concept is of an external Absolute Truth, people go on being surprised to find they got it wrong. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 14:45, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

"The only thing I know, is that I am, because I think". This is relevent here? And how true is this statement? Are we taking too much for granted? Empirical thought versus "knowledge" here. Try studying Physics and Epistemology / Existensialism at the same time! -- Confusing.

Pilate's words to Jesus: "What is truth?" Absolute Truth is so hard to find.

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:31, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Ven image

The image is sourced. It was created by Szczepan1990 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), and derives from one created by myself, as recorded on the [image]and elswere[1] [2] [3]. There is a substantial discussion of it in the article archives, mixed up with the dot-six fiasco. It simply sets out graphically the several points in the discussion on truth and knowledge. Rather than unilateraly removing it, you might care to give an explanation here of why you find it objectionable. Banno (talk) 10:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

The Venn diagram is not objectionable per se; it correctly visualizes the caption. But who says that "According to Theaetetus, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed"? Has Theaetetus (or anyone else in that dialogue, or Plato for that matter) ever said this? To whom should it be attributed? My main point is that this (I believe incorrectly) ascribes this specific view of knowledge to Theaetetus. I take it to be based on a unitarian reading of Plato, which by no means reflects a consensus in the field. Please note that when I ask for sources, I do not mean Wikipedia editors or their work; they cannot be used to verify Wikipedia content. I do not see how we can keep this language (or the image) without attribution.
Perhaps a new caption is what is needed. The image has had several over the years. Why not just turn it into a question: "Is knowledge a subset of that which is both true and believed?" I also note that it has moved from its original context, in the section discussing the distinction between knowledge and truth. Perhaps a move is also a good idea. Banno (talk) 11:14, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the constructive suggestions. I was thinking along the lines of "Classical view that knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed" but I like your idea too. Perhaps we can leave it where it is now, but add a link to the JTB discussion, i.e. the Plato section of the article? Untrue Believer (talk) 12:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds fine. You choose, and go ahead. Banno (talk) 21:22, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Done, please feel free to improve. Untrue Believer (talk) 00:06, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I do not know what a dot-six fiasco is. I did read the previous discussion on this talk page but do not see my point addressed there. Untrue Believer (talk) 11:07, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
A now-banned troll from a while back. His comments (for the most part, those with an IP ending in ".6") makes the talk archives difficult to follow. Banno (talk) 11:14, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I see (just found out what you meant by archives - link sort of hidden between the templates at the top of the page). Untrue Believer (talk) 12:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Above, a reference is made to "... the section discussing the distinction between knowledge and truth." What section is that? When considering antonyms (M-W for example) isn't it a contrast between belief and doubt, for example, or a contrast between a statement of the truth, known to be in accord with the facts in evidence, and a statement not known to be true, not known to be in accord with the facts in evidence? Lorem Ipsum Dolor (talk) 20:07, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Ayn Rand?!

What the h*cc is she doing in the intro of a philosophical text, she's kind of a 2nd class philosopher and political propagandist. See Ayn_Rand#Criticism. Said: Rursus () 20:08, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

(I actually tried to read the Fountainhead, but making the premise that Asperger-liberalism is a perfect model, and then proving that Asperger-liberalism is the perfect model is like ... yech!) Said: Rursus () 20:12, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Epistemology textbooks in Google Books

There are limited previews of Dancy's An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology [4] and Morton's A Guide Through the Theory of Knowledge [5] on Google books. These two refs were pretty crucial when I was a PhD student. May be worth scanning the contents pages at least to see if the sections of this article bear on them.MartinPoulter (talk) 20:43, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Epistemological vs. epistemic

The adjectives "epistemological" and "epistemic" are both used in the article, in neither case with any definition. Are they exact synonyms of each other? If not, what does each mean? --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 02:56, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

"epistemic"= "relating to knowledge" / "epistemological"= "relating to the study of knowledge" MartinPoulter (talk) 13:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Define "veritic"

In this section the term "non-veritic" is used. I've tried several dictionaries, including Wiki's, and "veritic" is not found. I requested Wiktionary to include "veritic" on this date.  .`^) Painediss`cuss (^`.  18:18, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Dictionaries are for documenting existing words, not creating new ones. This dictionary search that accessed 991 dictionaries did not find "veritic" anywhere. I suggest deleting the term "non-veritec" which doesn't mean anything. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 10:41, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I have deleted "non-viritic". Cuddlyable3 (talk) 22:55, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I will have to concur that your suggestion based upon your wide dictionary search is the better idea. I see that you cut the term "non-veritic" from the section. This might change the author's original meaning, don't you think? The author was describing a certain kind of "features", i.e., "non-veritic" features. So deleting the adjective might not convey the author's full meaning. Is there a way to find the author to see what was meant by "non-veritic"? Perhaps the author meant "non-verifiable" features? OSLT?  .`^) Painediss`cuss (^`.  15:06, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
ROFL guys —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
'non-veritic' stems from the Latin 'veritas', meaning 'truth'. The philosophical academy, in general, requires a rudimentary understanding of Latin, and in some cases, Greek. While it is probably best to use terms easily understood by the general public in an encyclopedia, Paine_Ellsworth's point is well received; haphazardly deleting terms which are nonsensical to YOU is a poor strategy indeed.TheSearchForTelos (talk) 05:22, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The only context where 'veritic' is used in philosophy (so far as I have ever come across it) is in the one particular locution of "veritic luck", and that is a barbarism. In the context it was used in this article, the correct English word is "veridical" (or just maybe "veridic"), which can be found in any decent dictionary.
A strategy of correcting such haphazardly used terms would be a good strategy indeed.
All the best. –Syncategoremata (talk) 09:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Ever heard about Axioms? (Math)

There's no "doubtful knowledge" in math. There are axioms. Math just "choose" to stop filozofing and started doing something useful. And pretty good reason why they are chosen, which is also said. Unfortunately it is forgotten by Chemical Names who write "smart" crap in half-latin. Math is The Godess of all science for a good reason. Please stop the blasphemy :) .... I feel better now ;) (talk) 00:47, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Revert: Blurb of mine

Ok I am pissed. I have been reverted. Ok it was straight and short. Neded rework, sure. But it was not a frigin belief, it was just based on this bloat there was.

When there is soething repeated at least 4 times with slightly different sentence then fuck it. And amount of biased and emotionaly words I deleted was even larger that in rant I write now.

And that stuff about graph theory? Well it is a graph theory which has perfect illustration of that circle of "coherencism". Ok, You don't like it. Fine. But it has something to do with that. And it is certainly interesting connection.

I don't expect people who dig philosophy to understand math. Unfortunately. It is sad and it is partialy because math goes it's way. Whatever.

And similar to what I have said this Quantum theory or what I written there :) was offshot. Yes. But of course it has a relation to it.

And some sentences were really off before. Redundand - why would anyone read something so prolonged ... Why am I pissed this much? Because this page will remain same. My original will be forgontten in sand of time forever.

I omited making detailed explanation why I did what change. I thought that someone will compare and leave things which have good core, not that he will completely blew it.

If there can be something like Foundherentism, wel just lol. I reverted it back. I wont be trolling next time ;).

And guys, check mine change in Poetics from Aristotle, it hasn't been reverted yet :).

So fuck it. I have no intention of contributing to this piece a crap. And it is a crap. It contains little things some may live on (beetles ...) but it is not anything pleasant to deal with. I am so naive that I believe that ... Whatever. Why should I waste my precious time on making sense to anybody? You will fuck it with latin so much that only people of Your religion will understand it. Won't You? I see why no "math man" likes "the other side". I want to laugh. I have to. I wish You all had to teach kids. (talk) 12:53, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, at least you're articulate. - KitchM (talk) 02:49, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Please read "Answer to Job", by C.G. Jung.
MacOfJesus (talk) 00:50, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Clarification needed

I think that the following sentence needs clarification. "Epistemology should evaluate people's properties (i.e., intellectual virtues) instead of propositions' properties. What is a person's property? What is a propositions property? Flaviusvulso (talk) 07:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

When people communicate, the property is the idea being communicated. There are even tort rights concerning ideas.WFPM (talk) 18:08, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
It seems pretty clear that "properties" is meant here in the sense of "attributes". Would that be a better word? MartinPoulter (talk) 12:23, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


English makes the distinction between the state and the process with "know" and "get to know" Pamour (talk) 12:09, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Gnoseology redirects here

... and Gnoseology is not the same as Epistemology. Anyone interested in helping create a page for Gnoseology? Ladril (talk) 16:03, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Please Edit These Sentences

I try to tread lightly around here, and I have no prior knowledge of who is watching this article, so could someone please edit the following sentences and make them more grammatical? "Piagetian constructivism, however, believes in objectivity as constructs can be validated through experimentation. The constructivist point of view is pragmatic as Vico said: "the truth is to have made it."" Either they are both missing a comma, or only the second one is missing a comma, and the first one lacks som agreement between the words "objectivity" and "constructs." Thanks. Pammalamma (talk) 05:36, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Hope this helps... WP:BOLD
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  10:35, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I changed it to an em dash in the first sentence and a semicolon in the second sentence. We don't want any run-ons. Pammalamma (talk) 21:58, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


My understanding of this term, as it came to mean, is the history of developed thought.

For example the development, the progression, of Thomatic Philosophy or Thomistic Philosophy or Thomism to Existentialism. Is this correct?

The progression of Freudian thought to Jung?

MacOfJesus (talk) 17:31, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

No, the definition in the article is correct. MartinPoulter (talk) 17:40, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I was referring not to the literal sense but the supplied sense, not challenging the literal definition. I am just asking if this is correct in it's acquired sense?

The extra definition states: "It also deals with the production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims". Would this incorporate what I asked or not, or additional to and/or not mentioned?

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:08, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

The sky isn't blue..,.

quoted from the article: "Knowledge entails belief, so the statement, "I know the sky is blue, but I don't believe it", is self-contradictory (see Moore's paradox)."

I could make an argument that the sky isn't blue. Though the sky appears to be blue because of the reflection of light from the sun, if there was no sun, of source of light, we could not assert that 'blue' is a property of the 'sky'... In any case I was wondering if a better example could be produced, like "I know that 3*2 is 6, but I don't believe it, because at the heart of Moore's paradox is not being factually wrong, but the contradiction of beliefs. Or, perhaps it could be worded as: "I am looking at a blue sky and I know the sky is blue, but I don't believe it." Just a thought. Mike (talk) 02:32, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Belief is not a factor, 3*2=6 is a statement that is true by virtue of the the laws of arithmetic. And, "I do not believe the sky is blue, I know it" is not self-contradictory at all. --GTO3000 (talk) 22:43, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Does this not more and more "prove" the Existentialistic maxim: "The only thing I know; is that I am, because I think", everything else is a figment of my imagination!?

From a religious point of view: Do you believe in angels? One may accept angels exist, but no one has ever asked us to believe in them. This hi-lights the correct notion of belief; i.e.: a personal commitment and an orientation of the spirit to this notion, incorporating this to my way of life! Hence, Knowledge does not entail belief.

I may accept the theory of Evolution as the manner of Creation, but one way or the other I do not believe in it, for it is only pattern of existence and not a maxim to believe in!

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:18, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Note the text from above: "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Epistemology article. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." Thanks. MartinPoulter (talk) 19:48, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, that is what I have in mind. Belief and knowledge confused in the article page. Clarity on the definition, all necessary. Please assume good faith.

MacOfJesus (talk) 12:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Hence, Existentialistic theories should be in the article page. Belief and knowledge confusion should be corrected, and the definition in its different notions explored. I am asking this to produce a better Article page. Oh, to someone in outer-space the sky is black, hence, the sky is not blue, atall, I think!

MacOfJesus (talk) 15:37, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Further up this page an anonymous entrant has left a very studied comment under the heading: Epistemological Theories and Irrationalism, listed as item no: 15. In which he/she comments that the page, as it stands, is out of date and asked for a number of schools of thought to be taken into account in the page. How much of this was taken-on-board? Hence, we get the feeling that no matter what we say no head will be taken. This cannot be general talk when we want a better page as we know the article page is deficent.

MacOfJesus (talk) 17:14, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. That is two of us. Looks like only one on the other side, right? --GTO3000 (talk) 22:43, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Human Evolution

The limits of human intelligence are strongly controlled by human evolution. We live ~70 years and can maybe understand 2000 years (without higher education). Few of us can contemplate a million (or a zillion) years, because we weren't evolved to do that. We don't "get" things with very large (or very small) numbers because we never had to do that to survive (cf: Darwin).-- (talk) 10:31, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. "Man is a becoming". Who said that? Man can become an animal or a Saint. Saint Thomas Aquinas had both achievements! (Intellectual & saintliness).

Socrates said that it is better to suffer murder than to murder, to be robbed that to rob!

How does Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest fit?

Jung battled with ill-health all his life, yet his thought of the human mind is unique today!

A Geologist will point out the evidence of the K-T boundery, 35Mil years ago, and the two ice-ages very much further back. He / She is trained to read the history book of the earth, and I have not mentioned fossils.

Reading Saint Thomas Aquinas' writings, living such a long time ago; 1200rds., may throw a damper on this (Darwin)theory.

Don't underestimate the power of the human intellect!

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:13, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Info about the religious aspects


-- (talk) 08:55, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 08:57, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:00, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:02, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:08, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:08, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:11, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:11, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:19, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


-- (talk) 09:13, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

From NJCitizen In this article on Epistemology, there is a subheading for Critical Realism. It can be searched for by looking for Karl Popper. The section needs to be upgraded by reference to Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) and his book Insight (1957) in which he develops at length his General Empirical Method (GEM). I am not qualified to do this add-on, but without it the article is seriously deficient. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NJCitizen (talkcontribs) 17:32, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

What happened to the Venn diagram?

Contrast [6] with [7] Why the change? Paul Beardsell (talk) 02:35, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Beyond a reasonable doubt

Nothing is ever known to us beyond all doubt.
A thing that is known is only known beyond a reasonable doubt.

By momentarily 'suspending our disbelief' we can use our intuition
to get a 'feel' for how 'reasonable' an idea is. (this is an inductive process)

By itself intuition is subjective and unreliable.
However, intuition + objectivity gives us the ability to know a thing beyond a reasonable doubt.

Intuition is inherently non-empirical. It cannot be observed.
This is why rationalism is opposed to empiricism.
Just granpa (talk) 07:22, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Positivism and Realism

It's really incorrect, and confusing to equate Realism and positivism and to call them epistemological. Positivism is essentially a theory of science, and not everything that follows the principles of positivism (accepting that there are many versions) can be said to produce 'knowledge'. Likewise realism is an ontological position. One can be a realist (i.e. believe in an external world independent of thought) without saying anything, or even if, about how it can be know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Difference between Epistemology and Science?

There seems to be a very distinct difference between epistemology and science. What is it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:39, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Although this isn't a forum: Epistemology deals with philosophical reflections on what knowledge is, how one gets knowledge and so on. Science is the practical application of empiricism towards finding things out. There is some overlap between epistemology and psychology/cognitive science/neuroscience in as much as human beings know things through use of their brains and other cognitive functions, and so understanding our cognitive functions helps us understand how humans know things. In terms of the practical differences: epistemology, as a branch of philosophy, tends to be more interested in linguistic or conceptual analysis of what knowledge is, whereas scientists are interested in finding things out about the world. As I mentioned, there is some overlap. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:35, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Animal knowledge

I am finding some difficulty in identifying the exact contend or subject of epistemology. For instance, is animal knowledge included? Consider that certain birds can discriminate their own eggs from those of other species. Would this kind of knowledge constitute the subject of epistemology?--Auró (talk) 17:25, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Basic Clarity of the Article

Under the topic "Knowledge"

I deleted "(Though not all)" from the sentence "Some[who?] (though not all) philosophers. . . ." It doesn't bode well for an epistemological explanation to confuse the meaning of "all," "some," and "none." In other words, if "Some" then obviously and necessarily not "all." Dwdallam (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dwdallam (talkcontribs)


This section is confusing and perhaps not even accurate. "Belief" simply means one believes "that p." It doesn't matter if "p" is true of false.

For example, I can believe that the moon is made of green cheese, or that God exists, or that 7+5=13.

Furthermore, belief is a necessary condition of knowledge in that before there can be knowledge, there must be the ability to believe "that p." As an example, horses can't have knowledge because horses lack the ability to believe. Put another way, one cannot claim to have knowledge if one also claims to have no beliefs.

The Gettier problem exemplifies this.

This may be a better explanation:

"Belief" is simply the cognitive act of thinking that some phenomenon is true, such that "George believes that p" (where "p" stands for any predicate). But belief does not necessitate that "p" be true in any sense, for George can believe that unicorns exist, that Pluto is made of green cheese, or that 7+5=12 or (13), or even that this article exists and does not exist at the same time. (That is, George can believe that contradictions are not necessarily false.)

Furthermore, belief does not create knowledge, but is only an necessary component of knowledge. In other words, it doesn't matter how diligently one believes "that p." For example, George can believe that Pluto is made of green cheese, but that does not change the physical composition of Pluto. Truth is independent of belief; but knowledge is not.

Belief is a necessary component of knowledge in that one must have a belief in order to claim knowledge. This is a simple logical necessity. The opposite would be to admit one has no beliefs but but has knowledge "that p" exists. That sort of thinking would create this type of sentence: "I here and now have no beliefs, but I know I exist." In other words, claiming knowledge while claiming to have no beliefs is a simple contradiction, and all contradictions are necessarily false.

Dwdallam (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Socrates Quote

Why is the quote from Socrates at the end of the intro to the 'Regress problem' section. It seems very out of place. Socrates was more making a statement about being humble than about the problem of infinite regression. Can this quote be deleted? --Polsky215 (talk) 15:46, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

==Gettier problem== Somewhat awkwardly we might put the problem down to "simplemindedness" qv.Wblakesx (talk) 08:10, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Eurocentric orientation

This is a GREAT article on western epistemology (I mean that honestly). However, it doesn't even touch on non-western epistemologies. This is pretty easily remedied, imho. Should there be sections for, say, epistemologies from Indic and Sinic philosophies? Zhuangzhi's a great place to start for China.

Basic resources:

Dan Cottrell (talk) 23:49, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

"Clean-up" (broom icon) box at the top of the article (Nov. 2012)

I completely disagree with the clean-up text box at the top of the article, dated Nov. 2012. It states:

This article is written like a manual or guidebook. Please help rewrite this article from a descriptive, neutral point of view, and remove advice or instruction.

From my point of view as a non-expert, seeking basic background information and perspective on the field of epistemology, I found the article to be admirably neutral, very thorough, and not at all like a manual; I saw no advice or instruction. (And here we get a bit circular because I'm talking about the epistemology of an article about epistemology…) For this article to contain advice or instruction, it would have to be telling the reader *how to know* (about anything) or at a minimum how to know about theories of knowledge. It doesn't.

The article itself, and the article's authors, do not attempt to instruct the reader on how to think or know. But it is the nature of articles about philosophy to present how *others* (i.e. philosophers) have asserted that one should think or know. That's what philosophers do.

So naturally the discussions regarding each school of thought about epitemology do include that school's assertions of how one should think about certain problems or topics. That is the nature of different schools of philosophy. There would be nothing to write about in this article if it avoided presenting different views on how one should think about the topic (i.e. knowledge). Every article about an area of philosophy will have the same characteristics.

To some extent the article is like a "guidebook" (which is different from a "guide", which I think is the term the clean-up writer meant to use): it is a guidebook for tourists visiting this heartland region of the land of philosophy. Like any good guidebook it introduces the visitor to the landscape and unique geography of the region, and presents vignettes of the villages and tribes who inhabit the area, along with brief introductions to their traditions and beliefs. For a philosophical tourist such as myself, this is both appropriate and appreciated.

I suggest that the clean-up box be eliminated, or revised to merely encourage the additions of a few citations where their lack is noted. But those are relatively minor issues.

RandySteer (talk) 16:01, 16 May 2013 (UTC)


I see that Gnoseology redirects to this article.

I am not an expert in this, but I suggest that there should be a reference to "Gnoseology" inside the "Epistemology" article: saying they are both the same thing, but Gnoseology was the preferred term up to the 18th century or something. Or perhaps explaining that they are not the same thing and laying out the differences.

If any kind soul could write this up I would appreciate it. I would do it myself but this not my area, I would most certainly mess things up... thanks! Callmepgr (talk) 12:29, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Theory of Knowledge redirect

Why are we disambiguating one course on the theory of knowledge instead of thousands of others? -Miskaton (talk) 16:27, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Theories of Knowledge

Propose to add the following content . . .

Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from sensory experience. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory experience, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or traditions. The scientific method, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guide empirical research.

Scholasticism places a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference, and to resolve contradictions. Scholastic thought is known for rigorous conceptual analysis and the careful drawing of distinctions.

Idealism asserts the aim of education is to discover and develop each individual's abilities and full moral excellence in order to better serve society. Character is developed through imitating examples and heroes.

Rationalism asserts that empiricism, scholasticism, and idealism are equally important.Stmullin (talk) 19:22, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

The Galaxy-like section

I am not a subject matter expert, so I'll leave it to others as to whether these sections should be included in this article. However I have observed that these sections are a complete duplicate of what is on Hamid Rajaei's article page. There is certainly no reason to have all this in two places. If it should remain, then the Epistemology should have a summary of the ideas with a link to the philosopher's page. As it is, it is disproportionately long for this article. Keithh (talk) 23:49, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

I will also add that these newly added sections are not really referenced; they are simply links to a paper that Rajaei wrote. The only links on his page are his own official site and blogs. I find all this material suspect with no demonstrable academic backing.Keithh (talk) 23:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: Christianity and Culture: A Christian Perspective on Worldview Development, by William Valmyr; see also Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/Stmullin. Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:55, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

External Links?

There is a tag on this article for inappropriate external links. I did a search on the article text for "http://" and everything I found was either a URL in a reference or a link in the external links section. I'm going to delete the tag but if I've missed any please reply here and let me know. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 18:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Tag in late 2014

If possible and if anyone is listening can the persons familiar with the issues of writing style point us in the correct direction as to the offending parts of this article which warrant the tag? This is my problem with tagging, because what I read thus far is okay. --Inayity (talk) 18:34, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

IMO all the tags on this article could be removed. I'm not saying the article doesn't need work just that I don't understand how the "it reads like a manual" tags that are left make any sense in this context and if it's not intuitively obvious to someone who knows the field (which I do) or if there isn't some specific discussion of why the tag was added I think it's quite proper to remove them. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 19:06, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I am happy someone knows the topic, because I am getting a headache figuring out what some of these sentences mean, to the point where I wonder if the language is not overly complicated and exclusive to people in philosophy.--Inayity (talk) 19:58, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
The thing is just saying that the article as a whole gives you a headache isn't very constructive. If you have any specific criticisms I would sincerely be interested in hearing them. As someone who has read a lot on this topic it's hard for me to read this the way someone who hasn't studied philosophy would. I'm thinking about doing a bit of editing to this article and if you have specific parts that stuck out as hard to understand or techno babble it would be very useful to know. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 00:00, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
No it is constructive, because in the process of evaluation there is no deadline on my review of this article. My first thoughts have been made and I am following up as I read and edit, that is the process. I have already (if you noticed) tagged confusing lines and that draws attention to problem areas. So review you accusation of Non-constructive comments by this editor. It is a work in progress, an ongoing discussion.--Inayity (talk) 06:27, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I didn't mean to offend you. Just saying the more specific people can be with criticism the more it is likely to yield better results. I took a closer look at the sections with the tags. I think the "reads like a manual" tag confused me at first. To me a manual is something written clearly and unambiguously which doesn't seem like such a bad thing for technical articles. But that section as is is just incoherent. Regardless of what tag to use it's clear that section is virtually useless as is. Also, I think parts of it are just wrong. The person that wrote it seems to be conflating mathematical infinity with the idea of an infinite regress of arguments. I understand how calculus makes sense i a discussion of mathematical infinity, e.g. the notion of converging on infinity as the limit in a differential equation but what that has to do with an infinite regress of logical arguments escapes me and frankly I don't think it's relevant. But I need to read up a bit more on some of the sources used as refs here and also some other sources before I try to edit it. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 19:32, 23 December 2014 (UTC)


In the current version of this section it says: "In mathematics, an infinite series will sometimes converge – (this is the basis of calculus) – one can therefore have an infinite series of logical arguments and analyze it for a convergent (or non-convergent) solution." This makes no sense to me. With an infinite series you have some function that approaches some value (call that X) as one or more other variables (make it simple call the other variable Y) approaches infinity. The idea is that although Y can never reach infinity it can get endlessly closer and thus we can say that although X will never quite reach the solution when Y is infinite X can continue to get closer and closer as Y gets nearer to infinity. But those are for numeric values. I don't see how that has any relevance to logical arguments. If I have a bunch of logical arguments that expend infinitely backward as far as I can see that is nothing at all like a series of numbers approaching infinity. In one case each step closer to infinity gets us closer to the value of X that would result if Y was infinite. There is no analogous kind of change with an infinite regress of logical arguments. The whole nature of the arguments could be that each inference goes off in completely unanticipated ways. I'm still reading up some of the references so maybe I'm missing something but thought I would document this in case I am and anyone cares to explain what this is supposed to mean. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 21:36, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I've read a bit more about infinitism and epistemology. To begin with it's almost what I would consider a fringe theory. According to the Stanford online encyclopedia of philosophy: "Peter Klein (1998) may be the lone supporter of a view he calls infinitism." Frankly, even as described in the Stanford encyclopedia the argument just seems like classic hand waving to me but I'll leave it in since it is taken seriously by some... well at least one... person. But I'm more convinced than ever that the stuff about calculus and infinite series is irrelevant. I plan to move infinitism to the end of the section (reflecting that it's not a mainstream theory even among philosophers) and take out references to calculus that I think are confusing or simply wrong. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 19:50, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Deleting section: Practical Applications

This section has no references and is essentially just a "here are other articles where epistemology is relevant" section. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 03:35, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

The article is Better

I am reading it as a novice and understanding it. I will continue to look at sections esp those with P1 +P2 formulas and see if someone like me with only a PhD can digest it with relative ease. LOL--Inayity (talk) 10:09, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

That's great to hear, thanks. BTW, I should tell you as I was reading parts that I edited I was thinking "wow, this is giving me a headache" so I owe you an apology, some times text can be so hard to read that is just the best way to describe it. I plan to make some major changes to the "What do people know" section as well. To begin with "what do people know" is really just restating the fundamental question of epistemology. The stuff in that section that is relevant to the article is about skepticism so I plan to just make the whole section be called "scepticism". The sub-section about "epistemic culture" is IMO not important enough to merit inclusion (also no actual references, just a link to an article about the person who created the theory). There are hundreds if not thousands of variants of those kinds of postmodern analysis of epistemology, I see no justification for selecting arbitrarily one of them and giving them such undue weight. Also, the stuff about "Developments from skepticism" is I think very hard to follow and possibly wrong. I've never heard Popper described as a "Fallibilist" and also the discussion of "fallibilism" in that section contradicts what is in the corresponding Wikipedia article. I think I understand what the original editor was getting at: you can view movements like Logical Positivism as representing skepticism about what can be known scientifically but while I understand the point I don't know of anyone who says it in a valid reference so think it counts as OR. I'm still reading up to be sure before I commit those changes (you can see work in progress in my Sandbox if you care to look) but just thought I would document where I plan to go in case you or anyone else wants to discuss. Thanks again for the feedback. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 13:45, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
One more point: the only reference for the "Developments" section as it currently exists is not a valid reference. It looks like a reference but it's just a link to other wikipedia articles about some australian philosopher which doesn't support the text and anyway is considered circular and not a valid way to give a reference even if that article DID support the text. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 13:51, 25 December 2014 (UTC)