Page semi-protected


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coin showing the owl of Athena
The owl of Athena is a symbol of knowledge.

Knowledge can be defined as awareness of facts or as practical skills, and may also refer to familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distinct from opinion or guesswork by virtue of justification. While there is wide agreement among philosophers that propositional knowledge is a form of true belief, many controversies in philosophy focus on justification: whether it is needed at all, how to understand it, and whether something else besides it is needed. These controversies intensified due to a series of thought experiments by Edmund Gettier and have provoked various alternative definitions. Some of them deny that justification is necessary and replace it, for example, with reliability or the manifestation of cognitive virtues. Others contend that justification is needed but formulate additional requirements, for example, that no defeaters of the belief are present or that the person would not have the belief if it was false.

Knowledge can be produced in many different ways. The most important source of empirical knowledge is perception, which refers to the usage of the senses. Many theorists also include introspection as a source of knowledge, not of external physical objects, but of one's own mental states. Other sources often discussed include memory, rational intuition, inference, and testimony. According to foundationalism, some of these sources are basic in the sense that they can justify beliefs without depending on other mental states. This claim is rejected by coherentists, who contend that a sufficient degree of coherence among all the mental states of the believer is necessary for knowledge.

Many different aspects of knowledge are investigated and it plays a role in various disciplines. It is the primary subject of the field of epistemology, which studies what we know, how we come to know it, and what it means to know something. The problem of the value of knowledge concerns the question of why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. Philosophical skepticism is the controversial thesis that we lack any form of knowledge or that knowledge is impossible. Formal epistemology studies, among other things, the rules governing how knowledge and related states behave and in what relations they stand to each other. Science tries to acquire knowledge using the scientific method, which is based on repeatable experimentation, observation, and measurement. Many religions hold that humans should seek knowledge and that God or the divine is the source of knowledge.


Numerous definitions of knowledge have been suggested.[1][2][3] Most definitions of knowledge in analytic philosophy recognize three fundamental types. "Knowledge-that", also called propositional knowledge, can be expressed using that-clauses as in "I know that Dave is at home".[4][5][6] "Knowledge-how" (know-how) expresses practical competence, as in "she knows how to swim". Finally, "knowledge by acquaintance" refers to a familiarity with the known object based on previous direct experience.[5][7][8] Most definitions of knowledge in analytic philosophy aim to identify the essential features of propositional knowledge.[8] There is wide, though not universal, agreement among philosophers that knowledge involves a cognitive success or an epistemic contact with reality, and that propositional knowledge is a form of true belief.[9][10]

Despite the agreement about the general characteristics of knowledge listed above, many deep disagreements remain regarding its exact definition. These disagreements relate to the goals and methods within epistemology and other fields, or to differences concerning the standards of knowledge that people intend to uphold. Some theorists focus on knowledge's most salient features in their attempt to give a practically useful definition.[11] Others try to provide a theoretically precise definition by listing the conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient. The term "analysis of knowledge" (or equivalently, "conception of knowledge" or "theory of knowledge") is often used for this approach.[1][12][13] It can be understood in analogy to how chemists analyze a sample by seeking a list of all the chemical elements composing it.[1][14][15] An example of this approach is characterizing knowledge as justified true belief (JTB), which is seen by many philosophers as the standard definition.[4][16] Others seek a common core among diverse examples of knowledge,[10] such as Paul Silva's "awareness first" epistemology[17] or Barry Allen's definition of knowledge as "superlative artifactual performance".[18][19]

Methodological differences concern whether researchers base their inquiry on abstract and general intuitions or on concrete and specific cases, referred to as methodism and particularism, respectively.[20][21][22] Another source of disagreement is the role of ordinary language in one's inquiry: the weight given to how the term "knowledge" is used in everyday discourse.[6][13] According to Ludwig Wittgenstein, for example, there is no clear-cut definition of knowledge since it is just a cluster of concepts related through family resemblance.[23] Different conceptions of the standards of knowledge are also responsible for various disagreements. Some epistemologists hold that knowledge demands very high requirements, like infallibility, and is therefore quite rare. Others see knowledge as a rather common phenomenon, prevalent in many everyday situations, without excessively high standards.[1][5][24]

In analytic philosophy, knowledge is usually understood as a mental state possessed by an individual person, but the term is sometimes used to refer to a characteristic of a group of people as group knowledge, social knowledge, or collective knowledge.[25][26] In a slightly different sense, it can also mean knowledge stored in documents, as in "knowledge housed in the library"[27][28] or the knowledge base of an expert system.[29][30]

Justified true belief

Venn diagram of justified true belief
Knowledge is often defined as justified true belief.

Many philosophers define knowledge as justified true belief (JTB). This definition characterizes knowledge through three essential features: as (1) a belief that is (2) true and (3) justified.[4][16] In the dialogue Theaetetus by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, Socrates pondered the distinction between knowledge and true belief but rejected the JTB definition of knowledge.[31][32] The most widely accepted feature is truth: one can believe something false but one cannot know something false.[5][6] A few ordinary language philosophers have raised doubts that knowledge is a form of belief based on everyday expressions like "I do not believe that; I know it".[4][5][33] Most theorists reject this distinction and explain such expressions through ambiguities of natural language.[4][5]

The main controversy surrounding the JTB definition concerns its third feature: justification.[1][4][34] This component is often included because of the impression that some true beliefs are not forms of knowledge. Specifically, this covers cases of superstition, lucky guesses, or erroneous reasoning. The corresponding beliefs may even be true but it seems there is more to knowledge than just being right about something.[4][5][13] The JTB definition solves this problem by identifying proper justification as the additional component needed, which is absent in the above-mentioned cases. Many philosophers have understood justification internalistically (internalism): a belief is justified if it is supported by another mental state of the person, such as a perceptual experience, a memory, or a second belief. This mental state has to constitute a sufficiently strong evidence or reason for the believed proposition. Some modern versions modify the JTB definition by using an externalist conception of justification instead. This means that justification depends not just on factors internal to the subject but also on external factors. They can include, for example, that the belief was produced by a reliable process or that the believed fact caused the belief.[1][4][5]

Gettier problem and alternatives

Venn diagram of justified true belief that does not amount to knowledge
The Gettier problem is motivated by the idea that some justified true beliefs do not amount to knowledge.

The JTB definition came under severe criticism in the 20th century, when Edmund Gettier gave a series of counterexamples.[35] They purport to present concrete cases of justified true beliefs that fail to constitute knowledge. The reason for their failure is usually a form of epistemic luck: the justification is not relevant to the truth.[4][5][34] In a well-known example, there is a country road with many barn facades and only one real barn. The person driving is not aware of this, stops by a lucky coincidence in front of the real barn, and forms the belief that he is in front of a barn. It has been argued that this justified true belief does not constitute knowledge since the person wouldn't have been able to tell the difference without the fortuitous accident.[36][37][38] So even though the belief is justified, it is a lucky coincidence that it is also true. The responses to these counterexamples have been diverse. According to some, they show that the JTB definition of knowledge is deeply flawed and that a radical reconceptualization of knowledge is necessary, often by denying justification a role.[1] This can happen, for example, by replacing justification with reliability or by understanding knowledge as the manifestation of cognitive virtues. Other approaches include defining it in regard to the cognitive role it plays in providing reasons for doing or thinking something or seeing it as the most general factive mental state operator[a].[10] Various theorists are diametrically opposed to the radical reconceptualization and either deny that Gettier cases pose problems or they try to solve them by making smaller modifications to how justification is defined. Such approaches result in a minimal modification of the JTB definition.[1]

Between these two extremes, some philosophers have suggested various moderate departures. They agree that the JTB definition is a step in the right direction: justified true belief is a necessary condition of knowledge. However, they disagree that it is a sufficient condition. They hold instead that an additional criterion, some feature X, is necessary for knowledge. For this reason, they are often referred to as JTB+X definitions of knowledge.[1][40] A closely related approach speaks not of justification but of warrant and defines warrant as justification together with whatever else is necessary to arrive at knowledge.[4][41] Many candidates for the fourth feature have been suggested. In this regard, knowledge may be defined as justified true belief that does not depend on any false beliefs, that there are no defeaters[b] present, or that the person would not have the belief if it was false.[13][38] Such and similar definitions are successful at avoiding many of the original Gettier cases. However, they often fall prey to newly conceived counterexamples.[43] To avoid all possible cases, it may be necessary to find a criterion that excludes all forms of epistemic luck. It has been argued that such a criterion would set the required standards of knowledge very high: the belief has to be infallible to succeed in all cases.[5][44] This would mean that very few of our beliefs amount to knowledge, if any.[5][45][46] For example, Richard Kirkham suggests that our definition of knowledge requires that the evidence for the belief necessitates its truth.[47] There is still very little consensus in the academic discourse as to which of the proposed modifications or reconceptualizations is correct.[1][48][10]


The English word knowledge can translate a variety of words in other languages that refer to different states.[10] The Latin words cognitio and scientia can both be translated as "knowledge".[10] Romance languages have two major verbs that would both be translated as "to know": for example, connaître and savoir in French or conocer and saber in Spanish.[10] In ancient Greek, there were four such important knowledge words: epistēmē (unchanging theoretical knowledge), technē (expert technical knowledge), mētis (strategic knowledge), and gnōsis (personal intellectual knowledge).[19] All these different types of knowledge can be considered forms of cognitive success.[10]

Propositional knowledge

Propositional knowledge, also referred to as descriptive knowledge, is the paradigmatic type of knowledge in analytic philosophy, and various classifications are used to distinguish between its different subtypes.[4][5][6] The distinctions between the major types are usually drawn based on the linguistic formulations used to express them.[1] Propositional knowledge is propositional in the sense that it involves a relation to a proposition. Since propositions are often expressed through that-clauses, it is also referred to as knowledge-that, as in "Akari knows that Canberra is the capital of Australia".[5][6][8] In this case, Akari stands in the relation of knowing to the proposition "Canberra is the capital of Australia". Closely related types of knowledge are know-wh, for example, knowing where the Taj Mahal is or knowing who killed J. F. Kennedy.[5] These expressions are normally understood as types of propositional knowledge since they usually can be paraphrased using a that-clause.[5][6][49]

Propositional knowledge is either occurrent and dispositional. This mirrors the distinction between occurrent and dispositional beliefs: to know occurrently means to entertain the corresponding representation currently, to be aware of it. "Dispositional knowledge" refers to the mere ability to do so without its execution. In this regard, a person fully immersed in a go-kart race has dispositional but not occurrent knowledge of where their home is. The reason is that they are currently occupied with something else but could easily provide this information if they stopped and focused on it.[6][50][51]

Non-propositional knowledge

Photograph of someone riding a bicycle
Knowing how to ride a bicycle is one form of non-propositional knowledge.

For non-propositional knowledge, no essential relation to a proposition is involved. The two most well-known forms are knowledge-how (know-how or procedural knowledge) and knowledge by acquaintance.[5][6][7] The term "know-how" refers to some form of practical ability or skill. It can be defined as having the corresponding competence.[5][49] Examples include knowing how to ride a bicycle or knowing how to play the guitar. Some of the abilities responsible for know-how may also involve certain forms of knowledge-that, as in knowing how to prove a mathematical theorem. But this is not generally the case.[10] It is usually argued that mainly humans and maybe other higher animals possess propositional knowledge since it requires an advanced form of mind. Practical knowledge, on the other hand, is more common in the animal kingdom. In this regard, an ant knows how to walk even though it presumably lacks a mind sufficiently developed enough to stand in a relation to the corresponding proposition by representing it.[49]

Knowledge by acquaintance refers to familiarity with an individual that results from direct experiential contact with this individual.[5][6][8] It often, but not exclusively, concerns a relation to a person. On the linguistic level, it does not require a that-clause and can be expressed using a direct object. So when someone claims that they know Wladimir Klitschko personally, they are expressing that they had a certain kind of contact with him and not that they know a certain fact about him. This is usually understood to mean that it constitutes a relation to a concrete individual and not to a proposition. Knowledge by acquaintance plays a central role in Bertrand Russell's epistemology. He contrasts it with knowledge by description, which is a form of propositional knowledge not based on direct perceptual experience.[52][53] So by watching a documentary about Wladimir Klitschko, the viewer may acquire various forms of knowledge by description about him, for example, about his nationality or his career in boxing, without acquiring knowledge by acquaintance of him. However, there is some controversy about whether it is possible to acquire knowledge by acquaintance in its pure non-propositional form. In this regard, some theorists have suggested that it might be better to understand it as one type of propositional knowledge that is only expressed in a grammatically different way.[4]

Other distinctions

A priori and a posteriori

The distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge came to prominence in Immanuel Kant's philosophy and is often discussed in the academic literature. To which category a knowledge attitude belongs depends on the role of experience in its formation and justification.[6][54][55] To know something a posteriori means to know it on the basis of experience.[56][57] For example, to know that it is currently raining or that the baby is crying belongs to a posteriori knowledge since it is based on some form of experience, like visual or auditory experience.[54] A priori knowledge, on the other hand, is possible without any experience to justify or support the known proposition.[55][58] Mathematical knowledge, for example, that 2 + 2 = 4, is a paradigmatic case of a priori knowledge since no empirical investigation is necessary to confirm this fact.[57][58] The distinction between a posteriori and a priori knowledge is usually equated with the distinction between empirical and non-empirical knowledge.[57] This distinction pertains primarily to knowledge but it can also be applied to propositions or arguments. For example, an a priori proposition is a proposition that can be known independently of experience.[54]

The prime example of the relevant experience in question is sensory experience. However, some non-sensory experiences, like memory and introspection, are often included as well. But certain conscious phenomena are excluded in this context. For example, the conscious phenomenon of a rational insight into the solution of a mathematical problem does not make the resulting knowledge a posteriori.[54][55] It is sometimes pointed out that, in a trivial sense, some form of experience is required even for a priori knowledge: the experience needed to learn the language in which the claim is expressed. For a priori knowledge, this is the only form of experience required. For this reason, knowing that "all bachelors are unmarried" is considered a form of a priori knowledge since, given an understanding of the terms "bachelor" and "unmarried", no further experience is necessary to know that it is true.[54][55] One difficulty for a priori knowledge is to explain how it is possible. It is usually seen as unproblematic that one can come to know things through experience but it is not clear how knowledge is possible without experience. One of the earliest solutions to this problem is due to Plato, who argues that, in the context of geometry, the soul already possesses the knowledge and just needs to recollect or remember it to access it again.[58][59] A similar explanation is given by René Descartes, who holds that a priori knowledge exists as innate knowledge present in the mind of each human.[58] A different approach is to posit a special mental faculty responsible for this type of knowledge, often referred to as rational insight or rational intuition.[54]

The distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge is closely related to two other distinctions: the distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions and the distinction between necessary and contingent propositions.[54][60][61] Traditionally, it was often assumed that these distinctions coincide. On this view, a priori knowledge concerns propositions that are analytic and necessary while a posteriori knowledge is about propositions that are synthetic and contingent. However, this position is rejected by many contemporary philosophers. One reason is that these distinctions belong to different fields. The a priori–a posteriori distinction belongs to epistemology and is about how one knows things. The analytic–synthetic distinction pertains to semantics and concerns how the meanings of terms make a proposition true. The necessary–contingent distinction is metaphysical and asks, for example, whether a proposition is true in all possible worlds or just in some of them.[54] Various discussions in the academic literature concern the question of how these distinctions overlap or fail to overlap, for example, on cases of synthetic a priori truths or of contingent a priori truths.[54][60][62]


In philosophy, "self-knowledge" usually refers to a person's knowledge of their own sensations, thoughts, beliefs, and other mental states. Many philosophers hold that it is a special type of knowledge since it is more direct than knowledge of the external world, which is mediated through the senses. Traditionally, it was often claimed that self-knowledge is indubitable, for example, that when someone is in pain, they cannot be wrong about this fact. However, various contemporary theorists reject this position. A closely related issue is to explain how self-knowledge works. Some understand it as a form of knowledge by acquaintance while others claim that there is an inner sense that works in analogy to how the external five senses work. According to a different perspective, self-knowledge is indirect in the sense that a person has to interpret their internal and external behavior in order to learn about their mental states, similar to how one can learn about the mental states of other people by interpreting their external behavior.[63][64][65]

In a slightly different sense, the term self-knowledge can also refer to the knowledge of the self as a persisting entity that has certain personality traits, preferences, physical attributes, relationships, goals, and social identities. This meaning is of particular interest to psychology and refers to a person's awareness of their own characteristics.[66][67][68] Self-knowledge is closely related to self-concept, the difference being that the self-concept also includes unrealistic aspects of how a person sees themselves. In this regard, self-knowledge is often measured by comparing a person's self-assessment of their character traits with how other people assess this person's traits.[67]

Situated knowledge

Situated knowledge is knowledge specific to a particular situation.[69][70] It is closely related to practical or tacit knowledge, which is learned and applied in specific circumstances. This especially concerns certain forms of acquiring knowledge, such as trial and error or learning from experience.[71] In this regard, situated knowledge usually lacks a more explicit structure and is not articulated in terms of universal ideas.[70] The term is often used in feminism and postmodernism to point out that many forms of knowledge are not absolute but depend on the concrete historical, cultural, and linguistic context.[69][70] Understood in this way, it is frequently used to argue against absolute or universal knowledge claims stated in the scientific discourse. Donna Haraway is a prominent defender of this position.[71][72] One of her arguments is based on the idea that perception is embodied and is not a universal "gaze from nowhere".[71] Some interpreters associate with this position a form of epistemological relativism because of how knowledge depends on the local conditions of the culture in which it arises.[69][73]

Higher and lower knowledge

Many forms of eastern spirituality and religion distinguish between higher and lower knowledge. They are also referred to as para vidya and apara vidya in Hinduism or the two truths doctrine in Buddhism. Lower knowledge is based on the senses and the intellect.[74] In this regard, all forms of empirical and objective knowledge belong to this category.[75] Most of the knowledge needed in one's everyday functioning is lower knowledge. It is about mundane or conventional things that are in tune with common sense, like that mice are smaller than elephants. It is relevant to many practical issues, like how to repair a car or how to persuade a customer.[74][76] Scientific knowledge, for example, that the chemical composition of water is H2O, is often seen as one of the most advanced forms of lower knowledge.[77]

Higher knowledge, on the other hand, is understood as knowledge of God, the absolute, the true self, or the ultimate reality. It belongs neither to the external world of physical objects nor to the internal world of the experience of emotions and concepts. Many spiritual teachings emphasize the increased importance, or sometimes even exclusive importance, of higher knowledge in comparison to lower knowledge. This is usually based on the idea that achieving higher knowledge is one of the central steps on the spiritual path. In this regard, higher knowledge is seen as what frees the individual from ignorance, helps them realize God, or liberates them from the cycle of rebirth.[75][76] This is often combined with the view that lower knowledge is in some way based on a delusion: it belongs to the realm of mere appearances or Maya, while higher knowledge manages to view the reality underlying these appearances.[77] In the Buddhist tradition, the attainment of higher knowledge or ultimate truth is often associated with seeing the world from the perspective of sunyata, i.e. as a form of emptiness lacking inherent existence or intrinsic nature.[74][78][79]

Sources of knowledge

Picture of the five senses
Perception using one of the five senses is an important source of knowledge.

Sources of knowledge are "rational capacities for knowledge" or ways how people come to know things.[80] Various sources of knowledge are discussed in the academic literature, often in terms of the mental faculties responsible. They include perception, introspection, memory, inference, and testimony. However, not everyone agrees that all of them actually lead to knowledge. Usually, perception or observation, i.e. using one of the senses, is identified as the most important source of empirical knowledge.[5][6][81] So knowing that the baby is sleeping constitutes observational knowledge if it was caused by a perception of the snoring baby. But this would not be the case if one learned about this fact through a telephone conversation with one's spouse. Direct realists explain observational knowledge by holding that perception constitutes a direct contact with the perceived object. Indirect realists, on the other hand, contend that this contact happens indirectly: we can only directly perceive sense data, which are then interpreted as representing external objects. This distinction is important since it affects whether the knowledge of external objects is direct or indirect and may thus have an impact on how certain the knowledge is.[10] Introspection is often seen in analogy to perception as a source of knowledge, not of external physical objects, but of internal mental states. Traditionally, various theorists have ascribed a special epistemic status to introspection by claiming that it is infallible or that there is no introspective difference between appearance and reality. However, this claim has been contested in the contemporary discourse. Critics argue that it may be possible, for example, to mistake an unpleasant itch for a pain or to confuse the experience of a slight ellipse for the experience of a circle.[10] Perceptual and introspective knowledge often act as a form of fundamental or basic knowledge. According to some empiricists, perceptual knowledge is the only source of basic knowledge and provides the foundation for all other knowledge.[5][6]

Memory is usually identified as another source of knowledge. It differs from perception and introspection in that it is not as independent or fundamental as they are since it depends on other previous experiences.[10][82] The faculty of memory retains knowledge acquired in the past and makes it accessible in the present, as when remembering a past event or a friend's phone number.[83][84] It is generally considered a reliable source of knowledge, but it may deceive us at times nonetheless, either because the original experience was unreliable or because the memory degraded and does not accurately represent the original experience anymore.[10]

Knowledge based on perception, introspection, or memory may also give rise to inferential knowledge, which comes about when reasoning is applied to draw inferences from another known fact.[5][6][10] In this regard, the perceptual knowledge of a Czech stamp on a postcard may give rise to the inferential knowledge that one's friend is visiting the Czech Republic. According to rationalists, some forms of knowledge are completely independent of observation and introspection. They are needed to explain how certain a priori beliefs, like the mathematical belief that 2 + 2 = 4, constitute knowledge. Some theorists hold that the faculty of pure reason or rational intuition is responsible in these cases since there seem to be no sensory perceptions that could justify such general and abstract knowledge.[82][85] However, difficulties in providing a clear account of pure reason or rational intuition have led various empirically minded epistemologists to doubt that they constitute independent sources of knowledge.[5][6][10] A closely related approach is to hold that this type of knowledge is innate. According to Plato's theory of recollection, for example, it is accessed through a special form of remembering.[5][6]

Photograph of a person giving testimony at a trial
Testimony is an important source of knowledge for many everyday purposes. The testimony given at a trial is one special case.

Testimony is often included as an additional source of knowledge. Unlike the other sources, it is not tied to one specific cognitive faculty. Instead, it is based on the idea that one person can come to know a fact because another person talks about this fact. Testimony can happen in numerous ways, like regular speech, a letter, the newspaper, or an online blog. The problem of testimony consists in clarifying under what circumstances and why it constitutes a source of knowledge. A popular response is that it depends on the reliability of the person pronouncing the testimony: only testimony from reliable sources can lead to knowledge.[10][86][87]

Structure of knowledge

The expression "structure of knowledge" refers to the way in which the mental states of a person need to be related to each other for knowledge to arise.[88][89] Most theorists hold that, among other things, an agent has to have good reasons for holding a belief if this belief is to amount to knowledge. So when challenged, the agent may justify their belief by referring to their reason for holding it. In many cases, this reason is itself a belief that may as well be challenged. So when the agent believes that Ford cars are cheaper than BMWs because they believe to have heard this from a reliable source, they may be challenged to justify why they believe that their source is reliable. If it turns out that their reasons are not well supported, this also affects the epistemic status of the original belief. However, whatever support they present may also be challenged.[4][10][13] This threatens to lead to an infinite regress since the epistemic status at each step depends on the epistemic status of the previous step.[90][91] Theories of the structure of knowledge offer responses for how to solve this problem.[4][10][13]

Diagram showing the differences between foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism
Foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism are theories of the structure of knowledge. The black arrows symbolize how one belief supports another belief.

The three most common theories are foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism. Foundationalists and coherentists deny the existence of this infinite regress, in contrast to infinitists.[4][10][13] According to foundationalists, some basic reasons have their epistemic status independent of other reasons and thereby constitute the endpoint of the regress. Against this view, it has been argued that the concept of "basic reason" is contradictory: there should be a reason for why some reasons are basic and others are non-basic, in which case the basic reasons would depend on another reason after all and would therefore not be basic. An additional problem consists in finding plausible candidates for basic reasons.[4][10][13]

Coherentists and infinitists avoid these problems by denying the distinction between basic and non-basic reasons. Coherentists argue that there is only a finite number of reasons, which mutually support each other and thereby ensure each other's epistemic status.[4][10] Their critics contend that this constitutes the fallacy of circular reasoning.[92][93] For example, if belief b1 supports belief b2 and belief b2 supports belief b1, the agent has a reason for accepting one belief if they already have the other. However, their mutual support alone is not a good reason for newly accepting both beliefs at once. A closely related issue is that there can be various distinct sets of coherent beliefs and coherentists face the problem of explaining why we should accept one coherent set rather than another.[4][10] For infinitists, in contrast to foundationalists and coherentists, there is an infinite number of reasons. This position faces the problem of explaining how human knowledge is possible at all since it seems that the human mind is limited and cannot possess an infinite amount of reasons.[4] In their traditional forms, foundationalists, coherentists and infinitists all face the Gettier problem, i.e. that having a reason or justification for a true belief is not sufficient for knowledge in cases where cognitive luck is responsible for the success.[4]

Value of knowledge

Sculpture showing a torch being passed form one person to another
Los portadores de la antorcha (The Torch-Bearers) – Sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington symbolizing the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next (Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain)

The value of knowledge is an important topic in epistemology. Its main question is whether or why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief.[94][95] There is wide agreement that knowledge is good in some sense. For example, knowledge can help a student pass the exam or ensure that a doctor prescribes the right medicine.[95] However, the thesis that knowledge is better than true belief is more controversial. An early discussion of this problem is found in Plato's Meno in relation to the claim that both knowledge and true belief can successfully guide action and, therefore, have apparently the same value. For example, it seems that mere true belief is as effective as knowledge when trying to find the way to Larissa.[94][96] According to Plato, knowledge is better because it is more stable.[95] A different approach is to hold that knowledge gets its additional value from justification. However, if the value in question is understood primarily as an instrumental value, it is not clear in what sense knowledge is better than mere true belief since they are usually equally useful.[94]

The problem of the value of knowledge is often discussed in relation to reliabilism and virtue epistemology.[94][95][97] Reliabilism can be defined as the thesis that knowledge is reliably-formed true belief. On this view, it seems difficult to explain how a reliable belief-forming process adds additional value.[94] According to an analogy by Linda Zagzebski, a cup of coffee made by a reliable coffee machine has the same value as an equally good cup of coffee made by an unreliable coffee machine.[98] This difficulty in solving the value problem is sometimes used as an argument against reliabilism. Virtue epistemologists have a different approach to the value problem. They see knowledge as the manifestation of cognitive virtues and can thus argue that knowledge has additional value due to its association with virtue. However, not everyone agrees that knowledge actually has additional value over true belief. A similar view is defended by Jonathan Kvanvig, who argues that the main epistemic value resides not in knowledge but in understanding, which implies grasping how one's beliefs cohere with each other.[94][95][99]

Philosophical skepticism

Bust of Pyrrho of Elis
Pyrrho of Elis was one of the first philosophical skeptics.

Philosophical skepticism in its strongest form, also referred to as global skepticism, is the thesis that we lack any form of knowledge or that knowledge is impossible. This position is quite radical and very few philosophers have explicitly defended it. However, it has been influential nonetheless, usually in a negative sense: many researchers see it as a serious challenge to any epistemological theory and often try to show how their preferred theory overcomes it.[4][5][10] For example, it is commonly accepted that perceptual experience constitutes a source of knowledge. However, according to the dream argument, this is not the case since dreaming provides unreliable information and since the agent could be dreaming in that moment. In this case, they would be unable to distinguish actual perceptual experience from the dreaming experience. Since they may be dreaming at any time without being aware of this, it is then argued that there is no perceptual knowledge.[4][5][6] A similar often cited thought experiment assumes that the agent is actually a brain in a vat that is just fed electrical stimuli. Such a brain would have the false impression of having a body and interacting with the external world. The basic thrust of the argument is the same: since the agent is unable to tell the difference, they do not know that they have a body responsible for reliable perceptions.[10]

One issue revealed through these thought experiments is the problem of underdetermination: that the evidence available is not sufficient to make a rational decision between competing theories. And if two contrary hypotheses explain the appearances equally well then the agent is not justified in believing one of those hypotheses rather than the other. Based on this premise, the general skeptic just has to argue that this is true for all our knowledge, that there is always an alternative and very different explanation.[10] Another skeptic argument is based on the idea that human cognition is fallible and therefore lacks absolute certainty. More specific arguments target particular theories of knowledge, such as foundationalism or coherentism, and try to show that their concept of knowledge is deeply flawed.[4][10] An important argument against global skepticism is that it seems to contradict itself: the claim that there is no knowledge appears to constitute a knowledge-claim itself.[6] Other responses come from common sense philosophy and reject global skepticism based on the fact that it contradicts common sense. It is then argued against skepticism by seeing common sense as more reliable than the abstract reasoning cited in favor of skepticism.[10]

Certain less radical forms of skepticism deny that knowledge exists within a specific area or discipline, sometimes referred to as local or selective skepticism.[5][6][10] It is often motivated by the idea that certain phenomena do not accurately represent their subject matter. They may thus lead to false impressions concerning its nature. External world skeptics hold that we can only know about our own sensory impressions and experiences but not about the external world. This is based on the idea that beliefs about the external world are mediated through the senses. The senses are faulty at times and may thus show things that are not really there. This problem is avoided on the level of sensory impressions, which are given to the experiencer directly without an intermediary. In this sense, the person may be wrong about seeing a red Ferrari in the street (it might have been a Maserati or a mere light reflection) but they cannot be wrong about having a sensory impression of seeing a patch of red color.[5][6][10] The inverse path is taken by some materialists, who accept the existence of the external physical world but deny the existence of the internal realm of mind and consciousness based on the difficulty of explaining how the two realms can exist together.[13] Other forms of local skepticism accept scientific knowledge but deny the possibility of moral knowledge, for example, because there is no reliable way to empirically measure whether a moral claim is true or false. [5]

The issue of the definition and standards of knowledge is central to the question of whether skepticism in its different forms is true. If very high standards are used, for example, that knowledge implies infallibility, then skepticism becomes more plausible. In this case, the skeptic only has to show that no belief is absolutely certain; that while the actual belief is true, it could have been false. However, the more these standards are weakened to how the term is used in everyday language, the less plausible skepticism becomes.[6][100][10]

In various disciplines

Formal epistemology

Formal epistemology studies knowledge using formal tools, such as mathematics and logic.[101] An important issue in this field concerns the epistemic principles of knowledge. They are rules governing how knowledge and related states behave and in what relations they stand to each other. The transparency principle, also referred to as the luminosity of knowledge, is an often discussed principle. It states that knowing something implies the second-order knowledge that one knows it. So if Heike knows that today is Monday, then she also knows that she knows that today is Monday.[10][102][103] According to the conjunction principle, having two justified beliefs in two separate propositions implies that the agent is also justified in believing in the conjunction of these two propositions. The closure principle states that if the agent has a justified belief in one proposition and this proposition entails another proposition, then the agent is also justified in believing this other proposition. The evidence transfer principle applies this idea to evidence: if, in the case above, a certain piece of evidence justifies the first belief then it also justifies the second belief.[4]


The development of the scientific method has made a significant contribution to how knowledge of the physical world and its phenomena is acquired.[104] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning and experimentation.[105][106] The scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[107] Science and the nature of scientific knowledge have also become the subject of philosophy. As science itself has developed, scientific knowledge now includes a broader usage[108] in the soft sciences such as the social sciences. Sir Francis Bacon was critical of the historical development of the scientific method; his works established and popularized an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry. His aphorism, "knowledge is power", is found in the Meditations Sacrae (1597).[109]


Knowledge plays a central role in many religions. Knowledge claims about the existence of God or religious doctrines about how each one should live their lives are found in almost every culture.[110] However, such knowledge claims are often controversial and are commonly rejected by religious skeptics and atheists.[111] The epistemology of religion is the field of inquiry that investigates whether belief in God and in other religious doctrines is rational and amounts to knowledge.[110][112] It is different from other forms of epistemology because of its unique subject matter.[111] One important view in this field is evidentialism. It states that belief in religious doctrines is justified if it is supported by sufficient evidence. Suggested examples of evidence for religious doctrines include religious experiences such as direct contact with the divine or inner testimony as when hearing God's voice.[110][112][113] However, evidentialists often reject that belief in religious doctrines amount to knowledge based on the claim that we lack sufficient evidence.[110][112] A famous saying in this regard is due to Bertrand Russell. When asked how he would justify his lack of belief in God when facing His judgment after death, he replied "Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence."[110]

However, religious teachings about the existence and nature of God are not always understood as knowledge claims by their defenders and some explicitly state that the proper attitude towards such doctrines is not knowledge but faith. This is often combined with the assumption that these doctrines are true but cannot be fully understood by reason or verified through rational inquiry. For this reason, it is claimed that one should accept them even though they do not amount to knowledge.[111] Such a view is reflected in a famous saying by Immanuel Kant where he claims that he "had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith."[114]

Distinct religions often differ from each other concerning the doctrines they proclaim as well as their understanding of the role of knowledge in religious practice.[115][116] Knowledge plays a central role in Abrahamic religions.[117] In Jewish tradition, knowledge (Hebrew: דעת da'ath) is considered one of the most valuable traits a person can acquire. Observant Jews recite three times a day in the Amidah "You favor people with knowledge and teach mortals understanding. Favor us with your knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Blessed are you, Adonai, who favors people with knowledge."[118][119][120] The Tanakh states, "A wise man is strong; yes, a man of knowledge grows in strength."[121] The Old Testament's tree of the knowledge of good and evil contained the knowledge that separated Man from God: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..." (Genesis 3:22)

In many expressions of Christianity, such as Catholicism[122] and Anglicanism,[123] knowledge is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. As Pope Francis points out, "the knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited to human knowledge; it is a special gift, which leads us to grasp, through creation, the greatness and love of God and his profound relationship with every creature."[124]

In Islam, knowledge (Arabic: علم, ʿilm) is given great significance. "The Knowing" (al-ʿAlīm) is one of the 99 names reflecting distinct attributes of God. The Qur'an asserts that knowledge comes from God (2:239) and various hadith encourage the acquisition of knowledge. Muhammad is reported to have said "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave" and "Verily the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophets". Islamic scholars, theologians and jurists are often given the title alim, meaning "knowledgeble".[125]

In Gnostic beliefs, everyone is said to possess a piece of the highest good or Ultimate God deep within themselves that had fallen from the spiritual world into the bodies of humans, sometimes called a divine spark. It is trapped in their material bodies created by the inferior God or Demiurge unless secret knowledge from the outside universe called gnosis is achieved. The one who brings such knowledge is considered the savior or redeemer.[126]

Oil painting showing Saraswati
Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and the arts in Hinduism.

Hindu Scriptures present two kinds of knowledge, Paroksh Gyan and Prataksh Gyan. Paroksh Gyan (also spelled Paroksha-Jnana) is secondhand knowledge: knowledge obtained from books, hearsay, etc. Pratyaksh Gyan (also spelled Pratyaksha-Jnana) is the knowledge borne of direct experience, i.e., knowledge that one discovers for oneself.[127] Knowledge is of special importance in the classical path of Hinduism known as jnana yoga or path of knowledge. Its aim is to achieve oneness with the divine by fostering an understanding of the self and its relation to Brahman or ultimate reality.[128][129]

According to the Jain texts like Tattvārthsūtra and Sarvārthasiddhi, there are five kinds of knowledge: sensory knowledge, scriptural knowledge, clairvoyance, telepathy, and omniscience (Mati Jñāna, Śruta Jñāna, Avadhi Jñāna, Manah prayāya, and Kevala Jnana). The first two kinds are regarded as indirect knowledge since the soul depends on the sense and the mind to acquire them. This is not the case for the remaining three kinds, which constitute direct knowledge.[130]


The anthropology of knowledge is a multi-disciplinary field of inquiry.[131][132] It studies how knowledge is acquired, stored, retrieved, and communicated.[133] Special interest is given to how knowledge is reproduced and undergoes changes in relation to social and cultural circumstances.[131] In this context, the term knowledge is used in a very broad sense, roughly equivalent to terms like understanding and culture.[131][134] This means that the forms and reproduction of understanding are studied irrespective of their truth value. In epistemology, on the other hand, knowledge is usually restricted to forms of true belief. The main focus in anthropology is on empirical observations of how people ascribe truth values to meaning contents, like when affirming an assertion, even if these contents are false.[131] But it also includes practical components: knowledge is what is employed when interpreting and acting on the world and involves diverse phenomena, such as feelings, embodied skills, information, and concepts. It is used to understand and anticipate events in order to prepare and react accordingly.[134]

The reproduction of knowledge and its changes often happen through some form of communication.[131][133] This includes face-to-face discussions and online communications as well as seminars and rituals. An important role in this context falls to institutions, like university departments or scientific journals in the academic context.[131] A tradition may be defined as knowledge that has been reproduced within a society or geographic region over several generations. However, societies also respond to various external influences, such as other societies, whose understanding is often interpreted and incorporated in a modified form.[131][134]

An important finding is that individuals belonging to the same social group usually understand things and organize knowledge in similar ways to one another. In this regard, social identities play a significant role: individuals who associate themselves with similar identities, like age-influenced, professional, religious, and ethnic identities, tend to embody similar forms of knowledge.[131][135]

See also



  1. ^ A mental state is factive if it is true or presents a fact. On a linguistic level, "to know" may be seen as an operator because it modifies the meaning of the that-clause following it. So the meaning of the expression "it rains" is changed by putting the operator "he knows that" in front of it. According to Timothy Williamson, knowledge is the most general factive mental state operator in the sense that any other factive mental state operator is also a form of knowledge.[39]
  2. ^ A defeater of a belief is evidence that this belief is false.[42]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ichikawa, Jonathan Jenkins; Steup, Matthias (2018). "The Analysis of Knowledge". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 2 May 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  2. ^ Bolisani, Ettore; Bratianu, Constantin (2018). "The Elusive Definition of Knowledge". Emergent Knowledge Strategies: Strategic Thinking in Knowledge Management. Springer International Publishing. pp. 1–22. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-60657-6_1. ISBN 9783319606576. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  3. ^ "knowledge: definition of knowledge in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". Archived from the original on 14 July 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Klein, Peter D. (1998). "Knowledge, concept of". In Craig, Edward (ed.). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London; New York: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P031-1. ISBN 9780415250696. OCLC 38096851. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Hetherington, Stephen. "Knowledge". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Stroll, Avrum. "epistemology". Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b Stanley, Jason; Willlamson, Timothy (2001). "Knowing How". Journal of Philosophy. 98 (8): 411–444. doi:10.2307/2678403. JSTOR 2678403. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d Zagzebski 1999, p. 92.
  9. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 109.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Steup, Matthias; Neta, Ram (2020). "Epistemology". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 21 July 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  11. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 99.
  12. ^ Hannon, Michael (2021). "Knowledge, concept of". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London; New York: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P031-2 (inactive 31 July 2022). ISBN 9780415073103. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of July 2022 (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lehrer, Keith (15 October 2015). "1. The Analysis of Knowledge". Theory of Knowledge. Routledge. ISBN 9781135196097. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  14. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 96.
  15. ^ Gupta, Anil (2021). "Definitions: 1.1 Real and nominal definitions". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b Zagzebski 1999, p. 99-100.
  17. ^ Silva, Paul Jr. (September 2019). "Beliefless knowing". Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. 100 (3): 723–746. doi:10.1111/papq.12273. S2CID 240808741.
  18. ^ Crumley, Jack S. (2016). "What do you know? Look at the artifacts". Introducing Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada: Broadview Press. pp. 51–52. ISBN 9781554811298. OCLC 950057343. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  19. ^ a b Allen, Barry (2005). "Knowledge". In Horowitz, Maryanne Cline (ed.). New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 1199–1204. ISBN 0684313774. OCLC 55800981. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017.
  20. ^ Pritchard, Duncan (1 October 2013). "3 Defining knowledge". What is this thing called Knowledge?. Routledge. ISBN 9781134573677. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  21. ^ McCain, Kevin. "Problem of the Criterion". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  22. ^ Fumerton, Richard (25 September 2008). "The Problem of the Criterion". The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. pp. 34–52. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195183214.003.0003. ISBN 9780195183214. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  23. ^ Gottschalk-Mazouz, N. (2 May 2013). "Internet and the flow of knowledge". In Hrachovec, Herbert; Pichler, Alois (eds.). Philosophy of the Information Society: Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2007 (PDF). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 215–32. ISBN 9783110328486. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2015.
  24. ^ Black, Tim (1 April 2002). "Relevant alternatives and the shifting standards of knowledge". Southwest Philosophy Review. 18 (1): 23–32. doi:10.5840/swphilreview20021813. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  25. ^ Klausen, Søren Harnow (March 2015). "Group knowledge: a real-world approach". Synthese. 192 (3): 813–839. doi:10.1007/s11229-014-0589-9. S2CID 207246817.
  26. ^ Lackey, Jennifer (February 2021). The Epistemology of Groups. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199656608.
  27. ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary: knowledge". HarperCollins. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  28. ^ Magee, Bryan; Popper, Karl R. (1971). "Conversation with Karl Popper". In Magee, Bryan (ed.). Modern British philosophy. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 74–75. ISBN 9780192830470. OCLC 314039. Popper: Putting our ideas into words, or better, writing them down, makes an important difference. [...] It is what I call 'knowledge in the objective sense'. Scientific knowledge belongs to it. It is this knowledge which is stored in our libraries rather than our heads. Magee: And you regard the knowledge stored in our libraries as more important than the knowledge stored in our heads. Popper: Much more important, from every point of view
  29. ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary: knowledge base". HarperCollins. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  30. ^ Walton, Douglas N. (January 2005). "Pragmatic and idealized models of knowledge and ignorance". American Philosophical Quarterly. 42 (1): 59–69 (59, 64). JSTOR 20010182. It is a pervasive assumption in recent analytical philosophy that knowledge can be defined as a modality representing a rational agent's true and consistent beliefs. Such views are based on rationality assumptions. One is that knowledge can only consist of true propositions. This way of speaking is sharply at odds with the way we speak about knowledge, for example, in computing, where a so-called knowledge base can be a database, that is, a set of data that has been collected and is thought to consist of true propositions, even though, realistically speaking, many of them might later be shown to be false or untenable. [...] The pragmatic account of knowledge starts with a knowledge system, meaning a working system with an agent having a database. [...] The notion of a search can be a social one, in many instances. A group of agents can be engaged in the search, and some of them can know things that others do not know.
  31. ^ Parikh, Rohit; Renero, Adriana (2017). "Justified True Belief: Plato, Gettier, and Turing". Philosophical Explorations of the Legacy of Alan Turing: Turing 100. Springer International Publishing. pp. 93–102. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-53280-6_4. ISBN 9783319532806. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  32. ^ Chappell, Sophie-Grace (2019). "Plato on Knowledge in the Theaetetus". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  33. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 93.
  34. ^ a b Zagzebski 1999, p. 100.
  35. ^ Hetherington, Stephen. "Gettier Problems". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  36. ^ Rodríguez, Ángel García (2018). "Fake barns and our epistemological theorizing". Crítica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía. 50 (148): 29–54. doi:10.22201/iifs.18704905e.2018.02. ISSN 0011-1503. JSTOR 26767766. S2CID 171635198. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  37. ^ Goldman, Alvin I. (18 November 1976). "Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge". The Journal of Philosophy. 73 (20): 771–791. doi:10.2307/2025679. JSTOR 2025679.
  38. ^ a b Sudduth, Michael. "Defeaters in Epistemology: 2b Defeasibility Analyses and Propositional Defeaters". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  39. ^ Ask Zaar, Balder Edmund (December 2021). "Has Williamson's Claim that Knowledge Is the most General Factive Mental State Been Disproved?". Theoria. 87 (6): 1609–1634. doi:10.1111/theo.12369. S2CID 244055259.
  40. ^ Durán, Juan M.; Formanek, Nico (1 December 2018). "Grounds for Trust: Essential Epistemic Opacity and Computational Reliabilism". Minds and Machines. 28 (4): 645–666. doi:10.1007/s11023-018-9481-6. ISSN 1572-8641. S2CID 53102940. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  41. ^ Comesaña, Juan (2005). "Justified vs. Warranted Perceptual Belief: Resisting Disjunctivism". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 71 (2): 367–383. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00453.x. ISSN 0031-8205. JSTOR 40040862. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  42. ^ McCain, Kevin; Stapleford, Scott; Steup, Matthias (21 October 2021). Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge. p. 111. ISBN 9781000468519.
  43. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 101.
  44. ^ Kraft, Tim (2012). "Scepticism, Infallibilism, Fallibilism". Discipline Filosofiche. 22 (2): 49–70. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  45. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 103-4.
  46. ^ Sidelle, Alan (2001). "An Argument That Internalism Requires Infallibility". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 63 (1): 163–179. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00096.x. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  47. ^ Kirkham, Richard L. (October 1984). "Does the Gettier Problem Rest on a Mistake?". Mind. New Series. 93 (372): 501–513. doi:10.1093/mind/XCIII.372.501. JSTOR 2254258.
  48. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 93-4, 104-5.
  49. ^ a b c Pritchard, Duncan (1 October 2013). "1 Some preliminaries". What is this thing called Knowledge?. Routledge. ISBN 9781134573677. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  50. ^ Bartlett, Gary (2018). "Occurrent States". Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 48 (1): 1–17. doi:10.1080/00455091.2017.1323531. S2CID 220316213. Archived from the original on 4 May 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  51. ^ Schwitzgebel, Eric (2021). "Belief: 2.1 Occurrent Versus Dispositional Belief". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  52. ^ Hasan, Ali; Fumerton, Richard (2020). "Knowledge by Acquaintance vs. Description: 1. The Distinction". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 31 May 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  53. ^ DePoe, John M. "Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i Baehr, Jason S. "A Priori and A Posteriori". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  55. ^ a b c d Russell, Bruce (2020). "A Priori Justification and Knowledge". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  56. ^ "a posteriori knowledge". Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  57. ^ a b c Moser, Paul K. "A posteriori". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  58. ^ a b c d "a priori knowledge". Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  59. ^ Woolf, Raphael (1 January 2013). "Plato and the Norms of Thought". Mind. 122 (485): 171–216. doi:10.1093/mind/fzt012. ISSN 0026-4423.
  60. ^ a b Casullo, Albert (2006). "Knowledge, A Priori". In Borchert, Donald (ed.). Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition. Macmillan. ISBN 9780028657905.
  61. ^ Russell, Gillian. "Analytic/Synthetic Distinction". Oxford Bibliographies. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  62. ^ "synthetic a priori proposition". Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  63. ^ Gertler, Brie (2021). "Self-Knowledge". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  64. ^ Gertler, Brie (25 November 2010). "1. Introduction". Self-Knowledge. Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 9781136858116.
  65. ^ McGeer, V. (2001). "Self-knowledge: Philosophical Aspects". International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: 13837–13841. doi:10.1016/B0-08-043076-7/01073-1. ISBN 9780080430768.
  66. ^ Gertler, Brie. "Self-Knowledge > Knowledge of the Self". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  67. ^ a b Morin, Alain; Racy, Famira (1 January 2021). "15. Dynamic self-processes - Self-knowledge". The Handbook of Personality Dynamics and Processes. Academic Press. pp. 373–4. ISBN 9780128139950.
  68. ^ Kernis, Michael H. (15 April 2013). Self-Esteem Issues and Answers: A Sourcebook of Current Perspectives. Psychology Press. p. 209. ISBN 9781134952700.
  69. ^ a b c "situated knowledge". APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  70. ^ a b c Hunter, Lynette (2009). "Situated Knowledge". Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts and Creative Cartographies. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 151–153. doi:10.1057/9780230244481_23. ISBN 9780230244481.
  71. ^ a b c Haraway, Donna (1988). "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective". Feminist Studies. 14 (3): 575–599. doi:10.2307/3178066. JSTOR 3178066. S2CID 39794636.
  72. ^ Thompson, C. M. (1 January 2001). "Situated Knowledge: Feminist and Science and Technology Studies Perspectives". International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Pergamon. pp. 14129–14133. ISBN 9780080430768.
  73. ^ "relativism". APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  74. ^ a b c Thakchoe, Sonam (2022). "The Theory of Two Truths in India". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  75. ^ a b "Para and Apara Vidya". The Hindu. 18 September 2018. Archived from the original on 31 May 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  76. ^ a b Mishra, T. K. (4 August 2021). The Power of Ethics: Some lessons from the Bhagavad-Gita. K.K. Publications. p. 52. ISBN 9788178441276. Archived from the original on 30 July 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  77. ^ a b Ghose, Aurobindo (September 1998). "Political Writings and Speeches. 1890–1908: The Glory of God in Man". Bande Mataram II. ISBN 8170584167.
  78. ^ Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1. Archived from the original on 21 November 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  79. ^ Christopher W. Gowans (2014). Buddhist Moral Philosophy: An Introduction. Routledge. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9781317659341. Archived from the original on 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  80. ^ Kern, Andrea (2 January 2017). Sources of Knowledge: On the Concept of a Rational Capacity for Knowledge. Harvard University Press. pp. 8–10. ISBN 9780674416116.
  81. ^ O’Brien, Daniel. "The Epistemology of Perception". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  82. ^ a b Audi, Robert (2002). "The Sources of Knowledge". The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 71–94. ISBN 9780195130058. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  83. ^ Gardiner, J. M. (29 September 2001). "Episodic memory and autonoetic consciousness: a first-person approach". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 356 (1413): 1351–1361. doi:10.1098/rstb.2001.0955. ISSN 0962-8436. PMC 1088519. PMID 11571027.
  84. ^ Michaelian, Kourken; Sutton, John (2017). "Memory: 3. Episodicity". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 5 October 2021. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  85. ^ Markie, Peter; Folescu, M. (2021). "Rationalism vs. Empiricism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  86. ^ Leonard, Nick (2021). "Epistemological Problems of Testimony". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  87. ^ Green, Christopher R. "Epistemology of Testimony". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  88. ^ Hasan, Ali; Fumerton, Richard (2018). "Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  89. ^ Fumerton, Richard (2022). Foundationalism. doi:10.1017/9781009028868. ISBN 9781009028868. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  90. ^ Cameron, Ross (2018). "Infinite Regress Arguments". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  91. ^ Clark, Romane (1988). "Vicious Infinite Regress Arguments". Philosophical Perspectives. 2: 369–380. doi:10.2307/2214081. JSTOR 2214081. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  92. ^ Murphy, Peter. "Coherentism in Epistemology". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  93. ^ Lammenranta, Markus. "Epistemic Circularity". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  94. ^ a b c d e f Pritchard, Duncan; Turri, John; Carter, J. Adam (2022). "The Value of Knowledge". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  95. ^ a b c d e Olsson, Erik J (December 2011). "The Value of Knowledge: The Value of Knowledge". Philosophy Compass. 6 (12): 874–883. doi:10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00425.x. S2CID 143034920.
  96. ^ Plato (2002). Five Dialogues. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. Co. pp. 89–90, 97b–98a. ISBN 9780872206335.
  97. ^ Pritchard, Duncan (April 2007). "Recent Work on Epistemic Value". American Philosophical Quarterly. 44 (2): 85–110. JSTOR 20464361.
  98. ^ Turri, John; Alfano, Mark; Greco, John (2021). "Virtue Epistemology: 6. Epistemic Value". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  99. ^ Kvanvig, Jonathan L. (2003). The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 9781139442282. Archived from the original on 23 July 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  100. ^ Zagzebski 1999, p. 97-8.
  101. ^ Weisberg, Jonathan (2021). "Formal Epistemology". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  102. ^ Das, Nilanjan; Salow, Bernhard (2018). "Transparency and the KK Principle". Noûs. 52 (1): 3–23. doi:10.1111/nous.12158. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  103. ^ Dokic, Jérôme; Égré, Paul (2009). "Margin for Error and the Transparency of Knowledge". Synthese. 166 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1007/s11229-007-9245-y. S2CID 14221986. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  104. ^ "Science – Definition of science by Merriam-Webster". Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  105. ^ Boyd, Nora Mills; Bogen, James (2021). "Theory and Observation in Science: 2. Observation and data". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  106. ^ Newton, Isaac; Cohen, I. Bernard; Whitman, Anne (20 October 1999). "Book III: The System of the World". The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Univ of California Press. pp. 794–6. ISBN 9780520088160.
  107. ^ "Definition of scientific method". Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  108. ^ Wilson, Timothy D. (12 July 2012). "Stop bullying the 'soft' sciences". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  109. ^ "Sir Francis Bacon –". Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  110. ^ a b c d e Clark, Kelly James. "Religious Epistemology". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  111. ^ a b c Penelhum, Terence (1971). "1. Faith, Scepticism and Philosophy". Problems of Religious Knowledge. Macmillan. ISBN 9780333106334.
  112. ^ a b c Forrest, Peter (2021). "The Epistemology of Religion". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  113. ^ Dougherty, Trent (12 June 2014). "Faith, Trust, and Testimony". Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue: 97–123. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672158.003.0005. ISBN 9780199672158.
  114. ^ Stevenson, Leslie (March 2003). "Opinion, Belief or Faith, and Knowledge". Kantian Review. 7: 72–101. doi:10.1017/S1369415400001746. ISSN 2044-2394. S2CID 143965507.
  115. ^ PADEN, WILLIAM E. (2009). "Comparative religion". The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion. pp. 239–256. doi:10.4324/9780203868768-19. ISBN 9780203868768.
  116. ^ Bouquet, Alan Coates (1962). Comparative Religion: A Short Outline. CUP Archive. p. 1.
  117. ^ Acar, Rahim; Bas, Bilal; Kirby, Torrance (15 January 2013). Philosophy and the Abrahamic Religions: Scriptural Hermeneutics and Epistemology. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443845588.
  118. ^ Ellenson, David (1997). My People's Prayer Book: The Amidah. Jewish Lights Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 9781879045804.
  119. ^ Nulman, Macy (1 February 1996). The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer: The Ashkenazic and Sephardic Rites. Jason Aronson, Incorporated. p. 49. ISBN 9781461631248.
  120. ^ Jacobs, Louis (1987). The Book of Jewish Practice. Behrman House, Inc. p. 135. ISBN 9780874414608.
  121. ^ Stern, David H. (June 2001). "Mishlei 24". Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'rit Hadashah (New Testament). Jewish New Testament Publications. ISBN 9789653590199.
  122. ^ "Part Three, No. 1831". Catechism of the Catholic Church. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2007.
  123. ^ ""Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit", An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church". Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  124. ^ ""The gifts of the Holy Spirit open us to divine inspirations", Catholic News Service, September 10, 2020". Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  125. ^ "Alim". Lexico. Oxford. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  126. ^ Denova, Rebecca (9 April 2021). "Gnosticism". World History Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  127. ^ Swami Krishnananda. "Chapter 7". The Philosophy of the Panchadasi. The Divine Life Society. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  128. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). "jnana". Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816075645.
  129. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). "Bhagavad Gita". Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816075645.
  130. ^ Jain, S.A. (1992). Reality. Jwalamalini Trust. p. 16-20.
  131. ^ a b c d e f g h Allwood, Carl Martin (17 October 2013). "Anthropology of Knowledge". The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 69–72. doi:10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp025. ISBN 9781118339893.
  132. ^ Boyer, Dominic (2007). "1. Of Dialectical Germans and Dialectical Ethnographers: Notes from an Engagement with Philosophy". In Harris, Mark (ed.). Ways of Knowing: Anthropological Approaches to Crafting Experience and Knowledge. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781845453640.
  133. ^ a b Cohen, Emma (2010). "Anthropology of knowledge". The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 16: S193–S202. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9655.2010.01617.x. hdl:11858/00-001M-0000-0012-9B72-7. JSTOR 40606072.
  134. ^ a b c Barth, Fredrik (February 2002). "An Anthropology of Knowledge". Current Anthropology. 43 (1): 1–18. doi:10.1086/324131. hdl:1956/4191. ISSN 0011-3204.
  135. ^ Hansen, Judith Friedman (1982). "From Background to Foreground: Toward an Anthropology of Learning". Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 13 (2): 193. doi:10.1525/aeq.1982.13.2.05x1833m. ISSN 0161-7761. JSTOR 3216630.


External links