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This article covers many aspects of knowledge. For the philosophical areas of knowledge please use epistemology.

Proposed edit notice[edit]

The edit notice (Template:Editnotices/Page/Knowledge) can only be created by an admin or a template editor. Nevertheless, I propose the following (less grumpy but hopefully effective):


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| header = "Philosophy" game editing

| headerstyle = font-size: 120%;

| textstyle = background-color: #fee;

| text = Please note that altering the order of wikilinks or otherwise editing the lead of the article for the sole purpose of playing the Get to philosophy game is considered disruptive. These edits will be quickly reverted.

}} — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pichpich (talkcontribs)

 DoneMusikAnimal talk 23:37, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Classical definition of knowledge[edit]

The article states: "Plato famously defined knowledge as ´justified true belief.´" No citation is given, however. While this definition (known as the classical definition of knowledge) is commonly attributed to Plato, it is unclear wheather he actually ever presented or subscribed to such a definition. The exact formulation commonly used is not found in either the Theatetus or the Republic, nor in any other known work of Plato. Historians of philosophy usually take the closest assimile to the classical definition to be Theatetus 201c: "...knowledge was true opinion accompanied by reason". It is not established that Plato means to accept this as a definition of knowledge.

I suggest that the reference to Plato be removed or else that at least the relevant section of Theatetus be cited. Reference to Plato could be removed by simply saying that the definition in question is the classical definition (instead of claiming that it is the definition given by Plato). If deemed important, it can be stated that this definition is commonly attributed to Plato (some citation would be needed then to credit the the statement that this practice is indeed common).

I will not edit the page, but I strongly suggest that some editing be done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I would have thought there were more than enough third party sources that attribute that to the justification dialogues of Socrates in Theatetus for us to be comfortable with it. ----Snowded TALK 18:22, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Ordinary knowledge[edit]

This article is about knowledge, not epistemology, philosophy of knowledge. Sophisticated treatment of epistemology belongs there. The subject of the article is much more ordinary. By the way, the material deleted regarding the origin of ordinary knowledge in authority and division of labor had 3 footnotes in the cited reference. They include Coudy, Tony, Testimony, A Philosophical Study, Princeton University Press; Audi, Robert, 1997, "The Place of Testimony in the Fabric of Knowledge and Justification," American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (No. 4) 404-42; and Adler, Jonathan E., 2002, Belief's Own Ethics, MIT PressUser:Fred Bauder Talk 09:35, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Please keep in mind that the subject of this article is knowledge, not how a sophisticated epistemologist knows something. People, in general, know things. How, why, and the implications of that knowledge is also part of this article. BTW, Russell Hardin is, for the most part, a political scientist. Do you see how what people "know" relates to politics? User:Fred Bauder Talk 09:38, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
You have several problems. Its a single sourced addition, you've added it as a section right up front elevating the status, the source does not establish that it is a sub-division of knowledge as a field, its just a title used by one author in the context of a thesis in economics. Please note WP:BRD, you have been reverted you now discuss and don't reinstate until there is consensus on the talk page. From what you have placed there I see no justification for the addition. A wider section on knowledge in economics (if referenced as a field) might justify some reference. But its not a major section upfront in the article ----Snowded TALK 09:47, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Good point about placement in the article, Not really a theory of knowledge. Definitely holds itself out as economics. By the way this is not a new discussion. Discussed, hotly, with User:Larry Sanger a decade ago. User:Fred Bauder Talk 10:31, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh, Ho! You describe "Knowledge" as a field. If there is such a field, it is epistemology, or sociology of knowledge, or simply Anthropology. Knowledge as an Wikipedia subject is not about a field of study but about a subject which is part of the everyday life of all beings. Even a worm knows and acts on that knowledge.
A question: What is the body of knowledge that forms the basis for the questions, and correct answers, in a quiz show on popular television? What is it called? How and where does it fit into this article? Name an epistemologist who has qualified as a contestant on Jeopardy!. Is a degree in epistemology and 10 years of experience and 30 published articles a qualification? User:Fred Bauder Talk 10:26, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Anthropological treatments of knowledge fall in the epistemological tradition as does most sociology, similar references etc. I'm less expert on worms but the idea that a genetic or even an epigenetic response to sitimulus is knowledge is questionable. I'm not sure how many 'ordinary' views of knowledge would not be covered in philosophy anyway, that is not confined the the pin head dancing of analytic philosophy. The point is that we need some third party source to establish the significance of something. ----Snowded TALK 11:16, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Wrong knowledge is still knowledge[edit]

"Complementary to the sociology of knowledge is the sociology of ignorance[1] including the study of nescience, ignorance, knowledge gaps or non-knowledge as inherent features of knowledge making."[2] [3] [4]


  1. ^ The Sociology of Ignorance
  2. ^ Beck, Ulrich; Wehling, Peter (2012). Rubio, F.D.; Baert, P., eds. The politics of non-knowing: An emerging area of social and political conflict in reflexive modernity. New York: Routledge. pp. 33–57. ISBN 0415497108. 
  3. ^ Gross, Matthias (2010). Ignorance and Surprise: Science, Society, and Ecological Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262013482. 
  4. ^ Moore, Wilbert; Tumin, Melvin (1949). "Some social functions of ignorance". American Sociological Review. 14 (6): 787–796. doi:10.2307/2086681. 

Production and distribution of knowledge[edit]

Used in the introduction to The Politics of Knowledge ISBN 0415704758 What is that? That "knowledge." How would it be treated, as the subject, of a Wikipedia article? User:Fred Bauder Talk 10:59, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Theories of Knowledge Addition[edit]

The heading "Theories of Knowledge" ought to include Timothy Williamson's view on knowledge, at least in brief. If this page discusses issues concerning why and how an agent has knowledge, then Williamson needs to be included. Though his view may be controversial, it is still a recent theory of how agents have knowledge. If this article includes a theory of knowledge from someone who is not an epistemologist (i.e. Wittgenstein), then surely this page should accept a view from a leading epistemologist. Also, if we look at the SEP article on "The Analysis of Knowledge" we will see Williamson mentioned. I request the following additional paragraph to be inserted under the heading "Theories of knowledge":

Timothy Williamson, on the other hand, posits a claim about knowledge. In his book, Knowledge And Its Limits, Williamson says that knowledge is not a combination of justification, belief, and truth. Instead, Williamson argues that knowledge cannot be broken down into concepts or analyzed. In fact, he claims that knowledge is a basic, factive mental state--i.e. a mental state that entails truth. Williamson further claims that justification,[1] evidence,[2] and belief are not requirements for knowledge. He says justification and evidence require knowledge. Tlendriss (talk) 15:52, 2 May 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Williamson, Timothy (2000). Knowledge And Its Limits. Oxford Blackwell Publishing. p. 41. 
  2. ^ Williamson, Timothy (2000). Knowledge And Its Limits. Oxford Blackwell Publishing. pp. 141–2. 

Section on classifications of the knowledges[edit]

I think the article needs a section on classifications of the knowledges. There is an article similar to that, Branches of science, but with a minor scope. Some sugestions:

Some sources for this planned section:

  • Henderson, K. L. (ed.). Major classification systems: the Dewey centennial, 1975.
  • Kedrov, B. M. Classification of Sciences. Moscow, 1961-1965, 2 vols.
  • Parrochia, D. & Neuville, P. Towards a General Theory of Classifications. Birkhaüser, 2013.
  • Peirce, C. Classification of the sciences, 1902-3.
  • Piaget, J. Le système et la classification des sciences. In: Piaget, J. (dir.). Logique et connaissance scientifique. Paris: Gallimard, 1967, pp. 1151-1224. (Encycl. de la Pléiade).
  • Sagaut, P. Introduction à la pensée scientifique moderne. Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 2009, link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

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