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Epistemology Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Epistemology and Truth

How do we know what we know? Is what we believe to be truth really truth? A branch of Philosophy that seeks out to answer these questions and to discover the origin of knowledge is Epistemology. Much of what we believe is based on allegations and generalizations rather than established evidence. That’s way so many people have different beliefs throughout the world. I will be discussing more of these Worldviews in a later paragraph. Right now I’d like to continue to focus on Epistemology, which is the study of knowledge: how we obtain knowledge and how we justify it. These are some of the questions Epistemology attempts to answer: What is mind? ; What is knowing? ; What is true?…

Theory of Forms

1. a) Explain how Plato’s epistemological assumptions shape his metaphysics (Why does he think that there must be Forms? Hint: Plato says (in effect): “Since knowledge is certain, therefore the objects of knowledge must be unchanging. ”). b) Define Plato’s Forms and present the theory of Forms by explaining the “divided line. ” (You can use the visual image, but explain it. ) Plato was extremely devoted in answering the sophists’ skepticism about reason and morality. To do so, he spent more time than any philosopher before him studying knowledge, or epistemology. He realized that to answer the sophists’ skepticism he had to first solve the three main problems that earlier philosophers had left behind; the problems of change, the…

Plato – Philosophy

The Republic is one of Plato’s longer works (more than 450 pages in length). It is written in dialogue form (as are most of Plato’s books), & it addresses major issues in almost all of the branches of philosophy. The central theme in the book seems to be the nature of justice, a topic in political philosophy, but Plato also has his characters explore issues in ? philosophical cosmology, ? philosophical theology, ? philosophical anthropology, ? ethics, ? aesthetics, and ? epistemology. The parts of the Republic that are contained in our text (pp. 107-123) focus on Plato’s idea (ideal?) of the Philosopher Ruler. According to Plato, ? the best possible political system (state) ? will be ruled (governed) ?…

Bakit hangad ng mga bansang Asyano na magkaroon ng pambansang Wika?

Rene Descartes is often credited with being the “Father of Modern Philosophy. ” This title is justified due both to his break with the traditional Scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy prevalent at his time and to his development and promotion of the new, mechanistic sciences. His fundamental break with Scholastic philosophy was twofold. First, Descartes thought that the Scholastics’ method was prone to doubt given their reliance on sensation as the source for all knowledge. Second, he wanted to replace their final causal model of scientific explanation with the more modern, mechanistic model. Descartes attempted to address the former issue via his method of doubt. His basic strategy was to consider false any belief that falls prey to even the slightest doubt. This…

What Is the Aim of Education in Our Life

Life is very complex and complicated. But an aim in life can make the complex life simple and purposeful. Aims give us direction to work and without aim, destination, or objective life becomes incomplete and haphazard. Individual has different interests, attitudes and needs. Every individual wants to achieve certain goals in life. But a clear-cut aim makes the road of life easy. Educational aims are varied. They have their different role in different fields. Some specific aims are listed below: (i) Knowledge Aim: The aim of education is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It helps to adjust properly in one’s own environment. Knowledge helps the man to overcome the nature and satisfy human wants. It links the teacher…

Descartes vs Locke

Socrates once said, “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing. ” Several philosophers contradicted Socrates’ outlook and believed that true knowledge was in fact attainable. This epistemological view however had several stances to it, as philosophers held different beliefs in regards to the derivation of true knowledge. Rationalists believed that the mind was the source of true knowledge, while in Empiricism, true knowledge derived from the senses. Rene Descartes, a rationalist, and John Locke, an empiricist, were prime examples of epistemologists who were seen to differentiate greatly within each of their philosophies. However, although Descartes and Locke’s ideas did contrast in that sense, they both shared common concepts that helped mould the basis of their ideas….

Immanuel Kant

There have been many philosophical perspectives and debates held throughout the centuries on the foundations of human knowledge. The stand points that both Descartes and Locke have differ and both of these philosophers’ perspectives have contributed to the rational and empirical debate about the foundations of human knowledge. Descartes’ understanding of the foundations of human knowledge takes on a rational viewpoint and has lead to Locke’s response of an empirical proposition of this understanding. Both of these philosophers’ understandings are two sides to the same coin according to Immanuel Kant. In Kant’s writing of Critique of Pure Reason he explains how both of these perspectives are intertwined and work together to as the foundations to forming human knowledge. To Kant…

Building a Bridge Between Popper’s Philosophies

Karl Popper is regarded one of the greatest philosophers of his century. He had a major influence on the establishment of the philosophy of science and politics. Yet little research has been done on the interconnection of his theories’ elements. His philosophies are generally regarded unconnected. Therefore, we look for a link between his political and scientific theory. To what extent is his scientific and political philosophy interrelated? Popper’s philosophy of science and political theory are discussed before searching for a bridge between the various elements of his philosophy. Popper holds that in the philosophy of science, demarcation is the central problem. Unlike the traditional view, he argues that there is no unique methodology specific to science. Instead, he uses…

Immanuel Kant

In reading the Ethics problem box regarding the Trolley Problem I will attempt to answer the question of would I throw the switch. I have had the chance to research different profiles to try and answer this question. The first profile is Ayn Rand. I don’t think that she would have thrown the switch base off her theory about the “virtue of selfishness”. Her theory promotes the philosophy of Individualism. Individualism states the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social…

Tok Essay

People’s choice of belief is possibly one of the most intriguing topics one can study. The journey of gaining knowledge in itself is so dynamic and full of factors that one couldn’t possibly be able to analyze in full. In this essay, the question that is to be answered encompasses and questions the details of that journey in one of the most controversial topics of all time; religion. The question above subjects the issue of belief to the spotlight as it is one of the largest aspects of life that is to many people asserted with no concrete evidence to be found; in my perspective. Yet again not all people agree that evidence must be concrete and therefore the relativity…

The Move from Doubt to Certainty

Descartes is interested in the certainty of his existence and the existence of other people and things. Descartes’ beliefs vary from those of Socrates. Descartes argues that knowledge is acquired through awareness and experience. Using this approach, Descartes moves through doubt to certainty of his existence. He asks himself various questions about the certainty of his existence and solves them through clear thought and logic. Using this method Descartes establishes doubts to be truths and by the end of the book, he has established that he does indeed exist. In this paper, I will show how Descartes moves through doubt to certainty. I will explain how Descartes uses the cogito, proves the existence of God and what that means to…

Allegory of the Cave

The allegory of The Cave is an attempt to show that what we are seeing are reflections, abstractions, and illusions. What we have believed in are not the real thing and never have been, but because we’ve acknowledged them for so long, it’s hard for us to accept it in any other way. Plato’s allegory of The Cave is a symbol for the contrasts between ideas and what we perceive as reality. Plato argues that we are the “cave slaves. ” We live in a world of shadows, where we don’t see the reality of ideas. However, it is possible to climb out of the cave, to be released from our shackles, but the process is painful. When the “cave…

Ccontemporary Epistemological Research in Education

ABSTRACT. In this article the authors challenge contemporary epistemological research within educational settings. After a reconciliation of the current models which treat epistemological beliefs as static and mechanical, the authors present a teaching experience to illustrate their enactivist view that epistemological beliefs should be conceptualized as fluid and dynamic constructs, emerging in web-like configurations. Answers to epistemological questions unfold within the interstices and mutual interactions between people and their environment. Boundaries between student–teacher, individual–community, cognition–bodily experience are becoming blurred. From this enactivist perspective the researcher’s role changes considerably. Instead of determining teachers’ personal traits and epistemological make-up, the researcher should sensitize teachers to the subtle ways epistemological beliefs are enmeshed within their day-to-day professional lives, focusing on the complex fabric…

Apearance vs Reality

In human life, there are many things people think they know with certainty. Is it really so? Can anybody be really sure about knowing something? What make us know something? Is there any knowledge in the world that is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it? According to Bertrand Russell, this last question, which at first sight might not seem difficult, is really one of the most difficult that can be asked. In daily life, we assume many things to be certain, which after a closer analysis, are found to be less correct than we first thought. Knowledge plays a very important part in human lives. In the history of humankind, it was knowledge that separated common people…

Deductive Argument

In this essay I will be arguing against Plato’s theory of knowledge given in the Republic’s divided line. I will distinguish the differences and similarities in the epistemological concepts of Plato and Aristotle intending to explain how one comes to have knowledge and the process through which it’s obtained. As support, I will explain Plato’s theory of forms and Aristotle’s theory of essence because they are a direct correlation to their view of knowledge through reality. Plato’s theory of Forms is a theory of knowledge and a theory of being. He describes, in the divided line, the division of existence. Plato believes the source of our knowledge is separate from this world. Participation connects us to this world. In the…

Nature of Knowledge

In the study of knowledge we distinguish between knowledge by acquaintance, in essence to know someone or know of something. Ability knowledge is for example to know how to swim or how to ride a bike. And, our main concern, propositional knowledge that is sentences or statements that can be either true or false. To have knowledge one needs to have a belief and for this belief to be true. The following text will show how true belief, even if it is justified in a rational way, does not suffice for knowledge. Take Nina, she is walking by some slot machines in the casino. She feels drawn to one of the machines, and believes it is her lucky day and…

Plato theory of forms

Plato was a duellist and thus believed that there are two worlds; the material world and the world of ideas/Forms. The world of ideas or Forms is the true reality and the world of appearances is just reflections of world of Forms. Plato believed that our knowledge of the Forms was a priori which means that our souls knew the Forms before it was inside us, therefore we have knowledge prior to experiencing the objects with our senses. Plato believes everyone is born with an intuitive but imperfect understanding of the Forms. He also believes the philosopher is able, through using his intellect, to achieve true knowledge of the abstract Forms without using his senses. Plato’s theory of Forms can…

Descartes Existence of God

The existence of God has been a question since the idea of God was conceived. Descartes tries to prove Gods existence, to disprove his Evil demon theory, and to show that there is without a doubt something external to ones own existence. He is looking for a definite certainty, a foundation for which he can base all of his beliefs and know for a fact that they are true. Descartes overall project is to find a definite certainty on which he can base all his knowledge and beliefs. A foundation that he will be able to prove without a doubt. To find a definite certainty he uses a methodical doubt, this states that anything that could be doubted must be…

Notes on Chapter Two- Does the Center Hold?

Epistemology * Theory of knowledge; often provokes big questions on the meaning and justifications of conventional knowledge. * Ex; What is knowledge? Can we know anything for certain? What are the limitations of what we know? * Socrates began to question the usual perceptions of knowledge, advocating for a clearer picture than common sense allowed. The Philosophy of Plato * You cannot claim to know something if you cannot claim to believe it as well. * Belief is not the only requirement for knowledge, truth is also required. * You need to be able to communicate what you know. * Real life application: We often do not believe what people tell us if it is not communicated clearly, reflecting Plato’s…

Is Wikipedia a reliable source of Knowledge?

Knowledge is a justified true belief that are passed down from generation to generation. The ones who have passed down these knowledges and information are known as sources. However, not all sources are reliable nor are they all true. Wikipedia is a very worldly wide known website that is used to look up for informations on any matter. Even so, this website is also famous for its unreliable information that are given. So, I believe that wikipedia is an unreliable source with wrong facts of knowledge. For a knowledge to be true there should be facts and evidence that goes along with it. In our enormous world we rely on expert’s opinion to justify many of our knowledge claims, however,…

Bakit hangad ng mga bansang Asyano na magkaroon ng pambansang Wika?

Rene Descartes is often credited with being the “Father of Modern Philosophy. ” This title is justified due both to his break with the traditional Scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy prevalent at his time and to his development and promotion of the new, mechanistic sciences. His fundamental break with Scholastic philosophy was twofold. First, Descartes thought that the Scholastics’ method was prone to doubt given their reliance on sensation as the source for all knowledge. Second, he wanted to replace their final causal model of scientific explanation with the more modern, mechanistic model. Descartes attempted to address the former issue via his method of doubt. His basic strategy was to consider false any belief that falls prey to even the slightest doubt. This…

Explain the Platonic Concept of Forms

Plato believed that reality is more than what we sense around the world (e. g. taste, smell, hear, see and touch), he believed that behind these physical realities lies a perfect version of them in which he called Forms and that the greatest thing we can learn is to have knowledge and understanding of them. Plato’s theory means that what we can sense around us (for example a chair) is just a mere shadow of the perfect version which exists in the world of Forms. The perfect version of a chair is one in which for fills its purpose e. g.to be comfortable and to be sat on. Plato believed that everything had a perfect Form, from objects such as…

Descartes “I Think Therefor I Am”

-A statement by the seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes “I think; therefore I am” was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. In the beginning, Descartes was in the process of figuring out his nature, using reasoning instead of experience. He had to start with a first premise which was indubitable. He found that “I exist” is something that is certain, and what follows must be certain as well. In the meditator’s search for certainty, he had to discard anything that was false or even open to the slightest doubt. He had to tear away all that was previously known to him, and with a new, stronger foundation, start anew. Descartes had…

Sidhartha Quote Analysis

“You have listened well to the teachings, O Brahmin’s son, and it is a credit to you that you have thought so deeply about them. You have found a flaw. Think well about it again. Let me warn you, you who are thirsty for knowledge, against the thicket of opinions and the conflict of words. Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.” This is by far my favorite part of the novel. Even though the Buddha is seen as all wise, all knowledgeable, he does not feel conflict as Siddhartha attacks his idea of teaching. Instead he listens to Siddhartha, and respects his decision to search for his enlightenment…

How Is Certainty Possible?

Certainty is defined as being free of doubt. In philosophy is there such a thing that we know without any doubt? Do we know anything with absolute certainty? Although we may believe to have genuine knowledge in some cases, there are other cases in which we do not know, but only think we know. Now therein lies the problem, how do we distinguish what is absolutely certain and what is not? This is why the idea of knowledge and certainty is so important. Both empiricists and rationalists have attempted to determine this. When you know something you not only have an opinion, but that opinion is true. Now how do we distinguish which opinions are true. We can’t just say…

Journal Analysis

Current views of the world, desires, dreams, goals, and the demands placed upon society are constantly transformed by present epistemological beliefs. Schommer-Aikens and Hutter (2002) investigated the relationship between an individuals’ belief about knowledge, learning or epistemological beliefs and how this relates to average conversational issues (Schommer-Aikens , Hutter, 2002). Using a study group of 174 adults ranging in age from 17 to 71, Schommer-Aikens and Hutter (2002) posed questions assessing beliefs of knowledge and the speed control of learning. Feldman addressed how assumptions become scientific knowledge by stating “Sometimes we know things by reasoning or inference. When we know some facts and see that those facts support some further fact, we can come to know that further fact. Scientific…

Since There Is No Way

The radical sceptical hypothesis cited in the question above has been a source of epistemic frustration since the time of Plato, and has gripped philosophical interest through Sextus Empiricus, Michel de Montaign, up to Descartes whose Method of Doubt employs the most famous formulation of the Dreaming Argument, which goes from an unexceptional premise to the extraordinary conclusion that we have no knowledge at all. The claim in question seems insuperable from a philosophical sceptical standpoint; notwithstanding, there have been serious attempts to refute the sceptic, each with varying degrees of success. However, it seems that almost every attempt at dodging the bogey of scepticism has, by the highest epistemic standards, failed. In this essay, I will consider the arguments…

Community and Family Studies

P1.1describes the contribution an individual’s experiences, values, attitudes and beliefs make to the development of goals P1.2proposes effective solutions to resource problems P6.1distinguishes those actions that enhance wellbeing P4.2presents information in written, oral and graphic form Rubric| In your answer you will be assessed on how well you:| * Demonstrated knowledge and understanding about values, attitudes, beliefs and resources develop goals| * Be able to propose solutions in order to meet primary and secondary needs in order to achieve wellbeing| * Communicate ideas and information using relevant examples| * Present a logical and cohesive response| Task Description You will be given the article, questions and marking guidelines on Tuesday in Week 8. You will then be able to go home…

Critical Thinking in 21st Century America

The intellectual roots of critical thinking date back to the teachings of Socrates, who discovered a method of analytical questioning; known today as “Socratic questioning,” establishing that one could not rationally justify their assured claims to knowledge. Socrates established that people cannot depend upon those in “authority” to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that individuals may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking questions and thinking deeply before we accept an idea as worthy of belief. Socrates stressed the significance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done. This,…

Power Versus Domination

Although Foucault’s methodology of archaeology and genealogy of knowledge contribute greatly to the study of history of knowledge but contrary to general facts of social science. Foucault’s archaeology and genealogy of knowledge produce outstanding works such as History of Madness and History of Sexuality. But, in fact, in theory and practice of social change there is no relation between power and domination. But on the other hand, Foucault’s methodology makes us more sensitive to relation between power and domination. Thus, why is obviously contradict to general fact of science. Foucault with the method of archaeology and genealogy proved that the history about the healing of the mad in ancient times and now is under the influence of power and domination….