Handbook of Epistemology

Springer Science & Business Media
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Epistemology or theory of knowledge has always been one of the most important -if not the most important -field of philosophy. New arguments are constantly brought to bear on old views, new variants are marshalled to revive ancient stands, new concepts and distinctions increase the sophistication of epistemogical theories. There are a great many excellent textbooks, monographs as well as anthologies consisting of articles in epistemology. Similarly, there are useful philosophical dictionaries which contain a great number of relatively short entries, and general philosophical handbooks which also touch epistemological issues. This volume of 27 essays grew out from the interest to see a handbook which is devoted entirely to the historical roots and systematic development of theory of knowledge. It is not intended to compete but to supplement the already existing literature. It aims at giving both beginners and more advanced students as well as professionals in epistemology and other areas of philosophy an overview of the central problems and solutions of epistemology. The essays are self-contained and stil often rather extensive discussions of the chosen aspects of knowledge. The contributions presuppose very little familiarity with previous literature and only a few of them require the mastery of even elementary logical notation. This, we hope, makes the volume also accessible to the philosophically interested wider audience. The contributors were asked to provide substantial, up-to-date, self-contained and balanced surveys of the various subareas and more specific topics of epistemology, with reference to literature.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Mar 31, 2004
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Pages
1052
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ISBN
9781402019869
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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It is convenient to divide the theory of knowledge into three sets of problems: 1. the nature of knowledge, certainty and related notions, 2. the nature and validi ty of the sources of knowledge, and 3. answers to skeptical arguments. The first set includes questions such as: What is it to know that something is the case? Does knowledge imply certainty? If not, how do they differ? What are the con ditions of knowledge? What is it to be justified in accepting something? The sec ond deals with the ways in which knowledge can be acquired. Traditional sources have included sources of premisses such as perception, memory, in trospection, innateness, revelation, testimony, and methods for drawing conclu sions such as induction and deduction, among others. Under this heading, philosophers have asked: Does innateness provide knowledge? Under what con ditions are beliefs from perception, testimony and memory justified? When does induction yield justified belief? Can induction itself be justified? Debates in this area have sometimes led philosophers to question sources (e. g. , revela tion, innateness) but usually the aim has been to clarify and increase our understanding of the notion of knowledge. The third class includes the peren nial puzzles taught to beginning students: the existence of other minds, the problem of the external world (along with questions about idealism and phenomenalism), and more general skeptical problems such as the problem of the criterion. These sets of questions are related.
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