Epistemology Essay

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Epistemology Introduction The purpose of this paper is to examine epistemology as it applies to philosophy. This examination will consist of several parts; a review of epistemology itself, and how it relates to rationalism and empiricism. In addition, how epistemology relates to knowledge, truth and beliefs. Epistemology In general epistemology as defined by Dictionary.com is “the theory of knowledge. Especially the critical study of its validity, method, and scope.” This definition scratches the surface of epistemology and how it relates to philosophy. To better connect the two, view epistemology as a manner of questioning what knowledge is or think of it as the thought process to gain knowledge. Empiricism Empiricism is a view point of philosophy that feels knowledge is gained by experiences or learned. Encyclopedia Britannica states, “That all concepts are about or applicable to things that can be experienced, or that all rationally acceptable beliefs or propositions are justifiable or knowable only though experience.” In my opinion, this style of thinking can lead to false truths. Senses and experiences vary from person to person. Using empiricism to justify the validity of something most likely will lead to different outcomes from person to person. Rationalism Rationalism in philosophy revolves around the concept knowledge is not derived from experience. This view point indicates knowledge is learned and should not be qualified by perception. The theories within rationalism are opposite of those found in empiricism. The foundation of rationalism believes knowledge is gained by a priori or prior experience. Solutions to problems are justifiable and can withstand the test of time. Plato declared true knowledge endures, is always true, supported by reasons and is the result of instruction” In my opinion, rationalism is the best way to

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