Naturalism Essay

564 WordsMar 16, 20143 Pages
The word, 'epistemology' comes from the Greek root 'episteme' knowledge. It is just the philosopher's word for theory of knowledge. This is widely supposed to be a gap in Chinese thought because they don’t discuss many of the familiar Western epistemological questions. Again, however, we will see this kind of discussion embedded implicitly in Chinese talk of ways of choosing dàos, and ways of interpreting or translating dàos into concrete behavior—ways of performing them best. Naturalism here would refer to the view that this study belongs centrally to the science of psychology. Traditional epistemological questions may be regarded now as "normative epistemology" dealing with questions of how we ought to gain, store and retrieve knowledge and today overlaps with the philosophy of science. Belief in supernatural access to knowledge, e.g., inspiration, revelation, our some "divine spark" of wisdom would be its opposite. In the West, again, epistemology was discussed mainly in terms of sentences or propositions. How we we know that some proposition or sentence is true (states a fact). There wer two classical Western theories to account for (and justify) knowledge: Rationalism and Empiricism. Rationalism says that knowledge is based on reason (logic and analysis of meaning) and not (or more than on) experience. (How do you know you are not dreaming right now?) Empiricism6says the opposite. The ultimate ground of knowledge must always be experience and logic relies on premises delivered by experience. Modern science is pretty much the offspring of this debate—with the empiricists nominally winning but in combination with massive reliance on the rationalist logic and mathematics. The dispute between these two views of knowledge was so vigorous that the most familiar outcome of it was skepticism --which many take as characteristic of philosophy. Skeptics combine the

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