Ontology Before Epistemology

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Ontology Before Epistemology Terry Higginbotham Grand Canyon University Christian Worldview and Contextualization HTH-655 Dr. Scott Hovater June 16, 2014 Ontology Before Epistemology Throughout history, there has been continual debate and controversy around how a worldview is formulated. Philosophers have advanced numerous theories and conjectures on the formulation of a worldview. Many believe it starts with ontological inquiry; a basic question about the structure and nature of the world that leads to the realization that something is there. This view differs from others who believe that knowledge is acquired through knowing and inquiry (Vasilachis de Gialdino, 2009). They believe that the reality of being is not required for knowledge or its pursuit. Observations by men such as Newman and Sire, strike the contrast between a secular and a sectarian worldview. These contrasts highlight the materiality of “ontology before epistemology” in the development of a worldview. Epistemology is defined as “the study of knowledge and justified belief” while ontology is a “branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being”. Because epistemology requires a “something to be” and ontology provides the basis for that “something” a partnership between the two is formed (Vasilachis de Gialdino, 2009). All aspects of knowledge are in scope and focus for people studying epistemology. What is knowledge? How it is gained and used? Can it be known completely? All of these are key questions for the epistemologist. The epistemologist has to assume that an object exists so they can study how knowledge of that object is acquired (Vasilachis de Gialdino, 2009). Not only is there a symbiotic relationship, but that relationship is an ordered relationship in that “ontology before epistemology” is necessary. Something must be before it can be understood. Secular
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