He can hear her groaning and see certain contortions on her face. But he cannot feel what she is feeling. There is thus a sense in which he cannot know what she knows. What he claims to know, he knows because of what others who have undergone operations tell him they have experienced. But, unless he has had a similar operation, he cannot know what it is that she feels. Indeed, the situation is still more complicated; for, even if the doctor has had such a surgical intervention, he cannot know that what he is feeling after his operation is exactly the same sensation that the woman is feeling. Because each person's sensation is private, the surgeon cannot really know that what the woman is describing as a pain and what he is describing as a pain are really the same thing. For all he knows, she could be referring to a sensation that is wholly different from the one to which he is alluding.
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Thus, it might be affirmed that one needs to correct all modes of perception by some other form of awareness in order to arrive at the judgement, say, that the stick is really straight. Perhaps that other way is the use of reason. But why should reason be accepted as infallible? It also suffers from various liabilities, summary such as forgetting, misestimating, or jumping to conclusions. And why should one trust reason if its conclusions run counter to those gained through perception, since it is obvious that much of what is known about the world derives from perception? Clearly there is a where network of difficulties here, and one will have to think hard in order to arrive at a clear and defensible explanation of the apparently simple claim that the stick is really straight. A person who accepts the challenge will, in effect, be developing a theory for grappling with the famous problem called "our knowledge of the external world." That problem turns on two issues, namely, whether there is a reality that exists independently of the individual's perception. The "other minds" problem." The second problem also involves seeing but in a somewhat unusual way. It deals with that which one cannot see, namely the mind of another. Suppose a woman is scheduled to have an operation on her right knee and her surgeon tells her that when she wakes up she will feel a sharp pain in her knee. When she wakes up, she does feel the pain the surgeon alluded.
One possible response to these queries is that vision is not sufficient to give knowledge of how things are. One needs to correct vision in some other way in order to arrive at the judgement that the stick is really straight and not bent. Suppose a person asserts that his reason for believing the stick in water is not bent is that he can feel it with his hands to be straight when it is in the water. Feeling or touching is a mode of sense perception, although different from vision. What, however, justifies guaranteed accepting one mode of perception as more accurate than another? After all, there are good reasons for believing that the tactile sense gives rise to misperception in just the way that vision does. If a person chills one hand and warms the other, for example, and inserts both into a tub of water having a uniform medium temperature, the same water will feel warm to the cold hand and cold to the warm hand. Thus, the tactile sense cannot be trusted either and surely cannot by itself be counted on to resolve these difficulties. Another possible response is that no mode of perception is sufficient to guarantee that one can discover how things are.
But does seeing a straight stick out of water provide a good reason for thinking that it is not bent when seen in water? How does one know that, when the stick is put into the water, it does not bend? Suppose one says that the tracks do not really converge because the train passes over them at that point. How does one know that the wheels on the train do not happen to converge at that point? What justifies opposing some beliefs to others, especially when all of them are based upon what is seen? One sees that the stick in water is bent and also that the stick out of the water is not bent. Why is the stick declared really to be straight; why in effect is priority given to one perception over another?
Epistemology, and, methodology : main trends, and, ends
Two epistemological problems "Our knowledge of the external world". Most people have noticed that vision can play tricks on them. A straight stick put in water looks bent to presentation them, but they know it is not; railroad tracks are seen to be converging in the distance, yet one knows that they are not; the wheels of wagons on a movie screen appear to be going. Each of these phenomena is thus misleading in some way. If human beings were to accept the world as being exactly as it looks, they would be mistaken about how things really are.
They would think the stick in water really to be bent, the railway tracks really to be convergent, and the writing on pages really to be reversed. These are visual anomalies, and they produce the sorts of epistemological disquietudes referred to above. Though they may seem to the ordinary person to be simple problems, not worth serious notice, for those who ponder them they pose difficult questions. For instance, human beings claim to know that the stick is not really bent and the tracks not really convergent. But how do they know that these things are so? Suppose one says that this is known because, when the stick is removed from the water, one can see that it is not bent.
The ordinary person is likely to give up somewhere in the process of trying to develop a coherent account of things and to rest content with whatever degree of understanding he has managed to achieve. Philosophers, in contrast, are struck by, even obsessed by, matters that are not immediately comprehensible. Philosophers are, of course, ordinary persons in all respects except perhaps one. They aim to construct theories about the world and its inhabitants that are consistent, synoptic, true to the facts and that possess explanatory power. They thus carry the process of inquiry further than people generally tend to do, and this is what saying that they have developed a philosophy about these matters means.
Epistemologists, in particular, are philosophers whose theories deal with puzzles about the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge. Like ordinary persons, epistemologists usually start from the assumption that they have plenty of knowledge about the world and its multifarious features. Yet, as they reflect upon what is presumably known, epistemologists begin to discover that commonly accepted convictions are less secure than originally assumed and that many of man's firmest beliefs are dubious or possibly even chimerical. Anomalous features of the world that most people notice but tend to minimise or ignore cause such doubts and hesitations. Epistemologists notice these things too, but, in wondering about them, they come to realise that they provide profound challenges to the knowledge claims that most individuals blithely and unreflectingly accept as true. What then are these puzzling issues? While there is a vast array of anomalies and perplexities, two of these issues will be briefly described in order to illustrate why such difficulties call into question common claims to have knowledge about the world.
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They also attempted, unsuccessfully, to deal with sceptical attacks on the validity of sense perception, concepts, and induction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, epistemological issues continued to receive attention from philosophers of various schools, including Idealism, logical Positivism, and Linguistic Analysis. A familiarity with the history of philosophy provides the best introduction to epistemology. The following works are of special importance for epistemology: Plato, theaetetus Aristotle, posterior Analytics Rene descartes, meditations John Locke, essay concerning Human Understanding david Hume, an Inquiry concerning Human Understanding Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any london future metaphysics Epistemology. Why should there be such a subject as epistemology? Aristotle provided the answer when he said that philosophy begins in wonder, in a kind of puzzlement about things. Nearly all human beings presentation wish to comprehend the world they live in, a world that includes the individual as well as other persons, and most people construct hypotheses of varying degrees of sophistication to help them make sense of that world. No conjectures would be necessary if the world were simple; but its features and events defy easy explanation.
An attempt has been made by some philosophers to substitute "Gnosiology" for "Epistemology" as a special term for that part of Epistemology which is confined to "systematic analysis of the conceptions employed by ordinary and scientific thought in interpreting the world, and including an investigation. The term Gnosiology has not come into general use. Epistemological issues have been discussed throughout the history of philosophy. Among the ancient Greeks, questions of knowledge were raised by Plato and Aristotle, as well as by the sophists and the Sceptics, and many of the chief issues, positions and arguments were explored at this time. In the systems of Plato and Aristotle, however, epistemological questions were largely subordinated to metaphysical ones, and epistemology did not emerge as a distinct area of inquiry. The scholastics of the late medieval period were especially concerned with two epistemological questions: the relationship between reason and faith, and the nature of concepts and universals. The major positions on the latter issue—realism, nominalism, and conceptualism—were defined during this period. The reformation and the rise of modern science raised questions about cognitive methodology, and gave rise to a rebirth of sceptical doctrines, trends that culminated in the writings of Rene descartes (1596-1650). During the modern period, from Descartes to Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 epistemological concerns were at the forefront environment of philosophy, as thinkers attempted to understand the implications of the new science.
attempts to explain existence. The differences of opinion, which arose on this problem naturally, led to the inquiry as to whether any universally valid statement was possible. The sophists and the Sceptics, Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics and the Epicureans took up the question and from the time of Locke and Kant it has been prominent in modern philosophy. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to draw a hard and fast line between epistemology and other branches of philosophy. If, for example, philosophy is divided into the theory of knowing and the theory of being, it is impossible entirely to separate the latter (Ontology) from the analysis of knowledge (Epistemology so close is the connection 'between the two. Again, the relation between logic in its widest sense and the theory of knowledge is extremely close. Some thinkers have identified the two, while others regard Epistemology as a subdivision of logic; others demarcate their relative spheres by confining logic to the science of the laws of thought,. E., to formal logic.
Epistemology is one of the main branches of philosophy; its subject matter concerns the nature, origin, scope, and limits of human knowledge. The name is derived from the Greek terms episteme (knowledge) and logos (theory and accordingly this branch of philosophy is also referred to as the theory of knowledge. It is the branch of philosophy that investigates the basic nature of knowledge, including its sources and validation. Epistemology is concerned with the basic relationship between mans mind and reality, and with the basic operations of human reason. It therefore sets the standards for the validation of all knowledge; it is the fundamental arbiter of cognitive method. Epistemology as a term in philosophy wa s probably first applied,. Ferrier, to that department of thought whose subject matter is the nature and validity of knowledge assignment (Gr. Epistimum, knowledge, and logos, theory, account; Ger. It is thus contrasted with metaphysics, which considers the nature of reality, and with psychology, which deals with the objective part of cognition, and, as Prof.
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Icef, group 3, english group. Epistemology and methodology: main trends and ends. Table of contents:. Epistemology as a discipline. . two epistemological problems. . Some mental Activities Common to All Methods. Imagination, database supposition and Idealisation. Inductive and deductive methods. Relation of epistemology to other branches of philosophy.