Epistemology Case Study

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Philosophy which comes from the Greek word philosophia, is the critical, unified, systematic approach to life’s fundamental questions. In philosophy, there are four (4) main branches; namely Metaphysics (the theory of being), Epistemology (the theory of knowledge), Axiology (which studies the nature of beauty) and Logic (which is all about reasoning). Epistemology is one of the most important branches in philosophy. It involves the study of the entire nature and scope of knowledge. According to Donald Palmer, five big questions in epistemology are: 1) What is Knowledge? 2) What is the difference between opinion and knowledge? 3) Does knowledge require certainty? 4) What are the limits of knowledge? 5) Is knowledge in fact possible? (Does the Center Hold? p.39). Epistemology is also divided into two or three groups; The Rationalists and The Empiricists. The rationalists believe that all or in some cases real knowledge comes to us prior to experience (a priori) while the empiricists believe in the opposite, which is that real knowledge is a posteriori. One of the best philosophers and a rationalist was Plato. He defined real knowledge as “justified, true, belief.” In order…show more content…
John Locke, Berkeley and Hume are some philosophers that are empiricists. John Locke was an English Physician and his claim on knowledge was that the mind is a tabula rasa (a black state) upon which all of our experiences are written. He believed that we know nothing. To prove this claim, the application of “Ockham’s Razor” is used. Ockham’s Razor tells us not to “multiply entities beyond necessity;” this means that if a simplier explanation exists which accounts for everything that a more complex explanation does, we should prefer the simpler explanation. To do this, Locke made three distinctions: 1. Simple and Complex ideas. 2. Particular and General ideas. And 3. Primary and Secondary

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