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Epistemology is the study of knowledge, acquisition thereof, and the justification of belief in a given claim.

Epistemology is a study of knowledge and belief that complements formal, propositional logic.

  • This field of inquiry delves into what knowledge is and what it can't be
    • Epistemology seeks to understand the relationship of things we claim to know to things we think we know, but may be mistaking 'unjustified belief' for 'knowledge'
    • Typically this will deal with the content of a belief, not the claim directly
  • It further explores what methods we use to accumulate knowledge
    • Epistemic evaluation of the rationale for collecting knowledge is based on understanding what methods and data support a given claim
    • Typically this will deal with the type of research
  • Epistemology also seeks out how to evaluate the weight given to claims of knowledge
    • Frequently, one will see qualifications like "Justified True Belief" (JTB) and similar measures of a claim's epistemic status under some scope of certainty
    • Typically this will deal with the type of claim

Questions for Philosophy Stackexchange that are tagged with should indicate the specific thread of epistemological inquiry is involved with a given area. For instance, check out the emboldened key words as they flag what the question is asking:

By which methods is it possible to evaluate a claim about a teapot in a place that neither I, nor any other person, nor any possible current technology can access? What kinds of claims to knowledge can be made about such a teapot? How can these types of claims and the consequent claims be exported to a conversation about something else?

  • When answering questions in this vein try to stick to the key word and answer in line with it. Try to outline the secondary expectations for the given area.

  • When editing a question that is embedded with epistemic assumptions, refer back to these key words to straighten it up for more rigorous answers.

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