The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction

The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction




The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction explains the main ideas and problems of contemporary epistemology while avoiding technical detail. Comprehensive and rich in illustrations and examples, it highlights contemporary debates over the definition, sources, and limits of human knowledge, and covers major topics including the nature of belief, theories of truth, epistemic justification, the Gettier problem, skepticism, and epistemic rationality. Its discussions identify important connections between traditional epistemological questions and cognitive science, the history of science, the sociology of knowledge, and cross-cultural studies.
The book culminates with a focus on questions regarding epistemological method and an examination of the roots of contemporary analytic approaches to epistemology. The authors defend a distinctive position regarding epistemological method, called broad explanationism, that incorporates some insights from naturalism in epistemology. The volume is enhanced by a glossary of important epistemological terms and suggestions for further reading. Easily accessible to beginning students in philosophy, The Theory of Knowledge serves as an ideal text for courses in the theory of knowledge and will also appeal to general readers interested in philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195094657
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 09/11/1997
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Loyola University, Chicago

Clarion University, Pennsylvania

Parmly Hearing Institute, Loyola University, Chicago

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Epistemology: A First Look
1. Why Study Knowledge?
2. Some Doubts about Knowledge
3. Traditional Definition of Knowledge
4. Knowledge and Experience
5. Intuitions and Theory
Chapter 2: Explaining Knowledge
1. The Scope of Epistemology
2. The Concept of Knowledge
3. Epistemology, Naturalism, and Pragmatism
4. Value in Epistemology
Chapter 3: Belief
1. Belief and Representational States
2. Belief and Belief-Ascription
3. Are Beliefs Transparent?
4. Belief and Theoretical Ideals
5. Eliminativism and Prediction
Chapter 4: Truth
1. Relativism
2. Truth and Correspondence
3. Truth and Coherence
4. Truth and Pragmatic Value
5. Kinds and Notions of Truth
Chapter 5: Jusitification and Beyond
1. Justifications, Truth and Defeat
2. Inferential Justification and the Regress Problem
3. Supplementing Justification: The Gettier Problem
Chapter 6: Sources of Knowledge
1. Rationalism, Empiricism, and Innatissm
2. Empiricism, Positivism, and Underdetermination
3. Intuitions and First-Person Reports
4. Memory
5. Theoretical Unification
6. Testimony and Social Dependence
Chapter 7: Rationality
1. Preliminary Distinctions
2. Rational Inference: Normative and Descriptive
3. Consistency and Wayward Beliefs
4. Rationality and Decision Under Uncertainty
5. Integrative Considerations about Rationality
Chapter 8: Skepticism
1. Some Species of Skepticism
2. Some Skeptical Arguments
3. A Reply from Common Sense
4. Skepticism, Naturalism, and Broad Explanation
Chapter 9: Epistemology and Explanation
1. Origins of Contemporary Epistemology
2. Ultimate Epistemological Authority
3. Explanation and Knowledge
For Further Reading

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