What is epistemology?

What Does epistemology Mean

The first necessary step when defining a concept is to determine its etymological origin. In this sense, we can underline that it is in the Greek where we find the antecedents of the term epistemology that we are now dealing with. Furthermore, this noun is made up of the union of two words: episteme that can be translated as “knowledge or science” and logos that would come to mean “discourse”.

The Epistemology is a discipline that studies how it is generated and validated the knowledge of science. Its function is to analyze the precepts used to justify scientific data, considering the social, psychological and even historical factors that come into play.
In this sense, we can establish even more clearly that the epistemology that is responsible for addressing philosophy and knowledge through the answer to various questions of vital importance such as the following: what is knowledge? How do we humans carry out reasoning? or how do we verify that what we have understood is true?

We can also underline that this concept was used for the first time, during the 19th century, by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier who coined the term in his work entitled Institutes of Metaphysics. In it he addresses various theories about knowledge, intelligence or the philosophical system.
Some people use the notion of epistemology as synonymous with epistemology . Both concepts, however, do not refer to the same thing. While epistemology focuses on scientific knowledge and is considered a theory about science, the discipline known as gnoseology seeks to discover the origin and scope of such knowledge.
Epistemology, on the other hand, is usually linked to the philosophy of science , although this is much broader. Certain metaphysical questions, to cite one example, are part of the philosophy of science and are not studied by epistemologists.
Another discipline related to epistemology is methodology . It should be noted that, for the methodologist, knowledge is not subject to a value judgment : it is considered, instead, as information already validated and accepted by scientists. What the methodology does is analyze how scientific knowledge can be expanded or increased.
We could say that epistemology, ultimately, seeks to know knowledge. This play on words helps us to understand that, by taking scientific knowledge as the epicenter of their concerns, what the epistemologist does is to perfect said knowledge, increasing its usefulness and value at the social level.
In addition to the father of the term we are dealing with, we must emphasize that, throughout history, there have been other epistemologists of great importance such as Bertrand Russell who managed to obtain a Nobel Prize in the field of Literature, which offered important works in analytical philosophy and that, within the science that we address, became one of the main representatives of the so-called logical neopositivism.

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