antivist (perspectum) wrote in dear_tomorrow,

Another anti-Bush administration/America flash show.

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It has come to my attention not-so-recently that there are many different intellectual pursuits all claiming to come under the heading of epistemology. Below is a list of these pursuits. I bet you can't guess which one I endorse...

1) Epistemology is the study of how we make proper choices when it comes time to commit the act of belief. We could call epistemology in this sense the 'ethics of belief': it attends to the 'should believes' and 'should rejects' of the world of ideas or propositions considered from some ethical ground.
2) Epistemology is the study of the limits of our knowledge or when we can say that we legitimately know something. While loosely related to (1), here we are more concerned with objectively valid criterions for determining the knowledge status of some bit of proposed knowledge as well as criterions for the original sources of legitimate knowledge.
3) Epistemology is the study of knowledge considered as a real physical phenomenon, and understood in terms of the isomorphic relationship between the knowledge structure itself and the 'world' a part of which it represents. Here we do not have a pre-occupation with certainty, justification, or legitimate sources, as it is conceded that they inspire only illusory confidence in our use of knowledge. This account of epistemology is concerned with the formation and selection of better (or more verisilimar) knowledge structures: it is an entirely progressive affair that does not even maintain that we 'know what we are doing' or that we 'know what we are talking about', nor that we ever could know these things.