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March, 26, 2010 . EPISTEMOLOGY. Religious doctrines, ethical statements, mathematical studies, etc. Epistemology. Three approaches. General study (Broad sense). 1. Classical Approach : Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. 2. Modern Approach : Start from Descartes. 3. Contemporary Approach.

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March, 26, 2010

EPISTEMOLOGY

epistemology

Religious doctrines,

ethical statements,

mathematical studies,

etc.

Epistemology

Three approaches

General study

(Broad sense)

1. Classical Approach : Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

2. Modern Approach : Start from Descartes

3. Contemporary Approach

.

Epistemological discourse

Concerning different

particular fields, such as:

Specific study

(Limited sense)

1

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Epistemology

in General

Main subject

The Nature and Scope of knowledge

Some of main questions

  • What is knowledge?
  • How is knowledge acquired?
  • What do people know?
  • How do we know that we know ?
  • What is true knowledge How can we have a true knowledge?
  • What is the criteria of true knowledge?
  • How do we know that our knowledge is true ore false ?

Classical, Modern, and Contemporary

3 Approaches

2

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Epistemology

in General

Classical, Modern, and Contemporary

3 Approaches

Classical Approach

Some of the figures : Socrates (469 BC–399 BC ), Plato, Aristotle

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?

How do we know the reality? How can our mind come at the reality?

Main questions

  • What is the criteria of true knowledge?
  • What is the value of knowledge?

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It does not put “Reality” in question :

The Existence of Reality

  • is taken for granted as a foundation or basic belief
  • is regarded as self-evident or self-justified (badihi)

Hence, the epistemological building

in classical approach is grounded on basic belief

3

At least, the reality, the knower himself,

his emotion, sense,

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Modern Approach

Main figure : Descartes (1596 – 1650 )

  • Modern approach in epistemology is begun since the Rationalism of Rene Descartes.
  • Cartesian rationalism is the result of his methodical skepticism

is aimed at eliminating

all belief which it is

possible to doubt, thus

leaving us with indubitable

beliefs, from which

further knowledge is derived.

  • Descartes held that a knowing subject

can doubt on all of his knowledge.

  • But how can he doubt on his doubt?
  • Moreover, but how can one who

doubts doubt on himself as real?

Our doubt

The ground object of belief

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Modern Approach

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?

?

?

?

?

?

?

From DOUBT

to CERTAINTY

then build further KNOWLEDGE

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

“Cogito, ergo sum”

The Cartesian Epistemological Steps

Cogito

ergo sum

What is the criteria of indubitable knowledge?

It must be 1. CLEAR & 2. DISTINCT

5

slide7

Modern Approach

What is the criteria of indubitable knowledge?

It must be 1. CLEAR & 2. DISTINCT

(clarity contrasts with obscurity)

distinctness contrasts with confusion

Innate idea

Such as ideas in :

  • mathematics (e.g., number, line, triangle)
  • logic (e.g., contradiction, necessity),
  • metaphysics (e.g., identity, substance, causality).
  • even our sensory ideas, of colors, sounds, tastes, and the like,

whosecontent draws from the mind itself.

  • Including GOD,

(Since source of perfect idea in one’s imperfect mind, must not

come from the imperfect but Perfect itself, that is God.)

ideas whose

content derives

solely from the nature

of the mind itself.

GOD, is an idea

But the idea is the primary, so He is real

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Modern Approach

Contemporary Approach

  • Starts from methodical skepticism
  • The question:

What is indubitable knowledge?

  • Main belief must be clear and distinct
  • Start from defining knowledge
  • The question is

What is knowledge ?

  • A knowledge must have 3 epistemic attributes:
  • Belief
  • Justified
  • True

The Epistemological Steps of Contemporary approach

DEFINITION of KNOWLEDGE

ANALYSIS of the definition

FINDING THE 3 ATTRIBUTES,

1

2

Knowledge = (must be)

JUSTIFIED TRUE BELIEF (JTB)

3

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Classical

Modern

Based on

a preceding

indubitable basic belief

(the existence of reality)

assumed taken for granted

Contemporary

From

skeptic (methodical)

to

ultimate indubitable certainty

from

analysis

to

knowledge

Influenced by

Western acute Skepticism

Under

Analytic approach (analytic Philosophy)

spell

Certainty

Doubt

100%

human knowledge

can be true

(objectively grasp reality

as it is)

confident

50% - 50 %

Between

+/- 80%

8

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SKEPTICISM

Global skepticism

Local skepticism

That one cannot possess knowledge in some particular domain.

( absolute skepticism / universal skepticism) that one cannot know anything at all.

Two common Arguments

The argument

from ASLEEP

The argument

from ERROR

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GLOBAL

Skepticism

Argument

from

ERROR

Two premises

Premise 1

Premise 2

Universalizability

It is adopted from a moral thesis - .R.M.Hare

A situation must be equally applicable to every relevant identical situation

We mistaken in many situations in which we think we have knowledge claims.

There are also situations we have knowledge claims that we don't know we are not mistaken about.

CONCLUSION

All human knowledge can be false,

we cannot know whether or not we are mistaken,

Human has no knowledge (justified true believe)

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GLOBAL

Skepticism

Argument

from

ASLEEP

When we sleep, and in a middle of dreaming

we are sure and believe that the situation, and whatever happen in dreaming, are real as if it is not a dream

. . . until we wake up…

then we realize that all the prior

happenings are a mere dream

But . . .

We in dreaming situation we

feel the world of dream as real

THE SAME FEELING OF REAL

of the real world when we wake up

Then . . .

What if that we think a dream is turn out to be real

And what we guess as real, now, is turn out to be a dream?

DREAM PARADOX

What if our “dreaming” after we have awaken is turn out to our real awakening, and our awakening is turn out to be our dreaming?

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Ontological, Epistemological, Hermeneutical

3 Levels

Skepticism

Three Levels of Skepticism

1. There is no reality

Ontological Skepticism

2. Even if there is reality,

we are not able to make sure

that it is reality

Epistemological Skepticism

3. Suppose there is reality,

and we sure on the reality, we still

have no words to express what

we know in our mind about the reality

Hermeneutical Skepticism