Bab 5. Epistemologi. Epistemologi Sumber Pengetahuan. Bidang Epistemologi Epistemologi adalah teori tentang pengetahuan Bagaimana orang mengetahui Apakah pengetahuan kita itu benar Dua Jenis Pengetahuan Pengetahuan a priori A priori adalah sebelum
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A priori knowledge, in Western philosophy since the time of Kant, knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences, as opposed to a posteriori knowledge, which derives from experience alone. The Latin phrases a priori (“from what is before”) and a posteriori (“from what is after”) were used in philosophy originally to distinguish between arguments from causes and arguments from effects.
The first recorded occurrence of the phrases is in the writings of the 14th-century logician Albert of Saxony. Here, an argument a priori is said to be “from causes to the effect” and an argument a posteriori to be “from effects to causes.” Similar definitions were given by many later philosophers down to and including Leibniz, and the expressions still occur sometimes with these meanings in nonphilosophical contexts. It should be remembered that medieval logicians used the word “cause” in a syllogistic sense corresponding to Aristotle’s attia and did not necessarily mean by prius something earlier in time. This point is brought out by the use of the phrase demonstratio propter quid (“demonstration on account of what”) as an equivalent for demonstratio a priori and demonstratio quia (“demonstration that, or because”) as an equivalent for demonstratio a posteriori. Hence the reference is obviously to Aristotle’s distinction between knowledge of the ground or explanation of something and knowledge of
Latent in this distinction for Kant is the antithesis between necessary, deductive truth and probable, inductive truth. The former applies to a priori judgments, which are arrived at independently of experience and hold universally; the latter applies to a posteriori judgments, which are contingent on experience and therefore must acknowledge possible exceptions. In his Critique of Pure Reason Kant used this distinctions, in part, to explain the special case of mathematical knowledge, which he regarded as the fundamental example of a priori knowledge.
Although the use of a priori to distinguish knowledge such as that which we have in mathematics is comparatively recent, the interest of philosophers in that kind of knowledge is almost as old as philosophy itself. No one finds it puzzling that one can acquire information by looking, feeling, or listening, but philosophers who have taken seriously the possibility of learning by mere thinking have often considered that this requires some special explanation. Plato maintained in his Meno and in his Phaedo that the learning of geometrical truths was only the recollection of knowledge possessed in a previous existence when we could contemplate the eternal ideas, or forms, directly. Augustine and his medieval followers, sympathizing with Plato’s intentions but unable to accept the details of his theory, declared that the ideas were in the
In each of these theories the possibility of a priori knowledge is explained by a suggestion that we have a privilege opportunity for studying the subject matter of such knowledge. The same conception occurs also in the very un-Platonic theory of a priori knowledge first enunciated by Thomas Hobbes in his De Corpore and adopted in the 20th century by the logical empiricists. According to this theory, statements of necessity can be made a priori because they are merely by-products of own rules for the use of language.
The first question of the theory of knowledge is the question whether there can be any such thing as valid knowledge; the issue posed by skepticism. Supposing that skeptical doubts can be met, the next question is whether such knowledge as men can justly claim extends to things as they are in themselves or is confined to phenomena as they must appear to us within the limits of the human senses and human understanding. Those who conceive that what we know is things as they actually are, independent of our minds, are called realists in epistemology; those who believe that we can have no knowledge of absolute realities but only of their sensible manifestations, are called phenomenalists.
The earliest skeptics were the ancient Sophists and Cynics; the most notable of modern skeptics is David Hume. The outstanding representatives of the phenomenalist theory are Immanuel Kant and Herbert Spencer.
Both realists and phenomenalists, it should be noted agree that there is an absolute reality, and disagree only as to whether we can know this absolute nature which it has; whereas idealists believe that there is no reality out of relation to minds. Idealistic theories of knowledge are,
Theories of knowledge in general—idealistic ones included—are also divisible into those which assign the major role in valid knowledge to intellect or reason, and so are rationalistic, and theories which take sense perception to be the sole or the principal ground of knowledge, and so are empiricistic. In modern philosophy, the Continental philosophers, Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, are accounted the outstanding rationalists; and the outstanding empiricists are the British philosophers, John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. Immanuel Kant is notable for having recognized that both sense and intellectual understanding are indispensable for any valid knowledge.
In the 20th century—and perhaps particularly in Great Britain and America—philosophic thinking shows some tendency to converge upon epistemological conceptions which may be suggested as follows:
(1) There are two types of knowledge; that which is a priori (knowable without reference to particular occasions of experience and sense observation) and that which is a posteriori and empirical (requiring to be based on and corroborated by sense observation).
(3) Consonantly, it is only in the realm of the logical and mathematical that theoretical certainty is possible. Both our common knowledge of the external world and the generalizations of natural science, though they may achieve an approximation to certainty which is sufficient for all practical purposes, and even for theory which is bent upon practical application, cannot become strictly and theoretically certain.
Agreement on these theses—especially as here briefly formulated—would be by no means universal; and whether the tendencies so suggested will continue to predominate cannot, of course, be forecast.
Epistemology is a difficult and complex subject. Here particularly, historical selections probably afford the best introduction. Since Kant is a notable contributor to epistemology but peculiarly difficult to read, a brief outline of his conceptions is mentioned by George Berkeley’s Principles of Human Knowledge and by Alexander Dunlop Lindsay’s Immanuel Kant.
Rationalism, in philosophy, a method of inquiry that regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge and, in contrast to empiricism, tends to discountenance sensory experience. It holds that, because reality itself has an inherently rational structure, there are truths—especially in logic and mathematics but also in ethics and metaphysics—that the intellect can grasp directly. In ethics, rationalism relies on a “natural light,” and in theology it replaces supernatural revelation with reason.
The inspiration of rationalism has always been mathematics, and rationalists have stressed the superiority of the deductive over all other methods in point of certainty. According to the extreme rationalist doctrine, all the truths of the physical science and even history could in principle be discovered by pure thinking and set forth as the consequences of self-evident premises. This view is opposed to the various systems which regard the mind as a tabular rasa (blank tablet) in which the outside world, as it were, imprints itself through the senses.
The opposition between rationalism and empiricism is, however, rarely so simple and direct, inasmuch as many thinkers have admitted both sensation and reflection. Locke, for example, is the rationalist in the weakest sense,
holding that the materials of human knowledge (ideas) are supplied by sense experience or introspection, but that knowledge consists in seeing necessary connections bet-
Most philosophers who are called rationalists have maintained that that the materials of knowledge are derived not from experience but deductively from fundamental elementary concepts. This attitude may be studied in Rene Descartes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and Christian von Wolff. It is based on Descartes’s fundamen-tal principle that knowledge must be clear, and seeks to give to the philosophy the certainty and demonstrative character of mathematics, from the a priori principle of which all its claims are derived. The attack made by David Hume on the causal relation led directly to the new rationalism of Kant, who argued that it was wrong to regard thought as mere analysis. In Kant’s views, a priori concepts do exist, but if they are to lead to the amplification of knowledge, they must be brought into relation with empirical data.
Ethical rationalism is the application of epistemological rationalism to the field of morals. The primary moral ideas (good, duty) are held to be innate, and the first principles of morals (e.g., the Golden Rule) are deemed self-evident. It is further claimed that the possession of reason provides an adequate motive for moral conduct. In ethical rationalism, reason is generally contrasted with feeling or moral sense.
Religious rationalism asserts the claims of reason
Reasoning is the mental process in which we advance from some known fact or principle to the truth of some other fact which is different from the starting-point. The basis for the transition is always found in the knowledge from which we set out. This is taken or assumed to be real, and in it is found the ground and justification for the advance to something else. The differential of reasoning thus appear to be mediation; when we reason we infer that something is true because something else is true. Knowledge derived from reasoning may, therefore, be termed mediate, as oppose of immediate knowledge obtained from sense perception and memory. The question at once arise how any metal content can justify an advance to something different from itself? How are we warranted in passing from the known to the unknown? This is not merely the question that Mill raised as to whether all syllogistic reasoning—all advance from premises to conclusion—was not a petitio principii; but it concerns all reasoning, inductive and deductive alike. The dilemma is that if the result is not contained in the starting-point the advance does not seem to be justified; if it is already present, the reasoning shows nothing new. The view of Leibniz was that all reasoning is analysis, a drawing out and fuller explication of the original datum of the mind. Kant pointed out that thinking involves also synthesis, new constructions and additions to the material from
It follows from what has been said that reasoning is not a process of mind that can go on apart from experience. The thinkers of the modern period down almost to the end of 18th century continues to believe that reason was a kind of special organ or faculty that could yield truth of the highest order of certainty quite apart from ordinary experience. Kant, however, uses the term “Understanding” (Verstand) for the thinking faculties as employed in interpreting experience, and reserves the name “Reason” (Vernunft) for the vain and illusory attempt of thought to operate in independence of any given material of experien-
In this reference to a universal principle, we have also that which distinguishes reasoning from the transition from idea to idea of the associative process. In the large part of the conscious life that usually is described as thinking, one idea by its very presence seems to call up another, without the apprehension of any universal or essential law of connection. But this is mere drifting on the part of the mind. In reasoning, the mind is fully awake; it sets a definite purpose before it, and proceeds by active attention and analysis to discover essential and necessary points of connection. It thus uses association for its own purposes; so that if we define reasoning as a process of association, we must add that it is association guided and controlled at every step by the purposes of thought itself. How conscious and explicit must this direction be before we can call the process reasoning? Can animals properly be said to reason? These questions do not admit of any off-hand answer. The conscious direction of the mind, the clearness with which it apprehends the universal in the particular, is a matter of degree. We may say that some direction on the part of the mind there must be, as well as
Empiricism (from Greek empeiria: “experience”), in philosophy, an attitude expressed in a pair of doctrines: (1) that all concepts are derived from the experience to which they are applied; and (2) that all knowledge of matters of fact is based on, or derived from, experience. Accordingly, all claims to knowledge of the world can be justified only by experience.
Empiricism argues that knowledge derived from a priori reasoning (involving definitions formed or principles assumed) either does not exist or is confined to “analytical” truths, which have no content, deriving their validity merely from the meanings of the words used to express them. Hence a metaphysics that seeks to combine the a priori validity of logic with a scientific content is impossible. Likewise there can be no “rational” method; the nature of the world cannot be discovered through pure reason or reflection.
In practice three different types of Empiricism are recognized, depending on the degree to which adherents admit a priori concepts or propositions. Absolute Empiri-cist admit neither a priori concepts nor a priori propositions, although they may recognize such analytical a priori truths as tautological definitions. Substantive Empiricists distinguish between formal and categorial a priori concepts. The existence of formal a priori concepts
Historically, the first Western Empiricists were the ancient Greek Sophists, who concentrated their philosophical inquiries on such relatively concrete entities as man and society, rather than the speculative fields explored by their predecessors. Later ancient philosophers with Empiricist tendencies were the Stoics and the Epicureans, although both were principally concerned with ethical questions.
The majority of Christian philosophers in the Middle Ages were Empiricists. A notable thinker of the 14th century, for example, was William of Ockham, who argued that all knowledge of the physical world is attained by sensory means. In the 16th century another English Empiricist, Francis Bacon, believed in building up observed data about nature so as to arrive at an accurate
The antithetical position to that of Empiricism in philosophical arguments over theories of knowledge has usually been the Rationalist one. Discussion centres on the extent to which concepts are innate or acquired.
Another group of Empiricists, but one that operated outside the Anglo-Saxon tradition, consisted of the Logical Positivists of the Vienna Circle. Logical Positivists hold that metaphysical statements are meaningless because they are inherently unverifiable.
The following ideas may be attributed to Empiricist influence, although not all of them need be held by any particular Empiricist thinker: (1) Experience is intelligible
The person who undergoes experience is in some sense the recipient of data that are imprinted upon his intelligence irrespective of his activity; the person brings nothing to experience, but gains everything from it. (3) All method is scientific method. To discover the nature of the world it is necessary to develop a method of experiment whereby all claims to knowledge are tested by experience, since nothing but experience can validate them. (4) Reductionism: All facts about the world can be reduced to what are facts inasmuch as experiences confirm claims to knowledge as facts; hence no claims to knowledge of a transcendental world can have any foundation.
Empiricism’s influence may be seen in the broad thesis of Nominalism, according to which reality is held to reside in the particular rather than in the universal. Nominalists argue that the whole has no reality that is not derived from that of its parts.
In the metaphysical sphere Empiricism generates a characteristic view of causation, seemingly an almost inevitable consequence of the Empiricist theory of knowledge. According to Empiricist metaphysics the world consists of a set of contingently connected objects
Of a given kind are collections or combinations of entities of a simpler or more basic kind or that expressions denoting such entities are definable in terms of expressions denoting the more basic entities. Thus the ideas that physical bodies are collections of atoms or that thoughts are combinations of sense impressions are form of reductionism.
Two very general forms of reductionism have been held by philosophers in the 20th century: (1) Logical Positivists have maintained that expressions referring to existing things or to states of affairs are definable in terms of directly observable objects, or sense-data, and, hence, that any statement of fact is equivalent to some set of empirically verifiable statements. In particular, it has been held that the theoretical entities of science are definable in terms of observable physical things, so that scientific laws are equivalent to combinations of observation reports. (2) Proponents of the unity of science have held that the theoretical entities of particular sciences, such as biology or psychology, are definable in terms of those of some more basic science, such as physics; or that the laws of these sciences can be explained by those of the more basic science.
The Logical Positivist version of reductionism also implies the unity of science insofar as the definability of the theoretical entities of the various sciences in terms of
Positivism in a term frequently used to characterize a number of theoretical positions in philosophy as well as in the social sciences. A remarkable heterogeneity of meaning has always accompanied this term, and this peculiarity is in central ways associated with the 19th century French philosopher Auguste Comte, who coined the term and elaborated his conception of it in his writings. His two major works dealing with positivism are the course of Positive Philosophy (1830-1842) and the System of Positive Polity, or Treatise on Sociology Instituting the Religion of Humanity (1851-1854). Although many of Comte’s ideas were not original with him, his work nevertheless represents the first major systematic formulation of modern positivism. His system was so stimulate in turn certain central developments in logic, the philosophy of science, psychology, and sociology.
Positive Philosophy as a Philosophy of Science. One of Comte’s principal aims was to transform all philosophy into a philosophy of science, which he called positive philosophy. The central purposes of his positive philosophy as a distinct discipline were to coordinate the general findings of the basic scientific disciplines of mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. By serving these ends, philosophy could guide and accelerate the direction and progress of the special sciences.
The Role of Reason and Mathematics in Scientific Method and Positive Philosophy. For a clear understanding of Comte’s positivism and of the philosophy of science that has developed since his day, it is essential to note Comte’s opposition to a strictly empiricist theory of knowledge. Although valid knowledge must be based on the observation of phenomena, observation and induction in Comte’s view will never by themselves lead to the discovery of the laws of phenomena. All observation of phenomena must in fact be guided by conjectures or theories about their order. In the past, theological and metaphysical theories were expressions, although imperfect ones, of this use of faculty of reasoning. In the positive stage, reasons comes into its
Comte considered mathematics the cornerstone of both positive philosophy and the positive method. In contrast to geometry and mechanics, which he regarded as natural sciences, mathematical analysis, because of its purely logical and rational nature, represents the ideal of scientific method.
Positivism and Social Phenomena. Comte sought to apply scientific method to the study of social phenomena, thereby bringing the last remaining class of phenomena into the realm of the observational sciences. He believed that by means of the positive science of social physics, or sociology, man could discover the laws that determined social order and progress.
Comte postulated that mankind, like all other phenomena in nature, was governed by invariable laws of coexistence and succession. Hence such metaphysical notions as freedom and will in human affairs were invalidated, since they were not scientifically observable entities.
Comte argued that to the extent that men possess knowledge of the invariable laws determining order and
This is not to suggest that he believed mankind must submit passively to what is. Knowledge of these laws will enable man to predict phenomena and act successfully on both nature and society. Throughout Comet’s career, his overriding purpose was to reorganize Western society and institute a permanent social order free from chaos and revolution. His vast philosophical system was designed primarily to serve this end and is inseparable from it.
A group of philosophers, scientists, and mathemati-cians formed in the 1920s that met regularly in Vienna to investigate scientific language and scientific methodology. The philosophical movement associated with the Circle has been called variously logical positivism, logical empiricism, scientific empiricism, neopositivism, and the unity of science movement. The work of its members, although not unanimous in the treatment of many issues, was distinguished, first, by its attention to the form of scientific theories, in the belief that the logical structure of any particular scientific theory could be specified quite apart form its content. Second, they formulated a verifiability principle or criterion of meaning, a claim that the meaningfulness of a proposition is grounded in experience and observation. For this reason, the statements of ethics, metaphysics, religion, and aesthetics were held to be assertorically meaningless. Third, and as a result of the two other points, a doctrine of unified science was espoused. Thus, no fundamental differences were seen to exist between the physical and biological sciences or between the natural and social sciences.
The founder and leader of the group was Moritz Schlick, who was an epistemologist and philosopher of science. Among its members wer Gustav Bergmann, Rudolf Carnap, Hebert Feigl, Philipp Frank, Kurt Gödel, Otto Neurath, and Friedrich Weismann; and among the
Analytic philosophy, also called linguistic philosophy, a movement, dominant in Anglo-US philosophy in the mid-20th century, distinguished by its method, which has focussed upon language and the analysis of the concepts expressed in it. Representatives of the Analytic school have tended to hold that the purpose of philosophy is therapeutic--to clarify obscurities and confusions, in the expectation that many of the traditional problems of philosophy will thus dissolve.
Analytic and Linguistic philosophers have advanced a variety of divergent view. The Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), for example, in a career perhaps unique in the history of philosophy, wrote two major works central to the development of Analytic philosophy--Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philoso-phical Investigations--the second of which refuted the first.
Analytic philosophy, flourishing between 1945 and 1960, was the successor of the Logical Positivism of the 1930s, which in its turn derived to some extent form the Realism and Pluralism of the British thinkers Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore, worked in the decade before 1914. Russell was an inspirer of Positivism (the insistence on a knowledge based on facts verifiable by the method of empirical sciences); Moore, with his determination to avo-
The leading exponents of the movement were Wittgenstein and the British thinkers Gilbert Ryle (1900-76) and L.J. Austin (1911-60). Its explicit formulation began with Wittgenstein’s return, after a period of withdrawal, to philosophy and Cambridge in 1929. While the brightest young philosophers were becoming committed to the Positivism of the Vienna Circle, in the British form given to it in 1936 in the Language, Truth and Logic of A.J. Ayer, Wittgenstein’s new ideas were confined, with a few exceptions, to a close circle of personal disciples in Cambridge.
The conquest of philosophically more populous Oxford was signaled in 1946 by a celebrated symposium paper of Austin’s on the topic of other minds. Ryle’s The Concept of Mind (1949) was the first important book in the new mode. Wittgenstein’s earlier, and in many ways different, view were not generally available until his Philosophical Investigations was published posthumously in 1953, to be followed by a long sequence of other writings. In the U.S. his influence was rap[idly diffused after 1945 by former pupils teaching at Cornell.
The starting point of Analytic philosophy is not simply the belief that language is the proper or immediate object of philosophical inquiry. That is the conviction of many philosophers of the past, particularly when they have been academic or professionalized. It is also accepted by those who, taking thought and knowledge to be the prime business of philosophy, realize that all but the most primitive thoughts require linguistic articulation. The distinguishing mark of Analytic philosophy is the thesis that traditional philosophical problems can be solved, or dissolved, by close attention to the manner in which the words employed in stating and discussing them are actually used.
The Analytic philosophers agreed in reciting as arbitrary and absurd the verification principle of their Positivist predecessors, which implied that only utterances
In its place, they argued that language is a social and functional phenomenon, art of the natural life of the human species. It is not an abstract calculus whose essence has been revealed once and for all by modern mathematical logic. It is used in many different ways and for many different purposes. There is no single basis of, or paradigm for, significant speech to which everything must be forcibly reduced if it is not to be ruled out as senseless. Echoing Moore’s attachment to the convictions of common sense, the Analytic philosophers took conflict with such convictions to be a sign of conceptual confusion, a misunderstanding of the rules that actually govern the use of words in normal everyday life, and which can be followed perfectly well in practice, but which one is led to ignore in reflective moods by mistaken but seductive analogies (according to Wittgenstein) or mere oversimplification, a “one-sided diet of examples” (in the words of Austin). From this it follows that the right way to deal with philosophical problems is to bring to light the mistakes about the meaning of words that give rise to them.
Wittgenstein applied his new conception of language to a large extent to the problem of explaining discourse about metal processes--understanding, suffering, pain, and intentionality. Ryle’s Concept of Mind offered a simplified, perhaps simplistic, version of Wittgenstein’s ideas on this subject, which arrived in the end at something close to the behaviourism of most Positivists, but by way of a mass of interesting detail. Austin wrote brilliantly but inconclusively about perception, truth, promising, and responsibility. By his inconclusiveness he succeeded in avoiding the philosophical theory that philosophy should propound no theories.
Where Wittgenstein philosophized about language only so far as needed for the therapeutic purpose in hand, the Analytic philosophers of Oxford were well disposed to the study of language for its own sake. Ryle’s view of philosophy as conceptual geography suggested the possibility of a comprehensive atlas. Austin, in his last book, How to Do Things with Words (1962), sketched the outlines of a systematic theory of the uses of language. Although Ryle and Austin have passed into history as influences, Wittgenstein remains a living force in contemporary philosophy.
Pragmatism, school of philosophy, dominant in the United States during the first quarter of the 20th century, based on the principle that the usefulness, workability, and practicality of ideas, policies, and proposals are the criteria of their merit. It stresses the priority of action over doctrine, of experience over fixed principles; and it holds that ideas borrow their meanings from their consequences, and their truths from their verification. Thus, ideas are essentially instruments and plans of action.
The pragmatist position was first systematized by the American philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) and William James (1842-1910), who agreed on the practical nature of meaning but differed as to the implications of such doctrine. For Peirce, pragmatism was primarily an investigation of the proper methods of procedure in the natural sciences, a reductive doctrine equating the meaning of theoretical terms with their impact upon experience. Peirce’s is a highly theoretical view of the proper meaning of ideas, derived from Immanuel Kant and the British empiricists. By contrast, James moved in a much more practical and moralistic direction. The virtues of belief, including truth, became in his view matters of their efficiency in enabling a person to cope with the problems of living. The vital good of a be-
Controversies over truth continued to dog the movement. Peirce’s own account of truth was “that which is fated ultimately to be agreed by all who investigate”; in this view, truth represents a kind of limit of scientifically formed opinion. But Peirce’s definition failed to account for those “facts” that are inaccessible to actual investigation. The real intention of the definition is to stress the role of practically motivated inquiry in shaping concepts and judgments and the particular truths accepted on their basis.
The more practical aspects of pragmatism were follow-