Essay on A Study of Epistemology

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A Study of Epistemology

In the sixth century B.C., Homer alludes to a separation of knowledge between the mortals and the gods. He speaks of both gods and human beings as “knowing things”- creatures of knowledge. However, there is a “great difference in the quality and the scope of the knowledge available to the two groups” (Everson, Pg.12). For the mortal human being the contrast between “divine and human knowledge”, paired with possible deception by the gods, has led him to question the idea of knowledge as it exists independently, reminding him that there are many things he cannot “know for certain” (Everson, Pg. 13).

Epistemology, as it exists today, is a branch of philosophy that studies knowledge in an attempt
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1).

The development of empiricism has fashioned a present model that is widely used today: the reflection-correspondence theory. The premise behind this ideology states knowledge results from a “mapping” of external objects that are related to the brain through sensory organs” (Heylighen, Pg. 2). Reflection-correspondence understands man will never reach an absolute state of knowledge, but somehow this inability to distinguish reality from illusion, illustrates thought as a “limit of ever more precise reflections of reality” (Heylighen, Pg. 2). Therefore thought, as a physical product of nature, is in itself a limiting trait.

Another significant theory developed in this period is known as the Kantian synthesis of rationalism and empiricism. Kant pictured knowledge as emerging from the human “organization of perceptual data on the basis of inborn cognitive structures” known as “categories” (Heylighen, Pg. 2). His belief parallels, to some extent, that of evolutionary epistemology, which assumes knowledge is constructed by the subject, or social group as a means of adapting to their environment.

This construction happens through “blind-variation”, or what is understood as the correlation of different already existing pieces of knowledge. These “pieces”, or “categories” (according to Kant), are “selectively” retained in combinations that
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