Phi 208 Final Paper

1104 WordsAug 28, 20135 Pages
What can we know? Joseph Ransford PHI208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning (GTP1306D) Michele Clearman-Warner 03/12/13 Epistemology or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy related to the scope and nature of knowledge. The subject focuses on examining the nature of knowledge, and how it relates to beliefs, justification, and truth. Epistemology contract with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims. “Epistemology is the philosophical investigation into this question: What can we know? The question, at first, seems pretty simple: It seems pretty obvious that I know that 3+5+8, that the sun will rise tomorrow and that my chances of winning the lottery aren’t very good. I also know…show more content…
The school is best understood as the product of two movements in ancient Greek philosophy. Skepticism can be attributed to Socrates and to Plato’s successors at The Academy in Athens (5th to 2nd century BC). Pyrrhonism can be traced back to Pyrrho of Ellis(365-275 BC). Skepticism can be found in many other schools of ancient philosophy from Heraclitus to Cyrenaics and the Cynics Socrates was placed at the origins of Skepticism. It was understood that he only asked questions and never taught positive doctrines, many sought to “attempt to make sense of his seemingly paradoxical claim that the one thing he knew was that he knew nothing.” (Gascoigne, 2002) Plato and Aristotle strayed from Socrates path when they claimed to know the truth. Plato viewed knowledge as an awareness of absolute and existing independent of any subject trying to apprehend to the philosophers. Though, Aristotle put more emphasis on logical and empirical methods for gathering knowledge. Aristotle still accepts the view of such knowledge is an apprehension of necessary principles. Around the Renaissance period, the two main epistemological positions dominated in philosophy are empiricism, in which sees knowledge as the product of sensory perception, and rationalism sees epistemology as the product of rational reflection (Tempo). Another philosopher by the name of Arcesilaus, gave a renewed form of skepticism, arguing against the opinions of all men. Arcesilaus also claimed that skeptics could make
Open Document