Monday, 16 December 2013

Epistemology: Background

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Well, this is going to be different. I was a postgraduate student. My lecturers said that once I am in the level and I could not speak like a lay man no more and they are right. I used to frown cause I did not understand them but now I understood. The same way I studied Buddhism and Brahmanism.  

I get to know about this term when I was a student in Dr. Benny Teh Cheng Guan who taught us International Relations and European Union External Policies. Epistemology came from Greek neologism epistēmē which means knowledge or understanding and logos which means the study of something. It is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and the scope of knowledge. It is referred as the theory of knowledge.

It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired and the extent to which knowledge pertinent to any given subject or entity can be acquired. Much of the debate within this field has focused on the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief and justification.

Mr. Teh taught us about the parable of a blind man and an elephant which is used to illustrate a range of truth and fallacies where it implies that one's subjective experience can be true, but such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. This parable is prominent within Buddhism or Jainism and other ancient Indian sub-traditions and my lecturer is a Buddhist. It is used to explain epistemology in our class.


This neologism was first a translated concept of German, Wissenschaftslehre, used by Fichte and Bolzano for different projects before it was taken up again by Husserl. 

J. F. Ferrier coined the word on the model of "ontology", to designate that branch of philosophy; affirmed to be the latter's "true beginning", to discover the meaning of knowledge. 

This term passed into French as épistémologie, with a generally narrower meaning than the original, the import of which is covered by "theory of knowledge or theorie de la connaisance. Émile Meyerson opened his Identity and Reality (1908) with the remark that this term "is becoming current" as equivalent to "the philosophy of the sciences".

Epistemic Culture

It distinguishes between various settings of knowledge production and stresses their contextual aspects. It is coined by Karin Knorr-Cetina in her book Epistemic Cultures. She defines it as an amalgam of arrangements and mechanisms; bonded through affinity, necessity and historical coincidence which in a given field, make up "how we know what we know".

This term provides a conceptual framework used to demonstrate that different laboratories do not share the same "scientific" knowledge production model. But rather each is endowed with different epistemic culture prescribing what is adequate knowledge and how it is obtained

Since its introduction, this term has been picked up and used by various researches engaging in Science and Technology studies.

Practical Applications

Far from being purely academic, the study of this field is useful for many applications. It is particularly employed in issues of law where proof of guilt or innocence may be required, or when it must be determined whether a person knew a particular fact before taking a specific action for e.g whether an action was premeditated.

Another practical application is to the design of user interfaces as seen in examples such as skills, rules and knowledge. Taxonomy of human behavior has been used by designers to develops systems that are compatible with multiple "ways of knowing": abstract analytic reasoning, experience-based "gut-feelings" and "craft" sensory-motor skills. 

Applications of epistemology include in fields such as.....
  • Education Theory
  • Education Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • History and Archeology
  • Intelligence Information Gathering
  • Knowledge Management
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Medicine in Diagnosis of Disease
  • Neurology
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Behavorial Neuroscience
  • Software Testing
  • Product Testing
  • Psychology
  • Philosopy
  • Linguistics
  • Logics
  • Literature
  • Theology and Apologetics
  • Sociology
  • Testimony
I guess this is it for this part... I hope it helps for those who love to debate religions and stuffs or who love to win converts for whatever motive it is... Faith is not something which you could change like changing your clothes. It concerns with soul inclinations and this is the right of the God the Highest. 

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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