Segments in this Video

Definition of Epistemology (03:40)


The philosophical study of the nature and scope of what we know is called epistemology. It asks two questions: What do instances of knowledge have in common? and What is the scope of knowledge?

Episteme: True Knowledge (04:22)

Plato's "Republic" examines our quest to define what we know. His "line" defines knowledge and how we obtain it. Episteme, or true knowledge, is the highest, bringing truth and reality together.

Plato and Aristotle's Differences (03:02)

In the "Allegory of the Cave" Plato gives a compelling account of truth and authenticity. Aristotle rejects Plato's form, believing that true knowledge is gained through one's experience.

Foundationalism and Skepticism (05:03)

Reasons for believing something to be true rests on a basis of beliefs known as foundational propositions. Skepticism is the view that one is unavoidably stuck in epistemic regress.

Rationalism (03:21)

Foundationalism takes many forms such as empiricism and rationalism. Descartes, founder of the rationalist school, believes that certain fundamental ideas are innate.

Empiricism: Bacon and Locke (02:49)

Bacon emphasizes the senses as a solid foundation for knowledge, or the basis for empiricism. Locke opposes Descartes' notion of innate ideas, believing the human mind is a blank slate.

Empiricism: Barclay and Hume (03:46)

Barclay states that the physical world outside the mind actually exists in the mind. Hume states that perception, either impressions or ideas, is any representation we have in our minds.

Empiricism: Kant (03:35)

Hume states that the necessary connection between cause and effect cannot be established. Kant disproves this and believes that scientific knowledge is universal and necessary.

Analytic Philosophy (03:20)

Russell and Moore are the leaders of the twentieth century philosophical revolution known as Analytic Philosophy. Wittgenstein applies their ideas to language, called language games.

Coherentism (04:00)

Coherentism rejects Foundationalism's view. Quine calls its nonlinear process the "web of belief." Gettier believes that knowledge must be something more than justified true belief.

Causal Theory of Knowledge (04:45)

Prior to Gettier, epistemology took the internalist view. Externalism states that justification involves factors external to the person. Two theories of externalism include causal and reliabilism.

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Epistemology: What We Can Know

Part of the Series : Great Ideas of Philosophy II
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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This program travels from Plato’s cave to Gettier’s papier-mâché barns while addressing, along the way, questions such as: What does it mean to really know something? How can one know that one knows it? And is seeing the same thing as believing? Deconstructing the principles of epistemology are Rutgers University’s Alvin Goldman and Peter Klein and Princeton University’s Alexander Nehamas and Daniel Garber. Their insights, in combination with incisive excerpts from Aristotle’s De Anima, Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy, Locke’s An Essay on Human Understanding, Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, illuminate the complexity of “truth.” Part of the series Great Ideas of Philosophy II. (46 minutes)

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL32715

ISBN: 978-1-4213-1508-9

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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