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The Theory of Knowledge

A Thematic Introduction

Paul K. Moser, Dwayne H. Mulder, and J. D. Trout

Publication Date - September 1997

ISBN: 9780195094664

224 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction explains the main ideas and problems of contemporary epistemology while avoiding technical detail. Comprehensive and rich in illustrations and examples, it highlights contemporary debates over the definition, sources, and limits of human knowledge, and covers major topics including the nature of belief, theories of truth, epistemic justification, the Gettier problem, skepticism, and epistemic rationality. Its discussions identify important connections between traditional epistemological questions and cognitive science, the history of science, the sociology of knowledge, and cross-cultural studies.
The book culminates with a focus on questions regarding epistemological method and an examination of the roots of contemporary analytic approaches to epistemology. The authors defend a distinctive position regarding epistemological method, called broad explanationism, that incorporates some insights from naturalism in epistemology. The volume is enhanced by a glossary of important epistemological terms and suggestions for further reading. Easily accessible to beginning students in philosophy, The Theory of Knowledge serves as an ideal text for courses in the theory of knowledge and will also appeal to general readers interested in philosophy.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Epistemology: A First Look
    1. Why Study Knowledge?
    2. Some Doubts about Knowledge
    3. Traditional Definition of Knowledge
    4. Knowledge and Experience
    5. Intuitions and Theory
    Chapter 2: Explaining Knowledge
    1. The Scope of Epistemology
    2. The Concept of Knowledge
    3. Epistemology, Naturalism, and Pragmatism
    4. Value in Epistemology
    Chapter 3: Belief
    1. Belief and Representational States
    2. Belief and Belief-Ascription
    3. Are Beliefs Transparent?
    4. Belief and Theoretical Ideals
    5. Eliminativism and Prediction
    Chapter 4: Truth
    1. Relativism
    2. Truth and Correspondence
    3. Truth and Coherence
    4. Truth and Pragmatic Value
    5. Kinds and Notions of Truth
    Chapter 5: Jusitification and Beyond
    1. Justifications, Truth and Defeat
    2. Inferential Justification and the Regress Problem
    3. Supplementing Justification: The Gettier Problem
    Chapter 6: Sources of Knowledge
    1. Rationalism, Empiricism, and Innatissm
    2. Empiricism, Positivism, and Underdetermination
    3. Intuitions and First-Person Reports
    4. Memory
    5. Theoretical Unification
    6. Testimony and Social Dependence
    Chapter 7: Rationality
    1. Preliminary Distinctions
    2. Rational Inference: Normative and Descriptive
    3. Consistency and Wayward Beliefs
    4. Rationality and Decision Under Uncertainty
    5. Integrative Considerations about Rationality
    Chapter 8: Skepticism
    1. Some Species of Skepticism
    2. Some Skeptical Arguments
    3. A Reply from Common Sense
    4. Skepticism, Naturalism, and Broad Explanation
    Chapter 9: Epistemology and Explanation
    1. Origins of Contemporary Epistemology
    2. Ultimate Epistemological Authority
    3. Explanation and Knowledge
    For Further Reading