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epistemology Syllabification: e·pis·te·mol·o·gy
Pronunciation: /əˌpistəˈmäləjē/

Definition of epistemology in English:


The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
Example sentences
  • The turn from epistemology to ontology was taken before Heidegger by Nicolai Hartmann.
  • The authentic scientific ring of Russell's logic echoed in his epistemology of natural knowledge, Quine wrote.
  • In Britain, John Locke reacted against the innatism of Cartesian epistemology, but retained a theory of ideas.


Example sentences
  • It was sad for epistemologists, Hume and others, to have to acquiesce in the impossibility of strictly deriving the science of the external world from sensory evidence.
  • This is not quite so straightforward an ‘empirical description’ as naturalistic epistemologists like to think.
  • Contemporary feminist epistemologists have pointed out how traditional philosophy's emphasis on rational, logical absolutes has devalued the ambiguities of the embodied life.


Mid 19th century: from Greek epistēmē 'knowledge', from epistasthai 'know, know how to do'.

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