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Introduction

Epistemology (/ɪˌpɪstɪˈmɒləi/ (About this soundlisten); from Greek, Modern ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and λόγος, logos, meaning 'logical discourse') is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.

Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification, (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "What does it mean to say that we know something?", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?".

Selected article

Naïve realism argues we perceive the world directly
Naïve realism, also known as direct realism or common sense realism, is a common sense theory of perception.

"Naïve realism claims that the world is pretty much as common sense would have it. All objects are composed of matter, they occupy space, and have properties such as size, shape, texture, smell, taste and colour. These properties are usually perceived correctly. So, when we look at and touch things we see and feel those things directly, and so perceive them as they really are. Objects continue to obey the laws of physics and retain all their properties whether or not there is anyone present to observe them doing so."[1]

In contrast, indirect or representative realism claims that we are directly aware only of internal representations of the external world, as objects are hidden behind a "veil of perception". Idealism, on the other hand, asserts that no world exists apart from mind-dependent ideas.

Selected biography

Wang-yang-ming.jpg
Wang Yangming (王阳明, 1472–1529) was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Xi. He was known as Yangming Xiansheng or Yangming Zi (both mean "Brilliant Master Yangming") in literary circles.

Born Wang Shouren (王 守仁) in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, his courtesy name was Bo'an (伯安). His father was an earl and a minister of civil personnel. He earned the "recommended person" degree in 1492 and the "presented scholar" degree in 1499. He served as an executive assistant in various government departments until being banished for offending a eunuch in 1506.[2] However, his professional career was later ensured when he became the Governor of Jiangxi.[3]


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  1. ^ Naïve Realism, Theory of Knowledge.com.
  2. ^ Chan 1963: 654.
  3. ^ Needham, Volume 5, Part 7, 372.


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