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Skepticism & Contextualism in Epistemology

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Skepticism & Contextualism in Epistemology
Skepticism & Contextualism in Epistemology

Epistemology, is generally understood as the study of knowledge. The word Epistemology was coined by Scottish philosopher James F. Ferrier, it is a word derived from Greek – Episteme meaning knowledge and logos meaning study. The study of knowledge or Epistemology covers not only basic day to day conceptualizations and realizations, but it is a field of study in itself that covers wide array of topics and almost everything one have learnt throughout his or her life. However more specifically epistemology deals with the understanding of what is knowledge, what are its sources, structure, limits, & beliefs. (Steup). In this paper we summarize and analyze two basic ways of studying and approaching knowledge – Skepticism and Contextualism.

Skepticism:

Since the dawn of human evolution or creation, we humans have been chosen as the superior beings. This sense of superiority or zealousness can only be attributed to one thing the power of human mind. Our mind surely has given us abilities to achieve impossible, crack upon unrelenting mysteries of science, math or be it any other field, but the question still remains how much of our mind to do we actually know or do we know what is mind? The problem in studying knowledge arises here if we don’t know what is mind, can we trust anything that is learnt of it, or in essence we can basically say that we don’t know anything. This skeptical approach to knowledge is pursued by a French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes.

Skepticism in general according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary is defined as, an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object. (Webster). But what exactly is Skepticism in the field of philosophy and more specifically in the context of this paper, to answer this let us first analyze and consider Rene Descartes argument. Rene Descartes in his paper Meditation on first philosophy argues



References: "Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online." Web. 6 Mar. 2013. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

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