Unit 4: Epistemology

Knowing what we know

How do we know when we know something, rather than just think it?  I might think that the moon is made of cheese, or that there are unicorns in the Sahara, but these beliefs couldn't be called knowledge.  To know something means to know what is real, or what actually exists.  In order to understand what it means to know, and how we can have confidence in what we know, we need to consider some related, but often confused, terms: knowledge, belief, certainty, opinion, preference, and so on.  Simply put, knowledge is the personal understanding of reality.  But reality presents itself in many different ways, and so knowledge and knowledge gathering must be understood in different ways too.

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