Friday, April 16, 2021

Descriptive and Practical Epistemology

What is epistemology? How we know things? Well, what do we know? I know that I exist and that there is something that is not me, and I know what that not-me looks like, sounds like, etc. -- sense perception -- as well as what I perceive of it noetically. I am a subject experiencing the moment. I don't really know what lies outside the moment, and I can be led to doubt the existence of what is outside myself and the moment.

But I know that I know these things. I'm confident of it.

Everything else, I'm not confident of. But I still believe things I'm not 100% sure of. I have learned that it is better for me to do that.

For the things that we know we know, we have a solid example of knowledge, and then we can do descriptive epistemology to describe the knowing of the things, and learn something about knowledge.

For the things that we want to figure out whether to believe, we need to do practical epistemology. This shows us how to act and trust, in the absence of perfect knowledge.

There should be some connection between descriptive and practical epistemology.


Interestingly enough, I am seemingly very confident that I can at least begin to know things. I can definitely try to. This is part of descriptive epistemology's domain. For it to even make sense to doubt something, some things have to be true. I know that I can try to pursue practical epistemology, and some things have to be true for that to be possible. These can also be added to descriptive epistemology's domain. Maybe other things can. So I may try to put more thought into figuring out the boundary between epistemic and practical epistemology.

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