Friday, September 17, 2010

Epistemology

Right now, I'd say that Epistemology is shaping up to be my most boring class.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, which means it deals with how people know things. Knowing things is important, but sometimes, you can end up in situations where you think you know something, but you really don't.

It's an interesting topic, but right now, we're studying what the ancient philosophers have to say on the subject. They all seem to be trying to outdo each other when it comes to making up a lot of terms that are hard to translate into English. Each reading is starting to look like this:

The Stoic philosopher Obscurus Maximus (died 95 B.C.) distinguishes knowledge, beliefs, and thoughts as the three principle possessions of the rational intellect. His epistemology, accordingly, contains six types of knowledge, all of which you must memorize because they'll be on the midterm.

First, there is applesaucia, which is what you believe you think. This is not to be confused with applejuicia, what you believe you know. More solid than these two are peanutbutter, what you know you believe, and jellysandwich, what you know you think. These are substantively different from bibbetybobbetyboo, what you think you believe, and eenymeenymineymo, what you think you know.

He is the first person in the history of the world to speak about longissimus verbum, which is what you believe you think you know you think you know you think you believe, not to be confused with what you believe you think you know you think you know you think you think.


Epistemology becomes more interesting when you talk about specific examples. For example, say there is a pair of identical twins named Rachel and Kim Hubbard, and I'm talking to one of them. Can I ever be really sure that I'm talking to Rachel, and that it's not just Kim playing a joke on me? I'm not entirely sure that's possible. And if I can't know something simple like who I'm talking to right now, how can I expected to know something complicated?

My answer: I don't know. But do I know that I don't know, or do I just think I don't know, when I really do? Boy, epistemology is complicated sometimes.

7 comments:

mysterydrew said...

omg, now my head hurts.When i first saw applesaucia, i thought it was an actual term used. LOl

Katia said...

Ha! I love the allusion to Nancy Drew!

CreateForLife said...

You lost me after that first sentence....

Sofia said...

Hahaha ;]
My puny thirteen year old knowledge only understood the part about Kim and Rachel. Go WAC!

Anonymous said...

Yeesh, I'm glad that's not one of the classes required to graduate from my high school -_-

Anonymous said...

ummm.......English please. - Ethan

Twizzler206 said...

All I Read Was Something, Something, Something, Kim And Rachel.....