Problems of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction to Epistemology

Paperback | May 1, 2001

byMichael Williams

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What is epistemology or 'the theory of knowledge'? What is it really about? Why does it matter? What makes theorising about knowledge 'philosophical'? Why do some philosophers argue that epistemology - perhaps even philosophy itself - is dead? In this exciting and original introduction, Michael Williams shows how epistemological theorizing is sensitive to a range of questions about the nature, limits, methods, and value of knowing. He pays special attention to the challenge of philosophical scepticism: does our 'knowledge' rest on bruteassumptions? Does the rational outlook undermine itself?Williams explains and criticises all the main contemporary philopsophical perspectives on human knowledge, such as foundationalism, the coherence theory, and 'naturalistic' theories. As an alternative to all of them, he defends his distinctive contextualist approach. While accessible to theundergraduate and general reader, this book contains Williams' own original ideas and is essential reading for all philosophers concerned with the theory of knowledge.

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What is epistemology or 'the theory of knowledge'? What is it really about? Why does it matter? What makes theorising about knowledge 'philosophical'? Why do some philosophers argue that epistemology - perhaps even philosophy itself - is dead? In this exciting and original introduction, Michael Williams shows how epistemological theori...

Michael Williams is Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. He has previously held positions at Yale, the University of Maryland, and Northwestern.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.59 inPublished:May 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192892568

ISBN - 13:9780192892560

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Very Idea of a Theory of Knowledge1. The Standard Analysis2. Knowledge without Evidence3. Two Ideals4. Unstable Knowledge5. Agrippa's Trilemma6. Experience and Reality7. Foundations8. The Problem of the Basis9. Reduction and Inference10. Coherence11. The Myth of the System12. Realism and Truth13. Evidence and Entitlement14. Knowledge in Context15. Seeing and Knowing16. Scepticism and Epistemic Priority17. Induction18. Projection and Conjecture19. Relativism20. Objectivity and ProgressConclusion: Epistemology After Scepticism?

Editorial Reviews

Review in Italian appeared in Iride September 03.