A comprehensive introduction to the theory of knowledge; this is a story of what it is to be a rational, sentient human being blessed with a mind, confronted with a complex world.
Dr Clare Hay approaches this first book on the theory of knowledge as an introduction to the subject, building it up around the debate between rationalism and empiricism, between the thinking of knowledge as a product of thinking about the contents of our own minds, and the knowledge as a product of our interactions with the world around us.
Written for the general reader, it is an excellent starting point for undergraduate and A/AS Level study. Structured around a central narrative thread, it also contains further reading and question sections, with worked exam questions, hints and guidance on the AQA exam.
This book will be followed by the publication of The Theory of Knowledge and the Rise of Modern Science, a more sophisticated approach to the subject with an emphasis on the interactions between Science and Philosophy from the 17th century to date.
1. Empiricism and Rationalism
Causation and the Laws of Nature
Beginning at the Beginning
Ideas of sensation and reflection, and concepts
Cause and Necessity
2. Knowledge and Justification
Foundationalism and Coherentism
Foundationalism and Empiricism
Objections to Foundationalism
Objections to Coherentism
Induction and Deduction
Truth, Belief, and Justification
The Gettier Puzzle: Problems with the Tripartite Definition
Two Accounts of Truth
Non-Justificatory Approaches to Knowledge
(2) Internalism and Externalism
The Story So Far
3. Knowledge and Scepticism
Two Forms of Scepticism
Descartes and the Method of Doubt – the Meditations
Arguments from Illusion, Deception, and Dreaming
“Cogito, ergo sum”; the cogito
Reason as the Source of our Conceptual Apparatus
Empiricism and Scepticism
Is Global Scepticism Possible?
My Knowledge of My Self
4. Knowledge of the External World
Experience as a Source of Concepts