What is Epistemology?
What is Epistemology?

Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge. Epistemologists seek to understand knowledge’s nature and availability. What is knowledge? There are competing theories. Can we really have knowledge? Challenges abound.

In this lively book, Stephen Hetherington introduces us to epistemological theorizing. He builds a theory and tests it, refines it, and challenges it again. He explores such topics as evidence, truth and belief, different kinds of knowledge, and knowledge’s value, as well as sceptical views concerning knowledge of the physical world, one’s own mind and memory, and rational limits for observation and reason. This epistemological theorizing is then applied to some of life’s most pressing issues, such as how to live and how to understand ourselves and others.

<i>What is Epistemology?</i> is a practical and student-friendly guide to one of the most dynamic areas of philosophy. It will be the go-to introductory epistemology text.

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  • June 2019
  • 200 pages
  • 140 x 216 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509529506
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509529513
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509529537
Table of Contents
  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • 1 Doing Epistemology
  • 2 Kinds of Knowledge?
  • 3 A First Theory of Knowledge
  • 4 Refining Our Theory of Knowledge
  • 5 Is it even Possible to have Knowledge?
  • 6 Applying Epistemology
  • Further Reading
About the Author
Stephen Hetherington is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales.
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‘A wonderfully entertaining and lucid introduction to the philosophy of knowledge. Hetherington challenges readers to find their own epistemology and think about why knowledge matters. It’s hard to think of many, if any, better introductions to the subject.’
Quassim Cassam, University of Warwick

‘Hetherington’s book is an ideal entry point not only to epistemology, but to philosophy itself. Working through a well-chosen series of issues, he shows how to construct a philosophical theory and how to embrace its impact on one’s life.’
Baron Reed, Northwestern University

‘This fine little book offers readers a clear, informative explanation of contemporary epistemology. Hetherington (Univ. of New South Wales, Australia) writes for beginners, so some teachers might find the presentation a bit breezy and sparse. The style makes reading the book more inviting for its intended audience; Hetherington carefully builds a philosophical theory in a way that avoids needless technicalities or jargon. Topics covered include many of those now familiar in epistemology: sources of knowledge, fallibilism, the Gettier problem, skepticism, contextualism, social epistemology, epistemological evaluation, epistemic luck, virtue epistemology, and understanding … The real innovation of the book comes in the final chapter, in which Hetherington calls attention to ways epistemology informs a number of more general issues important to humans.’
N. D. Smith, Lewis & Clark College

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