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Personal Epistemology

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

Personal Epistemology and Information Literacy


Information Literacy, Personal Epistemology, and Knowledge Construction: Potential and Possibilities by Troy A. Swanson College & Undergraduate Libraries. 13:3 (publication date December of 2006), Annotated Bib

Personal Epistemology and First-Year College Writing Students: A First Step by Troy A. Swanson (2006), this article was submitted for publication, but was shot down. I was not surprised, since I really didn't have concrete findings. SO, this is freely available for any interested parties to read or comment.


Knowing How Your Students know, this is the power point used for a workshop at Moraine Valley's 2006 Learning College Day


2006 Survey Results on Schraw, Bendixen, & Dunkle's Epistemic Belief Inventory (EBI), COM 101 Students (n=98 pretest, n=40 posttest)


Seek Knowledge: Student Judgment, Epistemology, and First Year Writie--Power Point, April 6, 2006 that summarizes some issues around this project

Links for Personal Epistemology

Feed for Personal Epistemology



Epistemology & Philosophy

Karl Popper

As Popper represents it, the central problem in the philosophy of science is that of demarcation, i.e., of distinguishing between science and what he terms ‘non-science’, under which heading he ranks, amongst others, logic, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, and Adler's individual psychology. Popper is unusual amongst contemporary philosophers in that he accepts the validity of the Humean critique of induction, and indeed, goes beyond it in arguing that induction is never actually used by the scientist. However, he does not concede that this entails the scepticism which is associated with Hume, and argues that the Baconian/Newtonian insistence on the primacy of ‘pure’ observation, as the initial step in the formation of theories, is completely misguided: all observation is selective and theory-laden — there are no pure or theory-free observations. In this way he destabilises the traditional view that science can be distinguished from non-science on the basis of its inductive methodology; in contradistinction to this, Popper holds that there is no unique methodology specific to science. Science, like virtually every other human, and indeed organic, activity, Popper believes, consists largely of problem-solving.



From a friendly Wolfe:

First, just so we are on the same page, epistemology is simply the theory of knowledge or the philosophical pursuit of truth, knowledge vs mere opinion....ok, with that out of the way let's turn to the question......every philosopher really is a student in one way or another of epistemology but most scholars point to the 17/18th centuries as the "age of epistemology" with Descartes introducing the "search for certainty" or seeking a sure foundation for knowledge....Descartes employed his "method of doubt" formula (doubt everything and begin building up from this point...of course for him this did not include doubting mathematical principles but don't get me started)....thus, this form of doubting was a type of skepticism that was used in an attempt to ascertain what could not be doubted....this of course led to his famous, "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am") (if I doubt I exist, then I must exist)....of course Plato was interested in the nature of knowledge too...particularly in his "Republic" Plato notes that all knowledge is in one's soul from birth and that true knowledge is reserved for that over which there cannot be error..thus Plato differed from Descartes in that he did not call to begin the investigation of knowledge by doubting but, rather, by his "theory of recollection" or recalling what our soul already knows...Plato also believed that knowledge was reserved for the Forms and not physical things (recall that he taught everything has two realities: the Physical which is subject to change and the Form or the absolute truth behind the physical object which is never subject to change)....Aquinas thought that all the materials necessary for knowledge are derived from experience however, he did not go so far as to say that all knowledge is derived from experience as there is a distinction between knowledge and the concepts presupposed by it....in similar fashion, Descartes also did not think that all our ides are derived from experience....Locke strongly favored the position that all our ideas (knowledge) arise from experience...J.S. Mill argued that knowledge of truths comes via experience and intuition...Berkeley and Hume argued for the limits of human understanding (which is why Hume is held as the example of the ultimate skeptic - denying even the existence of physical, material, items)...Hume said all ideas/knowledge are derived from impressions of sense and any idea is simply a copy of a corresponding impression.....you'll like this: Hume then asked, "What justifies us in going from one impression to another and what justifies belief in anything beyond the immediate impression?...What justifies belief even, let's say, in causality?"....for Hume, nothing could justify these and thus we can only from a psychological perspective what makes us believe in these things....finally, (you know I couldn't end this with Hume), we have the great Aristotle who was disinterested to say the least in trying to justify knowledge claims...instead, the great philosopher of common-sense argued that we think we have knowledge proper of something when we know its reason or cause (hence his emphasis on logic and syllogistic expressions)...thus, true knowledge involves bringing the object within a context of explanatory and reason-giving propositions or to say it more easily, knowledge of a thing happens when the understanding of the objects existence and cause are properly evaluated. Anyway, hope this helps.......take care and "work on the soul"!!!!!!!!!

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