17 Introduction

Exploring Epistemology

Module Introduction


  • What is knowledge? Can we know? How can we know?
  • How do we know? How do we know we know?
  • What is it that knows? What am I?
  • What is Knowledge? How do we know? How do we know we know? Does Science Tell us the Whole Truth?

As you may recall from earlier modules, epistemology is the field of Philosophy that deals with knowledge and the distinction between knowledge and opinion. Although this definition seems clear enough, when we begin digging deeper, as we will in this module, we discover that people don’t actually agree at all about what knowledge is or how to acquire it.

The first section of this module will outline several answers to the questions regarding knowledge and how we come to know. In the second section, we will explore a specific aspect of epistemology within the branch of philosophy known as the philosophy of science.(1)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognize the relationships between cultural expressions and their contexts.
  2. Recognize concepts in metaphysics, axiology, and epistemology and the context of their development.
  3. Comprehend the scope of philosophic inquiry and how beliefs are formed and justified especially within a particular cultural construct.

Module Objectives

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the differences between rationalism and empiricism.
  2. Define Sufi mysticism and Skepticism.
  3. Define and explain elements, models, and methods that comprise aspects of the philosophy of science, including science vs. scientism; normal vs. revolutionary science; and Kuhn’s definition of paradigm. (1)

Readings and Resources

Supplemental Materials

(Note: These materials are considered supplemental and thus are not used for assessment purposes)

Note: These materials, in the media form of online resources and videos, are considered supplemental and thus are not used for assessment purposes.

Assignments & Learning Activities

  • Review Introduction
  • Review Readings and Resources
  • Review Learning Unit
  • Participate in Module 4 Discussion


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Philosophy in the Humanities Copyright © by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book