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[ih-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee] /ɪˌpɪs təˈmɒl ə dʒi/
a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.
Origin of epistemology
1855-60; < Greek epistḗm(ē) knowledge + -o- + -logy
Related forms
[ih-pis-tuh-muh-loj-i-kuh l] /ɪˌpɪs tə məˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
epistemologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for epistemology
  • The goal of the games is to focus players on epistemology.
  • This might serve as the motto for all of Emerson's epistemology.
  • And in the end, the disagreements that give rise to these debates are typically grounded about questions of epistemology.
  • The epistemology of science is based on falsification, not proof.
  • This is the subject of epistemology, a branch of philosophy.
  • Anderson's epistemology is as insufficient as his model.
  • It's pretty clear that mainstream econ is still floundering because of weaknesses in epistemology.
  • As an avid reader not foolish enough to have majored in the humanities, I'm all for enthusiasm and epistemology.
  • Too bad post-linguistic turn historians no longer have an epistemology or metaphysic that allows them to make such bold claims.
  • The exclusive, empiricism-centred perspective on epistemology.
British Dictionary definitions for epistemology


the theory of knowledge, esp the critical study of its validity, methods, and scope
Derived Forms
epistemologist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Greek epistēmē knowledge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for epistemology

"theory of knowledge," 1856, coined by Scottish philosopher James F. Ferrier (1808-1864) from Greek episteme "knowledge," from Ionic Greek epistasthai "know how to do, understand," literally "overstand," from epi "over, near" (see epi-) + histasthai "to stand," (see histo-).

The scientific (as opposed to philosophical) study of the roots and paths of knowledge is epistemics (1969). Related: Epistemological; epistemologically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epistemology in Culture
epistemology [(i-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee)]

The branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and origin of knowledge. Epistemology asks the question “How do we know what we know?”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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