Epistemology is a discipline that deals with the study of nature, the scope of knowledge and justified belief. It analyzes the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification of things that happen around us. It also deals with the means of knowledge production, as well as the skepticism about the different affirmations that are possessed with respect to things. It is in charge of studying what is knowledge and the concepts related to the sources and criteria that are part of knowledge and the reality or accuracy of each of them.


Related topics

Phenomenology, nihilism

What is epistemology?

The epistemology or philosophy of science, is a branch of philosophy or a discipline that is responsible for studying scientific research and the results of it along with scientific knowledge and its types, the possibility and reality that exists between the researcher and certainty.

What does epistemology study?

Epistemology, seen as a theory of knowledge, studies aspects such as the different historical, psychological and sociological facts or circumstances that can lead us to obtain the knowledge and criteria we need to justify or eliminate the concepts we see in our daily lives. It studies common concepts such as truth, objectivity, reality and justification. Establishes whether the relationship between the concept being studied and the researcher is true. In summary, it is in charge of obtaining information on how the different scientific theories are developed, evaluated and changed, and of knowing the degree of truth that they contain with respect to the processes of nature.

Characteristics of epistemology

Some of the characteristics that we observe in epistemology are the following:


From the etymological point of view, the word epistemology has its origin in the Greek words “episteme” and “logos“, where logos means discourse and episteme, study of science. The term originated during the Renaissance.

History of epistemology

Epistemology has always been concerned with issues such as nature, sources and legitimacy of knowledge. In the course of Western philosophy, philosophers always concentrated on one or two of these subjects, excluding the others. Concern for questions has predominated in philosophy since the mid-twentieth century but was also discussed at some length in antiquity. Attention to the question of the scope of knowledge seems to have begun with Plato and has continued to this day. Uncertainty about the sources of knowledge was also important in antiquity, but it has also been a central focus of epistemological discussion throughout the medieval periods and the early modern era. During the twentieth century, epistemology was grouped into three schools: logical neo-positivism, critical rationalism, and Popperians.


Epistemology has different branches on which it bases its studies, and these are the following:

Objectives of epistemology

The primary and arguably unique objective of epistemology is to seek the means to clarify the conditions in which human knowledge can be obtained and the limits that exist for this knowledge to be given. It judges the validity and scope of knowledge.


The importance of epistemology lies in the fact that they seek to define knowledge and the concepts related to it, the different points of view, the forms of knowledge and the degree of certainty of each of them. It looks for a way to elucidate and systematize philosophical concepts, helping to solve the different problems regarding science and philosophy. It reconstructs scientific theories axiomatically and serves as a model for other branches of philosophy.


We can mention as examples of the branches of epistemology the following:

As far as epistemology types, we can mention the following:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Epistemology. Recovered on 23 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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