Ontology and Epistemology - Essay Example

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Ontology and Epistemology Introduction What is reality? If reality is whatever we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell constitutes reality, then is reality merely a collection of data perceived through our senses? What is real? What is true? Is what is true the same or different from what we believe to be true?…
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Ontology and Epistemology
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Download file to see previous pages We will talk about ontology and its direct, objective approach to studying an entity, and epistemology, with its more intrinsic approach concerning knowledge, truth, belief, and justification. Ontology Ontology is the study of kinds of things that exist and its nature of being (“Ontology”). It is said that everything that has a name exists. Every noun points to an actual entity. Ontology is the study about that entity. Whether the concept is concrete such as a microorganism, or abstract such as resilience, the study of that entity as something that exists is the ontological approach. It is generally a descriptive and categorical way of thinking that examines the nuts and bolts of an existing entity, categorizing and differentiating it from other entities. I am holding a flower. The flower I am holding is a rose. The thorns are pointy and can pierce my skin. These are all ontological notions. It is the recognition and classification of an entity that exists and its constituent parts. Epistemology Epistemology on the other hand is the study of knowledge. It questions what a person knows, how he knows what he knows, and how much a person can know about something. Some philosophers believe that knowledge is a True Belief that has Justification. So the three components of knowledge are that it should be true, the person with the knowledge must believe it is true, and there should be proof or justification that it is true (Sahakian and Sahakian). If epistemology is about knowledge, this is how they look at the situation: I KNOW it is a flower because all flowers have a stem, a stalk, leaves and a bunch of petals on the tip. This is true because it is consistent with other flowers who also have the same characteristics. I KNOW it is in my hand because I can feel it and see it in my hand. This is true under the correspondence theory of truth and Naive Realism. I KNOW it is a rose because I was taught by my teacher that this is what a rose looks like. This is true under the criteria of authority. I KNOW that the thorns can pierce my skin because pointy objects can pierce my skin. This is true under Consensus gentium. All these things are considered knowledge because I believe that they are as they are, and my beliefs are proven to be true because the justification satisfies the criteria of truth. Satisfying the criteria of truth is needed to justify a proposition. There are many criteria for truth, some of which are valid, and others are not. These criteria are all valid or invalid to certain extents. Truth The criteria for truth consist of Authority which states that a proposal is true as long as a qualified individual says it is. This criterion is not very reliable since different qualified individuals can have opposing views toward a single topic. Coherence is the criterion in which a proposal is true as long as the facts are well explained and are reconciled to support that proposal. This criterion could be the most effective test of truth but is limited by the person’s ability to gather all the relevant facts. Consensus gentium is a general truth accepted by all of mankind. An example is the existence of gravity; consistency can be either mere or strict. Mere consistency makes a proposition true as long as two correct statements don’t contradict. Strict consistency needs a prior true statement to validate the proposed true statement; correspondence makes a propositi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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