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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Philosophy: "Epistemology." Who Can Pronounce It?

Philosophy: "Epistemology." Who Can Pronounce It?

Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 1,036
No matter what conclusions you reach [regarding metaphysics], you will be confronted by the necessity to answer another, corollary question: How do I know it? Since man is not omniscient or infallible, you have to discover what you can claim as knowledge and how to prove the validity of your conclusions. Does man acquire knowledge by a process of reason — or by sudden revelation from a supernatural power? Is reason a faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses — or is it fed by innate ideas, implanted in man's mind before he was born? Is reason competent to perceive reality — or does man possess some other cognitive faculty which is superior to reason? Can man achieve certainty—or is he doomed to perpetual doubt?

The extent of your self-confidence — and of your success — will be different, according to which set of answers you accept. These answers are the province of epistemology, the theory of knowledge, which studies man's means of cognition
--Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It?
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