From Ancient Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistḗmē, “science, knowledge”), from ἐπίσταμαι (epístamai, “I know”) + -λογία (-logía, “discourse”), from λέγω (légō, “I speak”). The term was introduced into English by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864).
epistemology (plural epistemologies)
- (uncountable) The branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge; theory of knowledge, asking such questions as "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?".
- Some thinkers take the view that, beginning with the work of Descartes, epistemology began to replace metaphysics as the most important area of philosophy.
- (countable) A particular theory of knowledge.
- In his epistemology, Plato maintains that our knowledge of universal concepts is a kind of recollection.