epistemic

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

PIE word
*h₁epi

From Ancient Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistḗmē, knowledge; science) + English -ic (suffix meaning of or pertaining to forming adjectives from nouns)[1] (compare modern Greek επιστημικός (epistimikós, relating to science, scientific)). Ἐπιστήμη (Epistḗmē) is derived from ἐπῐ́στᾰμαι (epístamai, to have knowledge of, know) (from ἐπῐ- (epi-, prefix meaning ‘all over; on, on top of’) + ῐ̔́στημῐ (hístēmi, to stand; to weigh) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to stand (up)))) + (, suffix forming action nouns).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

epistemic (not comparable)

  1. (philosophy) Of or relating to cognition or knowledge, its scope, or how it is acquired. [from early 19th c.]
    Antonym: nonepistemic
    • 2008 July 1, Paul Vincent Spade, “Medieval Theories of Obligationes”, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy[1], archived from the original on 2012-10-23:
      Second, note the role of the respondent's epistemic state. It is a factor in determining the correct replies, but only when the propositum is irrelevant.
    • 2018, Youchai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, “Epistemic Crisis”, in Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →DOI, →ISBN:
      This chapter describes the contours of the epistemic crisis in media and politics that threatens the integrity of democratic processes, erodes trust in public institutions, and exacerbates social divisions.
  2. (by extension, linguistics) Of or relating to how cognition or knowledge is expressed in language.
    Antonym: deontic
    • 1981 April, Martin Warner, “Metaphor and Thought. Edited by Andrew Ortony. London, New York, and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 1979. x+501 pp. £20.00 (paperbound £7.50). [book review]”, in C. C. Smith, editor, The Modern Language Review, volume 76, number 2, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Modern Humanities Research Association, →ISSN, →JSTOR, →OCLC, page 428:
      Professor [Richard] Boyd provides a powerful argument for the conclusion that in the sciences metaphor is often theory-constitutive, by means of an important modification of the causal theory of reference in terms of ‘epistemic access’; Metaphors provide epistemic access to the world via the articulation of new ideas at a stage when literal language cannot cope, enabling us with increasing accuracy to accommodate language to the world.
  3. (philosophy) Of or relating to epistemology (the branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge); epistemologic or epistemological.
    • 2000 July, Timm Triplett, “The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm. Edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn. The Library of Living Philosophers, vol. 25. Chicago and La Salle, Ill.: Open Court Publishing Company, 1997. Pp. xviii, 738. [book review]”, in Richard Boyd et al., editors, The Philosophical Review, volume 109, number 3, Ithaca, N.Y.: Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University, →ISSN, →JSTOR, →OCLC, page 452:
      [Robert] Audi considers whether [Roderick Milton] Chisholm might be able to incorporate into his epistemic system an internalist evidential grounding requirement addressing this question.

Usage notes[edit]

Philosophers differentiate the meanings of epistemic and epistemological. Broadly, epistemic means “relating to knowledge itself”[2] (see sense 1), and epistemological means “relating to the study or theory of various aspects of knowledge”.[3] Nonetheless, in general usage epistemic is also sometimes used as a synonym of epistemological (see sense 3) and vice versa, and thus the terms epistemic crisis, epistemologic crisis, and epistemological crisis are synonymous, referring to a crisis of community members with an impaired level of shared perceptions of reality, that is, an excessive level of disagreement on what is real or fake, or what is existing or illusory.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ epistemic, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “epistemic, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ epistemic, adj.”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present, reproduced from Stuart Berg Flexner, editor in chief, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Random House, 1993, →ISBN: “of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it”.
  3. ^ epistemological, adj.”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present, reproduced from Stuart Berg Flexner, editor in chief, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Random House, 1993, →ISBN: “pertaining to epistemology, a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge”.