What is the theory of knowledge?

We explain what is the theory of knowledge within philosophy. In addition, what is knowledge and its different definitions.

What is the theory of knowledge?

The theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy , focused on the study of human knowledge . Depending on the specific academic perspective, this term can be considered synonymous with gnoseology , dedicated to the study of the nature of knowledge, its origin and its limits.

In other cases it can be used as a synonym for  epistemology , which focuses on the study of historical, psychological or sociological circumstances in which knowledge is obtained, as well as the strategies used to justify or invalidate it.

Human knowledge is a topic approachable from many possible edges and whose nature is difficult to grasp, although much easier to classify. In this way, the study of knowledge, on the one hand, reflects on its characteristics and its conditions of appearance .

On the other hand, this discipline orders knowledge based on its limitations, formal requirements or mechanisms that we use to validate them and differentiate knowledge from faith, fantasy or error.

Thus, it is possible to speak of scientific knowledge , for example, when it is governed by the requirements of the scientific method ; of theological knowledge , when it comes to knowledge about the religious; of artistic knowledge , when acquired through the exercise of talent and representation mechanisms known to human beings.

The possibility of distinguishing between them, of ordering and schematizing them as if they were concrete objects, is the result of the theory of knowledge.

  1. What is knowledge?

Generally, by knowledge we mean:

  • Facts or information that a person acquires through experience or through education , and thanks to whose understanding he is able to refer to a specific matter of reality.
  • The intellectual content that a person can accumulate regarding an area of ​​knowledge, specific topic or the entire universe .
  • Any type of cognitive certainty that answers the questions what ?, how ?, when? and where?

The same definition of what knowledge is, is already part of knowledge and therefore of the disciplines that study it.

Certain forms of knowledge have been more valued than others in every era of history , as was the religious in the Middle Ages, or as is the scientist in post-industrial today. However, the underlying philosophical question about what knowledge is continues to challenge us and give us much to think.

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