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Epistemology

Essays on the theory of knowledge, truth and justification

What Is Epistemology?

Epistemology: from Greek episteme "knowledge, acquaintance with (something), skill, experience"

Studies in Epistemology centre around three domains:

  1. truth (what does true mean and what entities have truth value?)
  2. justification (what are the conditions for knowing and what is the scope of our knowledge?)
  3. philosophy of science (what is the status of scientific truth, how is science different from other areas of inquiry and does science progress?)

Below you will find Rational Realm essays of two types.

General Essays:
Short popular essays of a more general nature requiring no specialist knowledge
Specialist Essays:
Comprehensive referenced research papers on specialist subjects requiring a working familiarity with the subject

Rational Realm welcomes essay contributions for publication on our site. Please review our submission guidelines and contact us.

Specialist Essays

  • Imre Lakatos: A Critical Appraisal

    Imre Lakatos holds a well-deserved primary place in current philosophy of science. Leslie Allan critically examines Lakatos' theory of knowledge in two key areas. He first identifies and discusses four problems with Lakatos' characterization of how competing research programmes expand our knowledge. Next, Allan discovers tensions within Lakatos' proposed test of adequacy for theories of rationality and suggests ways of strengthening his criteria.

  • Towards an Objective Theory of Rationality

    Drawing on insights from Imre Lakatos' seminal work on theories of rationality, Leslie Allan develops seven criteria for rational theory choice that avoid presuming the rationality of the scientific enterprise. He shows how his axioms of rationality follow from the general demands of an objectivist epistemology. Allan concludes by considering two weighty objections to his framework.

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