You are here


Epistemology can be called the theory of knowledge. It is a branch of Western philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge and belief.

Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits? As the study of justified belief, epistemology aims to answer questions such as: How we are to understand the concept of justification? What makes justified beliefs justified? Is justification internal or external to one's own mind? Understood more broadly, epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/ (accessed January 31, 2007).