8. What is knowledge?


This chapter is about epistemology: the theory of knowledge.


8.1 We briefly explain what epistemology is.

8.2 We distinguish knowledge how, knowledge as acquaintance, and propositional knowledge.

8.3 We argue that knowledge requires belief, and that you can only know things that are true.

8.4 We argue that only justified beliefs count as knowledge, and conjecture that knowledge is true, justified, belief.

8.5 We discuss foundationalism.

8.6 We discuss coherentism.

8.7 We introduce the distinction between internalism and externalism, and present reliabilism as an example of an externalist theory.

8.8 We consider fallibilism – the claim that beliefs can be justified using fallible methods.

8.9 We return to the conjecture that knowledge is true, justified belief. We use an example to suggest that the conjecture is mistaken.