What is the goal of Epistemology?


Without the inclusion of epistemology in philosophy, the subject is in an incomplete shape. The basic concept of the epistemology is that in the branch of philosophy that studies the knowledge of humanity. It studies the nature of human knowledge, its origin, its limits, its justification, its reliability, its scopes, in the knowledge that justify itself.

We claim to have the knowledge of something, but how do we know that we know? How do we claim of what we know that is true or false? How can we justify our knowledge? What is the truth? What do we mean when we say that a proposition is true? These are all skeptical fusions, which are asks by the skeptics.

There was a great deal of development of epistemology in the western philosophy through the skeptics challenging to claim to know and the basis of such knowledge. The critical and sometimes persistent challenge of the epistemic motivated the epistemologist on to continually re-examining the nature, the basic and the justification of knowledge. This is how it is done for the goal of epistemology to be achieved.


Through the justification of the truth of knowing the goal of the epistemology is achieved. Take for instance the modem philosophy (the Renaissance period). A philosopher and scientist were known for his works and contribution. The father of modem philosopher Francis Bacon. In his Novum Organum, we can see how empiricist philosophy gave rise experimental science and help it develop. Bacon believes that knowledge is power, that it is by the knowledge that man can confer nature and dominate. Again knowledge must, however, be based on experience, other wise it is useless.

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The true knowledge of bacon condemn Aristotle’s logic as useless because it is purely formal, it is not based on experience, it does not start with observation, but with general principles. It cannot prove any empirical truth, it is of no use to man in his effort to understand nature and dominate it.


The development of science and mathematics during the Renaissance constituted the goal of epistemology. The great scientist and mathematicians. Man like Nicholas Companions (1473-1543) John Kepler (1571-1630) Leonard’s Da Vinci (1452-1519) they influence the modern period of science and mathematics on philosophy which can be seen in two great traditions. Namely the Rationalism and Empiricism. The mathematical method was adopted consequently with the empirical method. The continental rationalism that is Rene Descartes, Spinoza and Leibnitz adopted the mathematical method, while John Locke, Berkeley and David Hume, popularly known as British empiricists adopted the empirical method.

The Adoption of the mathematical method through Descartes brings a clear impression that the mathematical truths were clear, certain and indisputable, while philosophy was full of confusion, arguments, dispute, and disagreement. He observes that why are there uncertainty in philosophy? Descartes reasons and said it is because philosophy was not founded on a solid foundation but on a doubt and shaky foundation.

Rene Descartes decided to rediscover a new fact and truth. It only explains and confines those already known. To get rid away those doubt, everything he knew which could be put to doubt. His principles were, Whatever can be doubted should be doubted and rejected, the sense is not reliable, everything perceived then can be doubted and should be doubted. The for instance when we are in a dream we perceived things with the sense, yet they are not real. What is the proof that we are not dreaming? Descartes began to doubt everything even his own existence of everything else.

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The quest for justification of the truth of knowledge by some of the great philosophers describes the goals of epistemology.

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