• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does Empirical Knowledge have a foundation?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does Empirical Knowledge have a foundation? Empirical Knowledge is knowledge that is gained by a vast number of ordinary people through direct experience or the testimonial of others. For example "all things fall down" would be an empirical proposition. In that it talks about the theory of gravity. Knowledge about gravity for most people is an empirically based since everything usually falls down when it is thrown up. Most people from experience know that things fall down once thrown. Foundationalism on the other hand believes that each piece of knowledge lies on a pyramid. The nodes of such a pyramid must serve jointly as a base that supports the node, they must be a proposition that "S is justified in believing at T," each brand of an epistemic pyramid must terminate. ...read more.

Middle

Foundationalism as has already been stated is a belief system that decides to lay these in the form of a pyramid with foundations below and at the top the belief that needs to be justified. In Ernest Sosa's, "The Raft and The Pyramid," he gives an example of a empirical proposition that has a foundation. He states that a belief that, "Driving will be dangerous tonight," is the belief at the top which will then need to be justified by other nodes that tell why someone may believe that driving will be dangerous tonight. Some of the justifications he gave in his pyramid were the road will be icy or snowy, driving on snow or ice is dangerous and so on. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most people would in the end come around to some number of beliefs that are finite. For if they are infinite then how would they know? In empirical knowledge there are foundations, every concept that we make is based on perceived senses that then need to be justified as has already been said. You may try to make doxastic ascent arguments, yet they too ultimately fail to make the case that empirical knowledge has a foundation. Many people assert that there may be something wrong with your memory or maybe other factors are clouding your memory. From the point of formal foundationalism none of these theories serve to be correct since what makes a belief foundational is its having a property that is non-epistemic and does not involve inference form other beliefs but guarantees via a necessary principle, that the belief in question is justified. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Discuss the characteristics of the scientific method which makes it superior over other methods ...

    If this prediction holds then you will not be able to reject your hypothesis. If this prediction does not hold then you will reject your hypothesis. The scientific method requires that an hypothesis be ruled out or modified if its predictions are clearly and repeatedly incompatible with experiment tests.

  2. Theory Of Knowledge essay

    or evidence garnered by experiment, observation or experience is also subject to the limits of our instruments, our senses, uncertainty, relativity and to individual human perception. Therefore anything investigated upon by science, any knowledge or information that is tagged 'empirical' cannot be regarded as true or absolute.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work