From Антички Грчки ἐπιστήμη (epistḗmē, science, knowledge), from ἐπίσταμαι (epístamai, I know) + -λογία (-logía, discourse), from λέγω (légō, I speak). The term was introduced into English by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864).


  • (UK) МФА(кључ): /ɪˌpɪs.təˈmɒl.ə.d͡ʒi/
    • (file)
  • (US) МФА(кључ): /ɪˌpɪs.təˈmɑl.ə.d͡ʒi/, /əˌpɪs.təˈmɑl.ə.d͡ʒi/, /ɛˌpɪs.təˈmɑl.ə.d͡ʒi/, /iˌpɪs.təˈmɑl.ə.d͡ʒi/
  • (AUS) МФА(кључ): /ɛˌpɪs.tiˈmɔl.ə.d͡ʒi/


epistemology (countable and uncountable, plural epistemologies)

  1. (uncountable) The branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge; theory of knowledge, asking such questions as "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?", "How do we know it is true?", and so on.
    Some thinkers take the view that, beginning with the work of Descartes, epistemology began to replace metaphysics as the most important area of philosophy.
    • 2014 април 12, Michael Inwood, “Martin Heidegger: the philosopher who fell for Hitler [print version: Hitler's philosopher]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1], London, strana R10:
      Lua грешка in Модул:languages/errorGetBy at line 14: Please specify a language or etymology language code in the first parameter; the value "<strong class="error"><span class="scribunto-error" id="mw-scribunto-error-51fddb02">Script error: The function &quot;first_lang&quot; does not exist.</span></strong>" is not valid (see Wiktionary:List of languages)..
    Синонимs: metaknowledge, epistemics, kenlore
  2. (countable) A particular instance, version, or school thereof; a particular theory of knowledge.
    In his epistemology, Plato maintains that our knowledge of universal concepts is a kind of recollection.
    • 1995, Colin McLarty, “Preface”, in Elementary Categories, Elementary Toposes, →ISBN, strana vii:
      I believe that 'intuitionism' is usually, and rightly, taken to mean Brouwer's epistemology of mathematics, which is unrelated to the origin or content of topos theory.

Derived terms

Related terms


Further reading