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[ih-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee] /ɪˌpɪs təˈmɒl ə dʒi/
a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.
Origin of epistemology
1855-60; < Greek epistḗm(ē) knowledge + -o- + -logy
Related forms
[ih-pis-tuh-muh-loj-i-kuh l] /ɪˌpɪs tə məˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
epistemologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for epistemology


the theory of knowledge, esp the critical study of its validity, methods, and scope
Derived Forms
epistemologist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Greek epistēmē knowledge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for epistemology

"theory of knowledge," 1856, coined by Scottish philosopher James F. Ferrier (1808-1864) from Greek episteme "knowledge," from Ionic Greek epistasthai "know how to do, understand," literally "overstand," from epi "over, near" (see epi-) + histasthai "to stand," (see histo-).

The scientific (as opposed to philosophical) study of the roots and paths of knowledge is epistemics (1969). Related: Epistemological; epistemologically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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epistemology in Culture
epistemology [(i-pis-tuh-mol-uh-jee)]

The branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and origin of knowledge. Epistemology asks the question “How do we know what we know?”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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