345-101-MQ, Other Ways of Knowing
Epistemology is a branch of philosophy where we ask what is knowledge, how do we know what we know, and how can we be certain what we know is true. In order to answer these questions we will look at how knowledge is acquired, developed, and shared in a number of different disciplines. We will look at the philosophical traditions of Empiricism and Rationalism, and how those traditions influenced the development of the sciences and the social sciences. We will then look at how knowledge is developed in revelation religions where the main source of knowledge is revelation texts and how we can gain new knowledge in these kinds of systems. We will also look at how knowledge is developed and passed on in oral traditions by looking at knowledge construction in Native North American communities. Finally, we will look at what kinds of new knowledge can be gained when we combine some of these systems. Our analysis of these disciplines will focus on some key elements of the historical development of these knowledge systems, presuppositions or premises that the systems are based on, the legitimate sources of knowledge for these systems, biases that might arise in the system, and how knowledge is shared or passed on.