Philosophy Knowledge
by
John Turri
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 October 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 June 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0062

Introduction

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge. Often “epistemology” and “theory of knowledge” are used interchangeably, but this is misleading. Knowledge is just one of the topics studied in epistemology, though many epistemologists focus exclusively on knowledge, and even when epistemologists turn their attention to other topics—such as justification, reasons, evidence, testimony, experience, epistemic duty, epistemic value, and intellectual virtue—much of their work relates closely to knowledge.

General Overviews

There are several good overviews of recent work on knowledge. Steup and Sosa 2005 is the most accessible. Moser 2002 offers a good mix of accessibility and comprehensiveness. Hendricks and Pritchard 2008 is best in its coverage of formal work in the discipline. Dancy, et al. 2010 offers the most comprehensive and current overview. The essays in Greco and Sosa 1999 offer a mix of exposition and partisanship. The Epistemology Research Guide Bibliography is a helpful tool, freely available online. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy are indispensable, high-quality, peer-reviewed, freely available, frequently updated and ever-expanding online reference works containing dozens of articles relevant to the philosophical investigation of knowledge.

  • Dancy, Jonathan, Ernest Sosa, and Matthias Steup, eds. A Companion to Epistemology. 2d ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

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    A current, comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field containing hundreds of entries, running anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand words, ten review essays covering major topics and trends, and twenty “self-profiles” by leading contemporary epistemologists.

  • Epistemology Research Guide.

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    A helpful annotated bibliography freely available online, maintained by Keith Korcz.

  • Greco, John, and Ernest Sosa, eds. The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999.

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    A collection of original essays by leading figures summarizing developments on many central questions in the theory of knowledge. Partly dedicated to survey and exposition but also dedicated to advancing the authors“ views.

  • Hendricks, Vincent F., and Duncan Pritchard, eds. New Waves in Epistemology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

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    A collection of original essays that provide a snapshot of cutting-edge work in the discipline and a good indication of where research will be headed in the near future. Especially good in its coverage of formal epistemology.

  • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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    An excellent, freely available, peer-reviewed online resource with many entries on topics in epistemology. Edited by James Fieser and Bradley Dowden.

  • Moser, Paul K., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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    A collection of original essays by leading figures summarizing developments on many central questions in the theory of knowledge. Primarily dedicated to survey and exposition. The most thorough overview.

  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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    An excellent, freely available, peer-reviewed online resource with numerous entries on topics in epistemology. The principal editor is Edward N. Zalta.

  • Steup, Matthias, and Ernest Sosa, eds. Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

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    A lively and accessible collection of debates on several central questions in epistemology. A good mix of exposition and partisanship.

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