short answer to our title question is that epistemology is the theory of knowledge.In fact, so far as I can tell, “epistemology” and “theory of knowledge” are used interchangeably in, for instance, college course catalogues.Most internalists accept that the external matter of whether a belief is true is relevant to the issue of whether it constitutes knowledge, so on the issue of knowledge, internalism is usually the position that only or primarily internal factors are relevant to whether beliefs constitute knowledge.
Most general epistemology classes (as opposed to specialized advanced courses that zero in on a particular epistemological topic) spend at least some time on this question, and many begin with it.
A very important paper on this topic — perhaps the most commonly assigned paper in epistemology classes — is Edmund Gettier’s short classic, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?
The internalist about justification will have to hold that the beliefs of such subjects have the same justificatory status (they’re either both justified or both unjustified, and to the same degree), and the internalist about knowledge will have to hold that, so long as the beliefs of such “twins” are true in both cases, they can’t diverge on the matter of whether they constitute knowledge. This twin’s life was identical to mine up to midnight last night.
At that time, our life histories drastically diverge, but not in any way causes a difference in what our experiences seem like from the inside: Our “internal” lives are still identical.
A widely discussed topic has been whether and how the methodology of testing philosophical accounts against examples (a methodology that is practiced in many areas of philosophy besides epistemology) can be profitably pursued, and the “post-Gettier” literature on the analysis of knowledge has been used as exhibit A of this methodology in action.
[For more introductory material on this topic, see Matthias Steup’s Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article, ?A skeptical thesis is typically a claim that the beliefs in a certain range lack a certain status.In addition, then, to varying in their ; they can be views on which any of the designations discussed above in section 2 surprisingly fail to apply to a wide range of our beliefs.There is an important division between two main types of accounts of these matters — that between .According to the epistemic internalist, these matters depend primarily on factors internal to the believer’s point of view and/or factors to which the believer has special access.As one would expect, another central question in the theory of knowledge is: What do we know? This question, of course, is closely related to the question, addressed above in section 1, of what it takes to know something.Pessimistic accounts of the scope of our knowledge have it that we know less than we think we know; radically pessimistic accounts have it that we know very little, or perhaps even nothing!Epistemology, then, is the branch of philosophy that deals with questions concerning the nature, scope, and sources of knowledge.In what follows, I’ll briefly describe a few of the issues epistemologists deal with.Theories according to which surprisingly few, or perhaps none, of our beliefs are, etc., are also examples of skepticism.[For more introductory material on skepticism, including a description of some common skeptical arguments, and many of the most influential types of response to skeptical problems, see my “Responding to Skepticism,” available on-line As we’ve already noted, epistemologists are interested in the matters of when (under what conditions) beliefs are justified and when subjects know what they believe.