Theory of Knowledge – Concept, epistemology and gnoseology

We explain what the theory of knowledge is within philosophy. Also, what is knowledge and its different definitions.

theory of knowledge gnoseology epistemology philosophy
The theory of knowledge studies what mechanisms allow knowledge.

What is the Theory of knowledge?

The theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy, focused on the study of human knowledge. Depending on the specific academic perspective, this term can be considered synonymous with the gnoseology, dedicated to the study of the nature of knowledge, its origin and its limits.

In other cases can be used synonymously with epistemology, which focuses on the study of the historical, psychological or sociological circumstances in which knowledge is obtained, as well as the strategies used to justify or invalidate it.

Human knowledge is a subject approachable from many possible sides and whose nature is difficult to grasp, although much easier to classify. In this way, the study of knowledge, on the one hand, reflects on their characteristics and their conditions of appearance.

On the other hand, this discipline orders knowledge based on its limitations, formal requirements or mechanisms that we use to validate them and differentiate knowledge from faith, fantasy or error.

Thus, it is possible to speak of scientific knowledge, for example, when it is governed by the demands of the scientific method; of theological knowledge, when it comes to knowledge about religion; of artistic knowledge, when it is acquired through the exercise of talent and the representation mechanisms known to the human being.

The possibility of distinguishing between them, of ordering and schematizing them as if they were concrete objects, is the result of the Theory of knowledge.

What is knowledge?

Generally, by knowledge we mean:

  • Facts or information that a person acquires through experience or through education, and thanks to whose understanding he is able to refer to a particular matter of reality.
  • The intellectual content that a person can accumulate with respect to an area of ​​knowledge, a specific subject or the entire universe.
  • All kinds of cognitive certainty to answer the questions what? how? when? and where?

The very definition of what knowledge is, is already part of knowledge and therefore of the disciplines that study it.

Certain forms of knowledge have been more valued than others in each epoch of history, such as the religious one in medieval Europe, or as the scientific one is in post-industrial today. However, the underlying philosophical question as to what knowledge is continues to challenge us and give us much to think about.