Philosophical Theory of Knowledge: Is Its Future in Question?

Author: Zinaida SOKULER

Abstract. The theory of knowledge, a traditional philosophical discipline, now finds itself in a difficult position. Empirical studies that have taken up the study of cognition, are making inroads on its territory. At the same time, the theory of knowledge has questioned its own main subject by admitting that there can be no perfectly reliable and irrefutable knowledge. This article argues that the philosophical theory of knowledge has the right to exist, but it has to change its own image. To this end, the philosophical theory of knowledge should take several steps-to recognize that knowledge is doxa, not episteme; to abandon the principle of the identity of being and thinking; to pay more attention to the processes of knowledge production and the increasing role played by tools and instruments in these processes, including those that make it possible to replace the study of one object or process with another that plays the role of a model of the latter. Once it undergoes such changes the philosophical theory of knowledge may make a new contribution to the reflections on the question "What is man?" steering clear both of despair of hopelessness and arrogance in assessing man's capacity to understand the world he lives in.

Keywords: theory of knowledge, epistemology, philosophy of science, constructivism, truth, reflection theory, finding and making, artifacts, identity of being and thinking, computer simulation.

DOI: 10.31857/S013454860004083-9

Zinaida Sokuler, D. Sc. (Philosophy), professor, Department of Philosophy, Lomonosov Moscow State University. E-mail: This article, which was first published in Russian in the journal Voprosy filosofii, No. 12, 2017, has been prepared with financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research under project No. 17-03-00257 (Ontology and Epistemology in Computer Culture).

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There was a time when ontology, the philosophical teaching of being, was a universal teaching about the world. However, as exact sciences and experimental natural studies emerged its ambit ...

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