What is this thing called Knowledge?: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

What is this thing called Knowledge?

3rd Edition

By Duncan Pritchard

© 2014 – Routledge

220 pages

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Paperback: 9780415657068
pub: 2013-09-10
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What is knowledge? Where does it come from? What kinds of knowledge are there? Can we know anything at all?

This lucid and engaging introduction grapples with these central questions in the theory of knowledge, offering a clear, non-partisan view of the main themes of epistemology. Both traditional issues and contemporary ideas are discussed in sixteen easily digestible chapters, each of which conclude with a useful summary of the main ideas discussed, study questions, annotated further reading and a guide to internet resources.

Each chapter also features text boxes providing bite-sized summaries of key concepts and major philosophers, and clear and interesting examples are used throughout. The book concludes with an annotated guide to general introductions to epistemology, a glossary of key terms, and a summary of the main examples used in epistemology, This an ideal first textbook in the theory of knowledge for undergraduates coming to philosophy for the first time.

The third edition has been revised and updated throughout and features two new chapters, on religious knowledge and scientific knowledge, as part of a whole new section on what kinds of knowledge there are. In addition, the text as a whole has been refreshed to keep it up to date with current developments.


"This third edition of What is this thing called Knowledge? is the best single-author introduction to epistemology on the market. Written by one of our very best epistemologists, it is ideal for students who might never before have encountered the subject." - Tim Black, California State University, Northridge, USA

"A highly accessible and up-to-date introduction to philosophical questions about knowledge, written by one of the world’s leading epistemologists. It will give beginners a clear and wide-ranging overview of this central area of philosophy, as well as valuable guidance for further reading." - Conor McHugh, University of Southampton, UK

"Accessible, clearly written, wide-ranging, informed by the very latest scholarship, and replete with a considerable pedagogical apparatus, this updated edition of What Is This Thing Called Knowledge? is an exceptional introduction to the field." - John Turri, University of Waterloo, Canada

"What is this thing called Knowledge? has established itself as one of the leading texts in epistemology, combining exemplary simplicity of style with a detailed approach to the main issues. This new edition combines breadth, scope and clarity." - Pascal Engel, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Table of Contents

Part 1: What is knowledge? 1. Some preliminaries 2. The value of knowledge 3. Defining knowledge 4. The structure of knowledge 5. Rationality 6. Virtues and faculties Part 2: Where does knowledge come from? 7. Perception 8. Testimony and memory 9. A priority and inference 10. The problem of induction Part 3: What kinds of knowledge are there? 11. Scientific knowledge 12. Religious knowledge 13. Moral knowledge Part 4: Do we know anything at all? 14. Scepticism about other minds 15. Radical scepticism 16. Truth and objectivity. General further reading Glossary of terms Glossary of key examples Index

About the Author

Duncan Pritchard FRSE is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His main research area is epistemology, and he has published widely in this field, including the books Epistemic Luck (2005), Knowledge (2009), The Nature and Value of Knowledge (with A. Millar & A. Haddock, 2010), and Epistemological Disjunctivism (2012). In 2007 he was awarded a Phillip Leverhulme Prize for his research. In 2011 he was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

About the Series

What is this thing called?

The Routledge Philosophy What is this thing called? series of concise textbooks have been designed for use by students coming to a core area of the discipline for the first time. Each volume explores the relevant central questions with clear explanation of complex ideas and engaging contemporary examples. Features to aid study include text boxes, chapter summaries, study questions, further reading and glossaries.

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