Epistemology

A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 3rd Edition

By Robert Audi

© 2011 – Routledge

432 pages

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Paperback: 9780415879231
pub: 2010-08-22
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Hardback: 9780415879224
pub: 2010-08-22
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Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

Epistemology, or “the theory of knowledge,” is concerned with how we know what we know, what justifies us in believing what we believe, and what standards of evidence we should use in seeking truths about the world and human experience. This comprehensive introduction to the field of epistemology explains the concepts and theories central to understanding knowledge. Along with covering the traditional topics of the discipline in detail, Epistemology explores emerging areas of research. The third edition features new sections on such topics as the nature of intuition, the skeptical challenge of rational disagreement, and “the value problem” – the range of questions concerning why knowledge and justified true belief have value beyond that of merely true belief. Updated and expanded, Epistemology remains a superb introduction to one of the most fundamental fields of philosophy.

Special features of the third edition of Epistemology include:

  • a comprehensive survey of basic concepts, major theories, and emerging research in the field
  • enhanced treatment of key topics such as contextualism, perception (including perceptual content), scientific hypotheses, self-evidence and the a priori, testimony, understanding, and virtue epistemology
  • expanded discussion of the relation between epistemology and related fields, especially philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics
  • increased clarity and ease of understanding for an undergraduate audience
  • an updated list of key literature and annotated bibliography.

Reviews

'Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 3rd Edition is an excellent introductory textbook by one of the world’s leading epistemologists. This textbook would be a good choice for use in advanced undergraduate courses or introductory graduate courses on epistemology because it manages to be accessible enough for advanced undergraduates to follow while being challenging enough for graduate students to profit from closely reading it.' Kevin McCain, University of Rochester, USA

'Without a doubt, Robert Audi’s Epistemology, Third Edition, is the most authoritative, comprehensive, and state of the art textbook in the field. In clear, masterful prose, Audi covers all the main topics in epistemology. No textbook compares. Every student of epistemology – new and old – should read this book.' –

Peter Graham, University of California, Riverside, USA

'An excellent introduction to the field, unusually comprehensive, elegantly structured, and accessible. The reader gets a clear view of all the traditional problems and projects and, in this new edition, a cutting-edge treatment of the latest debates about the nature of intuitions, the significance of rational disagreement, and the value of knowledge and justified true belief.'Ralph Kennedy, Wake Forest University, USA

'Like the previous editions, this new third edition of Audi’s outstanding book is a well-motivated, comprehensive, accessible introduction for students as well as an original, exciting, cutting-edge work of epistemology in its own right. Novices and experts alike will continually profit—and tremendously so—from studying it. It is an ideal text for undergraduate courses in epistemology, and even graduate-level surveys of the field.' – E.J. Coffman, University of Tennessee, USA

Praise for the second edition:

'Audi’s introduction is at once philosophically insightful and masterfully written – even more so in its new edition. Guaranteed to fascinate the beginner while retaining its exalted status with the experts.' – Claudio de Almeida, PUCRS, Brazil

'My students like this book and have learned much from it, as I have…Epistemology – especially in its second edition – is simply the best textbook in epistemology that I know of.'Thomas Vinci, Dalhousie University, Canada

Praise for the first edition:

'No less than one would expect from a first-rate epistemologist who is also a master expositor: lucid, comprehensive, well-structured, and excellently informed both by the tradition and by recent developments. A superb introduction.'Ernest Sosa, Brown University, USA

'This is a massively impressive book, introducing the reader to virtually all the main areas of epistemology. Robert Audi's text is lucid and highly readable, while not shirking the considerable complexities of his subject matter.'Elizabeth .M. Fricker, University of Oxford, UK

'A state-of-the-art introduction to epistemology by one of the leading figures in the field.'William P. Alston, Syracuse University, USA

Table of Contents

Selected Contents: Preface Introduction Part 1: Sources of Justification, Knowledge, and Truth 1. Perception: Sensing, Believing, and Knowing 2. Theories of Perception: Sense Experience, Appearances, and Reality 3. Memory 4. Consciousness: The Life of the Mind 5. Reason I: Understanding, Insight, and Intellectual Power 6. Reason II: Apriority, Necessity, and Provability 7. Testimony Part 2: The Structure and Growth of Justification and Knowledge 8. Inference and the Extension of Knowledge 9. The Architecture of Knowledge Part 3: The Nature and Scope of Justification and Knowledge 10. The Analysis of Knowledge: Justification, Certainty, and Reliability 11. Knowledge, Justification and Truth: Internalism, Externalism, and Intellectual Virtue 12. Scientific, Moral, and Religious Knowledge 13. Skepticism I: The Quest for Certainty 14. Skepticism II: The Defense of Common Sense in the Face of Fallibility 15. Conclusion. Annotated Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Robert Audi is John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and author of many papers and books on knowledge and belief, justification, and rationality.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy.  Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject.  The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced.  An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course.  Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions.  The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General
PHI004000
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
PHI015000
PHILOSOPHY / Mind & Body