Letter to the Editor - 'Epistemology'
Last updated 9/26/2023 at 11:37am
Our problem is not too much fake news. Our problem is too many people believe it. Fortunately, there is an “antidope.” Epistemology — the theory of knowledge, or “how we know what we know.” Epistemology helps because its validity tests distinguish between justified belief and opinion. And this distinction is central to most disagreements.
Epistemology also has simple definitions, e.g., Truth has the property that corresponds with facts and reality. Imagine how many arguments would end if we examined the evidence supporting each position.
“Put up or shut up” may sound undiplomatic, but since when did sentient adults treat justified belief and opinion the same? We have become too politically correct when we give sound reasoning and idiotic blather similar airtime, especially when consequences are severe, as in climate science denial.
However, while a broader application of epistemological disinfectant might be beneficial, we should not apply it everywhere. For instance, conversations won’t flow comfortably under overzealous scrutiny. And did you hear what happened when the pedant constantly corrected his friends? Epistemoff.