Thursday, May 15, 2014

How Do We Know? (Book)

How Do We Know?: An Introduction to EpistemologyHow Do We Know?: An Introduction to Epistemology by Mark W. Foreman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Description: What does it mean to know something? Can we have confidence in our knowledge? Epistemology, the study of knowledge, can often seem like a daunting subject. And yet few topics are more basic to human life. We are inquisitive creatures by nature, and the unending quest for truth leads us to raise difficult questions about the quest itself. What are the conditions, sources and limits of our knowledge? Do our beliefs need to be rationally justified? Can we have certainty? In this primer on epistemology, James Dew and Mark Foreman guide students through this discipline in philosophy. By asking basic questions and using clear, jargon-free language, they provide an entry into some of the most important issues in contemporary philosophy.

My Review: Well... I'm going against the trend to score this book high because, while it's a reasonable introduction to epistemology, the authors' self-confessed Christian bias is its greatest weakness. When the authors stay away from areas not particularly contentious from a Christian perspective (whatever that is, given the diversity of Christian perspectives) it's reasonably balanced in presenting various options in response to the questions the book addresses. And the authors definitely try to be fair. However, when the book gets to the question of divine revelation, it is inadequate in my opinion. The authors briefly touch on the issue of other religions claiming to have supernatural revelation, but they very quickly move to a narrow Christian focus which describes a common apologetic argument in defence of the authority of the Christian scriptures. There are very significant and contentious issues around a claim that one religion has direct knowledge from “God”. Maybe I'm asking too much of an essentially Evangelical survey of epistemology. My hope is that any reader, including Christian readers, will also explore some of these issues by seeking out introductory texts on epistemology that come from a variety of views.

View all my reviews


1 comment:

  1. That living in freedom withour bad conscience to accuss us are very welll welcome to us daily by Jesus blood and be so thankful for the HOly Spirit gift inpower with us and to sow our seed ,thanks and bless,keijo sweden