Epistemology of Empirical Essentialism

Along with Centroids, I occasionally post to the
(usually sparse) Society of Christian Philosophers mailing list.
I’ve recently joined a thread about interpreted experience, where I’m
expounding my personal
epistemology,
which is expanded upon here. The Epistemology of Empirical Essentialism is
intended to provides a unified framework for addressing both
scientific/empirical and religious/historical beliefs and knowledge. That said,
it is very unformed, and under-critiqued, so I would say I “believe” it is true,
not that I “know” it is true — since it passed my personal threshold of
confidence, but not that of a community-sanctioned
paradigm.

This reflects my frustration
with traditional epistemology, which seems (to my untrained eye) to be obsessed
over questions of justification, rather than validity and accuracy. In my
experience — as a physicist, marketing manager, and immigrant — inaccurate
knowledge is primarily due to a justified belief being extrapolated beyond its
range of validity.

The
Epistemology of Empirical
Essentialism

Draft 2,
8/14/2004

Essentials

?
Belief results from experience interpreted by a
Character

?
Knowledge results from beliefs codified in a
Community

? Action
results from knowledge applied to a
Body

? Experience
results from action interacting with a
Reality

Approaches

?
Belief approaches knowledge via experiential support within one or more
paradigms

?
Rational knowledge approaches real truth via honest, collaborative
inquiry

Values

?
Vagueness:
Good knowledge has accuracy equal to its
precision

?
Humility:
Wise knowledge reflects its domain of expertise and range of
validity

?
Hope:
Good belief explores the limits of
knowledge

?
Courage:
Good action tests the limits of knowledge

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