Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Epistemology Group Inquiries

Epistemology Inquiries

Areas of Inquiry

In the comments below, I’d like to hear from your group, or even multiple members of your group, about how you are approaching these initial questions in your epistemological inquiry:

  • What is your group’s main question?
  • What questions follow from your initial question?
  • How will you go about answering these questions?
    • Where will you look?
    • Who will you talk to?
    • What resources will you consult?
  • How will you know you have answered them?

Naturally, there will be overlapping areas of inquiry that these comments should seek out in trying to find common ground before we head into our activities and discussions next week. If you have helpful resources or referrals to add to anything your classmates are exploring, please feel free to post these links and leads below as well.

Next week, these various threads will come together to form our learning activities in the epistemology unit, culminating in a personal theory of knowledge mid-term assignment. This cumulative assignment doesn’t need to address the topic your group is investigating; however, this would likely be helpful.


4 Responses to Epistemology Group Inquiries

  1. ktay says:

    Social Group (Nadine & Kimberly)

    • What is your group’s main question?
    o How does culture influence our perception of knowledge, and how we perceive different levels of intelligence?

    • What questions follow from your initial question?
    o Can intelligence be measured? If so, what methods can be used to measure it? How do these methods differ across different cultures?
    o What is “smart”?
    o How is a person categorized as “smart”?
    o How does this standard differ across different cultures?

    • How will you go about answering these questions?
    o Where will you look?
    o To find information that provides answers to our questions, we will look at resources that can be found online.

    o Who will you talk to?
    o We will interview individuals from various cultures, in order to collect their views about intelligence.

    o What resources will you consult?
    o We will consult resources that can be found online, such as research papers, magazine articles, and websites.

    • How will you know you have answered them?
    • We will know we have answered these questions if we have understood the differences between cultures. If we can explain and teach these differences to our classmates and other individuals, we will have been successful in our pursuit of the answers.

  2. Jess says:

    What is your group’s main question?

    > What is language and how does it affect knowledge?

    What questions follow from your initial question?

    > What qualities must a language possess?
    Are Morse code/programming languages/binary “languages”?
    How does language affect knowledge? (and vice versa)
    How does language affect the transfer of knowledge?
    Does knowledge have to be communicated to exist?
    How can knowledge be communicated effectively?
    How does cultural knowledge affect language?
    Do inherent languages/communicative ideas exist without social interaction?
    (There are lots of questions)

    How will you go about answering these questions?

    > We’ve divided into a few smaller groups who will tackle one or two of these smaller questions that have to do with each other, and we will try and piece together the individual answers that we find and see if that produces some semblance of an answer to our larger question. Ultimately, I think we want to know more about the interactions between language and knowledge, and how they coexist and coincide.

    Where will you look?

    > We can research online, but simple everyday interactions are relevant as well, especially when we’re discussing language. If math is ‘all around us’, as people say, then language is even more so, and the answers that we want to find may simply be in what we experience in everyday life (or maybe math IS a language?).

    Who will you talk to?

    > We can talk amongst our own group, but like I said in the last question, everyday interactions are key to our questions, if what we want to know has to do with language. The omnipresence of language is such that it is near inescapable, and forming a connection between our own personal conversations (or even things such as school essays and books we’re reading) and epistemology is the first step to answering our questions.

    What resources will you consult?

    > Family members and friends! That is, for actual conversations (conversations about conversations, perhaps), but most likely Google and Wikipedia as well, if only to learn more about philosophers who have already studied language in relation to epistemology and to find out more behind the history of it.

    How will you know you have answered them?

    > I think a clearer understanding than we have now is enough, because, as cliché as it is, it could be impossible to find out all there is to know about language and epistemology. While we can’t settle for the bare minimum, I think it’s safe to say that we can consider our questions answered when we can accurately teach it to other people in our class presentations.

  3. mikayla24 says:

    group: purpose of knowledge

    main question: how does what we know serve/help us?

    subtopic question: what is it that we need help with? ideas: communication, living, and being functional in society

    another question: is this the purpose of school? to help us form society or to conform to it?

    ways of answering: split topics/questions among members of group and conduct research over the coarse of this weekend.

    how will we know if we have answered the questions: we wont

  4. sassidy says:

    Cassidy, Alyssa, Thaddeus, Caté, Angela

    Does perception affect knowledge?
    – Is all knowledge attained based on what sense one acquires knowledge with?

    We will go about answering them by: using online resources, having inter-group discussions about them, conducting a classroom activity.

    We will know we have answered them: after the results of our activity. Without spoiling the activity, we’ll say it is meant to isolate certain senses for attaining knowledge.


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