Epistemology vs. Metaphysics



(uncountable) The branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge; theory of knowledge, asking such questions as "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?".

‘Some thinkers take the view that, beginning with the work of Descartes, epistemology began to replace metaphysics as the most important area of philosophy.’;


The branch of philosophy which studies fundamental principles intended to describe or explain all that is, and which are not themselves explained by anything more fundamental; the study of first principles; the study of being insofar as it is being (ens in quantum ens).

‘Philosophers sometimes say that metaphysics is the study of the ultimate nature of the universe.’;


(countable) A particular theory of knowledge.

‘In his epistemology, Plato maintains that our knowledge of universal concepts is a kind of recollection.’;


The view or theory of a particular philosopher or school of thinkers concerning the first principles which describe or explain all that is.

‘The metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas holds that all real beings have both essence and existence.’; ‘In Aristotelian metaphysics physical objects have both form and matter.’; ‘In his Pensées, Pascal mentioned some first principles recognized within his metaphysics: space, time, motion, and number.’;


The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge.


The metalogic of physics; The logical framework of physics.

‘Even other universes should be a result of different physics. Without rules, these universes wouldn't exist, because they will have an undefined, thus impossible, nature. We will never understand or guess all possible forms of physics. That's why we have to understand the generic metaphysics.’;


the philosophical theory of knowledge


Any fundamental principles or rules.


Epistemology ( (listen); from Greek ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē 'knowledge', and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues.


(uncountable) The study of a supersensual realm or of phenomena which transcend the physical world.

‘I have a collection of books on metaphysics, covering astral projection, reincarnation, and communication with spirits.’;


(uncountable) Displeasingly abstruse, complex material on any subject.

‘This political polemic strikes me as a protracted piece of overwrought, fog-shrouded metaphysics!’;


The science of real as distinguished from phenomenal being; ontology; also, the science of being, with reference to its abstract and universal conditions, as distinguished from the science of determined or concrete being; the science of the conceptions and relations which are necessarily implied as true of every kind of being; philosophy in general; first principles, or the science of first principles.

‘Commonly, in the schools, called metaphysics, as being part of the philosophy of Aristotle, which hath that for title; but it is in another sense: for there it signifieth as much as "books written or placed after his natural philosophy." But the schools take them for "books of supernatural philosophy;" for the word metaphysic will bear both these senses.’; ‘Now the science conversant about all such inferences of unknown being from its known manifestations, is called ontology, or metaphysics proper.’; ‘Metaphysics are [is] the science which determines what can and what can not be known of being, and the laws of being, a priori.’;


The scientific knowledge of mental phenomena; mental philosophy; psychology.

‘Metaphysics, in whatever latitude the term be taken, is a science or complement of sciences exclusively occupied with mind.’; ‘Whether, after all,A larger metaphysics might not helpOur physics.’;


the philosophical study of being and knowing


Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter.

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