Philosophy 135 - 7.5 Applied Epistemology

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Define applied epistemology.
  • Describe the social aspect of knowledge and justification.
  • Describe standpoint epistemology.
  • Identify examples of epistemic injustice.

Applied epistemology, like other areas of applied philosophy, takes the tools of philosophy and applies them to areas of practical concern. Specifically, it applies philosophical methods and theories particular to epistemology to current social issues and practices. Applied epistemology often approaches epistemological questions on a collective or systems level. When looking at systems, applied epistemology investigates whether the systems of investigation (like those in the sciences) are structured in the best way to lead to true beliefs. When applied to collectives, applied epistemology examines whether and how groups of people conduct deliberation that leads to reliably true and justified beliefs. The groups focused on can range from small groups, such as a jury, to large collectives, such as a democracy.

Members of the US Supreme court stand for a portrait with Donald Trump and Melania Trump in a wood-paneled room in front of a fireplace.
Figure 7.10 We often attribute beliefs to the Supreme Court, even though it is a collection of people that has changed over time. In this photo, former president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with members of the US Supreme Court in 2018. (credit: “President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Supreme Court of the United States” by Trump White House Archived/Flickr, Public Domain)
This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax