Sunday, June 7, 2009

Epistemology in (Western) History: From Hesiod to Hoppe

This post is one in a series on the Epistemology and Worldview Throughout History.  Previously in this series: Epistemology in History.

In the forthcoming series of posts on the history of epistemological thought, I won't start with the first thinkers to consider epistemology explicitly (like the Sophists and Plato, thinkers who flourished in the 5th and 4th centuries before Christ).  Before discussing them, I will discuss earlier philosophers (like  6th century thinkers Thales and Anaximander), considering the implicit epistemologies that underlie their doctrines.  But the point at which I will truly initiate this study will predate even them.  I will start, not with philosophers, but with poets: many of whom had world-views consistent and thoughtful enough to be characterized as doctrines (especially Hesiod and Homer).  I will attempt to discover and discuss the implicit epistemologies that underlie their beliefs.  In all of this I will focus on the western tradition: the path of intellectual influence that winds from the ancient Greek poets, to the ancient Greek philosophers, to the ancient Roman writers, to the fathers of the Catholic church, to the medieval scholastics, to the Renaissance, to the Age of Reason, to the Enlightenment and finally to the post Industrial era.

Next in this series: The Inspiration of Hesiod

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