Artemis Takes Aim

Ontology and Epistemology


The Philosophical Dictionary Ontology. Branch of metaphysics concerned with identifying, in the most general terms, the kinds of things that actually exist. Thus, the "ontological commitments" of a philosophical position include both its explicit assertions and its implicit presuppositions about the existence of entities, substances, or beings of particular kinds.

Epistemology. Branch of philosophy that investigates the possibility, origins, nature, and extent of human knowledge. Although the effort to develop an adequate theory of knowledge is at least as old as Plato's Theaetetus, epistemology has dominated Western philosophy only since the era of Descartes and Locke, as an extended dispute between rationalism and empiricism over the respective importance of a priori and a posteriori origins. WikipediaOntology

    . In philosophy, ontology is the study of being or existence. It seeks to describe or posit the basic categories and relationships of being or existence to define entities and types of entities within its framework. Ontology can be said to study conceptions of reality.


    . Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of Western philosophy that studies the nature and scope of knowledge and belief. Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims. In other words, epistemology primarily addresses the following questions: "What is knowledge?," "How is knowledge acquired?," and "What do people know?."


    Ontology is concerned with the question, "What is reality?" Epistemology is concerned with the question, "How do we know reality?"


Diana L. Ascher, PhD, MBA, is a principal at Stratelligence and a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute. Her lifelong interest in knowledge and decision making has focused on the evaluation, classification, organization, communication, and interpretation of information, and motivates her work in the fields of behavioral science, finance, higher education, information studies, journalism, law, leadership, management, medicine, and policy. She brings more than two decades of experience as a writer, editor, media director, and information strategist to her work.

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