An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 2nd Edition
January 2017, Polity
The book is divided into five parts. Part I discusses the concept of knowledge and distinguishes between different types of knowledge. Part II surveys the sources of knowledge, considering both a priori and a posteriori knowledge. Parts III and IV provide an in-depth discussion of justification and scepticism. The final part of the book examines our alleged knowledge of the past, other minds, morality and God.
In this extensively revised second edition there are expanded sections on epistemic luck, social epistemology and contextualism, and there are new sections on the contemporary debates concerning the lottery paradox, pragmatic encroachment, peer disagreement, safety, sensitivity and virtue epistemology.
Engaging examples are used throughout the book, many taken from literature and the cinema. Complex issues, such as those concerning the private language argument, non-conceptual content, and the new riddle of induction, are explained in a clear and accessible way. This textbook is an invaluable guide to contemporary epistemology.
PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION
PART I: INTRODUCTION TO KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 1: THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 2: WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?
PART II: SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 3: A PRIORI KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 4: PERCEPTION
Chapter 5: TESTIMONY
PART III: JUSTIFICATION
Chapter 6: FOUNDATIONALISM
Chapter 7: COHERENTISM
Chapter 8: INTERNALISM AND EXTERNALISM
PART IV: SCEPTICISM
Chapter 9: SCEPTICISM I: EVIL DEMONS AND BRAINS IN VATS
Chapter 10: SCEPTICISM II: CONTEXTUALISM AND INVARIANTISM
Chapter 11: THE PROBLEM OF INDUCTION
Chapter 12: NATURALIZED EPISTEMOLOGY
PART V: AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 13: MEMORY
Chapter 14: OTHER MINDS
Chapter 15: MORAL KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 16: GOD
-Brand-new sections on contemporary debates concerning the lottery paradox, pragmatic encroachment, peer disagreement, safety, sensitivity and virtue epistemology
-Updated Further Reading sections
-Additional end-of-chapter questions
Duncan Pritchard, University of Edinburgh
"It is the best book of its kind in this area available today. O Brien has a distinctive approach, using many colourful examples and illustrations, and maintains a lively and readable style throughout, without becoming superficial. It covers a very wide range of epistemological topics, and the additions in this new edition enhance its value."
Mark Tebbit, University of Reading