Epistemology is the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity.

Epistemology is a term first used by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier to describe the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge; it is also referred to as “theory of knowledge”. Put concisely, it is the study of knowledge and justified belief. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which knowledge pertinent to any given subject or entity can be acquired. Much of the debate in this field has focused on the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification. The term epistemology was probably first introduced in Ferrier’s, “Institutes of Metaphysic: The Theory of Knowing and Being“.

Epistemology comes from Greek ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning "knowledge, understanding", and λόγος, logos, meaning "word".

Books about Epistemology

How Do We Know?: An Introduction to Epistemology
“How Do We Know?: An Introduction to Epistemology,” by James K. Dew Jr.

“How Do We Know?: An Introduction to Epistemology,” by James K. Dew Jr.

What does it mean to know something? Can we have confidence in our knowledge? Epistemology, the study of knowledge, can often seem like a daunting subject. And yet few topics are more basic to human life. We are inquisitive creatures by nature, and the unending quest for truth leads us to raise difficult questions about the quest itself. What are the conditions, sources and limits of our knowledge? Do our beliefs need to be rationally justified? Can we have certainty? In this primer on epistemology, James Dew and Mark Foreman guide students through this discipline in philosophy. By asking basic questions and using clear, jargon-free language, they provide an entry into some of the most important issues in contemporary philosophy.

Social justice warrior

Define: SJW

“Social justice warrior” (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation, also known as virtue signaling.

The phrase originated in the late 20th century as a neutral or positive term for people engaged in social justice activism. In 2011 when the term first appeared on Twitter, it changed from a primarily positive term to an overwhelmingly negative one. During the Gamergate controversy, the negative connotation gained increased use and was particularly aimed at those espousing views adhering to social liberalism, cultural inclusiveness, or feminism, as well as views deemed to be politically correct.

The term has entered popular culture, including a parody role-playing video game released in 2014 titled Social Justice Warriors.

In Popular Culture

In May 2014, the concept was incorporated into a parody role-playing video game titled Social Justice Warriors. Developed by Nonadecimal Creative, Social Justice Warriors involved the concept of debating online against Internet trolls who make racist and other provocative comments by choosing from different responses such as “‘dismember their claims with your logic,’ rebroadcast their message to be attacked by others, or go for the personal attack.” Users were able to select a character class and gameplay involved changes to user meters of Sanity and Reputation. The game became available on the computer platform Steam in February 2015. Game creator Eric Ford explained that the game was designed to foster critical thinking and was not “intended to suggest that racist, sexist, or other offensive comments shouldn’t be confronted online. The goal is to encourage critical thinking on how it can be done more effectively, and at less cost to the real-world social justice warriors.” He commented: “Once you’ve embarked down the path of correcting every incorrect statement an anonymous stranger is making online, the only inevitable outcomes are that your patience is exhausted by frustration, your reputation is obliterated by the trolls’ defamation or your own actions, or you give up in disgust.”

Actress Caitlin Barlow described her character on the 2016 U.S. comedy television series Teachers as a social justice warrior. Barlow explained: “I play Cecilia Cannon, who is a super-crunchy hippie social justice warrior who is always trying to save the world, whether people care or not. And she’s always pushing her left-wing agenda on her students.”

The Hollywood Reporter journalists Lesley Goldberg and Kate Stanhope noted in March 2016 that actress Isabella Gomez was cast in the Netflix remake of One Day at a Time and portrayed Elena, a character content to self-identify as a social justice warrior. Goldberg and Stanhope wrote: “A proud nerd, idealist and social justice warrior, Elena is opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind.”

While promoting his film The Green Inferno, Eli Roth said “I wanted to write a movie that was about modern activism. I see that a lot of people want to care and want to help, but in general, I feel like people don’t really want to inconvenience their own lives. And I saw a lot of people just reacting to things on social media. These social justice warriors. ‘This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong.’ And they’re just tweeting and retweeting. They’re not actually doing anything. Or you see people get involved in a cause that they don’t really know a lot about and they go crazy about it. I wanted to make a movie about kids like that.”

Examples of use in Youtube comments:

From YouTube comments

No. It’s because Sam Harris tries to explain social, economic, geopolitical issues by focusing on people’s beliefs and worldviews (their identity). He’s the ultimate “SJW”.

Harris comes across as more honest to me. Sam is always willing to put himself out there and be open to any environment of discussion. You’ll never see Chomsky do a four-hour podcast with Joe Rogan for example. Chomsky comes across as an arrogant SJW at times. Sam comes across as a guy you could have a beer with and enjoy the stimulating conversation of an honest thinker. Whereas Chomsky comes across as the guy who would snub you and any conversation you had with him would leave you with the impression that he was a biased thinker.

Despite what your average SJW or Black Matter Lives affiliate might argue, Muslim imperialism existed way before the birth of the US. They conquered half of the known world and ethnic cleansed it. They tried to push into Europe twice in the Middle Age and it’s for sheer luck that today Europe doesn’t speak Arabic. Had Islam conquered Europe, there wouldn’t be an America to speak of, and no ignorant arrogant assholes like the Chomskians to criticize it either.