Show Less
Restricted access

Epistemic Principles

A Primer for the Theory of Knowledge


Nicholas Rescher

Epistemic Principles: A Primer of the Theory of Knowledge presents a compact account of the basic principles of the theory of knowledge. In doing this, Nicholas Rescher aims to fill the current gap in contemporary philosophical theory of knowledge with a comprehensive analysis of epistemological fundamentals. The book is not a mere inventory of such rules and principles, but rather interweaves them into a continuous exposition of basic issues. Written at a user-friendly and accessible level, Epistemic Principles is an essential addition for both advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in epistemology.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 2. Questions


| 5 →

· 2 ·


We humans have questions and need answers, being a creature that must, by its very nature, feel cognitively at home in the world. The acquisition of knowledge is a situational imperative for us humans as homo sapiens. It is incorporated into our make-up through the evolutionary course of development that has emplaced us in nature’s scheme of things. Relief from ignorance, puzzlement, and cognitive dissonance is an imperative need: we cannot live a satisfactory life in an environment we do not understand. A deep-rooted demand for information and understanding presses in upon us, and we have little choice but to satisfy it. And once the ball is set rolling it keeps on under its own momentum—far beyond the limits of any strictly practical necessity.

The great Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen put it well. What drives men to the polar regions, he said, is

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.