I’m trying to drive at whether there is a way to justify Mormon knowledge claims and perhaps get at whether there are uniquely Mormon ways of knowing. It may seem like I’m taking a bit of circuitous route. I want to get at why people have worried about the things they have the past few centuries. It can often seem like epistemology is so dominated by specialists each debating such nuanced points that the big picture is lost. Last week I got at why we should even care about knowledge. I hopefully showed that there are two reasons to care. The first is to be honest about all those statements we make involving the word “knowledge.” The second is that as both individuals and a society we’re better off when we try to justify our beliefs. Or, put an other way, we’re better off eliminating as many false beliefs as is possible.
Today I want to take a short trip across some of the main issues in epistemology. Rather than focus on this the way a philosopher might I want to look at it with an eye to practicality. Why are these issues? In doing so I’ll be dealing with them on a somewhat superficial level. I more want to get at why we might want to worry about these things rather than getting into the minutiae of the arguments that are still going on over them. I think they are important but they tend to get focused on primarily as abstract intellectual puzzles rather than real human concerns.