Posts tagged epistemology
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge. What do we know and how do we know it? This can be pretty abstract, but when you apply it to issues that everyone talks about -and things that “everybody knows” it can get interesting -and controversial.
It is now pretty much indisputable that global warming is caused by humans –or is it? There are still scientists who believe that climate change is a natural phenomenon -and that “global warming” is not what it appears. Yet, it has become extremely politically incorrect to even raise this issue. To some, to question global warming in any way makes you a reactionary or the tool of Big Oil (or some such label).
The upcoming International Conference on Climate Change, to be held in New York in March, will feature a number of scientists who question the conventional wisdom of climate change. Now, I don’t pretend to have the expertise to be able to have an opinion on this subject that is worth much. However, I might ask, how many people who “know” the truth about climate change -or many other issues- are really in a position to know the truth? How much of what we “know” is simply repeated something we’ve heard many times? Some other examples about things we might question the official story regarding – evolution, the attacks of 9/11/01, the effectiveness of much modern medicine, to name a few.
I feel the need to add that questioning climate change is not an attack on environmentalist or green ideas (though it could be used for that purpose, of course). Environmental problems are definitely real –much of our air, food and water is contaminated (this is actually much easier to prove than the idea that global warming is caused by humans).
I think everyone who considers themselves educated or well-informed should at least expose themselves to alternative possibilities.