Epistemological particularism

Epistemological particularism is the belief that one can know something without knowing how one knows that thing.[1] By this understanding, one's knowledge is justified before one knows how such belief could be justified. Taking this as a philosophical approach, one would ask the question "What do we know?" before asking "How do we know?" The term appears in Roderick Chisholm's "The Problem of the Criterion", and in the work of his student, Ernest Sosa ("The Raft and the Pyramid: Coherence versus Foundations in the Theory of Knowledge"). Particularism is contrasted with Methodism, which answers the latter question before the former. Since the question "What do we know" implies that we know, particularism is considered fundamentally anti-skeptical, and was ridiculed by Kant in the Prolegomena.


  1. ^ J.P. Moreland. Duhemian and Augustinian Science and the Crisis in Non-Empirical Knowledge (PDF). Retrieved January 14, 2009.
Andrzej Grzegorczyk

Andrzej Grzegorczyk ([ˈandʐɛj ɡʐɛˈɡɔrt͡ʂɨk]; 22 August 1922 – 20 March 2014) was a Polish logician, mathematician, philosopher, and ethicist noted for his work in computability, mathematical logic, and the foundations of mathematics.


In metaphysics, particulars are defined as concrete, spatiotemporal entities as opposed to abstract entities, such as properties or numbers. There are, however, theories of abstract particulars or tropes. For example, Socrates is a particular (there's only one Socrates-the-teacher-of-Plato and one cannot make copies of him, e.g., by cloning him, without introducing new, distinct particulars). Redness, by contrast, is not a particular, because it is abstract and multiply instantiated (for example a bicycle, an apple, and a given woman's hair can all be red).


Particularism may refer to:

Epistemological particularism, one of the answers to the problem of the criterion in epistemology

Historical particularism, an approach in anthropology

Moral particularism, the view that there are no universal moral principles

Multicultural particularism, the belief that a common culture for all people is either undesirable or impossible

Political particularism, the politics of group identity that trumps universal rights

Religious particularism, name given to the phenomenon of Americanism in the apostolic letter Testem benevolentiae nostrae

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