Category: General, History & Philosophy, Religion & Spirituality,

Epistemic Standpoints

Theological and Sociological

By: M. D. Litonjua


About the Book
Pilate asked “What is truth?” We too struggle with the question and we search for an answer. Correspondence theory told us that we grasp with our external senses objective reality, and the truth lies in the correspondence of the mind to external objective reality. The problem is that, except for basic mathematical equations, this explanation does not account for the diversity of opinions, the conflict of ideas, and the clash of ideologies. This does not include, of course, outright lies, denial of facts, manipulation of data, the malice of fake news.
We do not see things with the naked eye as they are. We see them from a certain perspective, from a specific point of view. A tree is not simply a tree. A tree provides restful shade to a weary traveler. It is useful lumber for the logger. It yields oxygen for a polluted atmosphere in the eyes of an environmentalist. It is an inspiration for a poem by Joyce Kilmer. In other words, it is foundationally a matter of, using a philosophical word, one’s epistemology. It involves one’s interests and concerns, it depends on what one considers important in life, the meaning he searches for in society and the world, how one conceives what life should be. We see, appreciate, judge from an epistemic standpoint.
The acknowledgement of different epistemic standpoints is the basis for dialogue, for the respectful discussion of differences of opinion, for the legitimate clash of ideologies. The acceptance of multiple standpoints is also the foundation for cooperation in spite of differences, for the search of common solutions to common problems, and for solidarity for the common good.

About the Author
“M. D. Litonjua is emeritus professor of sociology at the Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University, an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Licentiates in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila).

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