epis·​te·​mo·​log·​i·​cal i-ˌpi-stə-mə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce epistemological (audio)
: of, relating to, or based on epistemology : relating to the study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge
the epistemological problem
Critical realists could learn a little epistemological humility from philosophical pragmatism, the understanding … that, beyond the scale of immediate, non-controversial truth-statements, knowledge is indeed highly partial and fallible …James D. Proctor
Although epistemological and power differences between scientists and lay audiences remain, they can be offset through various kinds of collaboration.Dawn J. Wright et al.
How do we know that our holy books are free from error? Because the books themselves say so. Epistemological black holes of this sort are fast draining the light from our world.Sam Harris
epistemologically adverb
… only a handful of epistemologically privileged comrades and movie stars know the truth, and they are forever muzzled. New Republic

Examples of epistemological in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To put it in Paul’s terms, the whole thing is an epistemological get-rich-quick scheme. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 Rosato’s argument verges on a simple truism: there are inherent epistemological limits on what a state can know for sure about another state. Sebastian Rosato, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2021 In Rio’s and São Paulo’s carnivals, joy is seen in dancers dressed in elaborate, colorful costumes and heard amid the cheers and Brazilian percussion instruments, but it’s felt in the celebration of people whose material and epistemological existence have been continuously under attack. Beatriz Miranda, refinery29.com, 19 Apr. 2022 These phenomena are in some ways the epistemological counterpoint to UAPs. Hari Kunzru, Harper's Magazine, 10 Oct. 2023 The age of generative AI threatens to sprinkle epistemological sand into the gears of web search by fooling algorithms designed for a time when the web was mostly written by humans. WIRED, 5 Oct. 2023 But where Gego’s ostensibly fragile aesthetic is tethered at every point to sturdy underlying principles, Sze’s work fans out into epistemological mayhem. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2023 Prosecutors will soon run up against the epistemological challenges of explaining and convicting a man whose behavior defies and undermines the structures and logic of civic life. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 As became obvious with the anti-vaccine movement, simply shouting down dissident voices, without trying to find some sort of epistemological common ground, is futile. Douglas Girardot, Washington Post, 2 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'epistemological.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


epistemology + -ical

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of epistemological was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near epistemological

Cite this Entry

“Epistemological.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epistemological. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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