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Epistemic Thinking

  • Lina Markauskaite
  • Peter Goodyear
Chapter
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 14)

Abstract

This chapter builds upon an important distinction made in Chap.  3: between using knowledge and improving knowledge. We look at how epistemic resources extend human conceptual system – that is, how the human mind gains an ability to create new knowledge, or, in other words, what kind of conceptual system could underpin human epistemic agency. We use a body of existing literature on personal epistemologies, including research on what people believe about the nature of knowledge, how new knowledge is created and how one distinguishes between reliable and unreliable knowledge. But our interest in this research is somewhat different from that evinced by its protagonists. We are not that interested in developmental changes and variations in what people believe about knowledge. Rather, we want to know what is involved when people develop a capacity to use epistemic resources. We also draw once more on grounded cognition, to position epistemic agency in relation to the environment in which epistemic activity is unfolding. This means we use the idea of epistemic affordances – what the environment offers by way of epistemic possibilities – to refine an account of the skills needed to take up what is on offer.

Keywords

Epistemic beliefs Epistemic agency Epistemic affordances Grounded cognition 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Markauskaite
    • 1
  • Peter Goodyear
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI), Faculty of Education & Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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