Difference between Ontology and Epistemology

Ontology vs. Epistemology

Difference between Ontology and Epistemology: – Epistemology and Ontology are two different branches of Philosophy that although they may share certain similarities should not be confused; since they have different objects of study. Both are theoretical in nature and move people to think beyond what they already know, hence with a considerable frequency people confuse them, ignoring that they are different fields of study.

Difference between Ontology and Epistemology

If you have doubts about what the difference between Ontology and Epistemology or you are just looking for a bit more information that complements what you already know, then continue reading, because below we explain everything you need and want to know on this interesting topic.

Epistemology
As we have already mentioned, Epistemology is a subfield or branch of Philosophy. This term derives from the ancient Greek word ‘episteme’, which means ‘knowledge’; combined with the suffix “logos”, which translates as “logical discourse” or “study of”. Therefore, as a field of study, Epistemology is the one that has knowledge as the main object.

It is responsible for working with theories of knowledge and its purpose is to try to discover and understand what constitutes knowledge and where it derives. There are no correct or incorrect answers to all the questions generated on this topic, for this reason, in modern times this branch went more and more focusing on studying all the postulates of the different theories in order to extract the better of each one.

In Epistemology the debate between Empiricism and Rationalism is usually presented. The first affirms that knowledge derives from experience, while the second holds that it is acquired through reason.

Ontology
On the other hand, Ontology is a matter of Metaphysics, which is another branch of Philosophy. Metaphysics is responsible for studying the essence of things and seeks to answer questions such as what is reality? What is existence? As well as seeking to understand space-time, objects and their properties, cause-effect and possibilities.

As a sub-branch of Metaphysics, Ontology works specifically with the nature of being; that is, how being becomes what it is, its existence and its reality.

The term Ontology comes from the Greek “onto”, which means to be and the suffix “logos”; whose meaning was already explained above. According to its etymology this word can be translated exactly as “study of being”.

Finally, in order to be able to easily differentiate these two branches of Philosophy, it can be said that Ontology works with the nature of reality (because being is all that exists or can be thought of); while Epistemology is responsible for analyzing the relationship between the entity and its reality (i.e., how it is apprehended).

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