Knowledge statements and belief statements: how do their differences matter for Science Education

ATHANASSIOS RAFTOPOULOS

Abstract

In this paper, I examine first the way knowledge-statements and belief-statements are questioned in ordinary language. The former are questioned by “how do you know?” questions, while the latter are questioned by “why do you believe?” questions. The answers to these questions are different. In the former case, one replies by providing the reasons that justify their being in position to know, whereas in the latter case, one replies by adducing the evidence for their statement. Then, I explore the epistemological repercussions of the difference in ordinary usage between the verbs ‘to know’ and ‘to believe’ and, drawing on these, I discuss the implication for science teaching.

Keywords

Why-questions, knowledge-statements, belief-statements, epistemic status of scientific theories

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References

Austin, J. R. (1946/1974). On other minds. In J. Urmson & J. Warnock (Eds), Philosophical Papers, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Belnap, Jr. N. D., & Steel, Jr. J. B. (1976). The logic of Questions and Answers. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Van-Fraassen, B. (1980). The Pragmatic Theory of Explanation. In J. C. Pitt (ed.), Theories of Explanation (pp. 136-155), New York: Oxford University Press.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/rev.2213

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