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It derives from the Greek term episteme, which means knowledge. Epistemology analyzes the processes we use in order to gain knowledge of the world, especially the particular sciences, trying to come up with a theory of knowledge. The reflection on the forms of knowledge has always happened, even though it attained a central role from the Renaissance, when knowledge becomes independent from revelation. While God was the guarantor of knowledge, the reflection on how to know was irrelevant: knowledge was in the word of God which was, supposedly, in the Bible. The problem was raised when humankind had to face knowing from their solitude as a species. Here’s an example: when Galileo stated the perception of the stars he obtain through his telescope was valid, the Dominicans objected that the interposition of lenses deformed vision, so it was reasonable to doubt their exactitude. It was a discussion on the ways of knowing, not on the reality of that which is known. That is, it was en epistemological discussion. Epistemology deals with the analysis of all kinds of knowledge. Be it scientific or of some other kind, such as History, Literature or Sociology, which are sometimes called soft sciences in order to distinguish them from Natural sciences. The practical totality of modern history revolves around the problem of knowledge. For example, the central issue in the Discourse on the Method is the possibility of knowing the world -without the aid of God- and the Critic of Pure Reason is, in fact, a reflection on what we can know and how, in order to later tackle that which Kant believed to be most important: practical Philosophy.

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