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wildfireman

Framework: Epistemology Vs Ontology

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Can someone explain to me what epistemology and ontology are and their context within debate frameworks?  I am having trouble understanding the basis of these args

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at a basic level

 

epistemology = how we come to know things (i.e the epistemology of a card is card is bad if the author has been paid off)

 

ontology = "thinking about thinking", or the internal thought process (i.e the heidegger k says that that ontology of the aff is bad because they use technological thought, which is an internal process)

 

 

not sure what you mean about frameworks

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Epistemology:

 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/

 

Ontology (from onto-, from the Greek á½¤Î½, ὄντος "being; that which is", present participle of the verb Îµá¼°Î¼Î¯eimi "be", and -λογία-logia: "science, study, theory") is the philosophical study of the nature of beingexistence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology

 

I would point out the most of the Ks though that I've heard talk about ontology have to do with Heidegger (ie Heidegger, Spanos/Humanism, etc..)

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In general, arguments about epistemology and ontology are centered around kritikal debates (arguments that are concerned with the ethical/philosophical assumptions of the affirmative/negative). You can find a lot about them in files like Security K, Anthropocentrism K, and the Heidegger/Technology K that pennyfeather mentioned. If you want to learn more about epistemology/ontology, I recommend you start familiarizing yourself with kritikal literature, especially the ones found in kritik evidence.

 

The problem with simply applying epistemology/ontology to debate is that there's literally an infinite amount of different arguments you can make. Some people split those arguments into three categories: Security, Root Cause, and Agency.

 

Security kritiks talk about how we try to make the world perfect/make something work for us (for example, the pursuit of technology). They argue that doing so only makes the world suck more, and that instead we should stop doing that and do nothing. An example is Anthropocentrism, which argues that the plan makes human life better at the expense of other forms of life (like trees and animals). As a result, we only cause environmental destruction, which could eventually be harmful to our economy.

 

Root Cause kritiks argue that the 1AC's attempt to solve their harms actually doesn't work because they didn't reject the thought process or national policy (or lack thereof) that caused the problem. A critique of Capitalism is an example.

 

Finally, Agency kritiks say that we should only attempt to do things that we can actually do. For example, if it's impossible to prevent extinction, we shouldn't try to solve it, because that would only lead to genocide or make extinction happen faster. Instead, we should focus on things that are immediately prevalent and solve-able in the status quo, like racism.

 

Those three types of kritiks are all mixes of ontological/epistemological theory. Usually, people don't really run an Ontology K or Epistemology K, but rather, the two ideas are embedded directly within the kritiks.

 

plato.stanford.edu is basically the powerhouse of ontology/epistemology philosophy. You can go to it for better explanation.

 

Hope that helps!

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ontology = "thinking about thinking", or the internal thought process (i.e the heidegger k says that that ontology of the aff is bad because they use technological thought, which is an internal process)

 

Epistemology is about the relationships between facts that exist in our minds, ontology is about the facts themselves. Epistemology is often a subject of ontological inquiry, for example, when neuroscientists look at the brain they are trying to figure out what it is and how it thinks, but ontological inquiries can also be about other things entirely, such as Nature. Since we use our brains to think and our brains are objects, epistemology is always specific type of ontology, but it doesn't constitute the whole of it. There also are people who try to say that ontology is a specific type of epistemology, and sometimes that is true, but since we can engage in experiences with other objects without thinking about them, I wouldn't agree in general.

 

TL;DR Ontology is more fundamental.

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