Nate Sheff in Aeon:
Epistemology, the philosophical study of knowledge, belief and evidence, starts here, with our fallibility. And from this beginning, there are many paths for epistemology to take, and many sorts of questions to set us down these trails.
For instance, we could continue by asking about the nature of thinking itself. Does thinking amount to nothing more than forming and reforming beliefs? Or is it something else entirely? Another option is to ask what counts as ‘success’ or ‘correctness’ in believing. This second path concerns what epistemologists call ‘justification’. Since true thoughts don’t come with a special glow announcing themselves as true, we can’t use truth as a marker for well-formed, worthwhile beliefs. Rather, we might look for something else to sort the good beliefs and opinions from the bad – something that justifies some beliefs rather than others, and that explains why some are credible and some aren’t.
Indeed, this is the big question for many epistemologists: what justification and credibility actually are.