Sam Harris Dictionary: Epistemology

Sam Harris sometimes uses the word “epistemology” or “epistemological” on his Waking Up Podcast. The word epistemology is derived from the Greek “episteme”, meaning knowledge. Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, justification and the rationality of belief. The French philosopher Michel Foucault believed an episteme represented a framework of ideas, beliefs, prejudices, norms and conventions that humans use as a system for thinking. According to the book “Whiplash” by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe, Foucault believed that humans followed varying systems of ideas throughout time. He believed that evidence of human…

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Sam Harris Dictionary: Orthogonal

The word orthogonal is often used by Sam Harris on his podcast. Orthogonal is a 25 cent word that may be hard to naturally work into a sentence, unless of course you’re a neuroscientist. When Sam uses the word orthogonal, he could be using it in mathematical terms, as in the meaning “of a right angle”… But more likely he is using orthogonal when making a point in a debate about one thing being unrelated to some other thing. For instance, if you were in a debate with someone about…

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