What is Street Epistemology?

Street Epistemology (SE) is a way of having more productive conversations with believers to help them re-examine the foundations of their beliefs.

Our objective is to give people one place to quickly find resources related to Street Epistemology, including but not limited to books, websites, videos, podcasts, blogs, and social media forums.

We are also building an initial group of ten thousand people — Street Epistemologists — who will be active and engage others to help them re-examine the processes they use to come to knowledge and become more reflective about their beliefs.

I want to become a Street Epistemologist!

A discussion on the value and usefulness of Street Epistemology

A Working Definition of Street Epistemology

Street Epistemology (SE) is a dialectical approach intent on helping people reflect on the reliability of the methods used to arrive at deeply-held beliefs.

Street Epistemology is the application of epistemology (the study of knowledge) outside of formal academic contexts.

It is a method and an approach for having meaningful, civil, non-confrontational, respectful, and productive conversations that are orientated toward aligning our beliefs with reality.

The aim of Street Epistemology is to help people re-examine the processes they use to come to knowledge, become more reflective about their beliefs, and break through dogmatism.

Street Epistemology is dialectically based, grounded in the Socratic method, and modified by recent evidence-based advances in across a wide spectrum of disciplines, such as motivational interviewing, applied philosophy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Core Principles:

  • Reason-based processes — utilization of the most demonstrably reliable processes.
  • Belief on the basis of evidence.
  • Not pretending to know things one does not know.
  • Doxastic Openness — willingness to revise one’s beliefs when presented with sufficient evidence.
  • Attempt to avoid defensive posture.
  • Focus on questioning and understanding, not debating.