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EPISTEMOLOGY
A branch of philosophy concerned with how an observer may know, not with what he may know thereby. The latter is the concern of ONTOLOGY. Epistemology seeks to understand the origin, processes and limitations of observation including such OPERATIONs as drawing distinctions, establishing RELATIONs, creating CONSTRUCTs and all consequences for knowledge resulting from COMMUNICATION between an observer and the observed and within a community of observers who may observe each other. The epistemology of a theory considers the observer and the observed as parts of the same system and theory as an emergent property of the interaction process. Epistemology asks not "what is", or "what can we know" but "how do we come to know".
(Krippendorff)