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Philosophers since Plato have produced analyses of knowledge, describing what it means to say that someone knows something. Because gaining knowledge is a core goal of education, understanding what “knowledge” means is key for thinking about teaching and learning. This entry describes the analysis of knowledge that has been at the center of philosophical discussions and sketches ways in which this analysis remains difficult to formulate precisely yet still is useful for thinking about teaching and learning.

The type of knowledge at issue here is knowledge of propositions, such as knowing that the earth revolves around the sun. The analysis is not applicable to knowledge by acquaintance, where saying “Ralph knows Fred” means that the two have met. The analysis presented here is also not directly ...

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