Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)
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Epistemology [Greek episteme, knowledge, theory of knowledge] designates a branch of philosophy that investigates the foundations, limits, methods, and validity of knowledge. As a science, epistemology is the study of how organisms think and arrive at decisions that determine behavior (Bateson, 1979). A number of family therapists also use the term to refer to the structure of knowledge or the knowledge of structure; hence, epistemology is often employed as a supraordinate term that encompasses paradigm/model/map. (See also constructivism.