Epistemological Circularity And Feelings

How are epistemology and worldview related?  A person’s epistemological framework forms their worldview and their worldview informs their epistemological framework.   They are both connected, intertwined and create what is called, “circularity.”  The epistemological framework informs the individual what they need to consider as appropriate knowledge and the worldview identifies what is and what does not fit the criteria of true knowledge.  In other words, the knowledge system forms the lens and the lens processes and delivers knowledge back to the system.  Around and around they go, working together.[1]
A person’s epistemological framework lies at the foundation of the person, followed by a person’s worldview.  As previously stated, they form and inform each other in a circular fashion.  Besides the circular relationship, manifested feelings and values emerge from the person’s worldview.  Therefore, what we see visibly on the surface is a person’s behavior patterns, values and feelings that are shaped from their worldview, a worldview that is shaped by one’s epistemological system.  The reason why this is important to understand is that behind a person’s feelings and behaviors always lies another two layers.[2]

To read more on this subject, check out the paper titled, "Pastoral Care For Those Experiencing An Epistemological Crisis."

[1] Alasdair MacIntyre, Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology (Eerdmans Publishing, 1989), 140.
[2] Paul Hiebert, Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding Of How People Change (Baker Academic, 2008), 85.