By Louis Hoffman
Even as a psychologist, I have to acknowledge a certain bias I have toward philosophy. If you are going to understand anything deeply, you must look at its underlying philosophy (many of my students and former students are probably either nodding or rolling their eyes as they read this statement!). In this sense, I see philosophy, especially the epistemological branch, as the mother of all academic disciplines. The academy will often host classes such as the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of science, and even the philosophy of psychology. In essence, these are looking at how these academic disciplines are constructed and what are the implicit assumptions held within this field.
Epistemology is generally refers to the question of 'how do we know what we know?' When we speak of "the philosophy of" a discipline, such as "the philosophy of science," we are asking the question of how do we know scientifically. Without considering this basic question of how do we know, we are essentially just wandering based off of ungrounded, implicit assumptions. An entire elaborate theory could be build without ever even considering this basic questions of how do we know if it is true. And this has happened!! Some of these theories may even make logical sense, but when the question is asked of 'how do we know' we begin to see the theory unravel.