The Decline of Epistemology

20 03 2015

epistemology ngram

This Google N-gram search suggests that the popularity of the term “epistemology” peaked in the late 1990s and that academics are increasingly disinterested in debates about the nature of knowledge. (I’m assuming that virtually everyone who used this term in print was either an academic or some other intellectual). ¬†I’m curious as to why this might be the case?

Did people stop caring about epistemology in 1999? Or did they start using another term? What are the strategic implications for, say, a graduate student who is trying to decide whether to invest intellectual resources in learning about epistemology?