My thoughts on the Crossing (Part II)

Epistemology, by definition is, because I did have to go look it up, is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to it’s methods, validity and scope, as well as an investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

There were a few passages that sparked an epistemological question or two throughout part two.  Especially in regards to justified beliefs versus opinions.  The rider that appears out of nowhere and &”knows” things.  Are they criminals? Demons in human form? Truly evil men? Or men who may “know” something beyond, what most men “know”. Can man hone animal instincts and know beyond their world?  Other questions include, when Billy shoots the wolf, how does he know that taking another beings life is okay in this circumstance and not another. Instinct? Logic? Or maybe he isn’t sure, but he shoots her anyway. Another passage that that stands out is Billy’s conversation with the sherriff when he returns from Mexico. The sheriff, tells Billy to follow the law (man’s law) and leave Boyd where he is.  Billy then politely lets, the sheriff know that there is a higher law maybe entre hermanos, or de la familia, or de Dios, that he will follow, and that he would be taking his brother.  Something else that stands out like a blond cheerleader at a goth party is when someone tells Billy he is an orphan.  The question is defiantly raised on how that knowledge flowed down the river and into this mind of a person never before met in the middle of nowhere Mexico!? Do they know beyond this world? Perhaps some humans have a sliver of the knowledge possessed by the wolf, and other sacred animals. 

By far the most epistemological passage in the novel begins on page 142 ” I was looking…” and ends on page 158 with “For nothing save the grace”.  These passages question the very knowledge of God, the belief in his knowledge, or all knowing ability, the validity of it, and how it effects the very world.  These pages are epistemology by definition. 


At this point in the novel, the journey is still very reminiscent of a spirit quest, with the horse as a guide, and Billy in the thick of it approaching the most difficult part of the quest.  Towards the middle of a journey there are still far more questions than answers with new ones formulating as minutes pass. 


Published in: on Tuesday, 1 May 07 at 11:44  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Venetta redesigned her page and really got on the epistemology question. […]

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