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Epistemology is the reflection upon principles which allows our knowing to take place. Why epistemology? Because this is an essential way by which we can really come to grasp what it takes to know that which is donut. Why basic? Well to be perfectly truthful I’m not aware of the advanced epistemology concerning the donut. In fact I don’t even completely understand what I’m talking about. Be forewarned: this is meant for the donut greenhorn. Any other inquiries should be directed to your local donut shop.
You ought to, however, be careful in selecting a location to continue your studies of donut epistemology. Many donut shop employees are intensely interested in the question, “What is truth?” At Krispy Kremes you are likely to encounter bullheaded managers who insist that the original glazed donut is the best type of donut out there, and that this is the absolute truth. Apparently, it was written on our hearts by God Himself at the time that this glorious donut was created in 1937, and it will only be erased in the event that a more qualified donut should arise to claim the title. I am not sure if this is really what they believe or if it’s all a big money making scheme but there is some talk going around that this so called “more qualified donut” will merely be a larger (and therefore more expensive) type of pastry, and not, in fact, the best type of donut out there.
You may have more luck at Dunkin’ Donuts, which does allow for at least a limited epistemological relativism (no one is quite sure of the extent of their relativist views outside of the donut realm). Here you can shop without feeling pressured into selecting a single best type of donut, because everyone’s favorite can be the best! But be warned; there are many choices. A few of the packaged deals require you to choose only a dozen donuts, and choosing which savory pastries shall be among the twelve is almost as antagonizing a decision for the modern human as choosing who shall be among the Twelve must have been for Jesus. Although whether or not this was antagonizing for Jesus no one is certain, so rest assured, there is hope that you will come to a more or less painless decision.
If these major chains don’t satisfy your quest a third option is to go to your local supermarket. However, these are dangerous waters. Employees here have many food and health products to ponder the nature of and, consequently, may not be able to give the donut the attention it deserves. Also, 80% of those encountered thus far have been skeptics and you may not get very far in your search for donut knowledge as it is quite difficult to get them to admit that the donut does, in fact, exist at all.

I. Topic 1 – The Four Causes of the Donut.

An important question for many donut lovers is “What might cause the donut which we seek to know?” The donut has intrinsic causes and extrinsic causes. The intrinsic causes include its material cause and its formal cause, while the extrinsic causes include the agent and final causes. These are as follows:
1. Material cause: This is the matter of the donut, or what it is made of. This is fairly obvious even to the casual observer. Although exact ingredients can vary from
donut to donut and vendor to vendor, I think that it is safe to say that all donuts contain dough made from wheat flour, sugar, and fat (anyone that tries to pass off a
fat-free round object as a donut is clearly insane and should be regarded as an idiot, isolated, and laughed at. Obviously this person is not enlightened enough to even
pursue the true nature of the donut so don’t even bother talking to him. He is not of your caliber.) Spudnuts, although closely related to the donut, are made of potato
flour and should under NO circumstances be considered an actual donut, as this will hinder our path to the truth.
2. Formal cause: No, this is not a donut in a tux! It actually refers to the shape imposed upon the matter discussed above. In general donuts are round with a holein the center. Strict donutologists which only consider these as true donuts. Themore liberal researchers will also recognize munchkins, round entities with no hole, and éclair-shaped units as types of donuts. (This problem partially arises from a debate that’s been going on since Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory invented the donut with the hole in 1847. This is back when most people believed in God. Does God create the donut indirectly because he created man, or is thedonut something manufactured solely by man and his free choice of the will?
Those who choose the former are often, though not always, more strict in their definitions because the donut is seen as a divine gift and not to be taken lightly.
Those who claim the latter, by contrast, are more liberal in their definitions, as manmade things tend to change and evolve with time. Today, many people tend to go with the latter, which makes defining the donut quite difficult, but we shall not bedeterred in our search! One final note: Another interesting question that arose from this great debate was “Is the donut good, bad, or morally neutral?” A good place toturn for insight is St. Augustine’s Concessions. Although he had no experience with the donut, his accounts of period snack food morality is no doubt enlightening.)
3. Efficient cause: This cause refers to he who imposes the form of the donut on the material which is destined to become the donut. In general, this is the job of donut chefs. Because the original maker of the donut was male, and he only hired males to be part of this original donut making pursuit, it is safe to say that females were never intended to make the donut and that only a man can truly represent this donut making capacity, despite the fact that my mother (albeit illegally) made
a quite admirable donut just this morning. Women should not be deterred from pursuing the nature of the donut, however, as there are many other jobs in the donut industry, such as the envied position cardboard-box folder.
4. Final cause: Ah, the most unfathomable of the causes. What is the purpose for which the donut chef imposes the form of the donut on the material which is
destined to become the donut? The more pessimistic among us would say that the ultimate purpose is profit. Practical persons insist that the donut is for sustenance but judging the nutrition facts I’ve come to reject this as highly unlikely. The naïve tend to think that donuts are made for our happiness and since this is actually what I would like to believe I am going to hold this final
thought as true.

Stay tuned for part 2 The Donut and the Senses.


The following comments are for "The Basic Epistemology Concerning the Donut"
by polarqueen

funny sh!t
This is soime seriously funny, shit, dear polarqueen. Somehow you've managed to capture the essence and significance of donuts in just a few paragraphs and I, for one, found myself greatly inspired.

But I think it was a mistake to call this a piece about the "epistemology" of donuts. There's really no epistemology here at all, and your explanation of what epistemology is doesn't bear much resemblance to the real thing. Judging by your use of the Aristotelian causes, I'm guessing you meant this to be about the ONTOLOGY of donuts (ontology being the metaphysical study of being). Am I right?

It's still a damn funny bit of writing, though, and I'm hoping you write the next part!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: January 9, 2005 )

yea maybe it is i took the causes out of my notebook and they were near the word epistemology (we never really went into it) so I'm not really sure (it was a logic class and we did a really brief intro)...I was going to go into the senses...stuff like imagination, estimation, sensus communis, etc. Do you know if that borders on epistemology or if that's still ontology? LOL THanks.

( Posted by: polarqueen [Member] On: January 9, 2005 )

Nifty. Wel, the senses mostly belong to philosophy of perception, which is related to epistemology. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, belief, and truth. To the extent taht we use our senses to inform our beliefs (and we do!), then yeah, they're relevant to epistemology.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: January 9, 2005 )

maybe i'll just call this 'random philosophy of the donut' then. haha

( Posted by: polarqueen [Member] On: January 9, 2005 )

Why not!
Good call -- it's your writing, so you can name it whatever you want!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: January 9, 2005 )

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