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PHIL240 Epistemology: The Theory of Knowledge

What is knowledge? Can we know anything? How could we know what we think we know? When is a belief justified? These are the questions addressed in this paper.

Paper title Epistemology: The Theory of Knowledge
Paper code PHIL240
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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One PHIL paper or 72 points
PHIL 102, PHIL 340
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Professor Heather Dyke

Paper Structure
  • Knowledge and its Value
  • What is Knowledge?
  • Externalism and Perception
  • Testimony and Memory
  • A priori, a posteriori, Induction
  • Scepticism and Objectivity
  • Truth and Objectivity (including relativism)
Teaching Arrangements
Standard lecture format
Duncan Pritchard, What is this thing called Knowledge? (3rd ed., Routledge 2014)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary Perspective, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Communication Skills.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Having successfully completed this paper students will be able to:
  1. Outline the key problems of epistemology (e.g. scepticism, the nature of knowledge, the Gettier problem);
  2. Describe the main approaches to epistemology (e.g. internalism, externalism);
  3. Describe the major theories in epistemology (e.g. foundationalism, coherentism);
  4. Understand recent developments in the field (e.g.; virtue epistemology, the epistemology of testimony); and
  5. Apply what they have learned to some problems in everyday life (e.g. reliance on expert testimony).

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 16:00-17:50 9-16, 18-22
Friday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 18-22