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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.

In this course we examine different theories of knowledge, justification, and rationality. Is there more to knowledge than justified true belief? We look at different sources of knowledge. Can we trust memory or testimony? We look at kinds of knowledge, including scientific, religious, and moral. And we look at skepticism -- in the end, can we know anything at all?

Paper title Epistemology: The Theory of Knowledge
Paper code PHIL240
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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

Teaching staff

Dr Fabien Medvecky

Associate Professor Zach Weber


To be confirmed.

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:

  • Outline the key problems of epistemology (e.g. scepticism, the nature of knowledge, the Gettier problem)
  • Describe the main approaches to epistemology (e.g. internalism, externalism)
  • Describe the major theories in epistemology (e.g. foundationalism, coherentism)
  • Understand recent developments in the field (e.g.; virtue epistemology, the epistemology of testimony)
  • Apply what they have learned to some problems in everyday life (e.g. reliance on expert testimony)

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16-22