Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website
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|
|Teaching period||Not offered in 2022 (On campus)|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$929.55|
|International Tuition Fees||Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.|
- One PHIL paper or 72 points
- PHIL 102, PHIL 340
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- More information link
- Teaching staff
Course co-ordinator and lecturer: Associate Professor Heather Dyke
- Paper Structure
In the first part of the course we examine different theories of knowledge, including the Justified True Belief theory, Reliabilism, Virtue Epistemology, Internalism and Externalism, as well as related epistemic concepts including justification, rationality, and the a priori/a posteriori distinction. We then look at different sources of knowledge including perception, testimony, memory and inference, and consider whether beliefs derived from them are justified. In the third part we look at different kinds of knowledge, including scientific, religious and moral knowledge. Lastly, we look at varieties of scepticism.
- Teaching Arrangements
Standard lecture format.
Duncan Pritchard, What Is This Thing Called Knowledge, 4th Edition, Routledge, 2018.
- 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)