PHIL 2033 - Epistemology: Knowledge, Truth and Justification
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code PHIL 2033 Course Epistemology: Knowledge, Truth and Justification Coordinating Unit Philosophy Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Prerequisites 12 units Level I Humanities/Social Sciences, including 3 units in Philosophy Incompatible PHIL 2026 or PHIL 3026 Course Description Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, the study of the nature, sources and limitations of knowledge. In studying the nature of knowledge, we will discuss the conditions that a belief must meet to qualify as knowledge. Thus, we will explore what it takes for a certain belief to be justified and the connections between being justified in believing something, being right in believing it and knowing it. In studying the sources of knowledge, we will address the extent to which perception, memory, testimony and reasoning give us knowledge. Finally, while we study the limitations of knowledge, we will consider the challenge known as skepticism. This is the challenge to show that, strictly speaking, we know anything at all. Most of the readings we will use are from contemporary philosophers though, in some cases, we will refer to early modern philosophers such as Descartes or Hume.
Course Coordinator: Dr Jordi FernandezJordi Fernández
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes1 Familiarity with the main positions on the following issues on epistemology: The nature of knowledge, the sources of knowledge and the limits of knowledge.
2 Develop an understanding of several philosophical theories in the area of epistemology such as externalism and internalism regarding the nature of epistemic justification, and foundationalism and coherentism regarding the structure of knowledge.
3 Acquire an awareness of the main philosophical positions in contemporary epistemology regarding the issues mentioned under LO2.
4 Acquire the ability to analyse texts from contemporary analytic philosophers working on epistemology and extract the relevant arguments from them.
5 Acquire the ability to evaluate an argument by an analytic philosopher working on epistemology (as valid, or sound).
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5
Required ResourcesOne Reading Book will be available at the Image & Copy Centre at the beginning of the course.
A textbook may also be necessary for this course. Students will be advised through MyUni before the beginning of the course.
Other resources, such as some entries (to be advised by the lecturer in advance of the lectures) on some of the topics at the on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Online LearningSeminar notes will be made available on MyUni each week shortly before (or shortly after) the lectures. However, these are summaries only, and are not a substitute for attending lectures.
The actual lectures will not be recorded in this course.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course includes a component of lecturing, and a discussion component.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.It is estimated that a total of 12 hours per week, including attendance to weekly sessions, revision, lecture preparation and assessment, will be required.
Learning Activities SummarySome of the topics covered will include: The definition of ‘knowledge’, the structure of knowledge, the nature of knowledge, the sources of knowledge, and the limits of knowledge.
Specific Course RequirementsSubmission of two essays is a course requirement. You are strongly urged to attend the lectures, though attendance is not compulsory.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryTwo essays (summative assessment) and weekly questions posted in MyUni (formative assessment).
Assessment Related RequirementsSubmission of two essays is a course requirement.
You are strongly urged to attend the lectures, though attendance is not compulsory.
SubmissionDetails on the procedure for submitting assessment pieces and relevant deadlines will be provided in the course program at the beginning of the course.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
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