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Epistemology PY1025

​Epistemology is sometimes known as the theory of knowledge and, as this name suggests, it is a philosophical enquiry into knowledge. The questions it seeks to answer are: What is knowledge? How do we get it? Are the means we employ to get it defensible? These questions prompt a number of debates. ​

Topics covered

One concerns the conditions that have to be satisfied for it to be true that someone knows something. Enquiry into this problem shows that we need to understand belief and its relation to knowledge; and that we have to be clear about the nature of any justification we have for our knowledge claims. Another debate concerns the adequacy of our ways of getting knowledge. We typically employ reason and perception in this task, but the challenge of scepticism shows that the uses we make of them involve a number of serious difficulties. A satisfactory account of knowledge has to address all these matters.

Assessment

One two-hour unseen written examination.

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