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Module code: PH206
Credits: 5
Semester: 1
Department: PHILOSOPHY
International: Yes
Overview Overview

This module examines a range of historical and contemporary views on the nature of human knowledge. It starts with Plato’s classic discussion of the nature of knowledge in his dialogue, Theaetetus. The module then examines the quest for certainty and scepticism in the modern period. It focuses on Descartes’s rationalist formulation of the problem of knowledge in his Meditations and the empiricist responses of Locke and Hume. Analytic perspectives on the question of knowledge will be considered, especially the famous Gettier Problem which has given rise to the rival approaches of foundationalism and coherentism. The module will look at contemporary trends in epistemology, especially virtue epistemology and social epistemology. In trying to overcome the Gettier Problem, contemporary virtue epistemology emphasises that human knowing is linked to virtues of mind such as courage, carefulness, openness, and honesty. Emphasising the social dimension of human knowing, many philosophers today consider theory of knowledge has traditionally been too individualistic in outlook and seek to highlight the importance of social interaction, testimony, and culture.

Open Learning Outcomes
Open Teaching & Learning methods
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