Epistemology

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Master’s
Campus: 
Vienna
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
2019-2020
Term: 
Fall
US Credits: 
2
ECTS Credits: 
4
Course Description: 

The course offers an introduction into some classic problems of epistemology which form the subject of lively discussion also in contemporary philosophy. We shall start with the question of necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge, the Gettier problem and its consequences. Next we look into theories of justification, and discuss the merits and shortcomings of foundationalism, coherentism and reliabilism. Next we will consider various sceptical arguments against the possibility of knowledge, and investigate some responses to the sceptical arguments. In the rest of the course, we study the nature of different forms of knowledge: a priori knowledge, perceptual knowledge and self-knowledge. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the central concepts of contemporary epistemological research, to enable them to discern the essential features of arguments in epistemological papers and to assess their soundness and validity. The course will offer a suitable basis for taking an advanced graduate class in epistemology. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will become familiar with the central concepts of contemporary epistemological research, and with the main positions occupied in epistemological debates. They will develop their ability to discern arguments in philosophical texts, to evaluate these arguments, and to present an argued position in a clear and concise manner.

Assessment: 

Conditions for passing the course: 

  • conscientious attendance, reading of the assigned material, (mental) preparation of answers to all the reading questions, participation in discussions; 

  • a 5-7 minute presentation of the answer to at least one reading question during the term. If there is time, students can choose to give more than one presentation; the best grade will count towards the course grade; 

  • passing the written exam at the end of the term.