Knowledge and Reality

Undergraduate Program Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

This course provides an introduction to one of the central themes of Western philosophy: the nature of reality and our knowledge of it. There are two parts to this theme. The first is reality: what is the real nature of the world? Is the world entirely material or physical? Is there more to the world than what science has discovered? The second is knowledge: what can we know about the world? Can we know anything at all? What is truth? Is truth, or knowledge, relative to your perspective or culture? Are claims to knowledge simply assertions of political power? This course will address these questions, among others, based around readings from classic and contemporary texts.

Learning Outcomes: 

At the completion of their work for this course, students will:

(i) have an understanding of some of the central questions and theories in metaphysics (the theory of reality);

(ii) have an understanding of some of the central questions and theories in epistemology (the theory of knowledge);

(iii) have an understanding of how some of these ideas arose in Western philosophy.


The two short exercises constitute 50% of the overall grade. The exam takes up the remaining 50%.

The deadlines for the short exercises will be every Thursday at 11.00; every week approximately ten students must write an exercise. Exercises must be submitted on the moodle site.

If a student does not submit one of their required short exercises, then their overall mark is reduced by 25%.