The course offers an introduction to 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. Then we will consider various sceptical arguments against the possibility of knowledge and investigate some responses to the sceptical arguments. We will close the course with investigating some social aspects of knowledge: testimony and epistemic injustice.
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.
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.
Students will be asked to give a 5-minute presentation of selected themes during the course. The grades will be based on a final written exam.
Mandatory for first year philosophy MA students on the 2-year MA program; elective for philosophy MA students on the 1-year program. Non-philosophy students with some background in philosophy (not specifically epistemology) are welcome, but are asked to contact the instructor before signing up.