PHIL 331
Contemporary Epistemology
Last Offered Fall 2012
Division II Writing Skills
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Epistemology is one of the core areas of philosophical reflection. In this course, we will study the literature in contemporary philosophy on the nature of knowledge and rational belief. Epistemologists seek answers to the following kinds of questions: When is it rational to have a particular belief? What is knowledge (as opposed to mere opinion)? In order to be justified in holding a belief, must someone know (or believe) that she is justified in holding that belief? What, if anything, justifies our scientific knowledge? These questions are typically asked within a framework where the overarching goal is attaining truth and avoiding falsity. Beyond this common ground, however, epistemologists are much divided. Some maintain that these issues are solely the provinces of philosophy, using traditional a priori methods. Others maintain that these questions will only yield to methods that incorporate our broader insight into the nature of the world including, perhaps, feminist thought or science. Both stances face severe difficulties. Further, even where there is agreement as to the proper way of answering epistemological questions, there is a stunning variety of possible answers to each question.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 6
Class#: 1492
Grading: OPG
Requirements/Evaluation: each student will write a 5- to 6-page paper every other week (6 in all) and comment on his or her tutorial partner's paper in alternate weeks
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: at least one upper-level PHIL course or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: current and prospective Philosophy majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: COGS Interdepartmental Electives
PHIL Contemp Metaphysics + Epistemology Courses
TEAC Related Courses

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