Knowledge, Science, and Reason
Standard letter grades
Contact hours total
Epistemology in the analytic tradition boils down to the "science of knowledge:" what does it mean to "know?" How do we know the things we supposedly know? What makes up the objects of possible knowledge? This course explores basic problems and different theories of knowledge along with related issues in metaphysics, for example: how to define the nature and limits of knowledge; rationalist vs. empiricist perspectives; assumptions about reality and existence; and arguments for and against the existence of God.
1. Recognize and respond to questions or problems that are characteristic of epistemology.
2. Explain different philosophical positions or theories that are common to the Western tradition and articulate one’s own points of view in a clear, consistent, concise and thorough manner.
3. Utilize basic tools of philosophic inquiry and argument.
4. Interpret primary source material and show how historical texts may be applied to contemporary debates or dilemmas.
I. Introduction and the Analysis of Knowledge
II. Defeasibility Theory
III. Relevant Alternatives Theory
IV. Causal Theory of Knowledge, Knowledge as Truth-Tracking, Internalism vs. Externalism
V. Skepticism and the Structure of Knowledge
VIII. Theories of Perception
X. Direct Realism
Grades will be determined by assignments, exams, discussion, essays, and in-class presentations.
General education/Related instruction lists