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Issues In Philosophy (PH121-12 & PH141-15)

Programme content

The first few sessions will be on knowledge and scepticism. Sceptical scenarios are familiar in philosophy (Descartes), and in Hollywood (The Matrix). One question, then, is: can you know that you are not actually in a sceptical scenario? For example, can you know you are not in a Matrix-style scenario? If not, can you know any of the things you ordinarily think you know? Some philosophers argue that if you can't know you are not in a sceptical scenario then you can't know many of the things you think you know. Philosophers who argue in this way rely on something called the principle of epistemic closure, so the first couple of lectures will focus on this principle.

The last few sessions will be on the nature of persons and personal identity.

Module Director:

Simon Scott

Sample reading list (PDF Document)

Topics covered

The following is a list of topics for this module in the 2015/16 academic year; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • Knowledge and Scepticism
  • Introducing Persons and Personal Identity
  • John Locke
Timing and CATS

This module runs in the Autumn Term and is worth 12 CATS.