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PH252 - Epistemology

  • Module code: PH252
  • Module name: Epistemology
  • Department: Philosophy
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

What is knowledge? What would be a good method for answering that question? Do we really know the things we think we know? Does it matter whether we do? Can a philosophical theory of knowledge help us to understand to what extent our conception of the world is justified? These are some examples of the kinds of questions to be tackled in this course. The aim of the course is to introduce students to some central debates in contemporary epistemology. In the first half of he term we'll focus on general questions concerning the nature and possibility of knowledge, in the second half we'll consider the specific issue of how to understand the way perception puts us in touch with the world.

Principal learning outcomes

"By the end of the module the student should be able to: 1.demonstrate an understanding of central problems in epistemology and of some major contributions to recent debates in the area; 2.grasp the significance of central issues in contemporary epistemology, to connect them with the history of modern philosophy and to appreciate their bearing on wider issues in philosophy.; 3.provide a clear analysis of complex arguments and to engage with them critically ; 4.understand the distinctive features and aims of the philosophical project of understanding human knowledge as well as some of the methods that can be used in pursuing it. "

Timetabled teaching activities

There will be three contact hours per week for every student, all involving the whole group; the sessions will combine lectures and seminar-style discussion.

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Please note that attendance at both lectures and seminars and completion of any unasssessed or required work is a requirement of this module

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: PH252-15)
D (Assessed/examined work) 1500 word essay 15%
  2 hour examination (Summer) 85%
D3 (Assessed/examined work) 2 hour examination (NF) STAFF USE 100%
D4 (Assessed/examined work) 2 hour examination (F) STAFF USE 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (part year students only) 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year (GV18) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year (GV18) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate History and Philosophy (V1V5) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy (wiith Intercalated year) (V701) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy with Computer Science (V7G5) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy with Computer Science (V7G5) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Philosophy with Classical Civilisation (V7Q8) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature with Intercalated Year (VQ73) - Year 2