Postgraduate Course: Scepticism MSc (PHIL11117)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Philosophy
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||This course provides an introduction to philosophical scepticism. Topics may include: the history of scepticism in Ancient and Modern philosophy, sceptical arguments in contemporary epistemology, anti-sceptical strategies (idealism, pragmatism, Mooreanism, reliabilism, contextualism), the problem of induction, scepticism about testimony, and practical consequences of scepticism.
Scepticism MSc is also shared with the undergraduate version Scepticism (PHIL10139).
Taught by Dr Aidan McGlynn, Dr Nick Treanor and Prof Duncan Pritchard
- opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6
- feedback sessions fortnightly (on average) throughout course
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|Upon successful completion of the course, students will:
- Be familiar with central arguments for and against philosophical scepticism.
- Understand the role that scepticism plays in contemporary epistemological theorising.
- Be able to reason clearly and critically about sceptical arguments and antisceptical positions.
- Be able to interpret both historical and contemporary philosophical texts.
|One 2,500-word essay. |
Assignment deadline: Monday 14th April, 12 noon
Word limit: 2500
Return deadline: Tuesday 7th May 2014
||Students who complete Scepticism MSc, along with Epistemology 2, satisfy the requirements for the epistemology specialization for the MSc in Philosophy (taught).
For more information on the MSc in Philosophy (taught):
||Students will demonstrate the following transferable skills:
- evaluating abstract theoretical claims
- grasping and analysing complex arguments
||Texts that may be studied in this course include:
Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Scepticism.
Hume, selections from Enquiry concerning Human Understanding.
Reid, Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense.
Stroud, The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism.
Chalmers, "The Matrix as Metaphysics"
Moore, "Four Forms of Scepticism"
Nozick, "Knowledge and Skepticism"
Dretske, "Epistemic Operators"
Sosa, "Beyond Skepticism, to the Best of our Knowledge"
Sosa, "How to Defeat Opposition to Moore"
Lewis, "Elusive Knowledge"
DeRose, "Solving the Skeptical Problem"
Stroud, "Scepticism, ┐Externalism┐, and the Goal of Epistemology"
Fumerton, Metaepistemology and Skepticism
Sosa, "Philosophical Scepticism and Epistemic Circularity"
Wittgenstein, On Certainty
Strawson, Scepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties
|Course organiser||Prof Duncan Pritchard
|Course secretary||Miss Lynsey Buchanan
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 5:12 am