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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Epistemology (Online) (PHIL11131)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the nature of human knowledge and cognition. This area is called 'epistemology' and it is among the classic and continuously prominent sub-fields of philosophy. No previous philosophical or logical expertise is required. Any technical / unfamiliar terms will be defined as we go.
Course description The course covers a range of core topics in epistemology, such as (inexhaustive list): the analysis of knowledge; scepticism; the structure of justification; externalism and internalism about knowledge and justification; feminism and epistemology; contextualism; relativism; knowledge-first epistemology; the norm of assertion; epistemological methodology.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 85 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will be assessed by a 2500 word essay at the end of the semester (85%) and successful participation in the on-line activities associated with the course. How the participation component will be assessed will be made clear to the students at the start of the course.

Word limit: 2500 words maximum (excluding references)
Feedback Students have the opportunity to submit a formative essay by week 6 deadline on Turnitin via Learn. The essay cannot be draft of summative essay but it can be on the same topic.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. articulate central issues, views and concepts in epistemology
  2. critically analyze and engage with the contemporary epistemological literature.
  3. present arguments clearly and concisely both within a classroom and in a 2,500-word essay.
  4. gain transferable skills in research, analysis and argumentation.
  5. critically discuss philosophical arguments with peers.
Reading List
Available through Talis aspire

Indicative reading list:

Gettier, Edmund (1963). Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Analysis 23(6):121-123. Online:

Descartes, Rene (1641). The First Meditation from Meditations on First Philosophy.

Klein, Peter. 2001: Skepticism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online:

Williams, Michael. 2001: Skepticism. The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology (eds. Sosa and Kim), pp. 35-69.
Online: k_g97806312029124

Goldman, Alvin I. (1979). What is Justified Belief? In Ernest Sosa & Jaegwon Kim (eds.),

Graham, Peter J. (2012). Epistemic Entitlement. Nos 46 (3):449-482. Online:

Rysiew, Patrick (2009): Epistemic Contextualism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Spring 2009 edn. Online:

Rysiew, Patrick. (2001). The context-sensitivity of knowledge attributions. Nos, 35 (4): 477-514.

Nagel, Jennifer (2010). Knowledge ascriptions and the psychological consequences of thinking about error. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):286-306.

Nagel, Jennifer. Forthcoming. 'Intuitions and Experiments: A Defense of the Case Method in Epistemology', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students can develop their ability for independent learning through online resources.
Additional Class Delivery Information Priority for this course will be given to online MSc/Dip/Cert Epistemology, Ethics and Mind students. Students on any other programme must obtain permission to enrol from Prof Jesper Kallestrup as Programme Director.
Course organiserMs Fiona Doherty
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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