Postgraduate Course: Ancient Theories of Knowledge MSc (PHIL11173)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Ancient epistemology contains in a nutshell the full range of modern epistemological positions and therefore is an ideal vantage point to get a good grasp of the main concepts and problems of epistemology.
Shared with UG Course - Ancient Theories of Knowledge PHIL10168.
For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
In this course, we shall look at some of the most important ancient epistemological theories: the earliest attempts of demarcation between knowledge and belief in the Presocratic theories, the critical discussion of the three attempts at defining knowledge (as sense perception, true belief, and justified true belief) in Plato's Theaetetus. We shall devote a class to Aristotle's account of the principles of scientific demonstration, where we'll discuss the epistemological import of Aristotle's theory of scientific knowledge. In the last part of the course, we shall look at the most interesting epistemological discussions of Hellenistic period: Epicurus' version of strong empiricism, Stoic epistemological foundationalism, Academic criticism of the Stoic theories of 'cognitive impression' and Stoic responses. We shall also discuss ancient medical epistemology, particularly the epistemological views of the ancient medical school of Empiricism. We'll finish by scrutinising the position and arguments of Pyrrhonean sceptics.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||End-of-semester essay of 2,500 (100%)
||(1) Opportunity to submit 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.
(2) Class presentation. All students are encouraged to do a short class presentation on one of the topics (5-10 minutes in the beginning of the class, to start the discussion; there can be from one to three presenters on each topic). This presentation is not marked, but it provides feedback and gives students an opportunity to prepare for the essays. Students are encouraged to talk to the instructor a week before your presentation.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the core problems and positions in epistemology on the basis of ancient epistemological debates
- demonstrate knowledge of the main schools of ancient classical and Hellenistic philosophical schools and ideas
- demonstrate analytical and writing skills, ability to understand and critically assess philosophical theories, and develop arguments in support of own views
- demonstrate exegetical skills, ability to understand and critically evaluate different interpretations of ancient arguments
- demonstrate research skills, ability to work with ancient texts and scholarly literature
|R. McKirahan (ed) Philosophy Before Socrates, Berkeley, 1994|
Aristotle, Posterior Analytics
B.C. Inwood, L.P. Gerson (eds), Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1988
A.A. Long, D.N. Sedley (eds), The Hellenistic philosophers, 2 vols, Cambridge, 1987
Ch. Brittain (ed), Cicero, On Academic Scepticism, Indianapolis, Hackett, 2005
M. Frede, R. Walzer (eds) Galen: Three Treatises on the Nature of Science, Hackett, 1985
J. Annas, J. Barnes (eds) Sextus Empiricus, The Outlines of Scepticism, Cambridge, 2001.
Further details on LEARN
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- Reading, understanding and critical analysis of complex texts
- Exegetical skills, ability to understand and interpret
- Ability to articulate, defend, and critically discuss positions in debate
- Interdisciplinary thinking
- Critical thinking
- Analysis and evaluation of theories and complex theoretical concepts
- Working to deadline
- Presentation and discussion skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||The course will be taught by Dr Inna Kupreeva.
|Course organiser||Dr Inna Kupreeva
Tel: (0131 6)50 3653
|Course secretary||Ms Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002