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

Undergraduate Course: Ancient Theories of Knowledge (PHIL10168)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIntroduction to the main epistemological theories of classical antiquity and Hellenistic period. Starting with Plato's analysis of the problem of knowledge in Theaetetus, we shall go on to consider Aristotle's theories of truth and scientific method and the problem of criterion in the epistemology of Hellenistic period (Stoic, Epicurean and Sceptic).
Course description 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 definitions of 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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To develop further the philosophical skills and to extend as well as to deepen the philosophical knowledge acquired in previous philosophy courses; particularly, history of philosophy.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the core problems and positions in epistemology on the basis of ancient epistemological debates
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the main schools of ancient classical and Hellenistic philosophical schools and ideas
  4. Demonstrate analytical and writing skills, ability to understand and critically assess philosophical theories, and develop arguments in support of own views
  5. Demonstrate research skills, ability to work with ancient texts and scholarly literature
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Inna Kupreeva
Tel: (0131 6)50 3653
Course secretaryMiss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961
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