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

Undergraduate Course: Knowledge in a Multicultural World (PHIL10232)

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) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces the students to important questions concerning how pluralism and multiculturalism challenge and invite us to rethink the nature of some central epistemological and metaphysical themes (from knowledge to reality).
Course description The course addresses themes in epistemology and metaphysics (from knowledge to reality) that have been at the centre of a systematic re-evaluation in light of pluralism and multiculturalism in science. A closer attention to the historically and culturally situated nature of scientific knowledge invites us to rethink well-entrenched philosophical views (from essentialism to realism and nominalism) and metaphysical notions (from phenomena to kinds).

Themes covered may include scientific realism, anti-essentialism, Quine's ontological relativity, Putnam's internal realism, Rorty's naturalism, conventionalism and nominalism about kinds, pluralism and perspectivism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Midterm essay 40% (1500 words)
Final essay 60% (2500 words)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand how pluralism and multiculturalism challenge traditional metaphysical notions.
  2. Identify diverse philosophical views in response to these challenges.
  3. Think critically about the relation among philosophy, science, and pluralism.
  4. Improved core skills in philosophy, including the ability to interpret and analyse philosophical texts, evaluate arguments, and develop critical ideas in response.
  5. Further develop written communication skills.
Reading List
The following list of readings is merely indicative. Due to time constraints, only selections from the books listed below would be covered and only articles relevant to the particular topics covered in a year would be assigned:

Harding, Sandra (1998) Is Science Multicultural? (Indiana University Press).

Quine, W.V.O. (1968) ¿Ontological relativity¿, Journal of Philosophy 65, 185-212.

Putnam, H. (1982) ¿Why there is not a ready-made world?¿, Synthese 51, pp. 141-167.

Ludwig, D., Koskinen I., Mncube Z., Poliseli L., Reyes-Galindo L. (eds) (2023) Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science (Routledge)

Kuhn, T. Dubbing and redubbing: the vulnerability of rigid designation. In C. Wade Savage, J. Conant and J. Haugeland (eds.) Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14, 298-318 (University of Minnesota Press).

Harding, S. (2015) Objectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hacking, I. (1991) A Tradition of Natural Kinds. Philosophical Studies 61: 109-126.

Massimi, M. (2022) Perspectival Realism (OUP)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will equip students with a critical mindset to reflect and evaluate well-entrenched epistemological and metaphysical notions. They will be aware of important implications and challenges faced by some of these notions in multicultural societies, and will further sharpen their ability to communicate complex topics in a clear way, both through seminar participation and in writing. Students will be able to engage critically with the contemporary philosophical literature, and to connect it to debates in other areas.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Michela Massimi
Tel: (0131 6)50 3662
Course secretary
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