Epistemology B 3501-WISIP-EPB2
Epistemology B is the continuation of the winter semester Epistemology A course. The course will have four main parts: (1) philosophical theories of mind and beliefs, (2) philosophical theories of perception (and other sources of knowledge); (3) theories of truth (and the debate between realism and antirealism), (4) the challenge of skepticism.
We will start by reviewing the basic positions in philosophy of mind and the basic theories of beliefs. We will then consider the debate between direct and indirect realism, the argument from illusion, a variety of philosophical theories of perception: sense-data, adverbial, intentionalist, disjunctivist. We will consider traditional as well as contemporary approaches to truth. Among others, we will talk about the correspondence, semantic, coherence, pragmatic as well as deflationist theories of truth. We will discuss scientific realism and antirealism as well as semantic antirealism (Putnam’s internal realism, Dummett’s program). We will consider various skeptical arguments and a variety of responses to the skeptic, among others: Moore’s argument for the existence of the external world, strategies involving the rejection of the closure principle, naturalism, contextualism, epistemological externalism, Wittgenstein’s arguments, Goodman’s new riddle of induction, Putnam’s brain-in-a-vat argument, Davidson’s radical interpretation argument.
Type of course
- knows basic epistemological terminology in English (W03, W05)
- knows the relation between epistemology and the main philosophical subdisciplines (W02)
- knows the relation between epistemology and sciences of cognition (W02)
- has knowledge of the main positions in epistemology (W06, W08)
- understands the main epistemological problems (W06, W08)
- knows what giving arguments and counterarguments consists in (W14)
- is able to apply epistemological terminology correctly (U05)
- is able to analyze epistemological arguments, identify its crucial premises as well as understand the relations between the conclusions and premises (U04, U07, U08, U09)
- is able to give arguments for and against the main positions in contemporary epistemology (U07, U8, U09, U16)
Acquired social competences
- is open to discuss epistemological issues (K02)
- is open to new proposals of solutions to problems (K02)
See relevant section below (for a given academic year)
J. Dancy, Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
D. O’Brien, 2017, An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, Cambridge: Polity.
J. Nagel, 2014. Knowledge. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
M. Steup & E. Sosa, Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
S. Bernecker, Reading Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
E. Sosa, J. Kim, J. Fantl, M. McGrath, Epistemology, 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008
Timely and fully conscious attendance is a prerequisite of passing the course.
Permissible number of absences: 2
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: