Universität Wien FIND

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180012 PS Philosophy of Science (2016W)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 45 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursdays, 09.45 – 11.15, Hörsaal 3F NIG (3. Stock)

Thursday 13.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 20.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 27.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 03.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Friday 11.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Thursday 17.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 24.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 01.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 15.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 12.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 19.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 26.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course Outline: This course aims to provide a critical understanding of some of the central problems in epistemology, which is the philosophical theory of knowledge, via a close reading and discussion of some of the key recent texts in this area. Students taking this course will acquire a good sense of the nature and range of the subject-matter of epistemology itself, and its relation to other philosophical areas. Topics will include:
• Scepticism,
• Foundational vs. Coherentist theories of justification,
• Internalism vs. Externalism,
• Perception as a source of Knowledge,
• Testimony as a source of Knowledge,
• Disagreement
• Belief and Degrees of Belief.

NOTE: This course will be conducted entirely in English!

Learning Outcomes: By the end of the course students should be familiar with the central problems of epistemology and have an understanding of the main theories that bear on these problems. More generally, students will cultivate the following intellectual skills and abilities:
• An ability to read closely and gain an understanding of relevant texts,
• An ability to summarize arguments and positions,
• An ability to support and to challenge views and positions, by constructing arguments and citing relevant considerations,
• The formation of philosophical views of their own, which they are prepared to defend or amend in the light of criticism.

Assessment and permitted materials

Course Assessment: This course will be assessed primarily on the basis of a shorter mid-term essay and a final longer essay. These written exercises will together account for 80% of your overall mark.
Course assessment will also take into account participation in class, which will account for 20% of your overall mark. This includes not only active participation in class activities – e.g. having read the required reading for each class, asking appropriate questions, answering questions posed to the class, etc. – but also punctuality and respectful behaviour towards the instructor and fellow students.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Readings: There will be a required reading for every class except for the very first week. These classes are seminars and so a large portion of each class will be devoted to discussing and debating the required reading. It is essential then that all students must read the assigned text before the class and are prepared to discuss it and ask questions etc. Remember: 20% of your mark for the course is assesse via class participation. All required readings will be available on Moodle.

Though there is no set text-book for this course, there are very many good introductions to epistemology that will cover many of the topics on this course and which students could usefully consult as a supplement to the required readings. For example:
Audi, R. “A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge” (Routledge)
Williams, M. “Problems of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction to Epistemology” (OUP)
Feldman, R. “Epistemology” (Pearson)

Association in the course directory

BA M9, BA M15, PP 57.3.3, UF PP 08

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36