Epistemology 94

Fall Semester, 2005
Professor: Chienkuo (Michael) Mi
Office: Room #103 (教師研究二樓)
Course: BPH20801
Classroom: B709
Class Time: 1:30 pm. ~ 3:20pm., Tuesday
Office Hours: 1:30pm ~3:30pm, Monday
E-mail: [email protected]
Course Outline:
Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. It has been occupying a very central
position in philosophy since the ancient philosophy, and has even been regarded as
the “first philosophy” since the modern philosophy. In the contemporary development,
Epistemology has a new face and a new focus. The theory of justification starts to rise
in this subject and overwhelmingly dominates the main stage in the discussions of the
subject. So, the nature of knowledge and the nature of justification naturally stand out
as two main issues to which almost all philosophers interested in epistemology must
pay attention.
In this course, we will spend most of our time in pursuing the answers to the
questions regarding “what is knowledge” and “what is justification”, and will also
cover many related important problems and puzzles associating with the two main
questions. In order to approach the central concerns in the issues, we will follow step
by step the questions listed in the required textbook, Pojman’s What Can We Know.
Those questions will include:
(1) What can we know? This is an introductory question, and with this question we
will be familiar with some important and basic concepts and terminology involved
in epistemology.
(2) Can we really know? This is a skeptical question, and following this question
we will learn some skeptical tradition as well as modern skepticism.
(3) How can we know the external world? This is a traditional question and the
most important question in modern philosophy. We will discuss how the modern
philosophers dealt with the concept of “perception” and shed light in the question.
(4) What is knowledge? We will start with the traditional analysis and introduce the
Gettier problem.
(5) What is Justification? We will go through the contemporary discussions with
respect to the issue of justification and the foundationalism/coherentism and
internalism/externalism debates.
(6) What is naturalized epistemology? What is virtue epistemology? Is there a
priori knowledge? What is the nature of belief? These will all be the main
questions dealt and discussed in next semester.
Required Textbook:
1. Louis Pojman What Can We Know? An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge,
second edition, Wadsworth, Thomson Learning, 2001
2. Some outside readings are required and will be assigned
Course Evaluation:
1. One mid-term exam, 20%
One final exam, 40%
Four home-works, 40% (10% each)
Coming to class meetings is mandatory. If you miss three meetings, your final
grade will be failed.
5. If you fail to turn in any homework or take any exam, your final grade will be
failed too.
General Introduction
What Can We Know? Chapter 1
What Can We Know? Chapter 1
Can We Really Know? Chapter 2,
Can We Really Know? Chapter 3, Turn in Home-work #1
How can we know the external world? Chapter 4
How can we know the external world? Chapter 4
Selected Questions for Discussions, Turn in Home-work#2
Mid-term Exam
What Is Knowledge? Chapter 5
What Is Knowledge? Chapter 5
What Is Justification? Foundationalism/Coherentism
What Is Justification? Foundationalism/Coherentism
What Is Justification? Turn in home-work #3
What Is Justification? Internalism/Externalism
What Is Justification? Internalism/Externalism
What Is Justification? Turn in home-work #4
Final Exam
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