This unit examines excerpts from major philosophical texts in order to discuss some of the significant issues of epistemology, interpretation, and philosophy of science. Questions considered may include some or all of the following: What is knowledge? Does knowledge come from our senses, or from reason? What is the status of scientific and historical knowledge? What is the relation between thought, language, and reality? (This unit may be offered weekly or intensive.)

Unit code: AP2230C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Sketch the main epistemological issues in the Western philosophical tradition.


Summarise the fundamental ideas, positions, and arguments of some of the thinkers studied in the unit.


Present accounts of the strengths and weaknesses of the major arguments of some of the thinkers presented in the unit.


Specify the major counter-arguments against some key positions presented in the unit.

Unit sequence

36 points of philosophy at first level


Lectures and discussion of readings

Indicative Bibliography

  • Alcoff, Linda Martin, ed. Epistemology: The Big Questions. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Audi, Robert. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 2nd ed. Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Dancy, Jonathon, and Ernest Sosa, eds. A Companion to Epistemology. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.
  • Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
  • Grondin, Jean. Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.
  • Landesman, Charles. An Introduction to Epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
  • Lemos, Noah. An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Musgrave, Alan. Common Sense, Science, and Scepticism: A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Norris, Christopher. On Truth and Meaning: Language, Logic and the Grounds of Belief. London: Continuum, 2006.
  • O’Brien, Dan. An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity, 2006.
  • Polanyi, Michael. Personal Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2000 50.0
Written Examination

2-hour written examination

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 19 Jul, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-07-19 11:37:13 +1000