Knowledge and Belief (PHIL*2240) | College of Arts

Knowledge and Belief (PHIL*2240)

Code and section: PHIL*2240*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Karyn Freedman


Course Description
In this course we will explore a number of fundamental questions in the field of epistemology, or theory of knowledge. In our advanced digital age, it is relatively easy to get information, and as a result we think we know a lot about a lot of different things. But what, precisely, is knowledge? And how is it different from mere opinion? What role does truth play in demarking the difference? And do true beliefs need to be backed up by evidence? These questions have been debated since Ancient times, and we will examine them in a contemporary context while also considering some emerging questions in social epistemology, feminist epistemology and the epistemology of ignorance.

Method of Delivery
Because of COVID-19, we will not be meeting face-to-face. The main method of course delivery will be through class notes and audio/video lectures, which I will post on CourseLink and which you will be able to access at your own convenience. We are, however, keeping our regularly scheduled class meeting time. I will not be doing ‘live’ lectures during this time, and you will not have to be available for each and every scheduled class, however, you will be required to be available at this time occasionally throughout the semester. I haven’t worked out the details yet, but you will have to sign up for 3-5 moderated group discussions, which will take place during these times. These sessions will be graded based on participation, and they will give students an opportunity to actively participate and discuss philosophical issues with me and the rest of the class. Each student will have the option to pick their preferred times out of a number of possible options. Additionally, I will use these times for virtual office hours. There may also be a further group element to the course, e.g. an online discussion board.

Course Outline