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

Knowledge & Belief (PHIL*2240)

Code and section: PHIL*2240*01

Term: Fall 2018

Instructor: Karyn Freedman


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 while also considering some emerging questions in social epistemology, feminist epistemology and the epistemology of ignorance.

Course Outline

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.