PHIL 2016 Truth and Knowledge

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101983

Coordinator Paul Alberts-Dezeeuw Opens in new window

Description Attaining knowledge and defining truth are fundamental concerns for all university studies. Philosophy has a long history of explaining what constitutes truth, and how we know what counts as legitimate knowledge. This subject introduces students to the most important conceptions of truth and knowledge, and explains the fundamental methods of reasoning and testing knowledge claims established through the Western philosophical tradition. It should be useful to both studentsspecialising in philosophy, and those interested in discovering more about how knowledge is justified and standards of truth established.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Identify basic approaches to epistemology in the Western tradition as covered in unit
  2. Explain differences between basic types of reasoning
  3. Identify major conceptions of truth from the Western philosophical tradition
  4. Analyse claims to knowledge in terms of general principles of validity
  5. Describe the major sceptical doubts and problems in epistemology
  6. Compose sound philosophical argument

Subject Content

. Major epistemological statements of the Western philosophical tradition: can include the texts of Plato, Aristotle, St Aquinas, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Vico, Hume, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, James, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Quine, Sellars, Popper, Kuhn, Davidson, Searle, Foucault, Derrida, Rorty or other significant relevant figures.
. Introduction to selected definitions and debates about the nature of truth from ancients to modernity.
. Introduction to major methods of reasoning, definitions of crucial concepts, and their emergence in particular philosophical perspectives.
. Controversies and crucial changes in reasoning, including the rise of empiricism, rationalism and Western scientific protocols in the 17th and 18th centuries.
. Critical and sceptical approaches to truth and knowledge standards, especially from the 19th century to the current day.
. Common practical uses of these views on truth and knowledge.

Prescribed Texts

  • Subject Reader compiled by subject coordinator