HFIA03724U  FILO, Module 3: Classical Philosophical Problem: Knowledge and Skepticism CANCELLED

Volume 2014/2015
Master in Philosophy, 2014-curriculum

The philosophical problem of skepticism has been and continues to be one of the central problems of epistemology. Theories of knowledge are naturally categorized by how they respond to the skeptical challenge, and a careful study of possible responses to skepticism therefore provides a basic insight into a wide range of theories of knowledge, evidence, rationality and justification.

The structure of the skeptical problem is fairly simple. On the one hand, we take ourselves to know all kinds of things. I know that Obama is the President of the United States, I know that this is the year 2014, and I know that I live in a flat in Copenhagen. On the other hand, most of us find it difficult to see how we could know that we are not in a skeptical scenario. How can I, for example, know that I am not just a bodyless brain plugged into a computer simulation deceiving me into thinking that Obama is President, that the year is 2014, and that I live in Copenhagen?

So am I wrong in taking myself to know that it is the year 2014? Or do I in fact know that I am not a bodyless brain in vat being deceived into thinking that it is the year 2014? And if I know, then how?

In this course we will look at a variety of different approaches to the skeptical problem including contextualist and relativist theories of ‘know’, externalist and internalist theories of justification, virtue epistemological accounts of knowledge, and externalist theories of the mind.

During the course we will also encounter a number of related epistemological problems, such as the lottery problem, the dogmatism puzzle, the problem of easy knowledge, and the problem of induction. We will (among other things) look at different closure principles for knowledge, considerations about higher-order knowledge and issues related to the norm of assertion.

Learning Outcome

Master´s level in Philosophy - The 2014 Curriculum:
Module 3: Classical Philosophical Problem: HFIK03721E

Master´s programme in Philosophy - The 2008 Curriculum:
Module 2: Freely chosen topic A: HFIK03521E
Module 4: Freely chosen topic B: HFIK03541E
Module 5: Freely chosen topic C: HFIK03551E
Module 6: Freely chosen topic D: HFIK03561E
Module 7: Freely chosen topic E: HFIK03571E

Type of assessment
The exam will be conducted in English
Criteria for exam assesment

Curriculum for the main subject at Master´s level in Philosophy - The 2014 Curriculum:


Curriculum for the Master´s Programme in Philosophy - The 2008 Curriculum:

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • Total
  • 409,5