PHIL40018 Topics in Contemporary Epistemology

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Commencement Date & Location:
2014, Parkville
This subject commences in the following study period/s:
Semester 2 - Taught on campus.


Timetable can be viewed by searching for this subject at http://sws.unimelb.edu.au or by viewing the timetable here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1x 2-hour seminar each week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

An average of 10 hours per week.


Admission to fourth year Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in the discipline of Philosophy



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Howard Sankey


Associate Professor Howard Sankey


Subject Overview:

This subject will explore selected topics in contemporary epistemology. We will focus on a specific topic or set of related topics in epistemology, and examine contemporary research on this topic. Sometimes a historical dimension may enter the subject where it is important to ground the topic in the work of an important historical figure (e.g. Descartes, Moore, Sellars, Wittgenstein). Specific topics may vary from year to year. They may include such topics as certainty, scepticism, relativism, the nature of epistemic warrant or justification, the epistemic role of perception, externalist, contextualist and naturalist accounts of justification and/or knowledge and the nature of a priori knowledge.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • acquire in-depth knowledge of important topics in contemporary epistemology
  • have the ability to engage on a critical basis with current research in epistemology
  • have an advanced understanding of epistemology

A 5000-word research essay 100% (due at the end of semester).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have experience of thinking systematically about difficult problems of an abstract nature.
  • have practice conducting research, speaking articulately, writing clearly and reading with attention to detail.
Links to further information: http://philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy

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