Knowledge is all around us, and we generally think we know many things about the world. For example, you may think that you know your name. Or you may think that you know the earth has existed for many years before you came into it. You know about the existence of countries you have never been to. But do you really know these things, or do you only believe them because you have accepted them as fact? Even in the case of our most firm and certain beliefs, couldn’t it turn out that we’re just badly mistaken? This course will attempt to answer these questions by probing established philosophical thought and subjecting it to heavy scrutiny.
Along the way we will look closely at the major philosophers who have influenced our study of knowledge, subjecting their thoughts and ideas to critical analysis of our own. Not only will you learn about philosophers and their various schools of thought, but you will also be exposed to the philosophical method, and how philosophers go about attempting to answer questions such as those above. A study of Knowledge and Reality is a core element of many philosophy, classics, and other humanities degrees. This course is therefore an ideal stepping stone for anyone thinking of applying to study one of these subjects at university, showing that you have the ability to think critically about some of the most fundamental questions of our existence.
Quizzes and Exams
Why Take this Course?
This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying philosophy, classics, history, or related subjects at university.
Aims and Objectives
- To understand the major schools of thought surrounding the topic of Knowledge and Reality
- To examine critically the arguments of philosophers past and present, in establishing what we can and cannot truly say we know
- To be exposed to the philosophical method, and some of the key principles underpinning Philosophy in general
Key Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Discuss with confidence some of the most influential philosophers of the past, such as Descartes
- Understand the complexities of "knowledge" and be able to analyse arguments in favour of different theories of knowledge