Epistemology: Theories of Knowledge, Language, Interpretation and Science


Dr Cullan Joyce (coordinator)
Semester 1, 2020
Wednesday 10.00am – 1.00pm

This unit examines excerpts from major philosophical texts in order to discuss some of the major issues of epistemology, language, interpretation, and philosophy of science: What is knowledge? Does knowledge come from our senses, or from reason? What is the status of scientific and historical knowledge? What is the relation between thought and reality? What is the relationship between reality, our language, and our knowledge? 

Census Date

Tuesday 17 March 


  • second level: 36 points of philosophy at first level
  • third level: 36 points of philosophy at second level


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


second level
  • one 2,000-word essay 50%
  • one 2-hour written examination (2,000 words) 50%
third level
  • one 3,000-word essay 60%
  • one 2-hour written examination (2,000 words) 40%


  • Alcoff, Linda Martin, ed. Epistemology: The Big Questions. Philosophy: The Big Questions. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Audi, Robert. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. 2nd ed. Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Grondin, Jean. Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer. Yale Studies in Hermeneutics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994.
  • Huemer, Michael, ed. Epistemology: Contemporary Readings. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Landesman, Charles. An Introduction to Epistemology. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1999.
  • Lemos, Noah. An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Musgrave, Alan. Commonsense, Science and Scepticism: A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. 1993. Reprint, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • O’Brien, Dan. An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006.
  • Plantinga, Alvin. Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Potter, Vincent G. Readings in Epistemology: From Aquinas, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. 2nd ed. New York: Fordham University Press, 2004.