Epistemology is dedicated to questions about the nature and structure of knowledge and justified belief. Some central questions in epistemology include:
- What is knowledge? Why is it valuable?
- To gain knowledge from a reliable source, does one need to know that the source is reliable, or is it enough for the source simply to be reliable?
- What is justified belief? Is evidence necessary for justified belief, or can some beliefs be justified without evidence?
- Is the justification of a person's beliefs determined just by the person's mental states, or might factors external to the mind play an essential role?
- Where, if at all, do sceptical arguments go astray?
While epistemology has traditionally focused on individual knowers, the field has recently taken an interpersonal turn, examining new questions concerning the social dimensions of knowledge. The course will cover some of this new work in social epistemology in addition to classics in individual epistemology.