lfilo1320  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h
Guay Alexandre;
Main themes
This course does not deal with special epistemology, which concerns the fundamentals of a specific type of knowledge (human or natural sciences), but with general epistemology, also known as the theory of knowledge. It will cover the heavily gnoseological thought processes (reasoning, judging, believing, etc.). We will highlight the obstacles to knowledge (doubt, error, sensorial or cognitive illusions, cognitive bias, theoretical load, etc.), as well as some of the means that are supposed to help overcome them. We will present and discuss the main historical epistemological movements (empiricism and rationalism, idealism and realism, the nature of truth, etc.), but also the more contemporary, and in some cases the more recent, positions (internalism and externalism, foundationalism and coherentism, evidence-based knowledge, social constructivism, etc.).

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 By the end of this course, students will have learned the basic concepts of philosophy's great theories of knowledge. They will understand how a debate can, reasonably and critically, claim to be valid. They will realise that there are many answers to the question 'what can I know?' In other words, what are the nature, methods and limits of knowledge?

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
1 - Introduction
2 - Sensible knowledge
3 - Sensation and perception
4 - Epistemological realism
5 - Knowledge = jsutified true belief?
6 - Concept and induction
7 - Epistemological antirealism
8 - A priori and a posteriori knowledge
9 - Truth
Teaching methods
This course will be mostly based on traditional lessons. The main method will be the systematic comparison between approaches and positions. Because of the diversity of authors and approaches studied, the students will prepare lessons by carefully reading the suggested materials. Participation during discussions in class will also be essential.
Evaluation methods
The evaluation consists of two elements: a personal essay on a text chosen from a list (50% of the final grade) and a written exam (50%).
During the second session, the evaluation consists of the same elements.
Online resources
Moodle web site.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Certificat universitaire en philosophie (fondements)

Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Bachelor in Philosophy

Minor in Philosophy