|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
This module will introduce students to the concept of knowledge – and to scientific knowledge in particular - as distinct from opinion, information, and constructs serving different human (personal, cultural, economic) interests. The aim is to show how knowledge emerges out of interactions between many different domains of inquiry and traditions, with a view to developing the capacity for discrimination between different forms of knowledge peculiar to the human condition of late modernity.
The possibility of objective knowledge. Deductive reasoning, divine and mathematical order, and the Pythagorian dream as a horizon of the Western notion of humanity. The Socratic subject. The Cosmos as a unity of a living organism. Aristotle's Cosmology and the foundation of logic and scientific method.
Truth and faith in revelation. The old and new testament. The city of God. The reformation.
Experimentation and ‘Theory’ (i.e. the abstract reason of mathematics, logic and philosophy). What brings together Pythagorians, Aristotle, Euclid, Monks, the ‘Copernican revolution’, and ‘knowledge workers’?
Seminars on e.g. Kepler’s horoscopes and elliptical orbits, on Galileo the arrogant heretic, on Descartes’ pyramid and on Newton's alchemy and universal laws of nature. Mechanical universe. Calculus. Absolute space, time, and reason. The independent observer, her consciousness and perception.
The Enlightenment and philosophy of the Rational Man. Cartesian doubt. Empiricism and philosophical liberalism. The industrial revolution. Liberation by reason.
Foundations of the modern theory of knowledge. Kant's critiques. Transcendental idealism. What can I know? How can a mortal like Newton "know" laws of nature? What is beauty and morality?
Seminars: e.g. on ‘Knowledge as Process’. Human endeavour as a social act. What is progress as process? Moderns are those who must generate norms out of themselves. Hegel’s dialectics and Marx’s concept of technology as the actuality of analytic rationality. Critical theory. Alienation and Ideology.
Limits of Newtonian Mechanical Universe. Fall of Newtonians absolutes. Riemann algebra and birth of quantitative analysis. Quantum conception of matter. Irreversibility of natural processes. Entropy and chaos. New understanding of time, space and causality. What is positivism? Kuhn's critique of naïve scientism and his theory of scientific revolutions. Summary of the state of play at the end of World War II.
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||40||1:00||40:00||Preparation and completion of assessment|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||14||1:00||14:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||10||1:00||10:00||Seminars|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||36||1:00||36:00||Review lecture material and prepare for small group teaching|
This module introduces central themes in knowledge studies and constitutes a background for PHI2002. Lectures provide students with a systematic account of milestones in the development of modern concepts of knowledge and its manifestations and echoes in key aspects of life (e.g. politics, art, science) from the Enlightenment to the 20th century. Students are given a structured reading list and lecture notes supported by control questions. These topics are developed further and discussed in seminars.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Essay||1||A||100||Essay - 2000 words|
The essays test the ability to think creatively, self-critically and independently as well as managing one’s own work to set time limits. This assessment method also gauges the students’ ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, and to cite relevant texts and interpret them adequately.
The assessment scheme which the students are given and explained at the start of the module shows clearly how the mark emerges out of expected competences and their link to specialist knowledge. The emphasis is on independent learning linked to the personal development plan grounded in the project scheme staged throughout V000. The student is expected to recognise key epistemological concepts of the modern era, be able to position them in the context chosen for the essay and as they are supported by the references to the primary and secondary literature or application niche.
Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.