Philosophy 407    Theory of Knowledge

 Spring Semester 2010

Theodore Gracyk, Instructor

Monday and Wednesday, 1:30 to 2:45 pm
Minnesota State University Moorhead

Office Hours: Tuesdays, Noon to 4 pm, Wednesdays, 9 am to Noon, Thursdays, Noon to 2 pm and by appointment 

(218) 477-4089             Office Location: Bridges Hall 359B

Course Description:  (3 credits )
Study of basic problems of theory of knowledge (epistemology) and discussion of contemporary epistemological theories. Topics will include the analysis of knowledge, epistemic justification, foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, traditional versus naturalistic epistemology, and skepticism. Students should have taken at least two courses in philosophy or obtain the consent of the instructor.

This is an advanced undergraduate philosophy course. It will be conducted accordingly and students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

For more about my expectations, click here

Required Readings:

  • An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, Dan O'Brien (Polity, ISBN 13: 978-0745633176)
  • Theory of Knowledge COURSE PACKET, T. Gracyk (ed.)

Course Requirements in relation to course grade: 

Homework 10%
Class Presentation  20%
Midterm Exam  20%
Paper on a selected topic 20%
Final Exam 30%

The exams are open-book, open-notes. The midterm exam is a take-home exam. The final exam takes place at the officially scheduled time: 3:00 pm on May 7.

Homework assignments will be distributed in class, not online.

Paper Topic: Your paper can be on any topic covered in the course readings, but the topic requires pre-approval from the instructor. You must ask for approval by submitting a written statement of your thesis (what you are trying to prove in your paper) to the instructor no later than March 11. (In other words, before spring break.)  

Late work will be heavily penalized. For extensions on due dates, you must contact the instructor in advance of the due date.

Academic honesty is strictly enforced.


Monday, Jan. 11- First Class (no reading)
Wednesday, Jan 13 - O'Brien, PART I
Monday, Jan. 18 - HOLIDAY - NO CLASS
Wednesday, Jan. 20 - Course Packet, Plato's Theaetetus
Monday, Feb. 1 - O'Brien, Part II.3
Wednesday, Feb. 3 - Course Packet, Kant, and
O'Brien, Part IV.11
Monday, Feb. 8 - Course Packet, Descartes
Monday, Feb. 15 - O'Brien, Part II.4
Monday, Feb. 22 - O'Brien, Part II.5
Wednesday, Feb. 24 - Course Packet, Hume Section X
Monday, March 1 - Course Packet, Reid
Monday, March 8 - O'Brien, Part III.6
March 15-19 - Spring Break - No class
Monday, March 22 - O'Brien, Part III.7
Monday, March 29 - O'Brien, Part III.8
 Wednesday, March 31 - Course Packet, Hume Section IX
Monday, April 5 - HOLIDAY - No Classes
Monday, April 12 - O'Brien, Part IV.9
Monday, April 19 -  Course Packet, Russell
Wednesday, April  21 - O'Brien, Part IV.10
April 26 - May 1 - Class Presentations
May 4- Paper due
May 7, 3:00 pm - Final Exam

Notice of disability services 

The Minnesota State University of Moorhead is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education and employment and welcomes students with disabilities. We are prepared to to offer you a range of services to accommodate your needs. However, students must accept responsibility for initiating the request for services.

Students with disabilities who believe they may need an accommodation in this class are encouraged to contact Greg Toutges, Coordinator of Disability Services at 477-2131 (Voice) or 1-800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY), CMU 114 as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Do not discuss your needs with me, your instructor. Talk to Greg Toutges and he will contact me. For more information, click here.

Last updated Dec.12, 2009


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