Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3100: Knowledge and History: Theories of Scientific Change

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Staffan Muller-Wille (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


Epistemology, the philosophical theory of knowledge and how it is acquired.  This module will introduce you to some major trends of twentieth-century epistemology. Rapid progress in the sciences has confronted epistemology with a fundamental problem: How can it accommodate its traditional task of describing conditions for acquiring 'true' knowledge while the sciences continually progress? The module will acquaint you with some prominent answers to this problem (positivism, sociology of knowledge, historical epistemology). It will present a perspective on epistemology that overcomes the existing divides between analytical and continental philosophy.  You will require basic skills in the formal analysis of arguments as learned at a previous level to succeed in this module.  It will build on knowledge from PHL1005A ‘Evidence and Argument’ the pre-requisite to this module. The module is suitable for philosophy students with an interest in the philosophy of science, but will also appeal to students from other disciplines with an interest in the social and cultural history of science.

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