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|PHL 202 - Theories of Knowledge|
Learning Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to: 1. Apply analytical skills to social phenomena in order to understand human behavior. Analyze the nature of knowledge, how it differs from mere opinion, and whether knowledge comes primarily through the senses, reason, intuition or revelation. 2. Apply knowledge and experience to foster personal growth and better appreciate the diverse social world in which we live. Examine their own beliefs in the light of various theories of justification. Apply epistemological concepts to religion, morality and politics. 3. Understand the role of individuals and institutions within the context of society. Students grapple with the role of subjectivity in knowing and consider whether truth and knowledge are relative to the individual or society or whether it is objective in nature. 4. Assess different theories and concepts, and understand the distinctions between empirical and other methods of inquiry. Students study and evaluate different theories of knowledge, including rationalism, empiricism, Kantian epistemology, pragmatism and existentialism. 5. Utilize appropriate information literacy skills in written and oral communication. Students write forum posts and critical papers analyzing primary source materials and/or advancing an epistemological thesis. Students participate in rigorous guided class discussions about fundamental issues regarding knowledge. 6. Understand the diversity of human experience and thought, individually and collectively. Students survey a diversity of theories about knowledge and compare and contrast them throughout the term. 7. Apply knowledge and skills to contemporary problems and issues. Students apply epistemological concepts to questions about bias in American higher education and mass media.
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