Core Course: Knowledge in a Social World


Course Objective

Upon succesful completion of the course the student will
(1) be familiar with thecentral concepts and theories in social
(2) be able to point out in considerable detail a number of ways in
which knowledge, and the practice of knowledge acquisition, is social in
(2) have formed an informed view as to how to evaluate the epistemic
value of such open sources as Wikipedia
(3) have formed an informed view as to the epistemic properties of

Course Content

Epistemology is traditionally focussed on the individual knower. Over
the last two decades or so, epistemologists have started to focus on the
social dimensions of knowing. This course is about these social
dimensions of knowing.
Upon succeful completion of the course, the student will (1) have
studied a number of key texts in social epistemology, and familiarized
him/herself with a number of key players in the field, (2) have
identified areas of interest for future research.
Themes and topics covered in the course include: (1) group knowledge,
(2) the nature and role of testimony in the acquisition and social
spread of knowledge, (3) the technology and economics of communication,
(4) speech regulation, (5) science as a social endeavor, (6) the law as
a social epistemic practice, (7) education as a social epistemic
practice, (8) peer disagreement.

Teaching Methods

The course includes lectures, student presentations, and discussions.

Method of Assessment

Students write three smaller writing assignments, and a final paper.


* Alvin Goldman, Knowledge in a Social World. (Oxford University Press,
1999) ISBN 0-19-823820-7
* Alvin Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology. Essential
Readings. (Oxford University Press) ISBN 978-0-19-533461-6

General Information

Course Code W_AAMPHUP002
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. R. van Woudenberg
Examiner prof. dr. R. van Woudenberg
Teaching Staff prof. dr. R. van Woudenberg

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar