Philosophy - What Can We Know

Ref: C2343789

The course will cover : the meaning of “I don’t know”; influential philosophical theories of knowledge – scepticism, realism, phenomenalism, idealism; knowledge as “justified true belief”; Popper and falsifiability; types of knowledge : from experience; abstract; knowledge as pattern or habit; practical knowledge; wisdom; the limits of (human) knowledge – social limits to knowledge (e.g. Sandra Harding) and structural limitations to human knowledge (e.g. logical – the problem of self-referential systems).

Course aim

Most people have asked themselves what we can really know. This course introduces students to key philosophical debates about what we can know and gives them the opportunity to practice and refine their thinking and debating skills.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain at least two different meanings of ‘knowledge’
  • give examples of at least two different types of knowledge
  • give an outline of at least two different philosophical theories of knowledge
  • state which arguments regarding what we can know you find more and less convincing – one each, with reasons for your view
  • give an account of an insight gained or a view or judgement better expressed or expressed differently as a result of the course

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • not expected before the start of the course, but you may want to have a look at : B Dupre, 50 Philosophy Ideas you really need to know (Quercus) chapters 1 – 6, 33 N Fearn, Philosophy. The latest answers to the oldest questions ((Atlantic Books 2005), ch 5 a 10

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/

Download full course information sheet

Philosophy - What Can We Know

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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