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Unit information: Knowledge and Reality in 2021/22

Unit name Knowledge and Reality
Unit code PHIL10034
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Karim Thebault
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will introduce students to some of the central issues and arguments in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology and to some of the key tools used in contemporary analytic philosophy. Topics covered may include universals, causation, modality, the analysis of knowledge, contextualism, ontological commitment, vagueness, supervenience and reduction, and the analysis of definite descriptions.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the key issues and arguments in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology,
  2. Demonstrate an ability to engage critically with these issues and arguments,
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with some key literature on these issues and arguments and to engage critically with this literature,
  4. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the key tools used in contemporary analytic philosophy and be able to deploy these themselves,
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with others to analyse philosophical ideas and arguments, using the key tools of analytic philosophy, and to work together collaboratively as a group to produce a written report upon the relevant ideas and arguments.

Teaching details

Lectures, small group work, individual exercises, seminars and virtual learning environment.

Assessment Details

Summative: take home open book exam - 100% [designed to test ILOs 1-4.] + Formative: collaborative digital report giving a clear and effective summary and explanation of issues and ideas covered in the unit. {Designed to test ILOs 1-5.]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHIL10034).