Courses Catalogue

Philosophy Of Knowledge

COURSE CODE: CCC9102
COURSE CREDIT UNIT: 4
ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science, PhD
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Core
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course unit introduces the doctoral student to the nature and scope of knowledge. The aim is to expand the PhD students’ academic and practical comprehension of the concepts of science, knowledge and research; acquaint the students with the philosophical principles underpinning the quantitative and qualitative approaches in research; enhance the students’ awareness about ethical conflicts in relation to research; and provide a forum for each student to discuss, and improve their own research ideas, concepts and proposals. The course will throw light on the characteristics and relationship of modern philosophy and modern science. Then, the question of what constitutes science will be explored and delved into through elucidation of the scientific method in the light of the empirical and experimental philosophy. Modern scientific investigation is inseparable from the scientific method, and modern philosophy strongly gives credence to it. It will be shown that the method in question rests upon metaphysical, epistemological and axiological presumptions or beliefs.

COURSE JUSTIFICATION/RATIONALE

This course will expose philosophy of knowledge to several core texts with significant philosophical figures and thoughts, building on exposure to these ideas and figures in lower-level courses such as Introduction to Philosophy.  Five key epistemological frameworks will be reviewed, including: rationalism, empiricism, perspectivalism/postmodernism, pragmatism, and feminism. This course has been designed to help doctoral students develop a number of skills important to the practice of philosophy, including: critical thinking and reading skills, skills in argumentation and analytical processes of interpretation, skills to write effectively about philosophy and other subjects. Emphasis is placed upon the complex relations of philosophy to the development of modern science, the social and political history of man's continuing attempt to achieve a satisfactory worldview. The fundamentals of modern philosophy from Renaissance to present including the works by Descartes, Hume, Kant, and others.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Distinguish and relate how philosophers and scientists think and act
  • trace and systematize the salient trends of the scientific revolution along modern philosophical directions
  • Explain what constitutes science in terms of knowledge (facts, principles, theories and laws), methods, criteria of truth and attitude
  • Identify and discuss the essentials of the scientific method in the light of major trends in modern philosophy.
  • Explore the metaphysical, epistemological and axiological justification in regard to the postulates underlying application of the scientific method.
  • Examine the functions of philosophy in the domain of science
  • consider critically the role of philosophy in relation to the rising status of empirical investigation of modern science.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

A student completing the course is expected to:

  • Describe different philosophical and scientific thought.
  • Present trends of scientific revolution along modern philosophical directions
  • Explain scientific facts, principles, theories, laws, methods and criteria of truth and attitude
  • Apply the essentials of scientific method in modern philosophy.
  • Explore the metaphysical, epistemological and axiological justification in regard to the postulates underlying application of the scientific method.
  • Examine the functions of philosophy in the domain of science
  • Appreciate the role of philosophy in relation to the rising status of empirical investigation of modern science.
  • Apply philosophical principles underpinning the quantitative and qualitative approaches in research