Knowledge: An Introduction to Epistemology

Course summary

Knowledge: An Introduction to Epistemology


The claim that knowledge cannot be false always attracts objections. “Surely people used to know that the Earth was flat?”, people will say “But that was false”. But no, people once falsely believed they knew the Earth was flat. They didn’t, and couldn’t, KNOW it – and that is because if a belief counts as knowledge it must be true. This course will introduce you to Epistemology – the Theory of Knowledge. What is knowledge? Why is knowledge important? What different kinds of knowledge are there? Can we achieve knowledge? If we can achieve knowledge how can we achieve it? Knowledge is one of the most important goods that human beings can achieve – come to these lectures and discover why this is the case.

Programme details




Tea/coffee is provided in the Common Room after each lecture, from 3.30pm

1.45pm Registration (first week only 9 October in Rewley House Reception)


9 Oct 2017      What is knowledge?                 


16 Oct 2017     Justification           


23 oct 2017     Different types of knowledge (one)


30 oct 2017    Different types of knowledge (two)


6 nov 2017       The value of knowledge


13 nov 2017     Scientific knowledge


Recommended reading



Nagel, J., Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction, (2014) Oxford University Press, ISBN-13:



Martin, R.M., Epistemology: A Beginner's Guide (2010) Oneworld Publications, ISBN-13:



Tuition (includes Tea/coffee): £110.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Ms Marianne Talbot

Course Tutor and Director of Studies

Marianne Talbot B.A., B.Phil., has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education since 2001. She has written several of Oxford’s popular short online courses on Philosophy, and her podcasts (notably on critical reasoning) have been downloaded over 5 million times. Marianne specialises in logic, ethics and the philosophy of mind. The topic of knowledge is her particular current interest.