> Liz, Manuel

Course Objectives

This course aims to provide a broad overview of the central problems of epistemology

Specific Objectives

  1. To understand and use properly use basic concepts that articulate epistemological discussions.
  2. To acquire a satisfactory knowledge of the topics, authors and most important issues in contemporary epistemology.
  3. To encourage a critical and reasoned reflection of the problems addressed.


We will begin (Item 1) introducing the basic concepts and traditional problems of epistemology. The emphasis will be made on its relations with other disciplines, both philosophical and non-philosophical. From this basis, we will address in more detail three major areas: skepticism and relativism (Item 2), the naturalization of epistemology (Item 3), and the connection between belief, content, and normativity (Item 4). Finally, we will get into some of the most passionate discussions of current epistemology.

1. Introduction

  • Epistemology as a philosophical discipline and its relationship with other disciplines
  • Epistemological notions
  • Epistemological problems
  • Theories of knowledge and justification

2. Skepticism and relativism

  • Varieties of skepticism
  • Epistemological relativism
  • Relativism and pluralism

3. The naturalization of epistemology

  • Quine and his critics
  • Proposals of naturalization
  • Epistemology and cognitive sciences

4. Belief, content and normativity

  • The concept of belief
  • The space of reasons
  • Rules and normativity

Bibliografía básica y complementaria

ACERO, J., L. FLORES y A. FLÓREZ (eds.) 2003, Viejos y nuevos pensamientos. Ensayos sobre la filosofía de Wittgenstein, Granada, Comares.

BERNECKER, S. y F. DRETSKE (eds.), 2000, Knowledge. Readings in contemporary epistemology, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press.

BOGHOSSIAN, P., 2008, Content & Justification, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press. BRANDOM, R., 1994, Making It Explicit, Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press [Hacerlo explícito, México, Herder, 2009].

BRONCANO, F., 2001, Saber en condiciones. Epistemología para escépticos y materialistas, Madrid, Machado.

CALLEBAUT, W., 1995, Taking the Naturalistic Turn, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

CHISHOLM, R., 1977, Theory of Knowledge, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall [Teoría del conocimiento, Madrid, Tecnos, 1977]

CHURCHLAND, Patricia, 1986, Neurophilosophy. toward a Unified Undestending of the Mind-Brain, Cambridge, MIT Press.

CHURCHLAND, Paul, 1989, A Neurocomputational Perspective. The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

---------- 2007, Neurophilosophy at Work, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.

DAVIDSON, D., 2001, Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press [Subjetivo, intersubjetivo, objetivo, Madrid, Cátedra, 2003].

DANCY, J., 1993, Introducción a la epistemología contemporánea, Madrid, Tecnos.

DANCY, J. y E. SOSA, 1992, A Companion to Epistemology, Oxford, Blackwell.

DENNETT, D., 1987, The Intentional Stance, Cambridge, MIT Press [La actitud intencional, Barcelona, Gedisa, 1992].

---------- 1990, “The Interpretation of Texts, People, and Other Artifacts”, Philosophy ad Phenomenological Research, 50, pp.177-94.

---------- 1996, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Evolution and the Meanings of Life, London, Penguin.

DIÉGUEZ, A., 2002, “Realismo y epistemología evolucionista de los mecanismos cognitivos”, Crítica (México), vol. 34, nº 102, pp. 3-28. ---------- 2003, “Qué es la epistemología evolucionista?”, Teleskop, vol. 1, nº 3, pp. 18-25,.

DRETSKE, F., 1981, Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Cambridge, MIT Press [Conocimiento e información, Barcelona, Salvat, 1987].

FELDMAN, R., 2001, “Naturalized Epistemology”, en Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, E. N. Zalta (ed.).

FODOR, J. 1975, The Language of Thought, Sussex, Harvester [El lenguaje del pensamiento, Madrid, Alianza, 1975].

---------- 1983, The Modularity of Mind, Cambridge, MIT Press [La modularidad de la mente, Madrid, Morata, 1986]

---------- 1990, A Theory of Content and Other Essays, Cambridge, MIT Press.

---------- 2000, The Mind Doesn’t Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology, [La mente no funciona así, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 2003]

FRÁPOLLI, M. J., y J. NICOLÁS (eds.), 1997, Teorías de la verdad en el siglo XX, Madrid, Tecnos.

GARVER, N. y R. HARE (eds.), 1986, Naturalism and Rationality, Nueva York, Prometeus Books.

GIERE, R., 1988, Explaining Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

GOLDMAN, A., 1986, Epistemology and Cognition, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

KORNBLITH, H., 1994, Naturalizing Epistemology, 2ª ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

KRIPKE, S., 1988, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press [Wittgenstein: Reglas y lenguaje privado, México, Univ.

Autónoma de México].

LIZ, M., 2003, Justificar y explicar, La Laguna, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Univ. de La Laguna.

---------- (ed.) 2009, Realidad sin velos, Barcelona, Laertes.

---------- (ed.) 2013, Puntos de vista. Una investigación filosófica, Barcelona,


McDOWELL, J., 1994, Mind and World, Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press [Mente y mundo, Salamanca, Sígueme, 2003]

MARRADES, J. y N. SÁNCHEZ (eds.), 1994, Mirar con cuidado. Filosofía y escepticismo, Valencia, Pre-Textos.

MARTIN, L. (ed.), 1998, Epistemology: The Big Questions, Oxford, Blackwell. MARTÍNEZ FREIRE, P., 1995, “El impacto de las ciencias cognitivas en la

filosofía del conocimiento”, en P. Martínez Freire (ed.), Filosofía y ciencias cognitivas, suplemento nº 3 de Philosophica Malacitana, Málaga: Universidad

de Málaga, pp. 51-66.

MOYA, C., 2008, Sentido y sin sentido. Wittgenstein y la crítica del lenguaje, Valencia, Pre-Textos.

NAGEL, T., 1997, The Last Word, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press [La última palabra, Barcelona, Gedisa, 2001].

NICOLÁS, J. y M. J. FRÁPOLLI (eds.), 1998, Verdad y experiencia, Granada, Comares.

NOZICK, R., 1981, Philosophical Explanations, Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press. PACHO, J., 1995, ¿Naturalizar la razón? Alcance y límites del naturalismo evolucionista, Madrid: Siglo XXI.

PAPINEAU, D., 1993, Philosophical Naturalism, Oxford, Blackwell.

PUTNAM, H., 1981, Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press [Razón, verdad e historia, Madrid, Tecnos, 1988]. ---------- 1982, “Why reason can’t be naturalized”, Synthese, 51.

QUESADA, D., 1998, Saber, opinión y ciencia, Barcelona, Ariel. ---------- (ed.), 2009, Cuestiones de Teoría del Conocimiento, Madrid, Tecnos.

QUINE, W., 1969, “Epistemology Naturalized”, en Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, Nueva York, Columbia Univ. Press, 1969 [La relatividad

ontológica y otros ensayos, Madrid, Tecnos, 1986].

ROSENBERG, J., 2007, Wilfrid Sellars: Fusing the Images, Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press.

SCHARP, K. y R. BRANDOM (eds.), 2007, In the Space of Reasons, Cambridge, Havard Univ. Press.

SELLARS, W., 1956, “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”, reeditado en forma de libro con ese mismo título, acompañado por una introducción de R.

Rorty y un estudio crítico de R. Brandom, en Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press, 1997.

SOSA, E., 1991, Knowledge in Perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press. ---------- 2010, La epistemología de virtudes, Oviedo, KrK (Cuadernos de


STICH, S., 1983, From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science, Cambridge MIT Press. ---------- 1990, The Fragmentation of Reason, Cambridge, MIT Press.

STICH, S. y R. NISBETT, 1980, “Justification and the Psychology of Human Reasoning”, Philosophy of Science, 47.

STROUD, B., 1984, The Significance of Philosophical Skepticism, Oxford, Clarendon Press [El escepticismo filosófico y su significación, México, FCE, 2007].

THAGARD, P. 1988, Computational Philosophy of Science, Cambridge, Mass.:The MIT Press.

---------- 2005, Mind. Introduction to Cognitive Science, Cambridge, Bradford Books [La mente, Madrid, Katz editores, 2008].

VILLORO, L. (ed.), 1999, El conocimiento, Madrid, Trotta.

deVRIES, W. y T. TRIPLETT, 2000, Knowledge, Mind, and the Given. Reading Wilfrid Sellars’s “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”, Indianapolis, Hackett.

WILLIAMS, B., 1978, Descartes: The Project of Pure Inquiry, Londres, Penguin [Descartes: el proyecto de la investigación pura, Madrid, Cátedra, 1996].


Basic skills

BS6. To have a strong knowledge base that allows them to innovate in the development and/or implementation of ideas, especially for research purposes.

BS7. The ability to apply the knowledge they have acquired and their ability to solve problems in new or little known areas within wider (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.

BS8. The ability to integrate knowledge and deal with the complexities of forming opinions based on incomplete or limited information, including reflections on social responsibilities and ethics.

BS9. The ability to clearly and unambiguously communicate conclusions and the knowledge and reasons behind them to specialized and non-specialized audiences.

BS10. Learning skills to carry out further studies and research in a self-directed and autonomous way.

General skills

GS1. Students should be able to produce readable, detailed and technically correct documents and research work that meets the current international standards for the disciplines.

Specific skills

SS1. The ability to identify traditional and current knowledge specific to the field of logic and philosophy of science, as well as the different trends of thought and tradition involved.

SS2. Mastery of the analytical tools provided by philosophy to facilitate the clear identification of the semantic, logical, epistemological, ontological, axiological and ethical factors that are present in science and technology.

SS3. The ability to assess disputes, considering and overviewing alternatives to decide upon the better justified and reasoned parts.

SS4. To be able to identify arguments as they appear in texts, dialogues and discussions, assessing their accuracy, acceptability and persuasiveness.

Teaching Methodology

Theoretical contents

  • They will occupy 10 hours.
  • The contents of the syllabus will be explained.
  • Linked to activities with papers and books


  • Attendance during the days of the lectures.
  • Virtual tutorials on specific timetable: 15 hours.
  • Virtual assistance to full availability via e-mail.

Guided work

  • A little paper must be written on some of the issues and problems addressed.
  • This work will be guided personalized and will usually be necessary to elaborate the contents several times.

Assessment System

  • Test or paper: 50%
  • Attendance and participation in classroom activities and follow-up course work: 50%

Study time and individual work

  • Total hours: 125hours
  • Total on-site lessons: 10hours
  • Total on-site theoretical lessons: 10hours
  • Total hours individual work: 115 hourshours
  • Tutorials: 10hours
  • Tasks to be done along the semester: 73hours
  • Final exam or final essay supervised by the teacher: 32hours

The headquarter for 2017-2018 is the University of Valladolid

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