Radical Skepticism, Reliability & Evidence: An Introduction to Epistemology

III. August 7–11, 2023
Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Jared Peterson

Course Description

This course introduces students to fundamental issues in the theory of knowledge. In this course we will critically address questions such as: (a) "What are the unique kinds of knowledge and what is the relationship between these kinds of knowledge?” (b)"Does knowledge require justification and if so, what does such justification consist in?” and (c) “What propositions can we know in light of powerful skeptical arguments?” We will investigate such questions by looking closely at how a number of epistemologists from a wide range of traditions have answered them. As we progress through issues directly related to epistemology, we will also see that these issues connect up with important issues in other areas of philosophy as well (e.g., metaphysics and moral philosophy).

We engage with such challenging questions by critically reading and writing about them, and in doing so we fine-tune our own positions concerning these issues. The broad objective of the course is to develop and refine students' critical reasoning and writing skills.

Other learning objectives include:

  • To acquire a richer understanding of and facility with the methodology that philosophers use to answer fundamental questions.
  • To develop an understanding of how issues concerning epistemology are of relevance to not only other areas of philosophy, but disciplines besides philosophy as well.
  • To accurately interpret a wide range of historically influential philosophers’ works on fundamental issues in epistemology, and in doing so sharpen our exegetical skills.
  • To critically assess, in a careful, charitable, and sophisticated manner, a number of challenging positions and arguments in philosophy of religion, and in doing so develop and refine our critical reasoning skills.


Jared Peterson

Jared Peterson holds a doctoral in philosophy (with a focus on epistemology and philosophy of mind) from Northwestern University. His current research is on issues of self-knowledge, or how we know our own minds, with an emphasis on how we know our attitudes. He taught philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside before joining the philosophy department of the State University of New York-Oswego in 2018.

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Specific course details such as topics, activities, hours, and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.