The Theory of Knowledge: A Coursebook

By Clare Hay

A guide to epistemology for undergraduate and AS/Baccalaureate level, revealing links between the development of modern science and the theory of knowledge.

ISBN: 9780718830885


A comprehensive introduction to the theory of knowledge; this is a story of what it is to be a rational, sentient human being blessed with a mind, confronted with a complex world.

Dr Clare Hay approaches this first book on the theory of knowledge as an introduction to the subject, building it up around the debate between rationalism and empiricism, between the thinking of knowledge as a product of thinking about the contents of our own minds, and the knowledge as a product of our interactions with the world around us.

Written for the general reader, it is an excellent starting point for undergraduate and A/AS Level study. Structured around a central narrative thread, it also contains further reading and question sections, with worked exam questions, hints and guidance on the AQA exam.

This book will be followed by the publication of The Theory of Knowledge and the Rise of Modern Science, a more sophisticated approach to the subject with an emphasis on the interactions between Science and Philosophy from the 17th century to date.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 132

Trade Information EDPOD

About the Author

Dr Clare Hay has an interest in the Philosophy of Logic and Language, the History of Modern Philosophy and the History and Philosophy of Science. She is currently writing a series of books on the Theory of Knowledge to be published by The Lutterworth Press.



1. Empiricism and Rationalism
    Plato’s Meno
    Causation and the Laws of Nature
    Beginning at the Beginning
    Ideas of sensation and reflection, and concepts
    Cause and Necessity
  Further Reading

2. Knowledge and Justification
  Foundationalism and Coherentism
    Foundationalism and Empiricism
    Objections to Foundationalism
    Objections to Coherentism
  Induction and Deduction
  Truth, Belief, and Justification
    The Gettier Puzzle: Problems with the Tripartite Definition
    Two Accounts of Truth
  Non-Justificatory Approaches to Knowledge
    (1) Reliabilism
    (2) Internalism and Externalism
  The Story So Far
  Further Reading

3. Knowledge and Scepticism
  Two Forms of Scepticism
  Descartes and the Method of Doubt – the Meditations
    Arguments from Illusion, Deception, and Dreaming
    “Cogito, ergo sum”; the cogito
  Reason as the Source of our Conceptual Apparatus
  Empiricism and Scepticism
  Is Global Scepticism Possible?
  My Knowledge of My Self
  Further Reading

4. Knowledge of the External World
  Naive Realism
  Experience as a Source of Concepts
  Representative Realism
  Further Reading