Questions of Philosophy of Knowledge - 2nd semester


To enhance the understanding of the philosophy of knowledge’s problems; To get information concerning the main guidelines of some of the contemporary epistemological theories; To compare recent problematics with traditional topics related to the field; To conceive a consistent answer to the philosophical question concerning the nature and the possibility of knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Carlos Venturinha


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





COLIVA, A. (2010). Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty and Common Sense. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. MOYAL-SHARROCK, D. (2004). Understanding Wittgenstein´s On Certainty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. PRITCHARD, D. (2016). Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of our Believing. Princeton: Princeton University Press. WILLIAMS, M. (2018). Wittgenstein and Skepticism: Illusory Doubts. In D. E. Machuca and B. Reed (Eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present (pp. 481–505). London: Bloomsbury. WITTGENSTEIN, L. (1969, 1974). Über Gewissheit / On Certainty. Oxford: Blackwell; (1990). Da Certeza. Lisboa: Edições 70.

Teaching method

The method adopted for the class combines readings and commentaries of texts in seminar along with discussion of student papers.

Evaluation method

Besides a descriptive memory of the seminar (60%), each student is required to write a review of a contemporary article or book chapter, to be chosen from a list of papers selected by the teacher, that will be presented and discussed in class (40%).

Subject matter

Wittgenstein´s On Certainty Fifty years after its publication, On Certainty is unanimously regarded as one of Wittgenstein’s most important texts along with the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations. Some leading commentators have gone so far as to claim that the usual distinction between \"early\" and \"later\" Wittgenstein does not take into account that there is a \"third\" Wittgenstein whose views are expressed in that last work. After discussing Moore´s influence upon On Certainty, the seminar concentrates on key themes explored in this text, such as assumption, belief, certainty, context, doubt, evidence, existence, experience, grammar, groundlessness, hinges, infallibility, knowledge, language-games, logic, meaning, practice, presupposition, reliability, rules, scepticism, system and truth. Interpretations of On Certainty from authors such as Coliva, Moyal-Sharrock, Pritchard and Williams will also be considered, and the idea of a \"hinge epistemology\" will be examined.