Issues in the Philosophy of Knowledge


Reflect on issues pertaining to the philosophy of knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of them.
Gain information on the main tenets of some of the contemporary epistemological theories.
Focus on current problems alongside the traditional topics of the philosophy of knowledge.
Equate and formulate a thoughtful and coherent answer to the philosophical question about the nature and possibility of knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Carlos da Silva Carvalho Costa Venturinha


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





COLIVA, A. (2010) Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty and Common Sense. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
– (2015) Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
COLIVA, A.; MOYAL-SHARROCK, D., eds. (2016) Hinge Epistemology. Leiden: Brill.
MOYAL-SHARROCK, D. (2004) Understanding Wittgenstein's On Certainty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
PRITCHARD, D. (2012) Wittgenstein and the Groundlessness of our Believing. Synthese 189: 255-272.
– (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, 481-505. Londres: Bloomsbury.
– (2020) The Indispensability of Knowledge. Philosophia 48(5): 1691-1697.
WITTGENSTEIN, L. (1984) Über Gewissheit: Werkausgabe, vol. 8, 113-257. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp; (1990) Da Certeza. Lisboa: Edições 70.

Teaching method

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

Evaluation method

Besides a written summary 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

A Commentary on Wittgenstein's On Certainty

On Certainty is unanimously regarded as one of Wittgenstein’s most important texts along with the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations. Some 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 the author’s 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.