Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Virtue Epistemology PGT PHIL5102

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will survey and critically engage with a range of topics in contemporary virtue epistemology. Virtue epistemology is a popular and flourishing area in contemporary epistemology (roughly: the theory of knowledge) that gives intellectual virtues an important theoretical role.


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

PHIL4019- Virtue Epistemology (Hons)


2 Essays (2500 words each) - 100%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide students with the opportunity to gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of debates in virtue epistemology, including cutting-edge debates about virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism.

■ Explore the place of intellectual virtues within epistemology.

■ Allow students to develop analytical and critical skills, by considering key arguments and positions, and formulating their own

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Categorise and differentiate between key concepts that feature in contemporary debates about virtue epistemology.

■ Explain the reasoning the features in arguments for a virtue theoretic account of knowledge.

■ Formulate key challenges that face particular approaches and viewpoints in the virtue responsibilist and virtue reliabilist traditions.

■ Construct and evaluate arguments for and against specific theses in virtue epistemology.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.