Modes of Reasoning - LART3310

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


One of the impediments to communication between different academic disciplines is their use of different ways of making, and validating, arguments and proofs. These differences are the product of diverging approaches to answering a single question: what counts as knowledge? A key element of the programme in Liberal Arts is enabling students to understand, appreciate and assimilate findings from diverse academic approaches. This module introduces students to the ways in which different academic disciplines conceptualise the nature of knowledge. Through a range of lectures, seminars and workshops the course will introduce the students to a range of ways that 'truth' is established across the sciences, social sciences and humanities by way of several key theoretical approaches that span these disciplines.
These questions will be introduced through a number of case studies in which several contemporary issues will be analysed from the perspective of different disciplines across several weeks.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 130
Total study hours: 150


Available as an elective module

Method of assessment

• Three Moodle quizzes (30%)
• Essay of 2,500 words (70%)

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework reassessment

Indicative reading

Pritchard, Duncan (2013). What Is This Thing Called Knowledge? London: Routledge.
Oreskes, Naomi (2004). The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We're Not Wrong? In A. Lloyd E., Winsberg E. (eds) Climate Modelling, pp. 31-64. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Popper, Karl (2002). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Routledge.
Healy, K. (2017). 'Fuck Nuance,’ Sociological Theory 35(2), pp. 118-127.
Harrington, A. (ed.) (2004) Modern Social Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Haraway, D. (1988). ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,’ Feminist Studies Vol. 14, No. 3: 575-599.
Harvey, D. (2013). The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing. New York: Hackett.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems related to their own areas of study and across a range of disciplines
interpret arguments, evidence and data; marshalling information from published sources; critical evaluation of own research and that of others
use technology to retrieve, analyse and present information
construct arguments across different intellectual contexts and disciplines
communicate across disciplines; mediate key ideas between disciplines; write persuasively
manage time and workload in order to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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