The following courses are being offered this year. For a full listing of philosophy courses, please consult the academic calendar


 

Courses in Fall Term 2018  

PHIL 1611: Self, Society, and Freedom (3 credits)
Instructor: J. Dryden
This course investigates ideas about the self in the western philosophical tradition, including work in contemporary philosophy. Issues may include freedom and responsibility, otherness, the relationship between mind and body, the relationship between humans and animals, the impact of trauma, suffering or oppression on self- identity, and the existence or non-existence of the soul.
(Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1611 previously offered with a different title.

PHIL 1621: Reason, Will, and World (3 credits)
Instructor: R. Moser
This course introduces the study of philosophy by looking at some major thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition as well as the fundamental and enduring questions they raise about human beings and the world. Specific topics may include the nature of knowledge, desire, goodness, human flourishing, and free will. Students explore these themes to discover the relations between reason, the will, and the world. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1991 previously offered with the title ‘The Story of Reason’.

PHIL 2511: Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (3 credits)
Instructor: M. Fedyk
This course explores competing philosophical explanations of scientific theory and practice. Based on historical and contemporary cases, it compares philosophical theories including logical positivism, scientific realism, scientific pluralism, sociology of scientific knowledge, and the most recent critiques from social constructivism and feminism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: Three credits from Humanities 1600 Series; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 2701: Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
Instructor: R. Majithia
An introduction to the history and philosophical problems of ethics in the western tradition. This will acquaint the student with a number of received traditions based on metaphysical, religious, rational, and pragmatic grounds, as well as introduce certain fundamental perennial problems of moral decision-making. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: Three credits from Humanities 1600 Series; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 3000F: Ancient Philosophy (6 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Majithia
This course examines the philosophical developments in the Ancient era within the thought of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. Topics may include themes from metaphysics, epistemology, moral and political philosophy and aesthetics.
(Format: Lecture 3 Hours.)
Prereq: 3 credits from PHIL; 3 credits from PHIL at the 2000 level excluding PHIL 2611; or permission of the Department
Note: PHIL 3000 is a 6-credit course that lasts two semesters; you need to take both.

PHIL 3351: Phenomenology & Existentialism (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. J. Dryden
This course introduces phenomenology and existentialism from the nineteenth century to the present. Existentialism encompasses a range of philosophies concerned with themes of freedom, anxiety, responsibility, and authentic living. Phenomenology is a philosophical methodology aiming to describe and understand the complex layers of our experience, including how memory, history, and community shape our perceptions. This course may include nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors such as Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Franz Fanon, and other more recent thinkers. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: PHIL 3991 Phenomenology and Existentialism
Prereq: 3 credits from PHIL; 3 credits from PHIL at the 2000 level excluding PHIL 2611; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 3731: Philosophy of Law (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Moser
This course introduces central issues in the philosophy of law. Topics may include the relation of law and morality, the rule of law in relation to coercion and liberty, the nature of judicial decision-making, the origin and justification of legal systems, and theories of the nature and function of law from the competing claims of legal positivism, formalism, and realism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: 3 credits from PHIL at the 2000 level; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 4521: Scientific Models (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. M. Fedyk
This course is about the use of scientific models in scientific research.  After studying several real-world cases of doing science by constructing, evaluating, tweaking, and critiquing scientific models, we will dig into a number of deeper philosophical questions about what it means for models to be essential to scientific research.  We will, in particular, look at questions and debates about scientific objectivity, truth and approximation, and the role that pictures, charts, and other visual aids play in helping us represent different parts of nature. (Format: Seminar 3 hours)
Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.
Note 2: Students may register for PHIL 4521 more than once, provided that the subject matter differs.

 Courses in Winter Term 2019 

PHIL 1601: Plato’s Republic (3 credits)
Instructor: R. Majithia
This course consists of a discussion of fundamental philosophical issues presented in Plato's Republic, such as the nature of morality, selfhood, God, reality, and knowledge. It may also use non-western sources to illuminate and evaluate central presuppositions and preoccupations of the western philosophical tradition that persist today. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1601 previously offered with a different title.

PHIL 2301: Intro to Feminist Philosophy (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. J. Dryden
This course provides an overview and introduction to the critique of traditional philosophy undertaken by feminist philosophers who argue that philosophy, along with other human endeavours, is shaped by the prejudices and assumptions of its practitioners. They do not reject philosophy as a discipline but explore new ways of doing philosophy. The aim of this course is to explore these new approaches in order to examine how feminist philosophers have combined the tools and methods of philosophy with their insights and values. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 2991 previously offered with this title.
Prereq: 3 credits from Humanities 1600 Series; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 2611: Intro to Logic (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Moser
This course introduces the study of logic, examining the basic structure of arguments, common reasoning fallacies, truth tables, and propositional logic. Further topics may include an introduction to quantification theory, syllogistic reasoning, Venn diagrams, Mill's methods, and issues central to inductive and deductive reasoning. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Natural Science-a)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 2611 previously offered with a different title; PHIL 2621.

PHIL 3000W: Ancient Philosophy (6 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Majithia
This course examines the philosophical developments in the Ancient era within the thought of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. Topics may include themes from metaphysics, epistemology, moral and political philosophy and aesthetics.
(Format: Lecture 3 Hours.)
Prereq: 3 credits from PHIL; 3 credits from PHIL at the 2000 level excluding PHIL 2611; or permission of the Department
Note: PHIL 3000 is a 6-credit course that lasts two semesters; you need to take both.

PHIL 3101: Mediaeval Philosophy (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Moser
This course examines themes and developments in the mediaeval monotheistic tradition of philosophy (ca. 350-1400 CE). The enduring philosophical topics discussed may include knowledge of God, universals, the nature of the human person, freedom of the will, the scope of philosophy, and the relationship between faith and reason. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

PHIL 3221: Modern Philosophy: The Rationalist Tradition (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Majithia
This course investigates the thought of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, the leading seventeenth-century continental thinkers who formulated the great a priori systems. The capacity and function of human reason fully to understand the world is a theme common to these thinkers; it constitutes one of the major concerns of the course, a concern balanced by investigation of why these systems have reached such diverse answers to the substantive issues of how the world is to be understood. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: 3 credits from PHIL; 3 credits from PHIL at the 2000 level excluding PHIL 2611; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 3711: Biomedical Ethics (3 credits)
Instructor:  Dr. J. Dryden
This course will consist of the examination of a number of contemporary issues, such as gene therapy, abortion, reproductive technologies, euthanasia, HIV testing and confidentiality, organ retrieval and advanced directives. In a framework of health, we will discuss larger philosophical questions such as: the possibility of assigning and comparing values, the nature of the human self, the possibilities of agency and responsibility, duties to society, gender and health, the meanings of technology, and social justice. While the focus of this course is not on ethical theory, we will make use of classical moral theories and principles to frame our analyses. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq:  Philosophy 2701; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 4211: Philosophy of Bodies (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. J. Dryden
This course will explore the ways in which bodies have been included and excluded from Western philosophy. The course will cover issues such as: the perceived hierarchy between mind and body in the history of Western philosophy; the idea of normal vs. abnormal bodies; the connection between our bodies and their environment, including microorganisms; and food politics. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)
Prereq: Permission of the Department.