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



Courses In Fall Term 2020

PHIL 1611: Self, Society, and Freedom (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. 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) (Distribution: Humanities-a)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1611 previously offered with a different title)

PHIL 2701: Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. 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 3631: Symbolic Logic (3 credits)
Instructor: R. Moser
This is a course in quantificational logic, concentrating on the nature of logic, methods of deduction, quantification theory, and the logic of relational statements. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: PHIL 2611; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 3991: Early Modern Utopias (3 credits)
Instructor: S. Kizuk
In this seminar-style (online) course, we will be approaching the topic of early modern political philosophy through a close reading of a handful of influential works in the so-called utopian genre, that is, works that give an account of a particular vision of the social good through the fictional artifice of an imaginary society. Though focused on the past, through these texts we will think about possibility in the early modern time period as well as in our own. We will be considering utopian writing from a literary and historical point of view, but our primary purpose will be to seek to learn what it has to offer for our understanding of the history of philosophical and political thought in early modern Europe, in particular emerging ideas about liberty, self-determination, religious tolerance, justice, and punishment. In addition, we will be interested in the role of utopian thinking in the cluster of ideas about the progress of knowledge, and about the reformation of the investigation of the natural world, that we associate with the so-called Scientific Revolution. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.]

PHIL 4111: Philosophy of Hope and Anger (3 credits)

Instructor: Dr. J. Dryden
This course explores the meaning, use, and importance of hope and anger in our personal lives as well as in social and political movements. Using contemporary texts and texts from the history of philosophy, we will examine distinctions that can help us to reason more carefully about the role of hope and anger. How do we know when our hope or anger are justified? How do they help us respond to injustice? Can hope or anger risk leading us into false assumptions or conclusions? The course will also provide an exploration of the concept of non-ideal theory: what should our ethics require of us given existing inequities and histories of oppression? (Online-only seminar) [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.]



Courses In Winter Term 2021

PHIL 1621: Reason, Will, and World (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. R. Moser


This course is an introduction to the study of philosophy that looks at some major thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition. We examine fundamental and enduring questions raised about human beings and the world. The specific topics to be discussed include the nature of the universe, human knowledge and desire, goodness and morality, the existence of a divine being, human flourishing and freewill, and the nature of philosophy. Students learn about and compose essays on these themes to discover the interconnections among theories of reason, will, and world.
(Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1991 previously offered with the title ‘The Story of Reason’.

PHIL 1651: The Changing Image of Nature (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. D. Inkpen
This course examines shifting and conflicting attitudes towards "Nature" which impact everything from how we can come to know about nature, scientifically, to ethical implications for how human beings relate to other natural beings. It uses readings from the history of western philosophy, especially from the early modern era, to assess the extent to which we have inherited these convictions or developed alternatives to them. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

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 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 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 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 3721: Environmental Ethics (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. D. Inkpen
After reviewing traditional attitudes toward the environment, this course will explore recent attempts to "apply" ethical analysis to such problems as pollution and conservation. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which problems of preservation challenge us to extend our traditional norms and values. To what extent, for example, does growing sensitivity to our natural environment require of us a new "environmental ethic" and oblige us to recognize "animal rights"? (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)
Prereq: PHIL 2701; or permission of the Department.

PHIL 4511: Philosophy of Mind (3 credits)

Instructor: Dr. D. Inkpen
This course studies the philosophical arguments that attempt to resolve the real nature of mental states vis à vis the physical states of the brain. Topics include how it is we have knowledge of our own sensations, beliefs, desires, and consciousness; how we gain knowledge of other minds; and the more general questions of how we should best proceed to resolve these issues. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)