Course Descriptions

Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

PHIL: Philosophy

PHIL 111 (3) Introduction to Philosophy I
Introduction to outstanding philosophers and their systems. Ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. [3-0-0]
PHIL 120 (3) Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking
Tools for dealing with both everyday and more technical arguments and concepts. Analysis and resolution of confusions, ambiguities, and fallacies. This course is restricted to students with fewer than 90 credits. [3-0-0]
PHIL 121 (3) Introduction to Philosophy II
Introduction to outstanding philosophers and their systems. Theory of knowledge, logic, and contemporary philosophy. [3-0-0]
PHIL 125 (3) Introduction to Scientific Reasoning
Historical and logical analysis of various types of scientific hypotheses and the data that support or undermine them. This course is restricted to students with fewer than 90 credits. [3-0-0]
PHIL 210 (3) Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Introduction to philosophical issues concerning society, its fundamental institutions, and their nature. Lectures will also address philosophical questions concerning legal reasoning. The approach will be mainly systematic, although some reference to the history of certain philosophical views may be included. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
PHIL 220 (3) Symbolic Logic I
Sentential and predicate logic. Translation from natural language; truth tables and interpretations; systems of natural deduction up to relational predicate logic with identity; alternative proof methods. Some sections may use computer-based materials and tests. [3-0-0]
PHIL 230 (3) Ethics
Theories of obligation and value; moral reasoning; normative ethics, descriptive ethics, and metaethics. Readings in classic and contemporary texts. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
PHIL 233 (3) Biomedical Ethics
Moral problems arising in the health sciences. Topics may include abortion, death and euthanasia, genetic engineering, behaviour modification, compulsory treatment, experimentation with human beings and animals, and/or the relationship between professionals and their patients, subjects, or clients. Credit will be granted for only one of PHIL 233 or PHIL 433. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
PHIL 235 (3) Contemporary Moral Issues
Applied ethical issues from philosophical perspectives. Topics may include abuses of speech (hate speech, propaganda), censorship, concentrating ownership of media outlets and the foundations of civil society, conceptions of citizenship, democratic civic education, life issues, torture, poverty, terrorism, global justice. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
PHIL 245 (3) Introduction to Metaphysics
Familiarizes students with fundamental issues such as time, causality, personal identity, and the mind-body problem. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Second-year standing and 6 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 309 (3) Ancient Philosophy
Consists of intensive study of pre-Socratics and selections from the writings of Aristotle. The writings of the Stoics or Epicurus may be included. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 310 (3) The Philosophy of Plato
A study of Plato's writings and his influence on subsequent philosophy. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 314 (3) Philosophy in the 17th Century
Survey of seventeenth-century philosophy from Bacon to Leibniz, including the writings of Hobbes, Descartes, and Spinoza. The influence of science and religion on philosophical thought. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 315 (3) Philosophy in the 18th Century
Survey of eighteenth-century philosophy from Locke to Kant, including the writings of Berkeley, Rousseau, and Hume. The influence of science and religion on philosophy. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 331 (3) Computer Ethics
Ethical and professional issues facing those who work with computers. Piracy, hacking, responsibility, and liability for the use of software; cyberpornography and freedom of information; computerized invasion of privacy; computers in the workplace; the use of artificial intelligence; and expert systems. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing in an Arts program and 3 credits of PHIL, or third-year standing in a Science program.
PHIL 338 (3) Philosophy of Law
Concepts of law, constitution, and sovereignty; law and morality; natural law theories and legal positivism; obligation, responsibility, and punishment. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 345 (3) Theory of Knowledge
Examines the criteria of knowing, problems of perception, and theories of truth. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 6 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 373 (3) Feminist Philosophy
A brief introduction to the history of feminist thought is included. An overview of the traditional concept of the feminine in contrast to the masculine will be examined. Lecture topics include: liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical and cultural feminism. The approaches that feminist theory has taken to traditional areas of philosophical inquiry, such as the theory of knowledge (epistemology), aesthetics, and the history of philosophy will also be studied. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 391 (3/6) d Topics in Philosophy
Examination of selected topics in Philosophy. Topics may vary each time the course is offered. Repeatable for up to 6 credits with different topics. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3- credits of PHIL.
PHIL 404 (3) Aesthetics
Introduction to philosophical questions in the theory of art and art criticism. The nature of artistic creativity: form, content, and expression in art; the definition of art; the nature of taste; interpretation and evaluation; art and its place in society. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL; or second-year standing in Fine Arts.
PHIL 414 (3) Topics in the History of Modern Philosophy
Intensive study of a major philosopher or school such as Descartes, Hume, Empiricism, Rationalism, or the British utilitarians. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 415 (3) The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant
Study of Kant's critical philosophy. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 6 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 418 (3) Topics in 20th-Century Philosophy
Intensive study of a major philosopher such as Wittgenstein, Russell, or Heidegger, or school such as pragmatism or logical empiricism. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 419 (3) Philosophy of History
Concepts of history and historical explanation, historical progress, purpose, necessity, law and causation. Hegel, Marx, Vico, Spengler, Pareto, Collingwood, Croce, and Toynbee, as well as contemporary figures. Students will be expected to have an adequate knowledge of ancient or modern history. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL; or 6 credits of HIST.
PHIL 425 (3) Philosophy of Language
Philosophical approaches to reference, meaning, and truth, given their correlation with linguistic expressions and speech. Topics may include interpretation and translation, literal and figurative language, pragmatics and the norms of conversation, the nature of language. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing; and 6 credits of PHIL, including one of PHIL 120, PHIL 220.
PHIL 427 (3) Philosophy of Mathematics
Logicism, formalism, and constructivism; implications of metatheorems such as those of G?del and Church; mathematical truth; mathematics and mental construction; mathematics and the physical world. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing in an Arts program and 3 credits of PHIL; or third-year standing in a Science program.
PHIL 434 (3) Business Ethics
Moral problems in contemporary business and professional practice, general moral theory, the law, and policy formation. Corporate social and environmental responsibility, employee rights, preferential hiring and affirmative action programs, conflicts of interest, advertising, "whistle blowing," and self-regulation. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 435 (3) Environmental Ethics
Moral problems arising in the context of human relationships to nature and non-human living things, in terms of both general moral theory and policy formation. Moral standing, animal rights, obligations to future generations, pollution, hazardous materials, depletion of natural resources, treatment of non-human living things. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 436 (3) Humanism, Rationality, and Relativism
Introduction to contemporary versions of humanism and related approaches to human rationality. Focus on arguments concerning epistemological, political, or cultural relativism, and their consequences for the humanist view of rationality as a universal unitary feature of humanity. Relevant hypotheses on common human traits from social, biological, and cognitive sciences. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 6 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 437 (3) Philosophy and the Global Order
Central contemporary philosophical approaches to global political systems and governance. Clarifying the meaning of basic political concepts (e.g., citizenship, civil society, liberty and human rights) in both a global context and when necessary outside the traditional framework of the nation state. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 446 (3) Philosophy of Psychology
The nature of theory in psychology and its relation to other scientific theories. The status of imagery in psychological theories; the extent to which human irrationality can be experimentally demonstrated; introspection as a source of evidence. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: 12 credits of PHIL and/or PSYO.
PHIL 451 (3) Philosophy of Mind
The nature of the mental and physical; the relation between minds and bodies; the character of psychological explanation. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing; and 3 credits of PHIL.
PHIL 460 (3) Philosophy of Science
Issues common to all sciences. Philosophical questions including the character of scientific laws, theories and revolutions, the nature of scientific confirmation, causality, explanation and prediction, and the use of logic and probability. Difficulties in the interpretation of atomic physics and questions about relationships between biology and psychology. No philosophical background is assumed. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing in Arts and 3 credits of PHIL; or third-year standing in Science.
PHIL 469 (3) Topics in Philosophy of Science
Probability and induction; foundations of measurement; theory construction. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing in Arts and 3 credits of PHIL; or third-year standing in Science.
PHIL 491 (3) Directed Studies in Philosophy
Students will undertake supervised investigation of a topic in philosophy agreed upon by the supervising faculty member and the student, and approved by the dean of the faculty. They will complete a significant amount of independent reading and analysis, and produce a major term paper at the end of the course. [0-0-1]
Prerequisite: Fourth-year standing, 12 credits of PHIL; a minimum grade average of at least 72% in all completed PHIL courses; and permission of the unit.
PHIL 497 (3) Directed Studies for PPE Majors
Students will undertake a supervised investigation of an assigned topic in public policy. They will be expected to do a significant amount of independent reading and analysis and to produce a major term paper at the end of the course. Credit will be granted for only one of PHIL 497, ECON 497, or POLI 497. [0-0-1]
Prerequisite: Fourth-year standing in the PPE Major program, with an emphasis in Philosophy (option C) and permission of the instructor.

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