Fall 2018

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Office Hours

Course Planning Guide

PHL 201 - Intro to Philosophy                                                                          Hill TR 1400-1550; Spencer Online
General introduction to philosophy; its practice and major areas of study. Topics typically include introductions to metaphysics (study of being), epistemology (study of knowledge), philosophy of language, morality, and critical thinking.

PHL 300U – Philosophical Methods & Concepts                                                                  Weber MWF 0900-1005
A survey of the major strategies of proof and disproof central to philosophical reasoning, and of the fundamental concepts and distinctions employed in current philosophical discourse. 

PHL 301U – Ancient Philosophy                                                                                            Gillis MWF 1245-1350
Study of Ancient Greek philosophy with a primary focus on the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Key topics include form, matter, substance, and causation.

PHL 303U – Early Modern Philosophy                                                                                Coventry TR 1000-1150
History of Western philosophy during the Early Modern period (17th and 18th centuries) from Descartes to Kant. Topics include nature of knowledge and reality; theories of human nature.

PHL 306U - Science and Pseudoscience                                                                                     Seppalainen Online
An examination of basic issues in philosophy of science through an analysis of creation science, faith healing, UFO abduction stories, and other pseudosciences. Some of the questions addressed: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? How are theories tested? When is evidence reliable? Must we invoke the supernatural to explain certain aspects of reality?

PHL 308U – Elementary Ethics                                                                      Patrick MW 1640-1830; Cohen Online
General introduction to ethical theories and topics such as whether there are objective moral distinctions, what makes right actions right and wrong acts wrong, and how we know (if we do) that actions are right or wrong, and how we know (if we do) that actions are right or wrong. Topics also include relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, and Kantianism (deontology).

PHL 309U – Business Ethics                                                                 Hardy T 1640-1830 (Hybrid); Patrick Online
Study of the ethical aspects of practices and organizational structures in the business world. The bulk of the course is devoted to specific contemporary topics, for example: the moral status of corporations; the concept of work place rights; responsibility in advertising; environmental constraints on business; affirmative action in hiring; the social roles of profit and private property; and the role of work in the life of the individual.

PHL 310U – Environmental Ethics                                                       Elliott MW 1400-1550; Hiller TR 1400-1550  Study of our moral responsibilities with respect to the environment (e.g., treatment of non-human animals, rights of animals, trees, rivers and possibly our planet) in light of some of the central environmental problems (e.g., population growth, global warming, and endangered species). 

PHL 311U – Morality of Punishment                                                                                                      Jokic Online
Nature and proper aims of punishment; moral considerations that bear on the justice and wisdom of punishment. Consideration will be given to the main theories of punishment: retributionism, utilitarianism, paternalism, and the view that punishment should be replaced by therapy. 

PHL 313U – Life & Death Issues                                                                                 Cohen M 1840-2030 (Hybrid)
Study of moral problems dealing with life and death issues including abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, starvation, and war. Also studies more general topics of life and death. Topics include the meaning of life, perspectives on death, natural death, suicide, and views of life in relation to possibilities of afterlife.

PHL 315 – Existentialism                                                                                                      Elliott MW 0900-1050
Introduction to a number of philosophers and literary figures gathered together under the name "existentialism". Authors include Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Rilke, Kafka, Ortega y Gasset, Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus. Topics include consciousness, (in)authenticity, alienation, death, anxiety, freedom, time, nihilism, historical meaning, and religion.

PHL 316U – Social & Political Philosophy                                                                              Gillis MWF 1015-1120
Survey of main theories of social and political justice (utilitarianism, liberal, equalitarian, communitarian, and libertarian) through classic and modern representatives.

PHL 317U – Philosophy of Art                                                                                        Goldman MWF 1245-1350
Philosophical issues concerning the creation, interpretation, and consumption of art. Includes an overview of the major philosophical theories about the nature of art, an examination of the relationship between art and ethics, art and psychology, art and pornography, and relativism of aesthetic value judgments.

PHL 318U – Philosophy of Medicine                                                                                        Cwik MW 1000-1150
An examination of the central philosophical issues that arise within the theory and practice of medicine such as: the relationship of medicine to basic sciences, the roles played in medicine by normative concepts such as health and illness, the nature of causal reasoning in medicine, and the nature of diagnostic categories in medicine and psychiatry.

PHL 319U – Introduction to Asian Philosophy                                                                                    Komito Online
A study of different systems of Asian philosophy through the main classical texts drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Topics include: the nature of reality, the self, causality, language, knowledge, and ethics.

PHL 320U – Critical Thinking                                                                   Hardy Online; Boghossian TR 1000-1150
Designed to improve reasoning and skills of critical assessment of information. Focuses on practical methods that are applied to case studies from public media such as editorials, essays, propaganda, advertisements, and newspaper reports of scientific studies.

PHL 324U – Intro to Formal Logic I                                                        Weber Online, Sharpsteen MW 1000-1150 
A course in basic formal logic. Major topics include the method of deduction for showing propositional arguments valid and the method of counter-example for showing such arguments invalid. Truth table methods, tests for consistency, and syllogistic arguments are optional topics.

PHL 331U - Philosophy of Education                                                                               Mueller MWF 0900-1005 
Exporation of the nature, aims, and value of education by situating it in its historical and contemporary philosophical context and perspectives.

PHL 350U – Morality and World Politics                                                                                                 Jokic Online
Examination of moral principles and judgments relevant for appraising the key tools of foreign policy. Included are issues of military, humanitarian, and covert intervention, economic sanctions, development assistance, human rights, democracy, and transitional justice. 

PHL 365U - Atheism                                                                                                     Boghossian TR 1200-1350
Examination of atheist philosophy including secularism in ethics and politics, naturalism in epistemology and metaphysics, and contemporary naturalistic accounts of religion and faith-based beliefs.

PHL 369U – Philosophy of Sex & Love                                                     Mueller Online; Blakemore TR 1640-1830
An examination of some of the central philosophical issues emerging from a reflection of sex and love. Topics include: conceptual or ontological ones such as the possible essence of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and asexuality; ethical ones such as the morality or immorality of different expressions of sex and love such as sadomasochism, polygamy, and philandering; existential ones such as the role of sexuality and romantic love in our self-conception and a good life; epistemological ones such as the nature of our experiences of sexuality and love and the possible influence that conceptual sources have on them.

PHL 399 - Indigenous Philosophy                                                                                       Spencer TR 1400-1550
This course will survey historical and contemporary indigneous philosophical writings on colonization, knowledge, reality, and ethics. While the majority of the texts will be from the peoples and nations of North America, some sources from across the globe will also be considered. Specific topics for this offering (Fall 2018) will include historical & contemporary prophecies, the land, language, dance, gender, and environmental justice.

PHL 416/516 – The Rationalists                                                                                        Coventry TR 1400-1550
Study of selected works of 17th and 18th century philosophers who maintained that knowledge is primarily based in reason (e.g., Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza). 

PHL 433/533 – Philosophy of Language                                                                                  Hiller TR 1200-1350
A study of the nature of language and of problems of meaning, reference, and truth. 

PHL 446/546 – Topics in Ethics: Care Ethics                                                                               Hamington Online
A comprehensive introduction to care ethics from its origins in feminist theory to its present multidisciplinary and international manifestations. The implications of care ethics for ontology, epistemology, aesthetics, identity, performativity and moral theory are addressed.

PHL 451/551 – Classical Figures: Hegel                                                                                     Hill TR 1200-1350
A close reading of Hegel's most influential work, Phenomenology of Spirit. Topics include the influence of Kant on Hegel's thought, the nature of the dialectic, the critique of classical modern epistemology, the relationship between the Phenomenology and Hegel's "System of Science", Hegel's confrontation with modernity, and his influence on his successors Kierkegaard and Marx. 

PHL 471/571 – Topics in Philosophy of Science: Cognition and Perception                  Seppalainen MW 1400-1550
Course description forthcoming.