Fall 2021 Courses
PHL 201 - Intro to Philosophy
Sharpsteen, 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
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. Not recommended as a first course in philosophy.
PHL 301U – Ancient Philosophy
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 303 – Early Modern Philosophy
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
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
Weber, 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, 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
Hiller, Elliott Online
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
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 312U - Feminist Philosophy
Critical examination of classical philosophical schools of thought and methodologies from a feminist perspective which emphasizes the importance of external context in all intellectual pursuits and underscores the interconnections between theory and practice including values.
PHL 315 - Existentialism
Introduction to a number of philosophers and literary figures gathered together under the name "existentialism." Authors include Dostoyevsky, 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
Survey of main theories of social and political justice (utilitarianism, liberal, equalitarian, communitarian, and libertarian) through classic and modern representatives.
PHL 318U - Philosophy of Medicine
Examination of 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 - Intro to Asian Philosophy
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
Boghossian, Seppalainen Online
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
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 350U - Morality and World Politics
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 355U - Morality and Healthcare
Examination of issues in health care such as euthanasia, abortion, allocation of transplantable organs, rationing health care, treatment of impaired newborns.
PHL 367U - Philosophy of Sports
An examination of the central conceptual, ethical, and existential issues concerning sports. Topics include the nature and role of sports in human flourishing, theories of embodiment, and the morality of sports as an institution and culture including competition and violence.
PHL 369U - Philosophy of Sex & Love
Goldman, Blakemore Online
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 432/532 - Philosophy of Mind
Study of the debates over the nature of mental states and our knowledge of them. Main topics are dualism and various forms of materialism, behaviorism, mind-body identity theories, and functionalism and eliminativism.
PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: Hume, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft
This seminar explores themes in art, education, morals, society and politics in Eighteenth Century Europe. The main texts include selections from David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1793-40) and Essays: Moral, Political and Literary (1758), along with Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile (1762) and Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792).
PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: The Epicureans
Study of the ancient Epicureans' integrated system of physics, epistemology, and ethics, with special attention to Epicurus, Lucretius, and their conception of philosophy as a distinctive way of life.
PHL 460/560 - Contemporary European Philosophy
In-depth study of a current theme (such as phenomenology, post-modernism, or post-structuralism) or topical figure (such as Habermas, Derrida, or Benjamin) of European, “Continental” Philosophy.
PHL 471/571 - Topics in PHL Science: Psychiatry
More info coming soon!