Winter 2019

Winter 2019 Courses

Winter 2019 Office Hours

PHL 201 - Intro to Philosophy                                                            Gillis MW 1015-1210; Weber TR 1000-1150
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 212 - Philosophy in Literature                                                                                        Gillis MW 1400-1550
An introduction to traditional philosophical issues as they appear in literature, especially in fiction. The specific philosophical problems and the literary works will vary from term to term and from instructor to instructor.

PHL 300U – Philosophical Methods & Concepts                                                                                  Weber Online
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                                                                                            Elliott MW 1015-1205
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 T 1000-1150 Hybrid
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                                                                 Cohen W 1640-1830 Hybrid, Jokic 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                                                                      Cohen Online, Goldman MW 1015-1205
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                                                                    Komito Online; Hiller TR 1000-1150
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 313U – Life & Death Issues                                                                                     Blakemore MW 1400-1550
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 314U - Computer Ethics                                                                                         Goldman MWF 1245-1350
Examines the moral principles and judgments relevant for computer-related practices. Topics include: ethical aspects of new information technologies; are technologies value-laden; freedom, privacy, and control; security, reliability, and professional responsibilities; piracy and ownership; ethics of hacking; ethics of virtual environment; and international aspects of new technologies.

PHL 316U – Social & Political Philosophy                                                                              Hardy MW 1400-1550
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                                                                                       Coventry Online
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 320U – Critical Thinking                                                                  Patrick Online; Boghossian TR 1400-1550
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 1400-1550 
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 325U - Intro to Formal Logic II                                                                                        Hiller TR 1200-1350
Continuation of PHL 324U Intro to Formal Logic I. Primary emphasis will be on formal methods for dealing with arguments involving the terms "all" and "some". Major topics include the method of deduction for showing predicate logic argument valid, and the method of counter-example for showing such arguments invalid. Recommended prerequisite: PHL 324U

PHL 331U - Philosophy of Education                                                                             Blakemore MW 1015-1205
Exporation of the nature, aims, and value of education by situating it in its historical and contemporary philosophical context and perspectives.

PHL 351U - Philosophy of International Human Rights                                                                         Jokic Online
Examination of concepts of human rights through classics of political philosophy, international human rights law and its development, and current high-profile cases of alleged violations of human rights.

PHL 367U - Philosophy of Sport                                                                                                      Spencer Online
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                                                  Spencer Online, Sharpsteen MW 1015-1205
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 370U - Philosophy of Work and Leisure                                                                                     Mueller Online
Examination of  the role and nature of work and leisure in theories of the good life and central social and political practices.

PHL 399 - Philosophical Writing                                                                                            Sager MW 1200-1350
This writing-intensive course will introduce students to the major types of philosophical writing, including summaries, abstracts, critical essays, and research papers. Students will also carry out close readings of philosophical texts in different traditions with an eye toward structure, form, and rhetoric.

PHL 432/532 - Philosophy of Mind                                                                                           Seppalainen Online
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 447/547 - Topics in Social and Political Philosophy: Libertarianism                                    Hill TR 1000-1150
In this course we will examine the political theory (or family of political theories) which have come to be known as "libertarianism". We will examine libertarianism's distinctive conception of human freedom, comparing and contrasting it with classical liberalism, modern liberalism, conservatism, anarchism, and progressivism. In particular we will ask whether libertarianism is really just a form of crypto-conservatism, or if it can genuinely be regarded as an heir to the liberal tradition. Readings will include selections from John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Jan Narveson. Grading will be based on four short papers.

PHL 449/549 - Philosophy of Sustainability                                                                          Elliott MW 1400-1550
Examination of the core philosophical issues that arise within the theory and practice of sustainability and across its three complementary dimensions: environmental, economic, and social.

PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: Marx                                                                                      Hill TR 1400-1550
This course will be an examination of the philosophy of Karl Marx and will consist in a close reading of selections from his early philosophical writings in Writings of the Young Marx on Philosophy and Society, among others. Grading will be based on a take-home midterm and a take-home final.

PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: Arendt                                                                           Mueller MW 1000-1150
Hannah Arendt was a 20th century political theorist that wrote extensively to encourage that we take responsibility for the world we construct and hold in common. Her thoughts regarding totalitarianism, refugee crises, violence, revolution, thoughtlessness, and loneliness are increasingly important in our contemporary political situation. Her discussions of political community, civil discourse, judgment, spontaneity, and the possibility to begin something new, offer promise for responding well to the demise of democracy.

PHL 471/571 - Topics in Philosophy of Science: Psychiatry                                                     Gillis TR 1400-1550
Info coming soon!