Winter 2021 Courses
PHL 201 - Intro to Philosophy
Hill Remote MW 1000-1150, 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.
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
Boghossian Remote, 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
Mueller Remote, 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, 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 Remote, Hardy 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 314U - Computer Ethics
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
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
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
Boghossian Remote, 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 325U - Intro to Formal Logic II: Predicate Logic
Hiller Remote MW 1000-1150
Continuation of PHL 324U Introduction 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 arguments valid, and the method of counter-example for showing such arguments invalid.
PHL 331U - Philosophy of Education
Exploration 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
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 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
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 & Leisure
Role and nature of work and leisure in theories of the good life and central social and political practices.
PHL 371U - Philosophy and the City
Explores the role and nature of the city in the history of philosophy and especially social and political theory and the philosophical bases of contemporary urban theory including political, civic, sustainable, and aesthetic ideas of the city.
PHL 380 - Philosophical Writing
Sager Remote MW 1400-1550
The goal of this writing-intensive course is to give you the tools to write philosophy. You will practice the major types of philosophical writing, including summaries, blog posts, abstracts, argumentative essays, and research papers. We will also study essays, dialogues, and a short story to explore the diverse ways in which writers have communicated philosophical ideas. A significant part of thinking like a writer is learning how to read. For this reason, we will also carry out close readings of philosophical texts in different traditions with an eye toward structure, form, rhetoric, and style.
PHL 415/515 - Aristotle
Study of some of the works of Aristotle, and topics such as substance, essence, categories, cause, and practical reason.
PHL 424/524 - Epistemology
Philosophical examination of some of the main issues in theory of knowledge (such as our knowledge of the external world, minds, and logical and mathematical truths, etc.).
PHL 448/548 - Biomedical Ethics
Advanced study of central ethics issues in medicine, biomedical research, and health care systems, such as patient autonomy and medical paternalism, justice in provision of health services, protection of human subjects in research, and death, dying, and end of life care.
PHL 445/545 - Classical Figures: Nietzsche
Hill Remote TR 1400-1550
A survey of the major themes of Nietzsche's thought through reading the main work of his primary precursor, Schopenhauer, and selections from Nietzsche's major works, in chronological order. Includes a discussion of some of the major interpretations of Nietzsche, the evidence for them, and their possible significance for understanding Nietzsche's role in the history of philosophy.