PHIL - Course Descriptions


Courses coded (10) are also available by correspondence, and courses coded (12) are also available online.


PHIL 1115 E - Introduction to Philosophy
Provides an introduction to philosophy by helping students formulate ultimate questions whose answers guide our lives, such as: What is the meaning of life? What is truth? How should I behave? What is beauty? Who am I? Students have the opportunity to think reflectively about such questions by exploring and evaluating critically the writings of influential philosophers of the past and of our own day. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 2126 E - Philosophy of Sexuality
The students are directed to a variety of philosophical perspectives to examine critically such issues as: love, desire, sexual orientation, perversion, rape, prostitution, loyalty, friendship, instincts, repression, and privacy. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2156 E - Philosophy, Culture and Power
This course examines philosophical issues in contemporary discourses on cultural difference and power. Themes and questions that may be explored include race, ethnicity, indigenous and native rights, equality, identity, language, cosmopolitanism, nationhood, colonialism, disability, human and minority rights, and diaspora. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2217 E (10) (12) - Environmental Ethics
This course explores ethical issues concerning our relationship to the environment. Do nature and the environment have ethical standing? Can we defend an environmental ethic that extends our moral and legal obligations beyond members of the human species, to include animals, plants, species and whole ecosystems? Ethical theories will be considered with respect to current social and political issues on nature and the environment (e.g., global warming, sustainability, pesticide use, animal rights, and corporate agriculture). (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2226 E - Philosophy and Literature
This course examines the rich relationship of literature and philosophy. It covers topics such as defining features of literary forms (e.g., drama, tragedy, comedy); literature and truth; vicarious experience; literature and interpretation; and literary works as a source important philosophical insight (e.g., Dostoevsky, Kafka, Beckett, Sartre, Camus). (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2227 E - Philosophy of Art
This course addresses key issues, concepts and theories in the philosophy of art. It examines topics such as the nature of the beautiful, the social function of art, art and truth, and artistic originality, imitation, and reproduction. Works by ancient and contemporary philosophers are considered. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2256 E - Philosophy of Education
Students critically examine central values, theories and concepts pertaining to education, such as intelligence, indoctrination, authority, student interests and rights, aesthetic and moral education. The philosophical investigation has important practical consequences because the interpretation of such concepts, theories and values influences the selection of educational approaches and of teaching materials. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2266 E - Philosophy in the Secondary Schools
Designed for students intending to teach at the secondary school level. Examines different approaches to philosophical inquiry and provides an overview of the different areas of philosophy (philosophy of human nature: ethics; social and political philosophy; epistemology; logic and the philosophy of science; aesthetics; metaphysics). The course also explores different activities and exercises to assist in evaluating philosophical work. Issues in the philosophy of education are addressed as well. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2306 E - Moral and Political Views in Ancient Greek Philosophy
This course examines ancient Greek views on the moral and political dimensions of good citizenship and what it might mean to live a good life. The views of Sophists, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicurians, and the Stoics are explored. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2306 and PHIL 2305. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2307 E - World View and Knowledge in Ancient Greek Philosophy
This course examines ancient Greek views on the nature of reality and how we can come to know it. Through a consideration of the views of the pre-Socratic philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others, the course explores the world view of the ancient Greeks and the connections they drew between our ability to acquire knowledge and the state of our soul. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2307 and PHIL 2305. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2326 E - The Empiricists from Locke to Hume
This course introduces the main authors of 17th and 18th century empiricism, according to which the primary source of knowledge is experience. The course focuses on Locke, Berkeley and Hume, and examines their innovations in epistemology, metaphysics and moral philosophy. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2326 and PHIL 2325. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2327 E - The Rationalists from Descartes to Leibniz
This course introduces the main authors of 17th century rationalism, according to which valid knowledge stems from irrefutable a priori principles. The course focuses on Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche and Leibniz, and examines their innovations in epistemology, metaphysics and moral philosophy. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2327 and PHIL 2325. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2336 E - Logic
This course aims to streghten the ability to identify and evaluate arguments using the tools of formal symbolic logic. The course emphasizes useful skills in propositional and predicate logic, including instruction on applying these skills to natural language arguments. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2345 E (10) - Bioethics: Human Life Issues
Examines current controversies about the benefits and dangers to human life arising from recent developments in the biomedical sciences. Special attention is given to issues in the reproductive technologies, genetics, the care of the terminally ill, AIDS, research with human subjects, and to questions of abortion and euthanasia. Comprehensive understanding of the issues at stake and ability to evaluate the positions taken in these controversies define the aims of the course. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL/RLST 2345 and PHIL 3346. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 2366 E - Philosophy of Biology
This course introduces selected historical and/or contemporary themes in the philosophy of biology. It explores topics such as creationism versus evolutionary theory, the implications of developmental theory for evolutionary biology, the identification of species, approaches to biological classification, and the relationship between the socio-political climate and the development of biological theory. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2406 E - History of Political and Social Philosophy
This course examines the influential texts and the central ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape societies and political systems including political and social institutions, such as democracy, capitalism, the family, and the rule of law. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2406 and PHIL 2405. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2407 E - Contemporary Political Philosophy
This course examines the contemporary field of political philosophy, through a study of some of the most important issues facing the world today, including issues such as inequality, pluralism, multiculturalism, and reasonable accommodation. Theories of liberalism, libertarianism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism, and feminism are explored. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2407 and PHIL 2405. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2506 E - Critical Thinking
This course aims to develop interpretive and evaluative skills, and dispositions that are useful for both education and professional life. Various aspects of language and reasoning are studied to evaluate arguments and explanations from a variety of contexts. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2506 and PHIL 2505. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 2525 E (10) - Contemporary Moral Issues
This course engages students in philosophical reflection on a selected number of current moral problems, such as: censorship and pornography, love and the family, sexual harassment, hate crimes, racism, the legitimacy of violence, civil disobedience, capital punishment, suicide, gun control, and resource allocation. Investigation of these issues provides the opportunity to examine the viability of comprehensive moral frameworks. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 2536 E - Ethical Issues in Contemporary Sport
An introduction to critical ethical thinking in relation to current moral issues in sport such as violence, cheating, drug abuse, discrimination and commercialization. Assesses what ends in sport are intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic. Some attention is also given to the moral codes adopted by various sport professionals. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2576 E - Philosophy of Law
This course explores the philosophy of law. Topics include the rule of law, charters of rights and freedoms, the tension between individual rights and the common good, the relationship between law and morality, and current issues such as privacy and hate speech. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL 2576 and PHIL 2575. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2616 E - Philosophical Anthropology
This course examines such themes as : the relation of self and language to embodiment, emotions and rationality; nature and culture; the genesis of institutions (family, religion, art, state, economy, etc.) and their role in the constitution of the self; the value systems of different cultures; and the impact of modern technology on identity and values. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2626 E - Philosophy and the Social Sciences
Topics include: social sciences compared with natural sciences; objectivity in social science; what it means to study human behaviour impersonally; facts and values; the individual and the institution; structures and change in society; individualism and the social self; the sociological critique of philosophy and the philosophical critique of sociology. PREREQ: one course in social science (may be taken concurrently), or dept.'s permission. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2716 E - Philosophy and Film
This course examines film as a philosophical object, both in its content and its form. Themes and questions to be explored may include: nature of reality, space/time, beauty, horror, knowledge, emotion, memory, identity, and film theory and criticism. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2746 E - Communications Media and Values
A philosophical exploration of the ethical and cultural implications of the rapid growth and proliferation of diverse new communication media, such as computers and electronic networks. Topics may include: virtual reality, virtual community and multiple identities on electronic networks; artificial intelligence; comparing information and knowledge; programming codes and language; ethical issues surrounding privacy, data quality, database security, and intellectual property; electronic communications, the global village, and changes in the nature of civilization. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2747 E (10) - Technology, Freedom and Values
A philosophical exploration of the social and ethical implications of technological change, and their relation to the sciences. Topics may include: theories of a technological imperative and determinism; implications for our understanding of freedom, rationality, and ourselves; the social control of innovation; technology and the mastery of nature, e.g., in biotechnology and artificial life; the diverse forms and types of technologies; and technological visions of the future. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2876 E - Business Ethics
Explores ethical issues which arise in the management of a modern corporation, such as the goals and functions of the firm, corporate social responsibility, conflicts between personnel, organizational and societal values, international and environmental issues, and the firm's duties to workers, consumers and other stakeholders. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2877 E (10) - Professional Ethics
The aim of this course is to explore ethical issues which arise in the conduct of the professions. It will examine the notion of a profession itself and the role of technical/scientific expert knowledge in modern society. Professions considered will be drawn primarily from medicine and health care, the law, engineering, social work and psychological counselling. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 2916 E - Philosophy of Science
This course explores the nature and aims of the natural sciences and of scientific theories, their historical development and social dimension, and their impact on society. It examines topics such as : the nature of scientific explanations; facts, values and laws in science; demarcation of science and pseudo-science; and the distinction between matters of fact and matters of value. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3026 E - Feminist Philosophy
Examines a number of issues in feminist philosophy, which may include some of the following: issues of gender, feminist ethics and ethics of care, feminism and language, feminist critiques of science, feminist political philosophy. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL/INDG 3036 E - Indigenous and Western Philosophies
This course examines indigenous ways of thinking and how they relate to western philosophies. Themes and questions that may be explored include cosmogony and cosmology, the natural environment, epistemology and knowledge systems, rights and law, the relationship between an individual and the community, land and property, education, mind and body, science and belief, reason and spirituality. It is recommended that students have obtained 6 credits among the following courses: INDG 1116, INDG 1117, INDG 2105, INDG 2285. PREREQ.: 18 university credits. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3217 E - Philosophy of Nature and the Environment
This course examines the concepts of nature and the environment from a range of philosophical perspectives. Themes may include : social, cultural, ethical, and political constructions of nature and the environment; history of the concept of nature; ecocriticism; ecofeminism; human/other-than-human/posthuman nature; animal studies; biotechnology; natural and urban environments; environmental aesthetics, space, and architecture. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3316 E - Medieval Philosophy
Beginning with early Western European philosophers and continuing up to the Renaissance, the course traces, in the writings of some of the more important Medieval authors, the assimilation and transformation of several important ideas of Greek philosophy. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3346 E (10) (12) - Bioethics for Healthcare Providers
This course examines ethical issues faced by healthcare providers that arise in relation to scientific and technological advances, social and cultural changes, and inter-professional relationships. The course uses a case study approach, teaching students how to analyze and resolve ethical issues by applying ethical theories and concepts. Lec, CST (3 hr.) cr. 3. Students may not retain credit for both PHIL/RLST 2345, PHIL/SREL 2345 and PHIL 3346. Prereq.: Students must have at least 18 credits of University courses.

PHIL 3406 E - Hegel
This course introduces students to the philosophy of Hegel through a study of selections from key texts, including "Phenomenology of Spirit". Hegel's philosophy is situated in its historical context. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3407 E - Kant
This course introduces the student to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant through a study of selections from key texts, including Critique of Pure Reason. The major principles of Kant’s practical and aesthetic philosophy may also be examined. Kant’s philosophy will be situated in its historical context. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3436 E - Nietzsche
This course introduces the student to the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche through a study of selections from key texts. The major themes of Nietzsche’s philosophy including the will to power, the overman, and the eternal return will be examined. Nietzsche’s philosophy will be situated in its historical context. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3476 E - Existentialism
Existentialism is one of the most important philosophical currents of our time. Its origin is traced through the thought of Kiekegaard and Nietzsche and through the contribution of Heidegger. Other authors are also discussed. Principal themes studied are existence, freedom, absurdity and search for meaning. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3486 E - Marx, Marxism and Socialism
A study of the foundations of Karl Marx's wide ranging critique of modern society, stressing its philosophical roots and implications, both in substance and in method, and the subsequent diversity of interpretations in socialism from the 19th century to the present day, with special emphasis on Canadian socialist theory and theory of the labour movement. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3496 E - Phenomenology
Examines the classical texts in the phenomenological movement, which studies the interactive relationship between human consciousness and its objects. Among theauthors to be studied are Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3497 E - Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics is the study of the factors involved in the interpretation of texts, cultures, and the historical or cultural distance that separates the interpreter from what is to be interpreted. Among the authors to be studied are Hans-Georg Gadamer and Martin Heidegger. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3545 E - Moral Philosophy
A study of major themes and theories in moral philosophy. Themes include: freedom and responsibility, the relation of morality and religion, the enforcement of morals, moral education, coercion, self-interest and pleasure. Theories may include those of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, Kant and a number of 20th-century theories amongst others. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 3636 E (10) - Philosophy of Religion
A systematic inquiry into the meaning of religious language. Current tools of philosophical analysis are used to interpret classical and modern texts which deal with religious truth, structures of pain and alienation, death, and other selected topics. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3656 E - Philosophy of Language
This course addresses toics in the philosophy of language such as the relationship between meaning and reference, theories about the nature of language, and different approaches to the study of language (e.g., structuralism, ordinary language philosophy, and philosophical hermeneutics). Prerequisites : Students must have at least 18 credits of University Courses. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3876 E - Philosophy and Psychology
Examines some main philosophical problems concerned with everyday explanations of human behaviour, and explanations found within experimental and clinical psychology. How do methods of verification, types of concepts, prediction, etc., differ from one case to the other? What bearing do questions in philosophy of mind have on explanations in psychology of human behaviour? A representative variety of psychological theories and techniques are discussed. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 3906 E - Topics in Philosophy I: A Historical Approach
This is an advanced course on a significant topic or problem in the history of philosophy as this topic or problem has been approached by two or more philosophers. Students are advised that in the term preceding delivery, a more detailed outline of the subject matter will be provided by the faculty member teaching the course. PREREQ: minimum 18 University credits. (sem 3) cr 3

PHIL 3907 E - Topics in Philosophy II: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy
This is an advanced course on a significant topic or problem in contemporary philosophy as this topic or problem has been approached by two or more philosophers. Students are advised that in the term preceding delivery a more detailed outline of the subject matter will be provided by the faculty member teaching the course. Prerequisites: Students must have at least 18 credits of University Courses. (sem 3) cr 3

PHIL 4006 E - Honours Seminars
Each seminar is devoted to a special topic reflecting current research of the faculty member who offers the course. Specific descriptions are made available each March for the following year. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 4007 E - Honours Seminars
Same description as PHIL 4006. (lec 3) cr 3

PHIL 4055 E - Honours Thesis
This course provides qualified students with an opportunity to write an Honours thesis based on original research in an area related to their specialization or major(s) for which faculty supervision is available. The thesis is read by a committee of three professors prior to the public defense. Theis course is strongly recommended for students considering graduate studies. Students are not permitted to obtain credit for more than one Honours thesis. PREREQ: A minimum overall GPA of 7 (75-79% or B+), completion of at least 84 university credits, and permission of the department. Students must normally submit their research proposal to the department chair by March 31 to register in the next academic year. (tut 3) cr 6.

PHIL 4405 E - 20th-Century Moral, Political, Social and Legal Theory
Examines 20th-century philosophical discussion of the nature of legal, moral, social and political values. The theories of morality, relativism, pluralism, utilitarianism and social contract are among the topics discussed. PREREQ: PHIL 3545 or 2575. (lec 3) cr 6

PHIL 4546 E - Epistemology
This is an advanced course in the theory of knowledge. Topics will be determined by the professor and may include social epistemology, personal identity, theories of truth, the limits of knowledge, and the relationship between knowledge and power. (sem/tut 3) cr 3

PHIL 4556 E - Metaphysics
This is an advanced course in metaphysics. Topics will be determined by the professor but may include the nature of substance, the relationship between metaphysics and science, the relationship of mind and body, and the nature of time and being. (sem/tut 3) cr 3

PHIL 4805 E - Independent Studies
Provides an opportunity for qualified students to do special studies in a field of philosophy beyond or outside the regular department offerings. A member of the department supervises the student's program. Written work and discussion are required as agreed by the student and the faculty member. (sem/tut 3) cr 6