Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

Undergraduate Courses- Coming this 2017-18

2017-18 Fall/ Winter Courses *Please note: these courses are tentative and subject to change.

1000- Level Courses

Philosophy 1020 - Introduction to Philosophy

Through readings, film and other media this course explores debates about knowledge, truth, reality, religion, morality, politics, and the meaning of life. A weekly tutorial hour will help students to develop skills of analysis and expression.

Instructor: A. Skelton Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:30, plus tutorial Course Outline

Philosophy 1030A - Understanding Science

This non-essay course introduces conceptual issues about science: What distinguishes science from non-science? Are there limits to what science can or should explain? What does science tell us about reality? What is the relationship between science and religion? What is the role and value of science in a democratic society?

Instructor: W. Myrvold Monday, Wednesday 11:30 - 12:30, plus tutorial Course Outline

Philosophy 1040F - Ethics, Law and Politics

Many problems faced by individuals and societies lie at the intersection of ethics, law, and politics. This course will consider issues that can be analyzed along ethical, legal, and/or political lines, with a focus on understanding the differences between moral, legal, and political arguments and solutions to contemporary societal problems.

Instructor: M. Milde Monday, Wednesday 11:30 - 12:30, plus tutorial Course Outline

Philosophy 1130G - Big Ideas

Apparently simple conceptions sometimes especially capture our imagination. Examples: Descartes's "I think, therefore I am," McLuhan's "the medium is the message," or Plato's theory of forms. The course examines a great number of these simple ideas that are also the Big Ideas that no educated person should be ignorant of.

Instructor: R. DiSalle Tuesday, Thursday 10:30 - 11:30, plus tutorial Course Outline

Philosophy 1200 (200) - Critical Thinking (Blended)

An introduction to basic principles of reasoning and critical thinking designed to enhance the student's ability to evaluate various forms of reasoning as found in everyday life as well as in academic disciplines. The course will deal with such topics as inductive and deductive reasoning, the nature and function of definitions, types of fallacies, the use and misuse of statistics, and the rudiments of logic. Primarily for first-year students.

Instructor: A. Mendelovici, plus tutorial Monday 9:30-10:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 1200 (650) - Critical Thinking

An introduction to basic principles of reasoning and critical thinking designed to enhance the student's ability to evaluate various forms of reasoning as found in everyday life as well as in academic disciplines. The course will deal with such topics as inductive and deductive reasoning, the nature and function of definitions, types of fallacies, the use and misuse of statistics, and the rudiments of logic. Primarily for first-year students.

Instructor: A. Mendelovici Online (Distance Studies) Course Outline

Philosophy 1305G - Questions of the Day

This course develops students' ability to approach disputed questions by seeing them from both sides so that they reach their own view only after respecting a broad range of argument. Six questions will be considered, including human (over) population, the public funding of art, and the limits of religious freedom.

Instructor: G. Barker Monday, Wednesday 1:30 - 2:30, plus tutorial Course Outline

2000- Level Courses

Philosophy 2010F - Philosophy of Food

A philosophical reflection on food and wine. Issues may include the treatment of animals, moral and political dimensions of genetically modified food, hunger and obligation to the poor, the role of food in gender, personal and national identity, and what role do food and wine play in the good life.

Instructor: B. Hill Tuesday 1:30 - 2:30, Wednesday 9:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2010G - Philosophy of Food

A philosophical reflection on food and wine. Issues may include the treatment of animals, moral and political dimensions of genetically modified food, hunger and obligation to the poor, the role of food in gender, personal and national identity, and what role do food and wine play in the good life.

Instructor: H. Lagerlund Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 - 9:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2020 - Basic Logic

Modern formal logic including argument structure, propositional logic and elementary quantification. Applications to everyday reasoning and to computer "thinking" are considered, along with related issues in semantics and the philosophy of logic. Intended primarily for students not planning further studies in Philosophy or Logic.

Antirequisite: Philosophy 2250, 2252W/X, 2254 (Huron) Computer Science 2209A/B.

Instructor: J. Bell Monday and Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2021A - Oppositions and Paradoxes

This course investigates the role played in philosophical and scientific thought by basic oppositions, such as Continuous vs. Discrete, One vs. Many, and Finite vs. Infinite, and analyzes many philosophical and scientific paradoxes: Zeno’s paradoxes, the Liar Paradox, Russell's paradox, paradoxes of the infinite, and paradoxes arising from time travel.

Instructor: J. Bell Monday 12:30 - 2:30, Wednesday 12:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2032F - Einstein for Everyone

Astronauts age more slowly. Time can have a beginning. Space and time are curved. All these surprising claims are consequences of Einstein's revolutionary theories of relativity. This course explains these and related ideas in historical context and explores their philosophical significance.

Instructor: R. DiSalle Tuesday 11:30 - 1:30, Thursday 11:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2033B - Environmental Philosophy

An examination of several key issues arising out of the present environmental crisis. Sample topics include: to what extent the environmental crisis is a scientific, religious, or ethical problem; the Gaia hypothesis; deep and shallow ecology; the land ethic; ecofeminism; the environment and economics; and sustainable development.

Instructor: W. Myrvold Monday 11:30 - 1:30, Wednesday 12:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2044G - Introduction to Philosophy of Psychiatry

An introduction to core issues in the philosophy of psychiatry. Topics may include: a survey of historical and contemporary theories of the nature of mental disorder and its treatment; case studies designed to highlight controversies surrounding specific mental disorders, most notably, Depressive Disorders, Personality Disorders, Eating Disorders, and the Psychoses.

Instructor: L. Charland Wendesday 11:30 - 12:30, Friday 11:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2061G - Science vs Religion

This course studies the epistemological clash between religion and science, looking especially at evolutionary theory, cosmology, the physics of time, and miracles. It also studies attempts to reconcile these two systems of knowledge. Finally, it examines the science of religion: anthropological theories of religion and the cognitive science of religion.

Instructor: J. Thorp Monday 11:30- 1:30, Wednesday 11:30- 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2062F - Power, Privilege, and Oppression

An examination of philosophical approaches to understanding relationships of power, privilege, and oppression. The material will include work in feminist philosophy, critical race theory, and/or postcolonial theory. There will be the discussion of forms of oppression along the lines of gender, race, class, disability, and sexuality, with a focus on intersectional analyses. 

Antirequisite: Philosophy 2630F/G.

Instructor: G. Barker Monday 10:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2073F - Death

The meaning and moral importance of death will be explored through a series of questions: What is death? Is death a bad thing? Do people survive death? What do we mean when we say that someone is "dying"? Should knowledge of death change the way we live our lives?

Instructor: TBA  Monday 11:30 - 12:30, Wednesday 11:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2074F - Business Ethics

Ethical analysis of issues arising in contemporary business life. Sample topics: ethical codes in business; fair and unfair competition, advertising and consumer needs and wants; responsibilities to investors, employees, and society; conflicts of interest and obligation; business and the regulatory environment.

Instructor: TBA  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2077G - Gender and Sexuality

An investigation of ways that contemporary philosophers deal with concepts of gender and sexuality, addressing such issues as the regulation and production of normative sexuality, the question of essentialism, the construction and disciplining of the gendered body, and the effects of new media on sexual identity.

Instructor: TBA      Monday 6:30 - 9:30  Course Outline

Philosophy 2078G (200) - Digitial Ethics

Through social media, computer gaming, and virtual communities, we spend a considerable portion of our lives in the digital world. What moral considerations ought to guide our conduct as digital citizens? This class will consider the ethics of life online through a study of moral theory and ethical problems.

Instructor: S. Brennan Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30, plus 2 hours online Course Outline

Philosophy 2080 - Philosophy of Law

A study of some main problems in legal philosophy. Emphasis is given to actual law, e.g. criminal law and contracts, as a background to questions of law's nature. Specimen topics: police powers in Canada, contractual obligation, insanity defence, judicial reasoning and discretion, civil liberties, legal responsibility, natural law and legal positivism. 

Antirequisite: MIT 2020F/G.

Instructor: TBA Wednesday 7:00 - 9:00 Course Outline

2200- Level Courses

Philosophy 2200F - Ancient Philosophy

This course studies four key movements in ancient philosophy: Platonism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism. This course will provide students with an introduction to these movements, which helped shape the foundations of Western philosophy and science. We shall examine such questions as: What is the underlying nature of reality? Is the fundamental state of the universe motion or stability? Is knowledge possible? If so, how do we acquire it? Can we have knowledge of a changing world or does knowledge require eternal, unchanging objects (e.g. Plato’s Forms)? What is philosophy and how should it be practiced? What is the nature of happiness and how does one attain it? How many kinds of friendship are there? Is friendship necessary for happiness?

Instructor: J. Thorp Tuesday 10:30 - 12:30, Thursday 10:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2202G - Early Modern Philosophy

A critical examination of key works of selected figures of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Instructor: C. Dyck Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2250 - Introduction to Logic

Logic is the study of valid reasoning. In this course, we will study the relation of logical consequence, i.e., the relation that holds between the premises and the conclusion of a valid argument and we will learn methods to assess the validity of arguments. We will study the language of first-order logic, a formal language in which the structure of arguments can be concisely and perspicuously represented. We will also learn to symbolize formally the structure of arguments couched in natural language and we will study semantic and syntactic methods to assess the validity of formal arguments. Philosophical problems of formal logic will also be discussed and some metatheoretical results proving the adequacy of methods to assess validity will be explored.

Antirequisite: Philosophy 2020, 2252W/X.

Instructor: L. Falkenstein Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 - 10:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2260F - Introduction to Philosophy of Language

A survey of contemporary and historical philosophical works on language. Topics may include: What is a language? How are language and thought related? Does linguistic meaning come from the world, communicative activity, or the mind? Authors may include, among others: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Austin, Grice and Chomsky.

Instructor: D. Bourget Monday 2:30 - 3:30, Wednesday 2:30 - 4:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2300G - Philosophy of Science

A discussion of conceptual problems which fall between science and philosophy, as well as broader epistemological issues concerning theory change and the concept of progress in science. 

Antirequisite: Philosophy 2030F/G.

Instructor: E. Desjardins Monday 2:30 - 4:30, Wednesday 2:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2310G - Philosophy of Modern Physics

An examination of philosophical problems to which modern physical theories of quantum mechanics and relativity have given rise. No previous formal training in physics and mathematics will be presupposed.

Instructor: W. Myrvold Tuesday 12:30- 2:30, Thursday 1:30- 2:30 Course Outline


Philosophy 2320G - Philosophy for Integrated Science 

An introduction to aspects of science not covered in traditional science courses. This includes a history of science, scientific methodology, ethical dimensions of conducting and applying research, and conceptual issues in specific disciplines. The role of the media in disseminating science and how science shapes public policy will be discussed. 

Antirequisite: Philosophy 1030A/B. Prerequisite: Enrolment in Year 2 of the Integrated Science Program (WISc).

Prerequisite: Enrolment in Year 2 of the Integrated Science Program (WISc).

Instructor: C. Smeenk Monday 11:30 - 2:30, Wednesday 11:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2355F (650) - Sustainability

Sustainability is now widely advocated, but what exactly does it mean? Is sustainability a trendy ideology, an ethical ideal, or a scientifically based endeavor to protect people and the environment? This course addresses these questions and fosters reflections on what ought to be sustained, and what is required to make that possible.

Instructor: E. Desjardins Online Course Outline

Philosophy 2356G - Philosophy and Climate Change

This course explores philosophical issues related to climate change, including problems of knowledge in climate science; making choices when outcomes are deeply uncertain; international justice in climate policy; weighing harms to future generations and to non-human nature; the moral significance of risk of human extinction; and revision of cultural values.

Instructor: G. Barker Tuesday 10:30 - 11:30, Thursday 10:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2370G - Science and Values

A study of the relationships between scientific practice, cultural institutions, and human values. Attention will be devoted to such topics as the commercialization of research, military research, genetically modified organisms, and the study of race and gender.

Instructor: K. Okruhlik Tuesday 11:30 - 12:30, Thursday 11:30 - 1:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2400G - Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

An introduction to the philosophy of mind, drawing on contemporary and historical sources. Topics may include knowledge of other minds; free will; personal identity; what makes something mental; dualism and materialism; survival after death.

Instructor: A. Mendelovici Monday 10:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2410F - Issues in Philosophy of Emotions

Do emotions interfere with reason and morality or are they required for both? Are emotions primarily biological or are they social constructions? These and other questions will be addressed using a variety of readings ranging from contemporary analytic and feminist philosophy to modern neurobiology and psychology.

Instructor: L. Charland Tuesday 9:30 - 10:30, Thursday 9:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2500F - Introduction to Theory of Knowledge

An introduction to the main problems of epistemology. Specimen topics include the nature of human knowledge and belief, perception, evidence, truth and confirmation.

Instructor: G. Barker Tuesday 1:30 - 2:30, Thursday 1:30- 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2557G - Existentialism

We will consider the meaning of human existence, including issues of freedom, agency, and relations among humans. Drawing on classic and contemporary texts, such as those from Nietzsche, Sartre, and Beauvoir, among others, this course will consider how we meaningfully encounter our world and interact and engage with others.

Instructor: H. Fielding Tuesday 4:30 - 5:30, Thursday 3:30 - 5:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2700G - Introduction to Ethics and Value

Critical study of the nature and justification of ethical and value judgments, with an analysis of key concepts and a survey of the main contemporary theories.

Instructor: A. Skelton Tuesday 9:30 - 10:30, Thursday 9:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2715G - Health Care Ethics

An examination of key concepts in health care ethics, such as respect for patient autonomy, medical paternalism, patient competence, justice in health care, "death with dignity," "sanctity of life," commodifying human life. Goals are to understand these ideas and how to apply them to practical issues in health care. 

Antirequisite: Health Sciences 2610F/G

Instructor: C. Weijer Monday 3:30 - 4:30, Wednesday 3:30 - 5:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2730G - Media Ethics

A study of ethical issues in media, including such topics as: the reasonable limits of free expression; intellectual property and the public domain; official secrets and access to information; regulating online content; commercial databases and informational privacy; cameras in the courtroom; plagiarism and piracy; defamation; hactivism and the hacker ethic.

Instructor: TBA Monday 1:30 - 2:30, Wednesday 1:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2801F - Contemporary Political Philosophy

A study of some of the central issues and theoretical alternatives in contemporary political philosophy from among the following: utilitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, libertarianism, socialism, feminism, and communitarianism. Issues to be studied may include multiculturalism, economic redistribution, individual rights and the limits of legitimate state authority.

Instructor: TBA Tuesday 2:30 - 4:30, Thursday 2:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 2810G - Global Justice and Human Rights

What are our obligations to other countries and their citizens? Do those obligations issue from universal human rights? This course will address these questions through the consideration of a number of topics that raise issues of global justice, for example economic globalization, genocide and military intervention.

Antirequisite: Political Science 3346E.

Instructor: TBA Tuesday 2:30 - 4:30, Thursday 2:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

3000- Level Courses

Philosophy 3012F - Medieval Philosophy

A survey of core issues and figures in medieval philosophy, answering questions about logic, universals, cognition, ethics, the existence of God, determinism and free will, and scientific knowledge. It looks at these issues through the texts of the medieval philosophers themselves and traces these problems from Ancient times to scholasticism.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2200F/G, or 1.0 from Medieval Studies 1022, or both of Medieval Studies 1025A/B and 1026A/B or the former Medieval Studies 1020E.

Instructor: H. Lagerlund Monday 1:30 - 2:30, Wednesday 1:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3022G - Cartesianism and its Critics

An intermediate survey of foundational works by philosophers in the Cartesian tradition including a study of portions of Descartes's Principles of Philosophy and developments of its themes by such proponents and opponents as Hobbes, Gassendi, Arnauld, and Malebranche.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2202F/G.

Instructor: B. Hill Monday 10:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3031G - Women in Early Modern Philosophy

This course is an introduction to the philosophical contributions of women to 17th and 18th Century philosophy. What were their philosophical concerns? How did they influence the course of philosophy during this period? How were their contributions received by their contemporaries and how are they viewed today?

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2202F/G.

Instructor: B.Hill Monday 1:30 - 3:30, Wednesday 2:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3040G - Origins of Analytic Philosophy

The investigation of selected philosophical problems as they arise in the writings of such philosophers as Moore, Frege, Russell, Ayer, Carnap, Quine, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin, and others. Problems addressed may include philosophical methodology, ethical theory, metaphysics, meaning, and epistemology. 

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2250, 2252W/X or one of Philosophy 2260F/G or 2400F/G or 2500F/G.

Instructor: G. Barker Monday 10:30 - 12:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3170G - Topics in History of Ethics (Aristotle)

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2200F/G or 2202F/G or 2700F/G.

Instructor: D. Henry Monday 12:30 - 1:30, Wednesday 12:30 - 2:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3501G - Epistemology

Problems in contemporary theory of knowledge. Topics may include epistemic justification, modern skepticism, foundationalism and coherentism, internalism and externalism, ethics of belief, epistemic probability, testimony and social dimensions of knowledge. 

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2500F/G.

Instructor: R. DiSalle Tuesday 12:30- 1:30, Thursday 12:30 - 2:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3555G - Continental Philosophy

An examination of 20th century and contemporary continental philosophy. Readings will be drawn from phenomenological, deconstructive, post-structuralist and feminist texts and/or from the work of the Frankfurt school. Topics to be considered will include some of: intersubjectivity, sexual difference, community, racialization, perception, community, hermeneutics and critical theory. 

Prerequisite: Third or Fourth year standing in the Honors Specialization, Honors Double Major, or Specialization module in Philosophy or permission of the Department.

Instructor: H. Fielding Tuesday 4:30 - 5:30, Thursday 3:30 - 5:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3601F - Metaphysics

An introduction to current debate on metaphysical questions. Topics may include the nature of space and time, the status of phenomenal sensible qualities, the existence of natural kinds, causality and determinism, counterfactuals and possible worlds, identity and individuation, and personal identity.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2500F/G.

Instructor: J. Thorp Tuesday 1:30 - 2:30, Thursday 1:30 - 3:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3710F - Metaethics

Metaethics is the area of moral philosophy in which we inquire about, among other things, the status of moral claims, the meaning of moral terms, the rational justification of morality, the nature of value, and issues of moral psychology. This course is an advanced study of topics in metaethics.

Antirequisite: Philosophy 3700E (King's). Prerequisite: Philosophy 2700F/G.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2700F/G.

Instructor: TBA Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30, Thursday 3:30 - 5:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3730F - Research Ethics

An introduction to ethical issues in human experimentation, covering ethical frameworks for research ethics, informed consent, confidentiality, benefit-harm analysis, participant selection, and vulnerable participants and communities. Special topics, such as randomized controlled trials, gene therapy trials, cluster randomized trials, and health policy and systems research may also be covered. Philosophy 2715F/G is recommended, but not required.

Instructor: C. Weijer Monday 3:30 - 4:30, Wednesday 3:30 - 5:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3990F - Skepticism

A study of selected philosophical problems. The problems vary from year to year. More detailed information concerning content and prerequisites may be obtained from the Department prior to registration.

Instructor: L. Falkenstein Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 3993F - The Ethics of Science

A study of selected philosophical problems. The problems vary from year to year.

Instructor: G. Barker Tuesday 9:30 - 12:30 Course Outline

4000- Level Courses

Philosophy 4023F - Special Topics in Early Medieval Philosophy

Instructor: H. Lagerlund Monday 9:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 9:30 - 10:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 4035G - Special Topics in 17th Century Philosophy

Instructor: L. Falkenstein Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30 - 11:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 4045G - Special Topics in 18th Century Philosophy

German Philosophy

Instructor: C. Dyck Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 - 10:30 Course Outline

Philosophy 4050F - Seminar in Kant's First Critique

Prerequisite: Philosophy 2202F/G.

Instructor: C. Dyck Tuesday 11:30 - 2:30 Course Outline
/div>

2017 Spring/ Summer Courses

Distance Studies (May 8 - July 28)

2700F-650 Introduction to Ethics & Value Theory Instructor: R. Robb Course Outline

Critical study of the nature and justification of ethical and value judgments, with an analysis of key concepts and a survey of the main contemporary theories.

Intersession (May 15 - June 23)

2200F Ancient Philosophy       Tuesday & Thursday     12:30pm - 3:00pm P&AB 148 Instructor: D. Proessel Course Outline

This course studies four key movements in ancient philosophy: Platonism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism. This course will provide students with an introduction to these movements, which helped shape the foundations of Western philosophy and science. We shall examine such questions as: What is the underlying nature of reality? Is the fundamental state of the universe motion or stability? Is knowledge possible? If so, how do we acquire it? Can we have knowledge of a changing world or does knowledge require eternal, unchanging objects (e.g. Plato’s Forms)? What is philosophy and how should it be practiced? What is the nature of happiness and how does one attain it? How many kinds of friendship are there? Is friendship necessary for happiness?

Summer Day (July 3 - August 11)

No courses being offered.

Summer Evening (May 8 - July 28)

No courses being offered.

Course Archive