2019-20 Fall/ Winter Undergraduate Timetable

Reading Courses: Students apply for an advanced reading course must be in their third or fourth year registered in an Honors Specialization, Honors Double Major or Specialization module in Philosophy. Further information available here.

1000- Level Courses                                                        

Philosophy 1020: Introduction to Philosophy

This course will be devoted to a selection of problems in the following areas of philosophy:
1. Epistemology or the theory of knowledge. We shall consider such questions as: Is knowledge possible? How, if ever, is it possible to justify one's beliefs?
2. Metaphysics or the theory of what exists. We shall consider such questions as: Does God exist? What is the nature of the mind? Do we possess freedom of the will?
3. Ethics or the study of the nature of right and wrong, good and bad. We shall consider such questions as: What makes an action right or wrong, permissible or impermissible? What makes something good or bad?
4. Practical Ethics or the study of how one ought to live. We shall consider such questions as: Is existence a benefit? Is abortion permissible? Is there an obligation to alleviate poverty in developing nations? Is it permissible to eat non-human animals? Is paternalism justifed? Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): Philosophy 1000E, Philosophy 1022E, Philosophy 1100E, Philosophy 1250F/G, Philosophy 1300E, Philosophy 1350F/G.

Instructor: A. Skelton Monday, Wednesday 12:30 - 1:30, plus tutorial SSC 2050

Philosophy 1030B: Understanding Science

This non-essay course is aimed at non-science majors who want to gain an understanding of the place of science in our world and how it relates to other parts of our culture, and at science students who want to gain an appreciation of the place of their discipline in the wider culture.

Science plays a central role in our lives. It is the source of new technological developments, and of information about safety and risks that are relevant to our decisions as individuals and as a society. Yet many people find science disquieting. There is a feeling that science destroys the wonder of nature. Moreover, many people mistrust what scientists tell them.

In this course we will dive into an investigation of the nature of science and its place in modern culture. Among the questions to be addressed are: What distinguishes science from non-science? Are there limits to what science can or should explain? Should we place our trust in science? How can we, as non-scientists, tell whether we should rely on what news reports tell us about the results of scientific studies? What is the role and value of science in a democratic society? Course Outline

Instructor: W. Myrvold Monday, Wednesday 2:30 - 3:30, plus tutorial UC 3110

Philosophy 1040G: Ethics, Law and Politics

In this course, we will consider a number of topics with a view to understanding the ways in which ethics, law and politics intersect, and the ways in which they can sometimes pull in different directions. We will start by having a look at the Canadian Constitution, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in particular. The Constitution sets the framework in which law and politics are played out – it also embodies and enshrines various values that sound very much like ethical commitments. We will then consider various topics including medical assistance in dying, freedom of speech, public apologies, prostitution, food waste and the problem of lying.

Along the way, we will explore how complexity, pluralism and bias serve to make these topics so controversial and so difficult to resolve, once and for all. And, through in-class discussion, written work, and tutorial assignments we will learn how to engage in clear philosophical analysis, develop and defend multiple perspectives, and provide convincing arguments to support our conclusions. Course Outline

Instructor: M. Milde Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:30, plus tutorial  TC 141

Philosophy 1130F: Big Ideas

This course will discuss some of the ideas that have shaped modern culture, politics, science, and philosophy. These “big ideas” are familiar and widely debated in our culture. What we often miss is how closely they are connected with philosophy. Many of the most powerful and influential ideas-- not only in philosophy, politics, and culture, but even in science and technology--developed through philosophical reflections on human problems. Thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Hannah Arendt, Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, and Isaac Newton began by asking new philosophical questions about old and established beliefs. Reading and discussing original texts by these and other authors, we will try to understand some of the most revolutionary and interesting of these ideas from a critical philosophical perspective. We will talk about the impact that they have had, might have, or ought to have on our lives and thought. “Big ideas” to be discussed include: justice, equality, evolution, infinity, freedom, determinism, materialism, computation, artificial intelligence, theism, atheism, skepticism, certainty, progress, evil, relativity, and others. Course Outline

Instructor: R. DiSalle Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 - 12:30, plus tutorial UC 3110

Philosophy 1200 (200): Reasoning and Critical Thinking

This course offers students important critical reading, writing, and thinking skills for being successful at university and in the workplace. Students are taught criteria behind language use, which motivates the criteria of good reasoning. Based on these criteria students learn to represent the structure of complicated reasoning and how to assess it and construct it, with specific techniques for deductive and inductive reasoning. These methods are then applied to practical reasoning, particularly in the context of ethical decision making, as well as scientific and numerical reasoning. The course concludes by examining belief acquisition and the nature of bias using converging evidence from a number of research disciplines.

Instructor: C. Viger Thursday 9:30-10:30, plus tutorial TC 141

2000- Level Courses                                                        

Philosophy 2037G: Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

Will robots take all our jobs? Will humans become cyborgs? Will nano-technology revolutionize medicine? As we rely more and more on machines and other new technologies, they are changing how we interact with the world and one another. In this course we will consider the impact of artificial intelligence on our current lives, and on our future. It has been said that “Philosophy will be the key that unlocks artificial intelligence”—presumably for the better. On the other hand, the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has warned that advances in superintelligence may soon make humans obsolete. Who should we believe? This course will address these and other issues by first considering some traditional questions in philosophy of mind—e.g., Can a robot think? What is the Turing Test? Can machines ever be conscious?— before turning to a consideration of some of the ethical and social implications of this new technology. Course Outline

Instructor: M. Anderson Wednesday 11:30 - 1:30, Friday 11:30 - 12:30 UCC 37

Philosophy 2050G: Scientific Search for the Mind

In his treatise Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), the French philosopher René Descartes put forward the idea that “minds”, in so far as they are thinking things, differ from physical bodies, which do not think. Descartes’ claim that the mind and body are separate substances—a view referred to as “substance dualism”—prompted philosophers and scientists to wonder: How can minds be studied scientifically if they are not a part of the physical world?

We will consider a variety of different answers to this question by critically evaluating areas of philosophy and science that have emerged historically to understand the nature of the mind and its place in the physical world. We will begin by considering Cartesian dualism and the mechanical philosophy as well as the empiricism of John Locke. The sciences that will be then be the focus of our analysis include: phrenology & localization theory, early physiology, psychophysics, experimental psychology, Gestalt psychology, evolutionary psychology, intelligence testing, William James’ psychology, learning theory and behaviorism Freudian psychoanalysis, later physiology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, functional neuroanatomy and cognitive neuroscience. We will begin by considering a set of conceptual tools on offer in philosophy of science and philosophy of mind and will then use these tools to guide our analysis of each of the sciences we will consider.

Instructor: J. Sullivan Monday 1:30 - 3:30, Wednesday 1:30 - 2:30 B&GS 1056

Philosophy 2073G: Death

The meaning and moral significance of death, as well as the implications of being conscious of one's own mortality. Drawing upon both classical and contemporary philosophical texts, we will approach the topic of death by attempting to answer some of the following questions: When is something considered dead? What, if anything, survives the bodily death of a person? Should death be feared? Is suicide ever rational? What are we thinking of when we try to think of no longer existing? Does the inevitability of death make life meaningless? If death isn’t bad for a person, does that mean murder is morally okay?

Instructor: R. Robb Tuesday 11:30 - 12:30- HSB 40, Thursday 11:30 - 1:30- UC 3110

Philosophy 2074F: Business Ethics

It is sometimes said that the phrase “business ethics” is an oxymoron. In this course we will attempt to dispel this popular conception. By working our way through many of the moral issues to which the practice of business gives rise, we will show that the interests of business people and moral philosophers converge. Topics include: What is the nature of moral reasoning? Do corporations have social responsibilities? What social responsibilities do corporations have when operating in the global context? Are there universal ethical principles which can guide the conduct of multinational corporations? Do international sweatshops violate human rights? Can the capitalist market economy be justified? What constitutes a just distribution of the goods and services produced by society? What are the rights of employees in the workplace? Do employees have the right to due process? Is business bluffing ethical? When is advertising ethically questionable? How much information about a product is a corporation morally obligated to disclose to consumers, and how and to whom should this information be disclosed? Course Outline

Instructor: D. Proessel Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:30 - 2:30 NCB 114

Philosophy 2077G: Gender and Sexuality

This class will explore the concepts of sex, gender, and sexuality as they are lived and experienced as well as theorized. We will treat each category as a site of ontological, epistemic, political and moral controversy. In so doing, we will attend to the complex ways in which, together, expressions of sex, gender and sexuality enable subjectivity, knowledge, collective and personal identity, autonomy, oppression, social control and moral and political demands and actions.

Instructor: J. Epp  Monday 6:30 - 9:30  SSC 3006

Philosophy 2078F/DH 2126F: Ethics for a Digital World

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 engage materials that explore the following sorts of questions: What are our rights and responsibilities in the digital world? How is social media changing our relationships? How do we balance copyright claims against demands for open access? How do we trade off anonymity and accountability? What’s the relationship between our virtual identities and our physical identities? What constraints, if any, shape our digital identities? Is piracy always wrong? Does a hacker’s code of ethics make any sense? Is cyberbullying worse than other forms of bullying? How should we respond to sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of hate and exclusion in online communities? Where do and don’t smartphones belong? Are there constraints on how we edit and present images online? Course Outline

Instructor: R. Robb Thursday 1:30 - 2:30, 2 hours online WSC 55

Philosophy 2080: Philosophy of Law

We will study the fundamental concepts of law, and the philosophical principles on which they are based. The course is divided into four sections, two each term, as follows: the first term will be spent on tort law and contract law; the second term criminal law and constitutional law. There will also be an introduction to the basic structure of our court system, the difference between statute law and common law, and some basic knowledge of the legal process.
In the study of tort law the main focus will be on the law of negligence, including the expanding areas of liability of product manufacturers, tavern owners, and other public - private entities. We will be reading an essay describing the difference between American and Canadian approaches to tort law, and illustrating themes that are ever present in the law's development.

In the study of contract law, the student will gain an understanding of the basics of contract law by looking at pivotal cases, and applying the principles found in those cases in various other situations. Again, a philosophical essay will lead the way to conceptual underpinnings of contract law. For criminal law, the questions of culpability, intention, and available defences are considered. Finally, constitutional law will be studied with the main focus on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and litigation based on that legislation.

While there is no claim that the student will gain knowledge of the most current state of the law, there will be an effort to consider current events and controversial issues that are topical during the study of the course. In addition, and in conjunction with the cases studied, will be a discussion of the philosophical principles that underlie, justify and inform the law. Controversial areas of the law will be discussed including such topics as the independence of the courts from political influence, freedom of speech, pornography, abortion law, the tension between legal obligations to accused persons and the rights of victims of crime etc. Course Outline

Instructor: J. Hildebrande Monday 7:00 - 9:00 HSB 236

2200- Level Courses                                                        

Philosophy 2200F: Ancient Philosophy

Our focus will be on the thought of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and our aim will be to understand what these philosophers say about the nature of reality, knowledge, human action, our place in the world, and what it means to live well. Questions to be examined include: What is knowledge and is it possible? How do we acquire knowledge? What sorts of things is it possible for us to know? What is the connection between virtue and knowledge? What is philosophy and how should we practice it? What is the connection between philosophy and politics? What is the nature of happiness? How is happiness related to virtue and friendship? What might it mean to live a good life? Course Outline

Instructor: D. Proessel Tuesday B&GS-0165 1:30 - 3:30, Thursday HSB 240 1:30 - 2:30

PPE 2200F: Introduction to Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Our focus will be on the thought of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and our aim will be to understand what these philosophers say about the nature of reality, knowledge, human action, our place in the world, and what it means to live well. Questions to be examined include: What is knowledge and is it possible? How do we acquire knowledge? What sorts of things is it possible for us to know? What is the connection between virtue and knowledge? What is philosophy and how should we practice it? What is the connection between philosophy and politics? What is the nature of happiness? How is happiness related to virtue and friendship? What might it mean to live a good life?

Instructor: TBD Tuesday 1:30 - 3:30, Thursday 1:30 - 2:30 UC 3110

Philosophy 2202F: Early Modern Philosophy

The early Modern period (roughly 1600-1800) was an intellectually rich and immensely influential chapter in the history of philosophy. In this course, we will survey some of its key figures and ideas. We will consider issues in metaphysics (materialism, the nature of substance, accounts of causality, personality and immortality), epistemology (the challenge of skepticism, whether any ideas are innate), natural theology (proofs of God’s existence), the philosophy of mind (the nature and extent of consciousness, the relation of mind to body), and innovations in political philosophy (social contract theory). Course Outline

Instructor: C. Dyck Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 - 1:30 SSC 2036

Philosophy 2250: Introduction to Logic

A study of modern, first-order propositional and predicate logic including identity and definite descriptions, with an introduction to modal and higher-order logic. Students will learn to identify the forms of claims and demonstrations and apply syntactic and semantic tests to determine the consistency and consequence of claims. The soundness and completeness of these tests will be demonstrated using mathematical induction and modern predicate semantics. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): Philosophy 2020, Philosophy 2252W/X, Philosophy 2254A/B.

Instructor: L. Falkenstein Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30 - 12:30 AHB 2B04

Philosophy 2300F: Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science addresses questions such as: What is the difference between science and non-science? What sort of knowledge can we expect from science? Does it give us objective knowledge of the world? If so, can this knowledge extend beyond knowledge of what is directly observable? What is the proper role of science in society, and what are the ethical obligations of scientists?

We will address these questions in connection with two case studies of scientific revolution: and the Darwinian revolution in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Copernican revolution at the birth of modern science. Both of these have implications for the relation between science and the wider culture. We will look at writings of the scientists involved, as well as major works by philosophers of science. The aim is for students to form their own thoughts on the questions to be addressed. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): The former Philosophy 2030F/G

Instructor: W. Myrvold Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30, Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 TC 205

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. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): Philosophy 1030A/B.

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

Instructor: W. Myrvold Thursday 6:30 - 9:30 NCB 293

Philosophy 2355G (650): Sustainability- A Philosophical Perspective

From governments to transnational corporations to radical environmental organizations, everyone agrees that we should pursue the ideal of sustainability. But what exactly does this mean? What ought to be sustained, and what is required to make that possible? Is sustainability a mere trendy ideology? Is it a justified ethical ideal? Or is it a scientifically based endeavor to live well in a complex and increasingly populated world? Some experts now suggest that sustainability requires resilient, life-supporting social-ecological systems as well as intergenerational justice and equity. This course explores this proposal and fosters reflection on the philosophical issues it raises.

Instructor: E. Desjardins Online

Philosophy 2400F: Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

The course surveys historical and contemporary views about the relationship between the mind and body and the place of mental properties in the natural world. The readings are from primary sources with accompanying commentary. Topics include metaphysical questions about the nature of the world (materialism, idealism, or dualism), materialist theories of mind (behaviourism, identity theory, functionalism), and questions about the possibility of artificial intelligence, the special nature of consciousness, what mental states are, how they get their meaning, and how they cause behaviour.

Instructor: C. Viger Wednesday 9:30 - 11:30, Friday 9:30 - 10:30 FNB 3210

Philosophy 2557G: Existentialism

Existentialists define who we are through what we do and how we live our lives. We cannot turn to external sources such as religion, morals, or public opinion to tell us what to do, or how to find meaning. That is our task in life. This does not mean we are not responsible for others, for the environment, for ourselves. But there is no formula for how to accomplish this responsibility, which can be both terrifying and freeing. In this course we will turn to classic existentialists such as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger who raise these fundamental existential questions, along with thinkers such Hannah Arendt and Frantz Fanon who question the relation of truth to politics, as well as the limits of freedom such as racialization. We explore how we find meaning in our everyday existence, which is marked by the paradox of seeming to have limitless choice at the same time as there is external pressure to succeed and conform. Ultimately we learn from these thinkers that there are no absolute truths, yet that does not mean that all truths are relative, that there is no right or wrong. Our responsibility is to find our own path in a world we share with others. Course Outline

Instructor: H. Fielding Tuesday 4:30 - 5:30, Thursday 3:30 - 5:30 FNB 1250

Philosophy 2661G: Philosophy of Religion

An examination of issues in philosophy of religion, focusing on arguments concerning the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the occurrence of miracles, the validity of religious experience, and the place of religion in morality. Independent critical thinking is stressed, and no particular religious views are presupposed. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): Philosophy 2063E (Brescia), Philosophy 2660E (King's).

Instructor: L. Charland Tuesday 9:30 - 10:30, Thursday 9:30 - 11:30 P&AB 148

Philosophy 2700F: Introduction to Ethics and Value

This course introduces students to the attempts by scholars to understand whether, and the degree to which, humans can be held responsible for their actions. Do humans have ethical duties and responsibilities toward one another or themselves? If so, on what grounds do they have those ethical duties? The primary focus of our survey of the scholarly responses to these questions will consist first in a review of the dominant concerns in meta-ethics, followed by a survey of the most prominent ethical theories. Course Outline

Instructor: R. Robb Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30, Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 UC 3110

Philosophy 2715F: Health Care Ethics

Ethical issues in health care represent some of the most pressing issues faced by Canadians. In this course, students will learn about the most important bioethical issues across the human life span, from conception to death. At what point in development do human beings acquire moral status? Is it ethical to select human embryos for desirable features? When patients and physicians disagree about treatment, who has the final say? What do we owe the global poor? And can we harvest organs for transplantation from the dead? Diverse philosophical approaches to these— and other—bioethical problems will be considered with an emphasis on the role of moral reasoning. Readings and in-class lectures will be supplemented with discussion of real-world bioethics cases. The course is recommended for students considering a career in the health professions, or those who seek a deeper understanding of contemporary social issues. No prior background in philosophy is assumed. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s): Health Sciences 2610F/G.

Instructor: C. Weijer Wednesday 3:30 - 5:30, Tutorial: Monday 4:30-5:30 SEB 1059

Philosophy 2720G: Ethics and Professionalism

Many students at Western hope to become some kind of professional, such as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, engineer, or journalist. But what does it mean to be a professional? What does it mean to have a profession as opposed to a job that isn’t a profession? Are there special privileges but also duties that go along with being a professional? Are the relationships that professionals have with the people who use their services and depend on them unique in some way? These are the sorts of questions we will ask in this course. We will also look at more specific topics in professional ethics, such as client or patient confidentiality, the nature and importance of professional integrity, whether professionals should heed their conscience when it conflicts with their professional duties, and whistleblowing. Overall, the course should prepare students well for grappling with the ethical demands of professional life. Course Outline

Instructor: C. McLeod Tuesday 10:30 - 12:30; FNB 2210, Thursday 10:30 - 11:30; FNB 1240

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: D. Proessel Monday 10:30 - 12:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30 FNB 1240

3000- Level Courses                                                        

Philosophy 3027G: Berkeley

George Berkeley is one of the most-quoted Western philosophers, on ideas that may seem to be the least plausible. At first glance, basic principles of Berkeley’s idealism— for example, that material objects have no existence outside our minds— may sound as absurd to us as they sounded to many of is contemporaries. Berkeley himself argued, however, that these principles offered the best defense of common sense and empirical science against the absurd ideas of the more orthodox thinkers. It is hard to understand the history of modern philosophy, especially the history of empiricism, without understanding how Berkeley arrived at this conclusion, and the impact that it had on epistemology, metaphysics, and even psychology.

In this course, we will consider the philosophical ideas of Berkeley from various perspectives: in their internal logic, their historical context, and their relevance to our own philosophical problems. We will read his major works in conjunction with those of other philosophers against whom he was reacting, and those who were reacting against him. In this way, we will try to appreciate what made his philosophical ideas such an important part of the development of Western philosophy. Prerequisite: Philosophy 2202F/G. Course Outline

Prerequisite(s):Philosophy 2202F/G

Instructor: R. DiSalle Monday 1:30 - 3:30, Wednesday 1:30 - 2:30 SH 3307

Philosophy 3170G/ AH 3390G: Topics in the History of Ethics

This course will provide a detailed investigation of the context, arguments, significance, and influence of Kant’s most famous text in ethics, the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Course Outline

Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 2200F/G or Philosophy 2202F/G or Philosophy 2700F/G.

Instructor: C. Dyck Wednesday 12:30 - 2:30, Friday 12:30 - 1:30 P&AB 34

Philosophy 3410G: Philosophy of Mind

Advanced topics in the philosophy of mind. Topics may include: the metaphysics of mind -- from Cartesian Dualism, through Behaviorism and Identity Theory, to modern functionalist theories; connections between metaphysics of mind and topics such as mental causation, mental content, and consciousness. Emphasis will be given to contemporary readings. Course Outline

Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 2400F/G

Instructor: R. Stainton Wednesday 2:30 - 3:30, Friday 2:30 - 4:30 UCC 56

Philosophy 3450G: Philosophy of Neuroscience

During the past three decades, neuroscience has made major strides in advancing our understanding of the brain and nervous system, consciousness, cognition and behaviour. Such advances have prompted interest in neuroscience among philosophers of mind and philosophers of science, leading to the creation of two new philosophical research areas: “neurophilosophy” and “philosophy of neuroscience”. Neurophilosophers are interested in questions such as: Are mental states nothing over and above brain states? How does the brain enable subjective and emotional experiences, higher-order consciousness and cognition? What kinds of claims about traditional philosophical issues such as the mind-brain relationship, free will and human morality can be made on the basis of neuroscientific data? What are the implications of neuroscience for the law? What are the ethical implications of enhancing or altering human brain function? Philosophers of neuroscience, in contrast, are concerned with questions like: What is the nature of explanation in neuroscience? What kinds of assumptions inform neuroscientific research? What makes for a good or reliable neuroscientific experiment? In this course we will address each of these questions. The course should be of interest to students majoring in philosophy, cognitive science or neuroscience. Course Outline

Instructor: J. Sullivan Monday 10:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 10:30 - 12:30 P&AB 117

Philosophy 3501F: Epistemology

Epistemology considers questions about knowledge: what it is to have knowledge, as opposed to mere opinion or conjecture, and how we can justify our claims to knowledge. For this reason it has played a part in the history of the other main branches of philosophy, metaphysics and ethics, examining the justification for our claims to knowledge about what there is, and how we ought to act. For the same reason, epistemological inquiry has played a part in the history of science and mathematics, and every intellectual field in which there is a need to examine the grounds of our beliefs. This course considers some of the most important problems in the theory of knowledge, from a selection of classical and contemporary viewpoints. In this way we will gain some insight into the origins, motivations, and evolution of these problems as well as their implications for contemporary thought. Topics will include justification of beliefs, the relation between sense and reason, scepticism and certainty, foundationalism and coherentism, connections between knowledge and language, deductive and non-deductive inference, epistemological naturalism, and the role of the a priori in our common sense and scientific knowledge. Course Outline

Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 2500F/G

Instructor: R. DiSalle Tuesday 12:30 - 2:30, Thursday 12:30 - 1:30  UCC 65

Philosophy 3601F: Metaphysics

An introduction to recent debates on metaphysical questions. This year’s focal topic will be propositions, which connects closely with: what kinds of things there are; the “being of non-being”; the nature of unity; linguistic and mental meanings; Idealism; and modality. We will approach the topic of propositions through the lens of four key figures in Analytic metaphysics: Frege, Moore, Russell and Kripke. Course Outline

Instructor: R. Stainton MWF 12:30 - 1:30 VAC 100

Philosophy 3810F/ Law 5850A: Justice

A seminar in political and legal philosophy. Sample topics: the distinction between corrective and distributive justice, the use of class actions as a mechanism of social justice, the redistribution of wealth through taxation, the role of constitutional institutions in delivering and embodying justice, and conceptual models of a just society. Course Outline

Antirequisite(s) at Main campus: Law 5770.

Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 2700F/G or Philosophy 2800F/G or Philosophy 2801F/G or Philosophy 2821F/G or Philosophy 2822F/G.

Instructor: A. Botterell Tuesday 10:30 - 12:30, Thursday 10:30 - 11:30 NCB 114

Philosophy 3991F: Non-Human Minds and Human Morals: Animals, Plants, and Bacteria

In this course we will consider different philosophical and scientific approaches to the mental attributes of nonhuman organisms and some ethical debates that fall out of them. Animal minds have been a matter of discussion since Ancient Philosophy and Darwin himself, for example, was defending the attribution of some intelligent capacities to plants already in the 19th century. During the 20th century, these ideas have been developed across the sciences of the mind and some of them have informed debates regarding the way to treat nonhuman animals, their moral status, etc. We will address these and other issues by first considering some traditional and contemporary questions regarding nonhuman minds before turning to a consideration of some ethical debates that emerge from them. Course Outline

Instructor: Vicente Raja Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30, Thursday 2:30 - 4:30 P&AB 117

4000- Level Courses                                                        

Philosophy 4310G/ 9XXXG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience

This course explores areas of common interest between philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, including: consciousness, computation, representation, modularity, and embodiment, from both scientific and philosophical perspectives. We will also explore methodological issues, including the power and limitations of fMRI and other brain imaging technologies, and the structure of scientific inference.

Instructor: M. Anderson Monday 2:30 - 5:30 STVH 1145

Philosophy 4410F/ 9XXXF: Problems in Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness

Concepts are considered to be the essential elements or building blocks of thought. In this course, we will read primary sources articulating various theories of concepts from philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. We will review the strengths and weaknesses of views that concepts are definitions, prototypes, exemplars, stereotypes, or words in a language of thought. We also study various constraints that have been suggested for any theory of concepts, such as that they must compose or whether they are holistic or atomistic and critically assess those constraints. We conclude by considering how the human brain is structured to facilitate the acquisition of concepts. Course Outline

Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 2400F/G.

Instructor: C. Viger Thursday 2:30 - 5:30 STVH 1145