New Courses in 2023-24

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.

Philosophy 2661F- 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.

Philosophy 3030G- Nietzsche: This course is a survey of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical writings, including texts from his early, middle, and late periods. Among the topics to be considered are his critique of Western morality, his doctrine of eternal recurrence, his rejection of the subject, and his declaration of the death of God.

Philosophy 3032G- The Rationalist Tradition: A study of efforts in early modern philosophy to place human knowledge, including philosophy, theology, and the sciences, on a rational foundation. The works of Descartes and his successors, such as Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibniz, and others, will be emphasized.

Philosophy 3420G- Philosophy of Psychology: Conceptual issues arising in psychology. Topics may include: modularity, nativism, theory of mind, the theory theory, simulation theory, concept acquisition, conceptual content. The methodology used by psychologists may also be investigated. Though some historical writings may be used, the emphasis will be on contemporary works.

Philosophy 4050G- Seminar in Kant's First Critique: A broadly-based study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and his related critical and pre-critical writings on physical, metaphysical and epistemological topics. More information to follow.

Philosophy 4091G- Topics in Continental Philosophy: A study of selected topics in continental philosophy. The topics dealt with vary from year to year. More detailed information concerning content and prerequisites may be obtained from the Department prior to registration. More information to follow.

Philosophy 4210F - Problems in Philosophy of Language: A survey of foundational and highly influential texts from 20th Century Analytic Philosophy of Language. Emphasis will be on twin topics of special interest to contemporary theorizing: 1) contrasting conceptions of linguistic meaning, including Frege-Russell-Davidson style truth-conditional approaches; Ordinary Language Philosophy’s use-oriented approaches; and the mentalist semantics familiar from Grice and generative grammar. 2) The contrast between semantics vs. pragmatics and attempts to trace a boundary between them. This latter section will conclude with a detailed case study on definite descriptions, indexicals and singular reference. Authors include: Austin, Davidson, Donnellan, Fodor, Frege, Grice, Kaplan, Kripke, Russell, Searle, Strawson and Wittgenstein. 

Philosophy 4730F- Topics in Feminist Ethics and Social-Political Philosophy: Trust and Social Bonds: Crucial to our well-being and survival are social bonds that allow us to depend on one another. The COVID-19 crisis has made this fact all too clear. But these bonds depend on trust, which in some societies or relationships is in short supply. How can trust be enhanced where it is lacking or preserved where it exists, particularly during social crises like that of a pandemic? This course will centre on this question, which is interdisciplinary. We will be focused primarily (though not exclusively) on what philosophy can contribute by way of an answer. We will be asking, in particular, what feminist philosophy can contribute, where a feminist approach takes for granted that attitudes like trust and distrust are formed against a social background that oppresses certain groups of people and privileges others.

Philosophy 4900G- Honours Capstone Seminar: This seminar will introduce students to contemporary philosophical research. Students will read and present on material recently published in the instructor's areas of expertise. Students will be guided through the process of identifying paper topics that could contribute to active research in philosophy.