Course Descriptions - Undergraduate Calendar 2016-2017

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P H I L O S O P H Y 

Notes

  1. Some Philosophy courses are offered more often than others. For details on upcoming course offerings, consult the Department of Philosophy website. Details of St. Jerome's Philosophy offering are available on the St. Jerome's University website.
  2. Students who do not satisfy course requisites may on occasion be admitted to those courses by instructor consent.
  3. In general, 300-level courses assume some background in Philosophy. Students who have not taken any Philosophy courses before but who wish to register in a 300-level course should consult the course instructor.
  4. Courses suffixed with "J" are administered by St. Jerome's University.
  5. Some main campus Philosophy courses are taught by the St. Jerome's University Department of Philosophy, and from time to time by faculty members at Conrad Grebel University College, Renison University College, and St. Paul's University College. Consult Quest for details.
 

PHIL 100s


PHIL 100J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007231
Introduction to Philosophy
This course seeks to introduce students to the nature of philosophy. This is done through the examination of core texts and figures in the history of philosophy as well as in the discussion of perennial philosophical questions.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 110A LEC 0.50Course ID: 007228
Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality
An introduction to central issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Questions to be considered might include: "Can we know anything?", "Does God exist?", "Is the mind just a brain?", "Do human beings have free will?"
[Note: Formerly PHIL 100.]
Also offered Online

PHIL 110B LEC 0.50Course ID: 010344
Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics and Values
This course is an introduction to philosophical thinking about ethics and value, that is, about what is good, right, fair, just, and worthwhile in life. Includes consideration of questions such as "What is the right thing to do?" and "Do human beings have free will?"
[Note: Formerly PHIL 105.]
Also offered Online

PHIL 118J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007241
The Moral Life
An examination of the importance of virtue in general and of the cardinal virtues in particular for the development of character and the enjoyment of the good life.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 120J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007242
Philosophy of Life and Death
A study of what some of the great philosophers have said about the meaning of life and death and the transition from life to death. Students are urged to raise questions and help direct discussion.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 145 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 007246
Critical Thinking
An analysis of basic types of reasoning, structure of arguments, critical assessment of information, common fallacies, problems of clarity and meaning.
Also offered Online

PHIL 200s


PHIL 200J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007250
Aristotelian Logic
An introduction to the understanding of how words are used, the formation of propositions, the construction of arguments and the examination of fallacies to help the student argue with order, facility and without error.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 201 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007251
Philosophy of Sex and Love
Classic and contemporary philosophical examination of sex and love. Questions considered might include the following: Do you love because your love-object is worthy, or do you find your love-object worthy because of your love for him/her/it ? Does sex ever involve using persons as mere means to an end? Should it?
Also offered Online

PHIL 202 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007253
Gender Issues
Philosophical analysis of issues relating to sex/gender. Questions considered might include the following: What, if anything, is the difference between sex and gender? How much of a role do facts about biology play in our ideas about sex and gender? How many sexes are there? What ethical issues arise for us in virtue of our gender?
(Cross-listed with WS 222)
Also offered Online

PHIL 204J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007254
Philosophy and Culture
An analysis of the philosophical assumptions of Western popular culture as reflected in various mass media and in current models of production and consumption.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 205 LEC 0.50Course ID: 015088
Philosophy of Economics
This course considers conceptual, methodological, foundational, and ethical issues in economic theory and practice. Questions include: What can philosophy teach us about economic methodology and justification? Are economic formalizations useful idealizations of human behaviour? Is economics a science? What role do values play in economic reasoning and policy-making?
Antireq: PHIL 371 taken Winter 2014
(Cross-listed with ECON 261)

PHIL 206 LEC 0.50Course ID: 015089
Philosophy of Sport
This course uses the tools of philosophy to ask important questions about sport, such as: what is sport? What is the value of sport, for participants or fans? Are violent sports unethical? Should performance enhancing drugs be banned? What is luck, and how is it different from skill?
Antireq: PHIL 271 taken Fall 2014

PHIL 207J LEC 0.50Course ID: 015311
Philosophy and J.R.R. Tolkien
An introduction to the implicit philosophical content of Tolkien's works, with a special emphasis on Lord of the Rings. Problems such as the existence of God, fate, free will, evil, death, and technology will be explored. Tolkien's views will be examined in relation to philosophical works.
Antireq: PHIL 209 taken Winter 2015, Fall 2015
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 208 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007259
Philosophy Through Science Fiction
Questions regarding such matters as the nature of knowledge, logic and language, mind and brain, space and time, causality, ethics, and politics are explored through classic philosophic texts and science fiction narratives.

PHIL 209 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007260
Philosophy in Literature
Philosophical themes will be explored through appropriate literary works.

PHIL 210J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007263
Philosophy of Human Nature
What is a human being? What is the place of humans among other creatures? Are human beings accidents of evolution? What are the major theories of human nature? How are love and sex aspects of human life?
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 215 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007266
Professional and Business Ethics
Study of ethical and moral issues that typically arise in professional and business activity. What responsibilities to society at large do people in such business and professional activities as teaching, engineering, planning, architecture, and accounting have? How far should professional autonomy extend?
(Cross-listed with ARBUS 202)
Also offered Online

PHIL 216 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007267
Probability and Decision Making
This course covers a set of related topics in probability, inductive reasoning, game theory and decision theory which are of both theoretical and practical interest, having application to the philosophy of science, epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, political science, and economics. The course begins with probability theory, introduces utility theory, and discusses approaches to the theory of decision making with attention to their epistemological, social, and ethical implications.

PHIL 218J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007269
Ethical Theory
The search to establish a rational basis for ethics. Consideration will be given to ethical theories which help to shed light on the most fundamental problem of ethics: the existence and the nature of the good, understood as the question of what makes a human life a good life.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 219J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007270
Practical Ethics
This course will examine a variety of applied ethical issues. The topics that may be discussed include abortion, euthanasia, pornography, environmentalism, animal rights, poverty, and reproductive technologies.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 220 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007271
Moral Issues
This course surveys several controversial moral topics, and a range of philosophical views on each. Topics may include abortion, cloning, euthanasia and suicide, sexism, prostitution, pornography, torture, and animal rights.
Also offered Online

PHIL 221 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007272
Ethics
An introduction to moral theories, including ones based on virtue, consequences, and rights and duties, with discussion of historical developments leading to those theories.
Also offered Online

PHIL 224 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007274
Environmental Ethics
Philosophical perspectives on such issues as climate change, pollution, use of scarce resources, biodiversity, and our relations with animals and future generations. This course will also consider bioactivism and other approaches to environmental problems.

PHIL 226 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007275
Biomedical Ethics
An examination of ethical issues in the health sciences, such as the patient-doctor relationship, reproductive rights and technologies, genetic testing, allocation of medical resources, and end of life decisions.

PHIL 227 LEC 0.50Course ID: 012678
Culture and Ethics
This course surveys a variety of competing ethical positions that have been, and continue to be, adopted by different cultures around the world. Can two competing ethical viewpoints both be right? If not, then what grounds should we adopt to decide between them, and under what circumstances? How can we negotiate the difficulties that such differences pose for our practical judgment and moral theorizing? Students will engage these questions by reading texts in philosophical ethics and meta-ethics, and by applying what they have learned in case studies of ethical differences among cultures.
(Cross-listed with INDEV 300)

PHIL 230J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007277
God and Philosophy
An investigation of several aspects concerning the meaning and existence of God. Is God-talk possible? Can faith and reason be reconciled? Is religious experience a meaningful argument? A wide range of different views will be considered.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 237 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007281
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
A critical discussion of basic religious concepts. Among the topics covered will be faith, miracles, religious experience, immortality, arguments for the existence of God, and challenges to religious belief.
[Note: This course fulfils an Area 3A requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
(Cross-listed with RS 261)

PHIL 240 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007285
Introduction to Formal Logic
An examination of classical propositional logic, covering proof methods, expressive completeness, soundness, and completeness. Also introduction to quantificational logic.
Prereq: Not open to students in the Faculty of Mathematics.
Antireq: PHIL 140
Also offered Online

PHIL 245 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013567
Critical Thinking About Science
How does science work? Does anything fall outside the scope of scientific inquiry? Under what circumstances do scientific claims deserve our trust? Does corporate funding of research affect its credibility? What can scientific failures teach us about scientific success? By looking at case studies of recognized scientific successes and failures, this course addresses these questions in a way that emphasizes core philosophical concepts in epistemology, philosophy of science, and ethics.

PHIL 251 LEC 0.50Course ID: 015087
Metaphysics and Epistemology
This course introduces philosophical theories about the nature of reality (metaphysics), how we gain knowledge of it (epistemology), and of why such questions matter. Topics may include skepticism, the nature of rationality, knowledge of other minds, realism and anti-realism, and free will and determinism.
Also offered Online

PHIL 255 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007292
Philosophy of Mind
This course will discuss fundamental questions concerning the nature of mind, including the relation between mind and body, the plausibility of commonsense views of the mind, and knowledge of other minds.

PHIL 256 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007293
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence. This course will draw on philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, and anthropology to address central questions about the nature of thinking. Topics discussed will include mental representation, computational models of mind, and consciousness.
(Cross-listed with PSYCH 256)
Also offered Online

PHIL 258 LEC 0.50Course ID: 008523
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
This course considers fundamental questions concerning the nature of science. Consideration is given to such topics as scientific methodology, scientific revolutions, natural laws, and the debate about whether scientific theories represent reality, or just our perceptions of reality.
(Cross-listed with SCI 267)

PHIL 259 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011904
Philosophy of Technology
What is technology? What is its relationship with modern science? Is technology a means or an end? Does the development of technology require a change in the way we conceive human nature and its place within the natural world? What new moral and metaphysical dilemmas does technology raise?

PHIL 265 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007297
The Existentialist Experience
An introduction to existentialism using both literary and philosophical texts.
Also offered Online

PHIL 271 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013568
Special Topics
Special topics, as announced by the department.

PHIL 283 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007248
Great Works: Ancient and Medieval
A historical survey of ancient and medieval philosophy in the Western tradition.
Antireq: PHIL 250A
(Cross-listed with CLAS 261)
Also offered Online

PHIL 284 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007249
Great Works: Modern
A historical survey of modern philosophy in the Western tradition.
[Note: Formerly PHIL 250B.]
Antireq: PHIL 250B

PHIL 300s


PHIL 305J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007256
Philosophy of Nature
An examination of ancient and modern accounts of the natural world. Problems include whether matter alone can account for change, whether there is more than one cause, whether nature operates by purpose or chance.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 306J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007257
Philosophy of Science
A philosophical study of the approaches to the material world used by contemporary physical science. The nature and the value of the experimental method in the writings of scientists past and present will be examined.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 311 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007305
Philosophy of Education
This course surveys a number of philosophical examinations of education - its nature, purpose, methods and consequences.
Prereq: Level at least 2A

PHIL 315 LEC 0.50Course ID: 005811
Ethics and The Engineering Profession
An analysis from the standpoint of philosophical ethics of moral issues arising in professional engineering practice. Issues include the social responsibility of engineers, conflict of interest and obligation, morally acceptable levels of risk, and moral implications of technology.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with GENE 412)

PHIL 318J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007308
Philosophy and the Family
A philosophical examination of the family: its foundation, its purpose, its importance in personal growth and its relation to political community.
Prereq: One of PHIL 102B, 118J, 218J, 219J, 220, 221
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 319J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007309
Bioethics
Examination of the principles of philosophical ethics that are applicable to some of the problems posed by the new methods and technologies used in the biological sciences (e.g., medicine and pharmaceutical research). The issues that may be discussed include genetic engineering, animal experimentation, reproductive technologies, and medically assisted suicide.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 324 LEC 0.50Course ID: 010346
Social and Political Philosophy
An examination of central issues in social and political philosophy. This course draws on both contemporary and historical readings to discuss issues such as: Does the state have legitimate authority to govern? What is the just way to distribute resources? What is the value of equality? Of liberty? What rights, if any, do we have, and why?
Prereq: Level at least 2A
Also offered Online

PHIL 327 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007311
Philosophy of Law
Basic themes in the philosophy of law. Issues include the nature of law and its relation to morality and politics, legal reasoning, the justification of punishment, and theories of rights, responsibility and liability.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with LS 351)

PHIL 328 LEC 0.50Course ID: 011185
Human Rights
What are human rights? Which do we have, and why? What are the practical implications of human rights, for both individuals and institutions? A comprehensive discussion of theory and history, of law and morality, and of national and international applications.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with LS 352)

PHIL 329 LEC 0.50Course ID: 009925
Violence, Non-violence, and War
An exploration of the traditional debates concerning the legitimacy of violence and war as instruments in the pursuit of personal and political goals. The course critically examines a continuum of views from religious doctrines of non-resistance, to various forms of pacifism and non-violent resistance, "just-war theory", and political realism. The strategic arguments for political non-violent action are also considered.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with PACS 316)

PHIL 331 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007315
Philosophy of Art
What is art? What is beauty? What do the two have to do with each other? This course introduces students to some fundamental issues in the philosophy of art, and to a variety of philosophical views on these issues.
Prereq: Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with FINE 338)

PHIL 341 LEC 0.50Course ID: 009525
Intermediate Classical Logic
A systematic investigation of classical predicate logic, with an emphasis on proving key results significant in other areas of philosophy. The course will include soundness and completeness, basic model theory including the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem, and key limitative results such as the Tarski's indefinability theorem and Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
Prereq: PHIL 240

PHIL 342 LEC 0.50Course ID: 009526
Non-Standard Logics
An introduction to various non-standard logics at the centre of debates in various areas of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, metaethics, and philosophy of science. Logics covered will include second order logic, classical modal, deontic, temporal, and epistemic logics, and intuitionistic logic. Other systems, such as relevance and linear logics, may also be discussed.
Prereq: PHIL 240

PHIL 350 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007317
Theories of Knowledge
A selection of topics in epistemology such as skepticism, the debate about whether knowledge has foundations, and issues raised by different sources of knowledge (e.g., perception, reasoning, memory, testimony).
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL

PHIL 355 LEC 0.50Course ID: 009527
Theories of Reality
A selection of topics in metaphysics such as universals and particulars, the mind-body problem, and free will.
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL

PHIL 356 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014722
Intelligence in Machines, Humans, and Other Animals
A comparison of the representations and processes that produce intelligent performance, such as problem-solving, learning, and language in natural and artificial systems.
Prereq: PHIL/PSYCH 256
(Cross-listed with COGSCI 300)

PHIL 359 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007320
Philosophy of Mathematics
A study of philosophical problems concerning mathematics. Topics discussed include formalism, intuitionism, logicism, the mathematical paradoxes, and other topics in foundations and metamathematics.
Prereq: Level at least 2A

PHIL 363 LEC 0.50Course ID: 009528
Philosophy of Language
Topics in the philosophy of language such as meaning, truth, reference, speech acts, mental representations of syntax and semantics, psycholinguistics, and relations between logical and natural languages.
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL

PHIL 371 LEC 0.50Course ID: 013569
Special Topics
Special topics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 2A

PHIL 378 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007323
American Philosophy
A survey of the leading ideas of classical American philosophers with attention to common themes, such as pragmatism.
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL

PHIL 380 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007324
History of Ancient Philosophy
In this course, students will examine one or more important figures, periods, or issues in ancient philosophy. Plato and Aristotle are among the philosophers who may be covered.
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL
(Cross-listed with CLAS 361)
Also offered Online

PHIL 382 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007326
Medieval Philosophy
In this course students will examine one or more important figures, periods, or issues in medieval philosophy. Augustine, Boethius, Avicenna, Maimonides, Aquinas, and Scotus are among the philosophers who may be covered.
Prereq: 0.50 unit in PHIL

PHIL 384 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007328
History of Modern Philosophy
In this course, students will learn about one or more important figures, periods, or issues in modern philosophy. Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant are among the figures who may be covered.
Prereq: 0.50 unit in PHIL
Also offered Online

PHIL 386 LEC 0.50Course ID: 007330
19th-Century Philosophy
The 19th-century philosophers covered may include Hegel, Mill, Schopenhauer, James, and Kierkegaard.
Prereq: 0.50 units in PHIL

PHIL 400s


PHIL 402 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007335
Studies in Feminist Philosophy/Philosophy of Sex
Special topics in feminist philosophy, women philosophers and/or the philosophy of sex, as announced by the Department of Philosophy.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students
(Cross-listed with WS 422)

PHIL 403 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011189
Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Special topics in ancient philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students
(Cross-listed with CLAS 461)

PHIL 404 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011190
Studies in Medieval Philosophy
Special topics in medieval philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 405 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011191
Studies in Modern Philosophy
Special topics in 17th and 18th century philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 407 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011193
Studies in 19th Century Philosophy
Special topics in 19th century philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 408 SEM 0.50Course ID: 011194
Early 20th Century Philosophy
Special topics in early 20th century philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 416 SEM 0.50Course ID: 013574
Studies in Probability and Decision Theory
Special topics in probability and decision theory, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 418J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007336
Ethics and Society
This course examines the nature and purpose of community living as well as such traditionally controversial issues as private and public morality, the individual good and the common good, personal freedom and group responsibility.
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 420 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007337
Studies in Ethics
Special topics in ethics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 422 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007339
Studies in Political Philosophy
Special topics in Political Philosophy, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 441 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007345
Studies in Logic
Special topics in logic, as announced by the department.
Prereq: One of PHIL 240, 341, 342, 440A, 440B, PMATH 330

PHIL 447 SEM 0.50Course ID: 012715
Seminar in Cognitive Science
An interdisciplinary discussion of central issues concerned with mind and intelligence, such as representation, meaning, inference and consciousness.
Prereq: PHIL/PSYCH 256
(Cross-listed with PSYCH 447)

PHIL 450J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007348
Being and Existence
A discussion of metaphysics as the kind of examination initiated by the Greeks (e.g., Parmenides and Aristotle) and renewed subsequently by many other philosophers (e.g., Aquinas and Heidegger), understood as ontology or the rational study of being as such. Notions such as reality, essence, existence, and analogy will be discussed.
Prereq: Level at least 3A
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 451J LEC 0.50Course ID: 007349
Thomas Aquinas
An examination of the work of Thomas Aquinas and some of the main themes addressed by him, although a particular emphasis will be placed on ethics and metaphysics. His relation to ancient, Arabic, and thirteenth-century thought will also be considered.
Prereq: 0.5 units in PHIL; Level at least 3A
Offered at St. Jerome's University

PHIL 452 SEM 0.50Course ID: 013582
Studies in Epistemology
Special topics in epistemology, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 455 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007350
Studies in Metaphysics
Special topics in metaphysics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 458 SEM 0.50Course ID: 013576
Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Special topics in the philosophy of science, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 459 SEM 0.50Course ID: 013577
Studies in the Philosophy of Physics
An investigation of philosophical issues raised by physics. Topics could include the interpretation of quantum theory, the arrow of time, or the nature of space and time. This course is suitable for students with a background in either philosophy, physics, or mathematics.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 463 SEM 0.50Course ID: 013578
Studies in the Philosophy of Language
Special topics in the philosophy of language, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 471 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007355
Special Topics
Advanced study of special topics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 472 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007356
Special Topics
Advanced study of special topics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 481 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007365
Special Topics
Advance study of special topics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 482 SEM 0.50Course ID: 007366
Special Topics
Advanced study of special topics, as announced by the department.
Prereq: Level at least 3A Honours Philosophy students

PHIL 498 RDG 0.50Course ID: 010026
Directed Reading in Special Areas
Readings in selected topics chosen in discussion with instructor.
Department Consent Required