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Undergraduate Officer
W.R. Abbott, HH 326, ext. 2660

Courses not offered in the current academic year are listed at the end of this section.


  1. Students must consult the Department before preregistering in upper-year courses. Final details of the courses which will actually be offered in the next academic year, including special subject courses, are available at preregistration time.
  2. Any two term courses in philosophy can be used to satisfy the Group A(i) requirements.
  3. Courses suffixed with "J" are administered by St. Jerome's College.


PHIL 100 F,W,S 3C 0.5
Introduction to Philosophy
What can we know? What is real? Are moral choices and politics based on reason? Are human beings really just machines? Does God exist? The goal of the course is to promote critical reasoning about these issues which touch your beliefs and lives.

PHIL 100J F,W 3C 0.5
Introduction to Philosophy
A broad selection of the main problems in philosophy will be considered. For example: How can we know whether anything is right or wrong? How can we know about things we cannot directly observe? Can we know whether there is a God? Is mind in any sense distinct from matter?

PHIL 102A 3C 0.5
Introduction: Knowledge and Reality
Discussion of the nature of reality. Rival theories concerning mind, matter, freedom, the existence of God, and the place of experience and reason in human knowledge are considered.

PHIL 102B 3C 0.5
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
An introduction to basic concepts and principles via readings in classical and contemporary social and political philosophy. Concentration is on the justification of the State, with specific attention to socialism, capitalism, and democracy. Does society create problems which poltiical institutions are necessary for solving?

PHIL 102C 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Life
"Who am I?" "What can I hope for after death?" "How can I tell what to do?" "What can I know?" are questions that have led many to philosophize. The course will examine what lifestyles and attitudes major philosophers, stoics, skeptics, pleasure-seekers, mystics, pragmatists, etc. have promoted, and why.

PHIL 118J F 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 120J F 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 130J W 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Discontent
A study of what some of the great philosophers have said about the causes of discontent. Social disobedience and the extent to which ethical principles can be altered to accommodate changing conditions are possible topics for discussion.

PHIL 140 F,W,S 3C 0.5
Introduction to Formal Logic
Elementary sentence and predicate logic. Translation from English into formalism, decision methods and deductions. This course is a preparation for courses in the foundations of mathematics, scientific methods, and more advanced logic courses.

PHIL 145 F,W,S 3C 0.5
Critical Thinking
An analysis of basic types of reasoning, structure of arguments, critical assessment of information, common fallacies, problems of clarity and meaning.


Great Works of Western Philosophy
An examination of some of the greatest writings in Western Philosophy. Students will be encouraged to come to a critical appreciation of such masterworks as Plato's Republic, Descartes' Discourse on Method, Hobbes' Leviathan, Hume's Enquiry, Kant's Prolegomena, Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and an outstanding work in contemporary philosophy.

PHIL 200A F,S 3C 0.5
Great Works of Western Philosophy: Part 1
Outstanding works from the ancient and medieval periods.

PHIL 200B W 3C 0.5
Great Works of Western Philosophy: Part 2
Outstanding works from the early modern and contemporary periods.
Either PHIL 200A or 200B may be taken separately.

PHIL 200J F 3C 0.5
Intentional 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.

PHIL 201 3C 0.5
A philosophical analysis of different forms and functions of love. Among the topics to be considered: love and sexuality, religious love, love and knowledge. Classical and contemporary sources will be treated.

PHIL 202 3C 0.5
Gender Issues
Issues arising in our lives as gendered human beings: oppression, language, looks, the work place, sports, love, relationships, bonds, sex, AIDS, rape, sexual harassment, prostitution, pornography, contraception, abortion, reproduction, raising children, youth and aging.

PHIL 204J W 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 206J W 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 207 3C 0.5
Science, Technology, and Society
Alternative philosophical perspectives on problems raised by scientific and technological developments including moral issues (e.g. privacy and datagathering, "clean" vs. RdirtyS energy). Also an examination of the nature and scope of scientific and technical knowledge as it bears on the responsibilities of scientists and engineers.

PHIL 208 3C 0.5
Philosophy Through Science Fiction
An exploration of issues in philosophy via science fiction. The stories provide thought experiments like those used by the great philosophers in considering knowledge, mind-brain identity, space, time, causality, ethics, and politics (among others).

PHIL 209 3C 0.5
Philosophy in Literature
Philosophical themes (such as alienation, freedom and responsibility) will be explored through appropriate literary works (for example, works by Aeschylus, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Twain).

PHIL 210J F 3C 0.5
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?

PHIL 215 F,W,S 3C 0.5
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?

PHIL 216 W 3C 0.5
Rational Behaviour and
Decision-Making An elementary introduction to the subject of 'rational' behaviour and decision-making for individuals and groups. Emphasis is on the definition and measurement of utility functions and various criteria employed in models of decision-making. This course is intended to help those whose work will involve them in making decisions in either the public or private sectors.

PHIL 218J W 3C 0.5
Ethical Theory
The search to establish a basis for ethics grounded in the dignity of the human person. Consideration will be given to various ethical theories as well as to the ethical conflicts arising between the notions of Tthe person' and 'the individual' as defined in contemporary culture.

PHIL 219J F 3C 0.5
Practical Ethics
This course will discuss the applications of general ethics to more specific areas of human endeavour. Among the topics discussed will be abortion, contraception, sex, obscenity, violence, drugs, egoism, dishonesty, and various forms of human exploitation.

PHIL 220 F 3C 0.5
Moral Issues
The aim of this course is to improve the student's understanding of ethical ideas and principles by careful discussion of selected concrete moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and violence. Choice of issues is partly determined by student interest.

PHIL 221 F 3C 0.5
Ethics 1
This course is intended to be both a history of and an introduction to moral philosophy. Views on the foundations of ethics of the great philosophers from classical antiquity to about 1900 are systematically examined. Writers studied include: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Mill and Nietzsche.

PHIL 224 3C 0.5
Environmental Ethics
Philosophical perspectives on current environmental concerns: pollution, use of scarce resources, relations to animals and future generations, the significance of biodiversity and wilderness areas, bioactivism and other approaches to environmental problems.

PHIL 226G W 3C 0.5
Ethics and the Life Sciences
An investigation of some critical ethical issues in human research and therapy. Includes discussions of the right to live and the right to die, behaviour control (e.g. psychosurgery, behaviour modification and psychotherapy), human experimentation (including "informed consent" and fetal research) and genetic engineering.

PHIL 230J W 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 236 3C 0.5
Religious and Paranormal Experience
A critical examination of reports of extraordinary experiences such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, mysticism, prophecy, and miracle-working will lead to philosophical discussion of rationality, causation, free will, survival of death, and other topics.

PHIL 237 3C 0.5
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
A critical discussion of basic religious concepts. Among the topics covered will be faith, miracles, religious experience, immortality, and arguments for the existence of God.

PHIL 241 3C 0.5
Intermediate Logic
Axiom systems of logic are developed and compared with natural deduction procedures. Then certain properties of these logical systems, such as consistency, completeness and compactness, will be investigated.
Prereq: PHIL 140 or consent of instructor

PHIL 242 3C 0.5
Extensions and Applications of Elementary Logic
The classical logic introduced in PHIL 140 will be extended to form systems of modal logic, including logics of obligation, belief and knowledge, necessity, and temporal order. Essentialism, future contingencies, proofs for the existence of God will be discussed.
Prereq: PHIL 140 or consent of instructor

PHIL 245 3C 0.5
Critical Thinking 2
An analysis of more complex types of reasoning, including statistical reasoning, decision strategies, and reasoning involving causes and correlations. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of concrete examples.
Prereq: PHIL 145 or 140 recommended

PHIL 255 3C 0.5
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 3C 0.5
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 as PSYCH 256

PHIL 258 3C 0.5
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
A discussion of the fundamental concepts on which science is based. Consideration is given to such topics as scientific theories, the nature of law-likeness, the grounds for scientific confirmation, and the debate between rationalism and empiricism in science.

PHIL 265 3C 0.5
The Existentialist Experience
An introduction to the existentialist view of humans using both literary and philosophical texts from such authors as Kierkegaard, Unamuno, Nietzsche, Ortega y Gasset, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger and others.


PHIL 300 3C 0.5
Sources of 20th-Century Thought
An examination of major writings that have shaped present-day consciousness. Works by such thinkers as Marx, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche and Mill will be included.

PHIL 311 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Education 1
A philosophical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of education, with a view to formulating a clear workable concept of education, its aims and methods.
Prereq: At least second-year standing or consent of instructor

PHIL 312 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Education 2
An introduction to current work in the field. Issues to be considered may include: the desirability and content of a core curriculum, methods of moral development, the problem of indoctrination, gender and education, computers and education, and peace education.

PHIL 315 3C 0.5
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.
Cross-listed as GEN E 412

PHIL 318J 3C 0.5
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 previous course in moral philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 322 W 3C 0.5
Contemporary Ethical Theory
Continues the history and discussion of ethics begun in PHIL 221 with writings from 1900 to the present. Theories such as intuitionism, emotivism, utilitarianism, and relativism are examined via the writings of such people as Moore, Hare and Warnock.
Prereq: PHIL 221 recommended

PHIL 327A 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Law: Part 1
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.

PHIL 327B 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Law: Part 2
An examination of areas within the law in which philosophical problems and methods are featured prominently, with special focus on the Canadian constitution and legal process, and such issues as the conflict between collective and individual rights.
Prereq: PHIL 327A or consent of instructor

PHIL 329 3C 0.5
War, Peace and Justice
An intensive study of the moral issues involved in war and armed revolution. Critical evaluation of "just war" theories and international rules of warfare is pursued as well as the moral arguments for and against pacifism and conscientious objection.
Prereq: PHIL 102B or 322 or consent of instructor
Offered at Conrad Grebel College

PHIL 331 3C 0.5
Philosophical consideration of works of art and the problems of beauty using selected readings to enable the student to recognize and formulate her/his own views in a philosophic manner.
Prereq: Two term courses in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 350 3C 0.5
Epistemology 1
An examination of such problems as meaning criteria, primary data, and the importance of certainty to knowledge.
Prereq: Two term courses in philosophy

PHIL 351 3C 0.5
Epistemology 2
An examination of the problem of defining knowledge, of naturalized epistemology, and of such problems as a priori knowledge and the existence of other minds.
Prereq: Two term courses in philosophy

PHIL 359 3C 0.5
Philosophy of the Formal Sciences
A study of philosophical problems concerning mathematics. Topics discussed include formalism, intuitionism, logicism, the mathematical paradoxes, and other topics in foundations and metamathematics.
Prereq: At least second-year standing or consent of instructor

PHIL 362 3C 0.5
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Problems about the fundamental methods and aims of the social sciences generally, and problems specific to Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, etc., and their relations to one another will be considered.
Cross-listed as SOC 371

PHIL 378 3C 0.5
American Philosophy
A survey of the leading ideas of classical American philosophers, including Peirce, James, Royce, Santayana, Dewey and Mead. Attention will be paid to certain common themes, such as the pragmatic theory of truth, and the concept of democratic community. An effort will also be made to determine what makes these views distinctively American.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 380 F 3C 0.5
History of Ancient Philosophy 1
From the beginnings to Plato.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor
Cross-listed as CLAS 361
Offered at St. Jerome's College

PHIL 381 W 3C 0.5
History of Ancient Philosophy 2
From Aristotle to the close of classical antiquity.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor
Cross-listed as CLAS 362
Offered at St. Jerome's College

PHIL 382 3C 0.5
Medieval Philosophy 1
The early period to the 13th century. Among those considered will be: Augustine, Boethius, Anselm and Abailard.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 383 3C 0.5
Medieval Philosophy 2
The later period from the 13th century. Among those considered will be: Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 384 F 3C 0.5
History of Modern Philosophy 1
Earlier period beginning with Descartes.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 385 W 3C 0.5
History of Modern Philosophy 2
Later period including Hume and Kant.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 386 3C 0.5
19th Century Philosophy
The 19th century Philosophers covered may include Hegel, Mill, Schopenhauer, James and Kierkegaard.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 387 3C 0.5
20th Century Philosophy
A study of major themes of 20th century philosophy through representative works of Russell, Moore, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Husserl and others.
Prereq: One term course in Philosophy or consent of instructor


PHIL 402 3C 0.5
Modern Feminism
A critical examination of contemporary feminist thought in philosophy, focusing on topics of current concern to feminist writers and to the class.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 8 3C 0.5
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.

PHIL 420/421 3C 0.5
Studies in Ethics
Special topics in ethics, as announced by the Department.
Prereq: At least one term course in ethics

PHIL 422 3C 0.5
Political Philosophy 1
Philosophical analysis of central concepts in political theory and its relation to moral and metaphysical problems of various periods.
Prereq: At least one term course in ethics

PHIL 423 3C 0.5
Political Philosophy 2
A detailed discussion of contemporary theories.
Prereq: At least one term course in ethics

PHIL 435/436 3C 0.5
Studies in Philosophy of Religion
A study of a particular philosopher or problem, as announced by the Department.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

Logical Theory
A rigorous and general development of the propositional and predicate calculus within which alternative calculi are examined. Study of such concepts as completeness, consistency, extensionality, and modality from both formal and philosophical points of view. Intended primarily for those interested in philosophical issues connected with logic.
Prereq: At least one term course in formal logic, or consent of instructor

PHIL 440A 3C 0.5
Logical Theory
The first part of PHIL 440.

PHIL 440B 3C 0.5
Logical Theory
The second part of PHIL 440.

PHIL 441/442 3C 0.5
Studies in Logic
Special topics in logic, as announced by the Department.
Prereq: At least one of: PHIL 241, 242, 440A, 440B, PMATH 430A

PHIL 443 3C 0.5
Creative Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
Problem solving, including Assessment of Risk, Uncertainty and Value form one part of the course. Other subjects include Individual and Group Process for Finding and Weighing Alternatives; Organization of Data, its Presentation and Analysis.
Antireq: ACC 143, 443

PHIL 450J F 3C 0.5
Being and Existence
A discussion of the notions of reality, being, essence, existence, analogy, etc. The techniques of linguistic analysis will be employed. Also, the very possibility of any kind of metaphysics will be discussed.
Prereq: Third-year standing or consent of instructor

PHIL 451J W 3C 0.5
The Thomistic Tradition in Philosophy
An examination of the work of Thomas Aquinas, his philosophical relation to his times, and the revival of Thomism in the modern era.
Prereq: Two term courses in Philosophy and third-year standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 455 3C 0.5
Metaphysics 1: Ontology
Studies in the nature of being, with special emphasis on material objects and their properties, and on causation.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 456 3C 0.5
Metaphysics 2: Cosmology
Metaphysical problems in the areas of space, time and motion.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 463 3C 0.5
Philosophy of Language
Issues in the philosophy of language, such as synonymy, propositions, meaning, semantics, reference.
Prereq: At least two term courses in philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 465 3C 0.5
Existential Philosophy
An in depth study of the thoughts of a major figure such as Kierkegaard, Unamuno, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Marcel, Jaspers, Ortega y Gasset.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 470 3C 0.5
A critical examination of the issues and methods of phenomenology, including the attempts to understand the uses and ramifications of phenomenological methods through the working out of particular analyses. The basic writings of phenomenologists such as Husserl and Merleau-Ponty will be used.
Prereq: Two term courses in Philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 471-484 3C 0.5
Special Subjects
One or more term courses will be offered at different times, as announced by the Department.
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 498A-N F,W,S R 0.5
Directed Reading in Special Areas
Prereq: Consent of instructor

PHIL 499A/B 0.5/0.5
Senior Seminar and Honours Essay
All senior honours students attend this seminar in which a selection of major philosophical problems is discussed. They will also prepare a senior essay and discuss it with this group.
A letter grade for PHIL 499A will be submitted only after the completion of PHIL 499B or 9 .

Courses not offered 1995-96
PHIL 333J Contemporary Philosophical Problems in Art

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