Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

Graduate Courses

2015-16 Graduate Courses

Fall Term 2015

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: The Sophists and "The Sophist" (Prof. John Thorp)

Course Outline
Area: History (Ancient)
The Sophists of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE can't seem to shake their bad reputation, a reputation for moral relativism on the one hand, and argumentative legerdemain – sophistry – on the other. Plato's savage lampooning of them, especially in the dialogue called The Sophist, seems to have fixed them in ignominy for all time. George Grote in the 19th century, and both Deleuze and Lyotard in the 20th, sought to rehabilitate them, casting them as progressive reformers of a sleepy intellectual tradition, but their efforts have not had lasting impact. This seminar will reassess the question, giving close study to the Sophists' extant writings, from Protagoras to Anonymous Iamblichi.

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Hume & Reid on Ethics & the Passions (Prof. Lorne Falkenstein)

Course Outline
Area: History / Moral, Poltiical & Legal
A study of Hume's account of the passions as presented in his Dissertation on the Passions andTreatise II, and of the moral psychology of his Enquiry concerning the principles of morals andTreatise III.  The work of contemporary critics of Hume's views on will, motivation, and artificial virtues such as Kames, Price, and Reid will also be reviewed.  In dealing with the passions, Hume focused on pride/humility, love/hatred, and hope/fear.  But in dealing with moral psychology and the evolution of the "artificial" sense of justice he came to place an increasing emphasis on benevolence (not the same as love).  A further passion, vengeance (not the same as hatred or pride) plays a necessary but largely unacknowledged role, emerging only in his analysis of character traits useful to the individual, where it is misidentified with the sense of self-worth or "greatness of mind."  I will propose a Humean theory of passions Hume did not himself specifically analyze and apply this theory to link his moral psychology more closely to his account of the passions. (Cross-listed with PHILOSOP 4108.)

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Proseminar (Prof. Robert DiSalle)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Survey of Philosophy of Mind (Prof. Angela Mendelovici)

Course Outline
Area: Metaphysics & Epistemology
This course examines topics of contemporary interest in the philosophy of mental representation. Topics include: motivations for positing mental representation, theories of mental representation, the role of mental representation in the mind, naturalism about mental representation, and the relationship between mental representation and consciousness.

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Laws & Causes (Prof. Carl Hoefer)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Philosophy of Mathematics (Prof. John Bell)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: General Philosophy of Science (Prof. Chris Smeenk)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxA: Markets and Morals (Prof. Barry Hoffmaster)

Course Outline
Area: Moral, Political & Legal
We live in an economically dominated, money preoccupied, market driven society where advertisements have become ubiquitous and everything seems to have a price. Are there some things that money cannot buy, such as friendship, loyalty, or trust?  If so, why?  Are there some things that money could buy but should not be able to buy, such as a kidney for transplantation, eggs for in vitro fertilization, or improved attendance at school and better grades?  If so, why?  These questions raise general issues of whether there are any moral limits to markets, and if so, what those limits are and how those limits are justified.  These issues will be examined in the contexts of their particular illustrations. (Cross-listed with PHILOSOP 4071.) 

Winter Term 2016

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: De Anima (Prof. Devin Henry)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Kant's First Critique (Prof. Corey Dyck)

Course Outline
Area: History
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason initiated a revolution in metaphysics and epistemology unlike any before or since. Through theCritique Kant made original and lasting contributions to debates regarding the compatibilism of freedom and determinism, the possibility of proving God’s existence, the nature of the soul, the possibility of science and mathematics, the rational basis of causal inferences, and the nature of space and time. In this course, we will engage in a careful consideration of Kant’s monumental text, including the details of its arguments and its systematic underpinnings.

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Philosophy of Psychiatry (Prof. Louis Charland)

Course Outline
Area: Metaphysics & Epistemology
An examination of various contemporary and historical texts in the philosophy of 'emotion' with an emphasis on problems of theoretical classification and translation over different vocabularies and historical traditions (and in some cases different languages). Special attention will be paid to the terms "passion," "feeling," "sentiment," and of course "emotion" in the evolution of the vocabulary of "affectivity."

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Philosophy of Neuroscience (Prof. Jacqueline Sullivan)

Course Outline
Area: Metaphysics & Epistemology / Science
The aim of this course is to examine recent work in philosophy of neuroscience. Topics to be considered include: the nature and structure of neuroscientific explanation, the epistemology of neuroscientific experiment, the relationship between experimentation and explanation and the feasibility of integrating psychology and neuroscience.

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Philosophy of Ecology (Prof. Eric Desjardins)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics (Prof. Wayne Myrvold)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Feminist Critiques of Science (Prof. Kathleen Okruhlik)

Course Outline
Area: Science / Moral, Political & Legal
For many years feminist critiques of science were largely ignored by “mainstream” philosophy of science. Recently, that situation has begun to change as even such staid organizations as the PSA have begun to take seriously “the values question in science.” In this course, we shall begin by examining some of the classic case studies developed during the 1980s to illustrate the many ways that androcentric values permeate experimental practice and theory formation in some sciences. By the end of term, we will also have examined much more recent case studies, including examples from contemporary neuroscience.
In conjunction with the case studies, we shall survey attempts by feminist scientists and philosophers to figure out what these case studies tell us about science. Does the gender of the knower make a difference? Is science “just politics by other means”? Is value-laden science always bad science? Could more rigorous adherence to scientific method be counted on to eliminate gender bias? Or would it be better to acknowledge the impossibility of gender-neutral science and insist instead on the epistemic superiority of a feminist standpoint? Alternatively, should we simply abandon altogether the idea of objective knowledge and recognize sexist and feminist theories as alternative narratives, different “versions”, neither of which can claim epistemic superiority? These questions and others will be discussed with an eye to understanding the relationship between feminist critiques of science and “mainstream” philosophy of science. (Cross-listed with PHILOSOP 4530.)

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Egalitarianism (Prof. Samantha Brennan)

Course Outline
Area: Moral, Political & Legal
This seminar will explore the following questions: What is equality and why should we think it matters morally? What's the right way to measure inequality? Insofar as think equality matters morally, what exactly is it that we think ought to be equal: income, well-being, opportunities? How much does equality matter compared to other factors that also have moral significance, such as desert, evil, and overall well-being? We'll read work by egalitarian moral and political philosophers as well as by the critics of egalitarianism. We’ll also examine some specific inequalities such as those associated with sex, race, and disability. (Cross-listed with PHILOSOP 4810.)

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Race and Gender (Prof. Carolyn McLeod)

Course description forthcoming. 

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Prospectus Course (Prof. Corey Dyck)

Course description forthcoming.  

PHILOSOP 9xxxB: Theories of Content (Prof. Tim Bayne)

Course description forthcoming. 

2014-15 Graduate Courses

All courses are held in STVH 1145 unless otherwise indicated.

Fall Term

PHILOSOP 9022A: Classics in the History of the Free Will Debate (Falkenstein)
Area: History

MWF 930-1030
Description

PHILOSOP 9613A: Kripke (Marti/Stainton)
Area: M & E

M 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9653A: Pro-seminar (DiSalle)

Tu 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9113A: Property (Klimchuk)
Area: MPL

W 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9023A: Interpretations of Kant's Transcendental Idealism (Dyck)
Area: History

W 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9114A: Trust and Testimony (McLeod)
Area: MPL

Th 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9024A: The Stoics and Stoicism (Lagerlund)
Area: History (Ancient)

Th 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9217A: Philosophy of Biology: Recent Trends (Barker)
Area: Science

F 1230-330
Description

Winter Term

PHILOSOP 9218B: Epistemology of Experimentation (Sullivan)
Area: Science

M 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9250B: Philosophy of Physics (DiSalle)
Area: Science

M 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9614B: Philosophy of Language Survey (Stainton)
Area: M & E  / Cross-listed with LING 9453B

Tu 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9115B: Contemporary Feminist Ethics (Brennan)
Area: MPL

W 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9219B: History of Twentieth-Century Phil. of Science (Okruhlik)
Area: Science

W 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9615B: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (Fielding)
Area: M & E  /  Cross-listed with 

Th 1130-230
Description

PHILOSOP 9025B: Plato’s Theory of Forms (Thorp)
Area: History (Ancient)

Th 230-530
Description

PHILOSOP 9026B: John Locke’s Theory of Ideas (Hill)
Area: History

F 930-1230
Description

PHILOSOP 9616B: Consciousness (Bourget)
Area: M & E

F 230-530
Description