Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

1000 Level Courses



Philosophy 1020 - Introduction to Philosophy
Philosophy 1130F - Big Ideas
Philosophy 1130G - Big Ideas
Philosophy 1200 - Critical Thinking (Distance Studies)
Philosophy 1230B - Critical Thinking
Philosophy 1260B - Talking Philosophy
Philosophy 1305F - Questions of the Day
Philosophy 1305G - Questions of the Day

Philosophy 1020 - Introduction to Philosophy

Instructors: D. Klimchuk/G. Marti

Course Outline

Philosophy 1130F - Big Ideas

Instructor: G. Barker

This course will explore some of the "big ideas" that frame (and limit) our thinking in contemporary Western culture - including science, religion and public and personal decision-making - ideas that we are all familiar with but that are rarely subjected to careful examination. We will investigate these ideas and the interconnections between them, focusing on where they came from, why they matter and what effects and implications they have for how we think and what we do. The "big ideas" we will consider include skepticism, God, the scientific method, materialism, democracy, evolution, and property, among others.

Course Outline

Philosophy 1130G - Big Ideas

Instructor: R. DiSalle

Course Outline

Philosophy 1200 - Critical Thinking (Distance)

Instructor: C. Viger and D. Bourget

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.

Course Outline

Philosophy 1230B (001) - Critical Thinking

Instructor: K. Okruhlik

Course Outline

Philosophy 1260B - Talking Philosophy

Instructor: R. Stainton

A very first introduction to philosophical issues about language and communication, centred around questions of broad interest. Likely topics include: widespread myths about language; language learning; animal speech and communication; the relationship between language and thought/perception; language, sex and gender; hate speech; correct speech; language promotion and preservation; free speech; metaphor and other figures of speech.

Sample questions: Can “lower animals” such as dolphins and chimps speak? Do they already have languages of their own? Can they learn human tongues? Is knowledge of language innate in humans? How do words shape perceptions of the world? (E.g., is one’s perception of snow altered by the number of snow-related words in a person’s language?) More generally, how are language and culture connected? Is “proper English” in decline nowadays? For instance, is proper English grammar threatened by technologies like Twitter, or is the way we read being deformed by web-site hopping? When is it permissible to limit free speech: when it is hateful and offensive, e.g., or only when it presents an immediate danger? What, if anything, should be done to preserve endangered languages, or to promote the use of minority languages?

Course Outline

Philosophy 1305F - Questions of the Day

Instructor: C. McLeod

In this course we will examine philosophical questions that are currently being debated in the public forum. Examples include whether in vitro fertilization should be publicly funded, what limits there should be on religious freedom, and whether or under what circumstances governments should be able to revoke citizenship.

Course Outline

Philosophy 1305G - Questions of the Day

Instructor: D. Proessel

Course Outline