Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

2000 Level Courses

Philosophy 2010F - Philosophy of Food
Philosophy 2020 - Basic Logic
Philosophy 2021A - Oppositions and Paradoxes
Philosophy 2030G - Philosophy of Science
Philosophy 2032G - Einstein for Everyone
Philosophy 2033B - Introduction to Environmental Philosophy
Philosophy 2035F - Nature, Ecology and the Future
Philosophy 2044G - Introduction to Philosophy of Psychiatry
Philosophy 2050F - Scientific Search for the Mind
Philosophy 2061F - Science vs. Religion: The Epistemological Conflict
Philosophy 2074F - Business Ethics
Philosophy 2077G-  Gender and Sexuality
Philosophy 2078G - Ethics for a Digital World
Philosophy 2080 -   Philosophy of Law
Philosophy 2080 -   Philosophy of Law (Distance Studies)
Philosophy 2091G - Philosophy in Literature

Philosophy 2010F - The Philosophy of Food

Instructors: B. Hill

The course aims to present philosophical reflections on food and give the students a better understanding of the food system as well as its vast implications for us individually and for the world at large.  Issues dealt with in the course for example include the treatment of animals, moral and political dimensions of genetically modified food, hunger and obligation to the poor, the role of food in gender, personal and national identity, and what role does food play in the good life. The course aims to do this both through reading and philosophical discussions in the classroom, but also through a Service Learning component. As part of this students will be placed in the London Community and carry out a project in the local food system. It involves a two hour/week commitment outside class for 10 weeks.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2020 - Basic Logic

Instructors: C. Viger and M. Mueller

This is an introductory course in formal logic. We begin with a brief historical introduction to Classical logic and the valid forms of syllogism. The focus of the course is on Modern Symbolic Logic. The first term focuses solely on propositional or sentential logic; the second term is dedicated to first-order predicate logic. The formal language is introduced along with techniques for translating between this formal system and natural language. Truth tables are used to test for truth-functional properties. A more efficient system of truth trees is then introduced to test for these properties. Finally, a system of natural deduction is introduced for proving statements in the formal language. Time permitting the course will conclude with a brief introduction to modal logic.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2021A - Oppositions and Paradoxes

Instructor: J. Bell

In this course, we will investigate the role played in philosophical and scientific thought by basic oppositions - such as the Continuous and the Discrete, the One and the Many, the Finite and the Infinite. We shall also analyze the many paradoxes that have arisen in the history of philosophy and science - e.g. Zeno's paradoxes, the Liar Paradox, Russell's paradox, paradoxes of the infinite, and paradoxes arising in relativity theory, quantum theory and time travel.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2030G - Philosophy of Science

Instructor: K. Okruhlik

An introductory discussion dealing with such issues as the demarcation between science and pseudo-science, the notion of scientific explanation, the structure of scientific theories and their relation to an empirical base, and the significance of revolutions in science.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2032G - Einstein for Everyone

Instructor: C. Smeenk

In this course, we will come to an understanding of the theoretical achievements of the greatest 20th-century physicist, Albert Einstein. Without presupposing any mathematical background, we will come to grips with both Special Relativity, which overthrew the absolute nature of time, and General Relativity, which eliminated the force of gravity and gave us a new understanding of space-time geometry as dynamic, curved, and interacting with matter and energy. But Einstein was as much a philosopher as a physicist. We will study the ways in which his philosophical thinking influenced Einstein's work, playing decisive roles in both the creation of his Relativity theories and his rejection of Quantum Mechanics.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2033B - Introduction to Environmental Philosophy

Instructor: W. Myrvold

This introduction to environmental philosophy draws extensively from epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of science. It offers reflections on issues arising in disciplines such as conservation biology, restoration ecology, climate sciences, sustainability studies, and political ecology. This course is also a great opportunity to develop advanced skills in formulating philosophical issues and exchanging ideas with peers in structured group discussions.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2035F - Nature, Ecology and the Future

Instructor: G. Barker

Our changing relationship to the natural world, and ability to affect Earth's future, bring urgent philosophical questions with real-world implications. This course draws on ideas from ethics, political philosophy, biology, psychology, economics and philosophy of science to explore the moral and epistemological dimensions of climate change, species extinction, and biotechnology.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2044G - Introduction to Philosophy of Psychiatry

Instructor: L. Charland

An introduction to core issues in the philosophy of psychiatry. Topics will usually include a survey of historical and contemporary theories of the nature of mental disorder and its treatment; case studies designed to highlight controversies surrounding specific mental disorders, most notably, Depressive Disorders, Personality Disorders, Eating Disorders, and the Psychoses.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2050F - Scientific Search for the Mind

Instructor: J. Sullivan

An evaluation of sciences attempting to understand the nature of the mind and its place in the physical world. Topics may include phrenology & localization theory, physiology, neuroanatomy, gestalt psychology, experimental psychology, evolutionary psychology, psychophysics, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, intelligence testing and the nature of consciousness.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2061F - Science vs. Religion: The Epistemological Conflict

Instructor: J. Thorp

This course studies the epistemological clash between religion and science, looking especially at evolutionary theory, cosmology, the physics of time and miracles.  It also studies attempts to reconcile these two systems of knowledge. Finally, it examines the science of religion: anthropological theories of religion and the cognitive science of religion.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2074F - Business Ethics

Instructor: D. Proessel

It is sometimes said that the phrase "business ethics" is an oxymoron. In this course we will attempt to dispel this popular conception. By working our way through many of the moral issues to which the practice of business gives rise, we will show that the interests of business people and moral philosophers converge. Topics include: What is the nature of moral reasoning> Do corporations have social responsibilities? What social responsibilities do corporations have when operating in the global context? Are there universal ethical principles which can guide the conduct of multinational corporations? Do international sweatshops violate human rights? What are the rights of employees in the workplace? Do employees have the right to due process? Is affirmative action morally justifiable? Is business bluffing ethical? When is advertising ethically questionable? How much information about a product is a corporation morally obligated to disclose to consumers and how and to whom should this information be disclosed? Can the free market be justified? What is the appropriate level of taxation? What constitutes a just distribution of the goods and services produced by society?

Course Outline

Philosophy 2077G - Gender and Sexuality

instructor: J. Epp

An investigation of ways that contemporary philosophers deal with concepts of gender and sexuality, addressing such issues as the regulation and production of normative sexuality, the question of essentialism, the construction and disciplining of the gendered body, and the effects of new media on sexual identity.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2078G - Ethics for a Digital World

Instructor: R. Robb

Have you ever wondered if something you're about to do online is right or wrong? When does downloading count as theft? Is cyber sex cheating? Does a hacker's code of ethics make any sense? Is online bullying worse than other forms of bullying? Students will explore these questions and others through a study of both ethical theory and a series of cases in the burgeoning and important field of digital ethics. You'll learn what traditional ethics has to say about these questions and also learn the ways in which life online is stretching and changing our moral concepts.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2080 - Philosophy of Law

Instructor: J. Hildebrand

We will study the fundamental concepts of law, and the philosophical principles on which they are based. The course is divided into four sections, two each term, as follows: the first term will be spent on tort law and contract law, the second term on criminal law and constitutional law. There will also be an introduction to the basic structure of our court system, the difference between statute law and common law, and some basic knowledge of the legal process.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2080 - Philosophy of Law (Distance)

instructor: J. Hildebrand

We will study the fundamental concepts of law, and the philosophical principles on which they are based. The course is divided into four sections, two each term, as follows: the first term will be spent on tort law and contract law, the second term on criminal law and constitutional law. There will also be an introduction to the basic structure of our court system, the difference between statute law and common law, and some basic knowledge of the legal process.

Course Outline

Philosophy 2091G - Philosophy in Literature

Instructor:  J. Bell

An examination of the role played by philosophical ideas in 19th and 20th-century literature and of some of the philosophical ideas underlying modern science fiction. Authors studied may include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Zamyatin, Poe, Hesse, Mann, Kafka, Huysmans, Unamuno, Sartre, Borges, Huxley, and Orwell.

Course Outline