Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

3000 Level Courses

Philosophy 3003F - Plato
Philosophy 3006G - Aristotle
Philosophy 3027F - Berkeley
Philosophy 3170F - Topics in the History of Ethics
Philosophy 3201B - Special Topics in Logical Theory
Philosophy 3320F - Quantum Mechanics
Philosophy 3410G - Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy 3420F - Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy 3450F - Philosophy of Neuroscience
Philosophy 3501G - Epistemology
Philosophy 3601G - Metaphysics
Philosophy 3710G - Metaethics
Philosophy 3720G - Normative Ethics
Philosophy 3991G - Problems in Philosophy - Purpose, Design and Final Causes in Nature
Philosophy 3992G - Free Will Debate
Philosophy 3993F - The Ethics of Science/The Science of Ethics I
Philosophy 3994G - The Ethics of Science/The Science of Ethics II

Philosophy 3003F - Plato

Instructor: D. Henry

This course is a critical examination of the philosophy of Plato and (Plato’s) Socrates. Plato is agreed to be one of the most dazzling writers in the Western literary tradition and one of the most engaging and influential philosophers in the history of Western thought. The course will cover representative dialogues from each of the three traditional periods of Plato thought: the early “Socratic” dialogues; the so-called middle dialogues; and his late period. Throughout these dialogues we find the character of Socrates engaged in conversation with various Athenians on a whole range of philosophical issues: What is philosophical inquiry and how should it be conducted? Can rational arguments be used to convince people to follow their best interests or does philosophy need to rely on the art of persuasion (rhetoric)? Does knowledge require an unchanging world of Forms or can it be grounded in our immediate sensations of the things around us? Is it more shameful to commit injustice or to suffer injustice? Is the life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure philosophically defensible? If not, what role does pleasure occupy in the good life? Students will engage original texts in translation. Although the course is intended for students who wish to examine the philosophy of Plato and Socrates, it will also be suited for those with a general interest in the history of philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.
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Philosophy 3006G - Aristotle

Instructor: J. Thorp

This course attempts to give students a deepened, but still broad, understanding of Aristotle by means of the careful study of a series of twelve celebrated texts.  The subjects of the selected texts will be: the ontology of the Categories, the foundations of semantics, the status of future contingents, the refutation of the Theory of Forms, the defense of the Principle of Non-Contradiction, the theory of truth, the definition of soul, the theory of animal reproduction, the refutation of the void, the resolution of Zeno's paradoxes, the nature of mathematics and the object of metaphysics.

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Philosophy 3027F - Berkeley

Instructor: B. Hill

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Philosophy 3170F - Topics in the History of Ethics

Instructor: A. Skelton

Classical utilitarianism is the view according to which the only fundamental requirement of morality is to maximize surplus aggregate well-being. The historically most important defense of this view appears in Henry Sidgwick’s (1838-1900) The Methods of Ethics. While The Methods of Ethics has influenced many important philosophers, including G. E. Moore, John Rawls and Derek Parfit, its main meta-ethical and normative theses are not widely known. Accordingly, this course is designed to familiarize students with the nature and significance of those theses.

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Philosophy 3170G - Topics in the History of Ethics

Instructor: B. Hill

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Philosophy 3201B: Special Topics in Logical Theory

Instructor: J. Bell

This course provides an introductionj to more advanced topics in logic, and makes extensive employment of the method of truth trees, a working knowledge of which (for classicial logic) is presupposed. Topics include: basic set theory, interpretations of first-order logic, second-order logic, contextual (modal) and intuitionistic propositional logic.

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Philosophy 3320F - Quantum Mechanics

Instructor: W. Myrvold

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Philosophy 3410G - Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: A. Mendelovici

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Philosophy 3420F - Philosophy of Psychology

Instructor: C. Viger

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Philosophy 3450F - Philosophy of Neuroscience

Instructor: J. Sullivan

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Philosopy 3501G - Epistemology

Instructor: J. Sullivan

An advanced introduction to the theory of knowledge. A number of representative positions ranging from standard analytic epistemology to naturalized epistemology on the issues of knowledge and epistemic justification will be compared and contrasted.

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Philosophy 3601G - Metaphysics

Instructor: L. Lamoureux

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Philosophy 3710G - Metaethics

Instructor: R. Robb

The main function of this course is to introduce students to some of the main problems and approaches in contemporary meta-ethics. Meta-ethics involves the study of the presuppositions of moral discourse and normative ethical theorizing and is therefore concerned with epistemological, metaphysical and semantic issues, among others.

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Philosophy 3720G - Normative Ethics

Instructor: A. Skelton

This course is devoted to examining a number of problems in contemporary normative ethics. We will focus in particular on the debate between utilitarianism and its deontological detractors, aggregation, issues in population ethics, and select theories of value.

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Philosophy 3991G - Purpose, Design and Final Causes in Nature

Instructor: D. Henry

This course examines the concept of teleology ("telos" meaning end or goal, and logos" meaning account or explanation) from antiquity to contemporary philosophy. Teleology has been a dominant theme in philosophy since antiquity and has fuelled many great metaphysical debates. Minimally, to describe something in “teleological” terms (or in terms of “final causes”) is to assert that it exists for some end and that an adequate explanation of it must make reference to that end. For example when we say a spider builds its web in order to catch flies we assume that the goal of catching flies is important for explaining the spider’s behaviour and why its web has the structure it does. Historically teleology has been associated with the theory of Intelligent Design. However contemporary philosophers have sought to divorce the concept of natural goals from the idea of purpose and conscious intentions. But how do we understand the concept of final causes in non-intentional terms? Is teleology the “barren virgin” of modern science, as Bacon declared, or is some form of teleology still relevant at least in biology? Are natural selection explanations teleological (as Darwin himself seems to have thought)? Is the tendency to see the natural world in teleological terms an artifact of human thought or are some natural phenomena genuinely goal-directed? This course traces arguments for and against teleology from antiquity to the present with the aim of answering such questions. Some of the key figures studied include: Plato, Aristotle, Epicureans, Descartes, Kant, Robert Boyle, Darwin, and Richard Dawkins.

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Philosophy 3992G - Free Will Debate

Instructor: L. Falkenstein

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Philosophy 3993F - The Ethics of Science/The Science of Ethics I

Instructors: A. Skelton & G. Barker

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Philosophy 3994G - The Ethics of Science/The Science of Ethics II

Instructors: A. Skelton & G. Barker

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