Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

3000 Level Courses

Philospohy 3003F - Plato
Philosophy 3006G - Aristotle
Philosophy 3031G - Women in Early Modern Philosophy
Philosophy 3170F - Topics in the History of Ethics
Philosophy 3180G - Topics in the History of Political and Legal Philosophy
Philosophy 3201A - Special Topics in Logical Theory
Philosophy 3330F - Philosophical Foundations of Spacetime Theories
Philosophy 3340F - Philosophical Issues in Evolutionary Biology
Philosophy 3341G - Philosophy of Biology for Biologists
Philosophy 3410G - Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy 3501G - Epistemology
Philosophy 3601G - Metaphysics
Philosophy 3710F - Metaethics
Philosophy 3720G - Normative Ethics

Philosophy 3003F - Plato

Instructor: Julie Ponesse

An introduction to the main ideas of Plato through a reading of some of his most famous dialogues, including: Apology, Phaedo, Crito, Euthyphro, Symposium, Meno, Protagoras, Theaetetus, Republic (selections) and Philebus. Topics be be covered include: the philosophic way of life, the nature of knowledge and learning, the theory of Forms, the soul, ethics and politics, pleasure, love and aesthetics.

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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 3031G - Women in Early Modern Philosophy

Instructor: B. Hill

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Philosophy 3170F - Topics in the History of Ethics

Instructor: C. Dyck

This course will provide a detailed investigation of the context, arguments, and significance of Kant's most famous text in ethics, the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.

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Philosophy 3180G - Topics in the History of Political and Legal Philosophy

Instructor: D. Klimchuk

The dominant approach to political philosophy in the early modern period was social contract theory, according to which the only basis on which coercion can be legitimately exercised is through a set of institutions to which each has consented (or would or could consent), and is limited by the terms that structure such an agreement.  We will trace the rise of social contract theory in the seventeenth century, starting with Grotius, to the beginning of its decline in the eighteenth, with Kant. Between the two we will also read Locke and Rousseau and some early modern critics of social contract theory such as Filmer and Hume. We will also read some contemporary scholarship on the tradition and ask what we can learn from it today. T

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Philosophy 3201A: 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 3330F - Philosophical Foundations of Spacetime Theories

Instructor: R. DiSalle

Philosophers have questioned the concepts of space, time, and motion since ancient times. But modern science-- starting with Galileo, Descartes, and Newton—gave such questions a new significance, as urgent problems for the foundations of physics. Scientific ideas such as the motion of the earth, the infinity of space, and the application of physics to astronomy, raised profound questions in metaphysics and epistemology. These questions have persisted even into present-day physics, and have continued to bring philosophy and physics into close interaction.  This course considers some key philosophical issues raised by the physics of space and time: are space and time objectively real, or merely abstractions from spatial and temporal relations? Is motion absolute or relative? Is our knowledge of space and time factual or conventional? What is the relation between our intuitive views and our scientific knowledge of space and time? How do conceptions of space and time relate to theories in other areas of physics, of science generally? Authors to be studied include: Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Mach, Poincaré,  Einstein, and others. No physics background is presupposed; elementary concepts of space and time will be introduced in an intuitive and self-contained way.

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Philosophy 3340F - Philosophical Issues in Evolutionary Biology

instructor: E. Desjardins

This course offers an overview of the major concepts and issues in contemporary philosophy of evolutionary biology. The orientation of the course is mostly philosophical, but it also includes some historical aspects. Starting with an introduction to Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection, the course then looks at topics such as units of selection, adaptationism, women in the evolutionary process, chance, evolutionary developmental biology, species and classification, the relatoin between ecology and evolutionary biology, cultural evolution and some issues about genetics and society.

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Philosophy 3341G - Philosophy of Biology for Biologists

Instructor: G. Barker

Public debates about the life sciences, and contentious disputes among biologists, are often driven by disagreements about concepts and underlying assumptions - disagreements that cannot be resolved by straightforward scientiic means. What are our moral obligations to non-human animals? Are ecosystems self-repairing, or fragile? What is the right way to think about how genes and environment interact to determine how organisms develop and behave? Are human possibilities limited by our evolved nature? Philosophy of biology investigates questions like these that probe the conceptual underpinnings of biological theory and practice. This course provides an introduction to philosophical method, and an exploration of philosophical issues in evolutionary biology, genetics and genomics, ecology, and evolutionary psychology.

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Philosophy 3410G - Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: R. Foley

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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: K. Matsubara

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Philosophy 3710F - 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: C. McLeod

One of the central tasks of a normative ethical theory is to give an account of responsible moral agency ("moral agency" for short). In this course, will compare the conceptions of moral agency that appear in two prominent ethical theories: Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics. We will consider how each theory deals with the following threats to moral agency: 1) moral conflict or dilemma, and 2) moral luck. In addition, we will discuss virtue as an element of moral agency in both Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics. And as a sideline, wie will explore the nature of different virtues and vices, such as honesty, compassion, integrity, pride, gluttony and sloth.

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