200-Level Courses

  • PHL 202F    Ancient Philosophy
    Instructor: J. Allen        M/W 3-4
    Some core texts of ancient philosophy, concentrating on the work of Plato and Aristotle. Topics include the good life, the soul, knowledge, virtue and the nature of reality. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL200Y5, PHLB31H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 204F    Philosophy in Everyday Life
    Instructor: D. Raffman          M 1-2/W 1-3
    This introductory course covers philosophical topics that most people talk about, or at least think about, in their everyday lives—e.g., during conversations with friends, or while watching the news, or when deciding how to vote in an election. Such topics include, for example, the difference between art and pornography, the possibility of life after death, the evolution vs. creationism debate, the ethics of abortion and doctor-assisted suicide, and the possibility of intelligent robots. Each topic will be introduced via relevant public media (e.g., articles from the New York Times series “The Stone” and similar pieces from The Guardian, CBC news, NPR) and other popular sources (e.g., Ted Talks, youtube videos)) and then pursued in several accessible readings from the philosophical literature. A shared “library” of readings for the course will be built up (e.g., on Blackboard) by the instructors and students and updated as new issues of popular interest arise.  No exclusions or prerequisites.
  • PHL 210Y    17th and 18th Century Philosophy
    Instructor: M. Rozemond          T/R 10-11
    Classic texts by European philosophers (e.g., Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant). Their attitudes toward science and religion, and their theories about the nature of the world and of human knowledge, culminating in the “Copernican Revolution” of Kant. [72L]
    Exclusion: PHLB35H3.
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.

  • PHL 220F    Existentialism
    Instructor:  O. Ware          M 1-3/W 2-3
    Human perception and knowledge of reality; freedom and the meaning of human life; sexuality and the body. Authors include Heidegger, Buber, Marcel, Camus, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty. [36L].
    Exclusion: PHLB30H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 235F    Philosophy of Religion
    Instructor:  S. Smith          T 1-2/R 1-3
    A philosophical analysis of some basic theological questions; the nature of religious belief and experience, the relationship between religion and morality, or religion and science, the role of religion in a pluralistic society. [36L]     >>> This year the course will focus on the Indian Buddhist philosophical tradition.
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 240F    Minds and Machines
    Instructor: M. Matthen          T 1-2/R 11-1
    Can machines think and feel? Are human beings simply very complicated organic machines? These questions are discussed in the light of recent work on the simulation of intelligence and purposive behaviour. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL342H5, PHLB81H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 241F    Freedom and Determinism
    Instructor: P. Clark          M 9-11/W 10-11
    This course will examine the question of whether determinism is true, and to which extent and whether, determinism is compatible with the possibility that our will is free as well as the relation between freedom and responsibility. In particular, we will look at the plausibility of views such as compatibilism, hard determinism and libertarianism. [36L]
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 243S    Philosophy of Human Sexuality
    Instructor: B. Piercy          T 11-1/R 12-1
    Philosophical issues about sex and sexual identity in the light of biological, psychological, and ethical theories of sex and gender. The concept of gender; male and female sex roles; theories of psycho-sexual development; sexual morality; “natural,” “normal,” and “perverse” sex; sexual liberation; love and sexuality. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHLB12H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 or 247H5 or 174H5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite); or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 244F    Human Nature
    Instructor: J. Allen          M 12-1/W 11-1
    Theories of human nature, e.g., psychoanalysis, behaviourism, sociobiology. Current issues, e.g., egoism and altruism, instincts, I.Q., rationality, sanity and mental illness. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHLB91H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 245F    Modern Symbolic Logic     
    Instructor [section 0101]: B. Katz                M 1-3/W 2-3
    Instructor [section 0102]: D. Rabinoff       M 1-3/W 2-3  
    The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHLB50H3
    Recommended Prep: PHL102H5
  • PHL 245S    Modern Symbolic Logic
    Instructor: TBD          T 3-5/R 3-4
    The application of symbolic techniques to the assessment of arguments. Propositional calculus and quantification theory. Logical concepts; techniques of natural deduction. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHLB50H3
    Recommended Prep: PHL102H5
  • PHL 246F    Probability
    Instructor: N. Charlow          M/W 6-7
    The elements of axiomatic probability theory, and its main interpretations (frequency, logical, subjective). Reasoning with probabilities in decision making and science. [36L]
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
    Recommended Prep: 245H5
  • PHL 246S    Probability
    Instructor: J. Weisberg     M/W 11-12
    The elements of axiomatic probability theory, and its main interpretations (frequency, logical, subjective). Reasoning with probabilities in decision making and science. [36L]
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
    Recommended Prep: 245H5
  • PHL 247F    Critical Reasoning  [FORMERLY OFFERED AS PHL145]
    Instructor: C. Lewis          T 1-2/R 1-3
    The course covers the area of informal logic–the logic of ordinary language. Topics include: criteria for the critical assessment of arguments as strong or merely persuasive; different types of argument and techniques of refutation; their use and abuse. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL145H5, TRN200Y1
  • PHL 247S   Critical Reasoning  [FORMERLY OFFERED AS PHL145]
    Instructor: A. Mullin          T 12-1/R 12-2
    The course covers the area of informal logic–the logic of ordinary language. Topics include: criteria for the critical assessment of arguments as strong or merely persuasive; different types of argument and techniques of refutation; their use and abuse. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL145H5, TRN200Y1
  • PHL 255F    Philosophy of Science
    Instructor: M. Matthen          T 9-11/R 9-10
    The nature of science and its development. Topics may include: the contrast between science and religion, between science and pseudo-science; the nature of scientific reasoning; scientific reality; science and objectivity; scientific revolutions; and the interaction between science, society, and values. [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL252H5, 355H1, C72H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 258F    Puzzles and Paradoxes
    Instructor: J. Weisberg          T 11-1/R 12-1
    Philosophy often begins with a puzzle or paradox. Zeno once convincingly argued that motion was impossible, but people continue to move. The “liar’s paradox” seems to show that everything is both true and false, but that cannot be right. In this course, we will examine these and related issues. [36L]
    >>> This year the course will focus on probability and the related paradoxes of knowledge, uncertainty, and decision-making.
    Exclusion: PHLB55H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
    Recommended Prep: PHL245H5
  • PHL 265F    Social and Political Philosophy
    Instructor: S. Tenenbaum          T/R 11-12
    A survey of the major political theorists/theories of the Western philosophical tradition. Questions to be addressed include: Why obey the law? What is justice? What is the best form of government? [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL277Y5, PHLB16H3, PHLB17H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 275S    Ethics and Moral Philosophy
    Instructor: P. Clark          M/W 10-11
    A survey of the major political theorists/theories of the Western philosophical tradition. Questions to be addressed include: Why obey the law? What is justice? What is the best form of government? [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL277Y5, PHLB16H3, PHLB17H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 283S    Bioethics
    Instructor: A. Mullin      T/R 9-10
    A survey of the major political theorists/theories of the Western philosophical tradition. Questions to be addressed include: Why obey the law? What is justice? What is the best form of government? [36L]
    Exclusion: PHL277Y5, PHLB16H3, PHLB17H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.
  • PHL 285F    Philosophy of Art
    Instructor:  R. Larsen       T 4-6/R 5-6
    A study of some of the most important philosophical questions about art. For example, what exactly is a work of art? Can any object whatsoever be, or become, an artwork? Who or what determines whether something is art? Does each person decide for themselves, or does a certain community (the “art world”) decide? Can one interpretation or evaluation of a work be better, or more justified, than another? If so, how do we tell which one is better?
    Exclusion: PHLB03H3
    Prerequisites: PHL101H5 or 102H5 or 105Y5 (any of these courses may be taken as a co-requisite) or 4.0 credits.