100-Level Courses

Note: PHL100Y1 and PHL101Y1 are exclusive of each other and they have the same learning outcomes.

PHL101Y1Y – Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. James John
Mondays and Wednesdays 10:00-11:00

This course will introduce you to philosophy. Its main purpose is to acquaint you with the kinds of questions philosophers ask and to impart an understanding of why those questions matter.  A secondary purpose is to improve your skills as a critical reader, thinker, and writer.  We will consider some of the perennial philosophical problems:  problems to do with (among other things) the existence of God, free will, personal identity, knowledge, human well-being, the significance of death, the relation between mind and body, science, morality, justice and political authority, and the meaning of life.

Reading: TBA (But will consist of short selections from classic and contemporary works on the course topics.)

Evaluation: TBA (Most likely: four short term papers; midterm exam; final exam; attendance and discussion participation at weekly tutorials.)

PHL100Y1Y – Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. Peter King
Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00-12:00

This course is a historical introduction to philosophy which takes up some basic questions about human life as they have been addressed in the Western philosophical tradition, such as: What is a life worth living? What is a just political order? What is the basis for judgments of right and wrong? Is there a God? What can I know, and how can I know it? What is the nature of consciousness? In pursuit of answers to these questions, we will examine the views of influential philosophers of the past, in chronological order: We will look at answers proposed by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, and several contemporary philosophers. Primary readings will be supplemented by the course lectures and, after the first week of the first term, by tutorial discussion groups. Our concern in this course is not simply the scholarly one of who said what wheni, but to learn the practice of philosophy, of how to try to make sense of our existence. The goal is to learn how to raise and address questions in a systematic and reasoned fashion while learning something about the traditions, methods, and concerns of philosophy.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA