2023 Summer Courses

The following courses will be offered for the 2023 Summer Session. Information on instructors, readings and evaluation, and more specific course descriptions is to come. However, finalized descriptions and marking schemes will be given out on the first day of classes with your course syllabus. The timetable information is subject to change. The Faculty of Arts & Science will publish any changes to the Summer Session Timetable.

Please note that examinations for courses listed as online-synchronous will take place online, unless stated otherwise.

PHL100Y1Y – Introduction to Philosophy

Instructors: Michael Kirley and Andrew Lavigne

Schedule: Mondays 18:00-20:00 and Wednesdays 18:00-21:00 (Tutorials: Mondays 20:00 or Wednesdays 17:00)

Delivery Method: Online-Synchronous

Description: An introduction to the central branches of philosophy, such as logic, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. Writings from the central figures in the history of Western and non-Western philosophy, as well as contemporary philosophers, may be considered.

PHL200Y1Y – Ancient Philosophy

Instructors: Mark Gatten

Schedule: Tuesdays 9:00-12:00 and Thursdays 9:00-11:00 (Tutorials: Thursdays 11:00 or 12:00)

Delivery Method: Online-synchronous

Description: Central texts of the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and post-Aristotelian philosophy.

PHL217H1S – Introduction to Continental Philosophy

Instructor: Dylan Shaul

Schedule: Mondays 18:00-20:00 and Wednesdays 18:00-21:00 (Tutorials: Mondays 20:00 or Wednesdays 17:00)

Delivery Method: In-Person

Description: This course will offer an introduction to the various philosophical traditions that emerged on the European continent in the 19th and 20th centuries, including: German idealism, Marxism, existentialism, psychoanalysis, critical theory, feminism, critical philosophy of race, phenomenology, deconstruction, post-modernism, and speculative realism. We will compare and contrast these philosophical traditions with one another, as well as with the prior history of philosophy. We will also consider the relevance of Continental philosophy to the contemporary world. Themes will include: death, faith, history, morality, the psyche, revolution, sexuality, technology, and war. Thinkers will include: Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, de Beauvoir, Fanon, Heidegger, Derrida, and Badiou.

Evaluation: Short Paper #1 (25%), Short Paper #2 (25%), Final Paper (40%), Tutorial Participation (10%)

PHL232H1F – Knowledge and Reality

Instructor: TBA

Schedule: Mondays 15:00-18:00 and Wednesdays 15:00-17:00 (Tutorials: Wednesdays 17:00 or 18:00)

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: An introduction to issues in the fundamental branches of philosophy: metaphysics, which considers the overall framework of reality; epistemology, or the theory of knowledge; and related problems in the philosophy of science. Topics in metaphysics may include: mind and body, causality, space and time, God, freedom and determinism; topics in epistemology may include perception, evidence, belief, truth, skepticism.

PHL240H1F – Persons, Minds and Bodies

Instructor: Alice Huang

Schedule: Tuesdays 18:00-20:00 and Thursdays 18:00-21:00 (Tutorials: Tuesdays 20:00 or Thursdays 17:00)

Delivery Method: Online-synchronous

Description: Consciousness and its relation to the body; personal identity and survival; knowledge of other minds; psychological events and behaviour.

PHL243H1S – Philosophy of Human Sexuality

Instructor: TBA

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-21:00

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: 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; perverse sex; sexual liberation; love and sexuality.

PHL245H1Y – Modern Symbolic Logic

Instructor: Eliran Haziza

Schedule: Tuesdays 15:00-18:00

Delivery Method: In-Person

Description: This course is an introduction to formal logic. We will study two classical logical systems: propositional logic and predicate logic. We will learn about arguments, semantics, symbolization, and derivation in these systems.

Evaluation: Weekly assignments: 25%; Three tests: 75%.

Textbook: forall x: Calgary. An Introduction to Formal Logic

PHL271H1F – Law and Morality

Instructor: Jovy Chan

Schedule: Mondays 09:00-12:00 and Wednesdays 09:00-11:00 (Tutorials: Wednesdays 11:00 or 12:00)

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: This course investigates the relationship between law and morality. Is law always to some extent moral? What is the role of moral principles in the enforcement, compliance and interpretation of law? The first part of this course looks at morality’s role in adjudication and we will examine two dominant positions: legal positivism and natural law. In the second part of this course, we will examine questions about the proper use of the law in a liberal state: is it legitimate for the state to use the law in order to protect certain moral values or to promote our own good? We will look at how these issues play out in relation to our freedom of expression.

Evaluation: 15% – a short Writing Exercise due by the end of Week 2; 30% – Paper 1 due by the end of Week 4; 45% – Final Paper due at the end of term; 10% – Tutorial attendance and participation

Readings: Most of the readings for the course are contained in Law and Morality: Readings in Legal Philosophy, 3rd edition, ed. Dyzenhaus, Moreau, Ripstein. It will be available at the University of Toronto Bookstore. The rest of the materials will be available on Quercus.

PHL273H1S – Environmental Ethics

Instructor: TBA

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00-15:00

Delivery Method: Online-Synchronous

Description: A study of environmental issues raising questions of concern to moral and political philosophers, such as property rights, responsibility for future generations, and the interaction of human beings with the rest of nature. Typical issues: sustainable development, alternative energy, the preservation of wilderness areas, animal rights.

PHL275H1S – Introduction to Ethics

Instructor: Alexandra Gustafson

Schedule: Mondays 12:00-15:00 and Wednesdays 12:00-14:00 (Tutorials: Wednesdays 14:00 or 15:00)

Delivery method: In-person

Description: What is morality, and why should we care? Doesn’t our disagreement about ethical claims suggest that morality is all just relative, anyway? In this course, we will explore these questions and more while considering key ethical theories such as deontology, virtue ethics, consequentialism, and ethics of care as responses to “the challenge of relativism”. The course will also introduce students to the activity of philosophical analysis, with a focus on argument reconstruction and evaluation.


PHL281H1F – Bioethics

Instructor: Eric Shoemaker

Schedule: Mondays 18:00-20:00 and Wednesdays 18:00-21:00 (Tutorials: Monday 20:00 and Wednesdays 17:00)

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: An introduction to the study of moral and legal problems in medical practice and in biomedical research; the development of health policy. Topics include: concepts of health and disease, patient rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, abortion, genetic and reproductive technologies, human research, and mental health.

PHL303H1S – Plato

Instructor: TBA

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-21:00

Delivery Method: Online-Synchronous

Description: Selected metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical themes in Plato’s dialogues.

PHL322H1F – Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Instructor: Matthew Delhey

Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-12:00

Delivery Method: Online-Synchronous

Description:  Social Critique. Over the last two decades, social critique has seen a renewal of interest within Continental philosophy, spurred on by the various material and political crises facing Western liberal democracies. In this course, we will trace the contours of the debate over social critique in critical theory, beginning with the case against social critique and then turning to its revitalization in recent work. While some historical review will be necessary, our focus will be on reading contemporary French, German, and North American authors, paying special attention to their attempts to found new normative and epistemic bases of social critique. By far the most influential of these recent accounts has been Axel Honneth’s theory of mutual recognition, with which we will have to deal in some detail. In the last part of the course, we will consider new directions emerging in the critical-theoretical literature on social critique. These new directions include the renewal of ideology critique, the critique of contemporary labour and the workplace, and the performative theory of gender and its criticism of the recognitive paradigm.

Evaluations: Take-home midterm exam 15%; Annotated bibliography 15%; Draft paper 15%; Peer revision (3 x 5%) 15%; Final paper 40%.

PHL340H1F – Issues in Philosophy of Mind

Instructor: Andrew Lavigne

Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00-15:00

Description: This course will focus on the topic of inner speech. If you have just thought to yourself, “What is inner speech?’, what you’ve just done, that is inner speech. But what did you just do? It seemed to be apiece with your other thinking. But it also seemed to involve language in the same way outer speech does, down to the accompaniment by auditory phenomenology. How is inner speech like ordinary speech? How is it like non-linguistic thought? What functions does inner speech serve? How does it come to serve those functions? This course addresses this new and exciting field of interdisciplinary study. We focus on these issues in the philosophy of mind and language, but also explore issues in related areas, including epistemology and the philosophy of psychology.

Reading Material: The course will be centered around the recent OUP collection Inner Speech edited by Peter Langland-Hassan and Agustin Vicente, with supplementations mostly from the recent philosophy literature. All readings will be available online.

Evaluations: Writing assignment 1 5%; Writing assignment 2 10%; Writing assignment 3 20%; Final essay 25%; Exam 25%; Attendance/participation 15%

Delivery Method: In-person

PHL375H1F – Ethics

Instructor: Bowen Chan

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-21:00

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: This course examines some common theories of the good, or what is intrinsically good. Wealth is commonly pursued, but it is not usually pursued for its own sake, but only for the sake of other things,  Now, the question is what is worth pursuing for its own sake. First, we will consider some subjective theories. One popular answer is pleasure and only pleasure. Another popular one is simply whatever satisfies our desires. Second, we will consider objective theories. According to one, the answer is what exercises our capacities well, and knowledge and achievement are candidates for good exercises of our epistemic and practical capacities. Finally, we will consider a potential limit of these theories. These theories mostly focus on goods in human lives. But it is an open question whether all that is good depends on specific human mental states or capacities. Nature consists of things, including landscapes and species, that seem worth being protected and preserved, whether or not a human or even any other being, say, wants mountains or butterflies protected or preserved.

PHL382H1S – Death and Dying

Instructor: C. Dalrymple-Fraser

Schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays 18:00-21:00

Delivery Method: Online-synchronous

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the philosophical significance of death, the high-tech prolongation of life, definition and determination of death, suicide, active and passive euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, palliative care and the control of pain, living wills; recent judicial decisions.


PHL388H1F – Literature and Philosophy

Instructor: Andriy Bilenkyy

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 15:00-18:00

Delivery Method: In-person

Description: This course offers an intermediate-level overview of several topics central to the contemporary philosophy of literature, with a focus on the nature of literary fiction and its connection to narrative and imagination. Since mid-twentieth century, philosophers of literature often argued that to produce a work of fiction is to invite its readers to imagine its constitutive sentences as uttered by a fictional narrator. This view seems explanatorily promising; perhaps, it might help us solve some of the traditional puzzles of fiction, including the issues of truth and aboutness in fiction, the problem of imaginative resistance and the paradox of fictional emotions. Recently, however, this view or its components have received significant criticism from some philosophers of literature.

In this course, we will examine several influential accounts of the nature of fiction; consider the purported connection between fiction, narrative, and imagination; review its apparent explanatory benefits; and discuss the recent critical responses to it. Our weekly readings in philosophy will be supplemented by short stories and excerpts from longer works of literature. These will serve as test cases for the philosophical positions discussed in class.

Readings in philosophy: Monroe Beardsley, Elizabeth Camp, Gregory Currie, Stacie Friend, Mary Mothersill, Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen, Kendall Walton, and others.

Readings in literature: James Baldwin, John Cheever, James Joyce, Flannery O’Connor, Michael Ondaatje, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Vigrinia Woolf, and others

Evaluation: Reading Responses (short answers): 10%; Exegetical Paper (1,0000-1,250 words): 25%; Argumentative Paper (2,000-2250 words): 35%; Final Exam (short answers): 30%