300-Level Courses

2020-21 Fall/Winter 300-level courses

Note about Prerequisites:
All 300-series courses have a a general prerequisite of 7.5 courses (in any field) and a prerequisite of three half courses (or equivalent) in philosophy. The courses PHL345H1 to 349H1,  PHL356H1, and PHL357H1 are exempt from the latter rule (the philosophy prerequisite). See a list of specific course prerequisites in the academic calendar of the Faculty of Arts & Science. Students who do not meet the prerequisite for a particular course but believe that they have adequate preparation must obtain the permission of the instructor to gain entry to the course.

PHL301H1S — EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Rachel Barney
Wednesdays 15:00-18:00

The course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This is a survey of the ancient sophistic movement of the fifth century. We will study the ideas of sophists including Protagoras, Gorgias, Antiphon, Prodicus, and anonymous texts such as the Dissoi Logoi and On the Art. Topics include justice, language, the relation of nature to convention, truth and falsehood, moral relativism, the origins of civilization, and rules of argumentation and proof. We will also look at Plato’s portrayal of various sophists in dialogues such as the Protagoras and Euthydemus. (NB: So this is NOT a course on ‘the Presocratics’; we will not cover Heraclitus, Parmenides et al.)

Reading: J. Dillon and T. Gergel, eds., The Greek Sophists, Penguin Classics 2003; Plato, Complete Works (ed. J.M. Cooper) Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997. A hard copy of both books will be required; copies will be available from the University of Toronto Bookstore.

Evaluation: TBA, but will involve a mix of papers, quizzes, and online participation.

PHL302H1S — ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY AFTER ARISTOTLE

Prof. George Boys-Stones
Tuesdays 10:00-13:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Three major schools dominated philosophy during the ‘Hellenistic’ period (third to first centuries BCE): Plato’s Academy, and two new foundations, those of the Epicureans and the Stoics. These schools responded to the work of Plato and Aristotle in very different ways, and the course will introduce them through the major debates that grew up between them in epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Central questions include the possibility of empirical knowledge, the conditions for cosmic order, the content of happiness, and the nature of moral responsibility.

Readings: A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers vol. 1 (Cambridge University Press, 1987). (Vol. 2, which is not required, contains the original Greek and Latin of texts translated in vol. 1.)

Evaluation: Two midterm essays / commentaries, each 25%; final essay, 40%; class participation 10%.

PHL303H1F — PLATO

Prof. Rachel Barney
Tuesdays 13:00-15:00, Fridays 14:00-15:00

This course will have online, synchronous lectures.

A study of selected ‘late’ Platonic arguments and texts: dialogues we are likely to read at least part of include the Phaedrus, Theatetus, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus, and Timaeus.

Reading: Plato, Complete Works (ed. J.M. Cooper) Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997. Hard copy required; copies will be available from the University of Toronto Bookstore.

Evaluation: TBA, but will involve a mix of papers, quizzes, and online participation.

PHL304H1S — ARISTOTLE

Instructor: TBA
Fridays 15:00-18:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Selected anthropological, ethical, and metaphysical themes in the works of Aristotle.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL308H1F — AQUINAS

Prof. Deborah Black
Thursdays 13:30-15:00

This course has online, synchronous lectures and online, asynchronous materials.

In this course we will explore the philosophical thought of Thomas Aquinas, focusing on three main areas: metaphysics; epistemology and philosophy of mind; ethics and moral psychology. Some attention will be given to Aquinas’s relation to his philosophical sources from the ancient and earlier medieval period, such as Aristotle, Augustine, and the Islamic philosophers Avicenna and Averroes.

Reading: Our main readings will be drawn directly from the texts of Aquinas, in particular his Summa Theologiae. The exact texts/editions to be determined.

Supplementary Secondary Source: If you wish to read more about Aquinas by later philosophers, you might start with the following collection: Brian Davies and Eleonore Stump, eds. The Oxford Handbook to Aquinas, Oxford University Press, 2012, available online.

Evaluation: Details TBA, but likely to include one short and one longer essay; a take-home final exam; and class participation and engagement.

PHL310H1F — THE RATIONALISTS

Prof. Owen Pikkert
Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-19:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course is a detailed examination of the early modern philosophies of Descartes, Leibniz, and Pascal. Descartes and Leibniz are often classified as rationalist philosophers, for they attempted to use their reason to determine the ultimate nature of reality. Pascal, by contrast, criticized such an approach, arguing that it was presumptuous that finite minds could achieve such a task. Our aim will be to master some of the main ideas and arguments as found in the writings of these three philosophers. Topics to be discussed include various metaphysical principles, the nature of substance, the relation between mind and body, the existence and nature of God, and the proper scope of reason in arriving at philosophical truth.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL311H1S — THE EMPIRICISTS

Prof. Owen Pikkert
Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-19:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course is a detailed examination of the early modern philosophies of Locke and Hume, as well as some of their contemporaries. Our aim will be to master some of the main ideas and arguments as found in the writings of these philosophers. Topics to be discussed include the origin of ideas, our knowledge of the external world, causation, identity over time, and the existence of God.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL313H1F — TOPICS IN 17TH AND 18TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Nick Stang
Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30-13:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

German idealism from Kant to Fichte

The publication of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason inaugurated a far-reaching revolution in German philosophy, eventually leading to the movement now known as ‘German idealism.’ While the German idealists endorsed Kant’s demand that reason be self-critical, they thought that Kant had not taken this far enough. They aimed to complete Kant’s revolution by producing a truly self-critical (i.e., non-dogmatic) rational system of philosophy. In this course we will examine the early stages of German idealism, from the publication of Kant’s first Critique in 1781 to, roughly, the publication of Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre (Doctrine of Knowledge) in 1794. After a survey of the main themes of Kant’s first Critique, we will turn to influential criticisms of Kant by his earliest readers (e.g., Jacobi, Schulze, Maimon). Then we will examine K. L. Reinhold’s attempt to refound Kantian transcendental philosophy on a systematic basis, and we will end by considering Fichte’s criticisms of Reinhold and his formulation of the project of a Wissenschaftslehre. Questions to be considered include: What is knowledge, and how is it possible? What is metaphyscis, and how is it possible? Is Kant’s transcendental philosophy consistent? What are ‘things in themselves’ and can Kantian philosophy dispense with them? What is the role of self-consciousness in knowledge? Can the complete set of conditions of knowledge be derived from self-consciousness alone (as Fichte contends), or must some be simply ‘brute’ (as Kant had maintained)?

Readings: TBA

Evaluations: three essays, participation

PHL314H1F — KANT

Profs. Arthur Ripstein and Michael Blezy
Tuesdays 13:00-16:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

The Critique of Pure Reason is one of the seminal works of Western philosophy. Kant undertakes what he describes as a “Copernican Revolution,” providing an alternative to what he sees as the “dogmatism” of traditional rationalist metaphysics, and the “skepticism” of empiricism. His critical alternative claims to reconcile scientific knowledge with the possibility of morality and freedom. The Critique does all of this through an engagement with fundamental topics ranging from the philosophy of mathematics through questions in the philosophy of science, the philosophy of religion, and the metaphysics of freedom.

Reading: Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, translated by Paul Guyer and Allen Wood (Cambridge, 1998).

Supplementary Text: Gardner, Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason (Routledge, 1999)

Evaluations: TBA

PHL315H1S — TOPICS IN 19th CENTURY PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Nick Stang
Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30-13:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

German idealism from Fichte to Hegel

In this course we will examine the two main texts of German idealism between Kant and Hegel, Fichte’s 1794 Wissenschaftslehre and Schelling’s 1800 System of Transcendental Idealism. At the end of the course we will also read Hegel’s own account of this period, in his early essay The Difference between the Fichtean and Schellingian Systems of Philosophy (1801). Questions to be examined include: What is knowledge, according to Fichte and Schelling? What is ‘transcendental idealism,’ and why is it necessary to explain the possibility of knowledge? What is ‘philosophy of nature’ and why does Schelling regard it as necessary, while Fichte rejects it? Where does the true difference between Fichte’s and Schelling’s versions of transcendental idealism lie? And how does the early Hegel propose to transform the shape of post-Kantian philosophy by displacing the central role of the ‘I’?

Prerequisite: PHL 210. No previous knowledge of Kant or German idealism is strictly required, but will be extremely helpful.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: three essays, participation

PHL316H1S — HEGEL

Prof. Rebecca Comay
Wednesdays 15:00-18:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

An examination of Hegel’s project of absolute knowing, its philosophical assumptions, and its implications for history, science, and experience.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL317H1F — MARX AND MARXISM

Prof. Jordan Thomson
Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-19:30

This course will have online, synchronous lectures.

This course is an advanced introduction to the thought of Karl Marx. We may also read some contemporary Marxists, as well as critics of Marxism.

Reading: The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker.

Evaluation: TBA

PHL320H1F — PHENOMENOLOGY

Prof. Robert Gibbs
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00-11:30

This course has online, synchronous lectures.

Phenomenology explores how the things themselves appear in consciousness, in some way, as though living in lockdown. Throughout the tradition of phenomenological philosophy the question of time consciousness was central. We are living in a moment when time seems to many people to be radically changed, almost like a hole in time. Thus the question is, how well do these classic texts illuminate our current experiences?

The course is thus both a careful reading of important texts on time consciousness and writing and a discussion of our current experiences of time. Something like ‘practical research in phenomenology’—not so much to determine action as to engage directly with your own consciousness of time.

Reading: Our readings will include works by Bergson, Husserl, Heidegger, Rosenzweig, Levinas, and Derrida.

Evaluation: The written assignments will include: i) a Time Journal, reflections on the writings in relation to your own experience of time, ii) Commentaries on other students’ journals, and iii) brief accounts of a given week’s reading.

PHL321H1S — HEIDEGGER

Prof. Michael Blezy
Tuesdays 18:00-21:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) is widely recognized as one of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century. It has left an indelible mark on the way we think about phenomenology, hermeneutics, existential philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary theory, theology, and the philosophy of science. Yet in many ways the core issues animating the text are still shrouded in darkness. Why, for instance, does Heidegger think it necessary to reawaken the question of the meaning of ‘being’ (Sein)? Why is a confrontation with the history of philosophy an indispensable dimension of this reawakening? And what roles do “authenticity,” “being-towards-death,” and “anticipatory resoluteness” play in recovering the being question? This course will attempt to shed light on these issues through a close reading of the whole of Being and Time. We will begin by familiarizing ourselves with Heidegger’s phenomenological method, critically assess his attempt to develop an “analytic of Dasein,” and conclude by considering his account of the “temporality” that underpins and makes possible human existence. By the end of the course, students should have a firm grasp of such philosophical issues as: What is the relation between phenomenology and transcendental philosophy? How are human beings ontologically distinct from objects? Does the fact that we are historically situated have any ramifications for how it is we do philosophy? How is human finitude to be properly understood? What are the conditions that make understanding possible?

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL325H1F — EARLY ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Cheryl Misak
Tuesdays 15:00-16:30

This course will have online, synchronous lectures and some asynchronous content.

In the 1950s, W. V. O. Quine, Nelson Goodman, and Morton White mounted a well-known attack on the analytic/synthetic distinction. Their targets were the logical empiricist Rudolf Carnap and the pragmatist Clarence Irving Lewis. We will discuss some of the classic texts in early analytic philosophy so as to evaluate this attack and to ask what kinds of statements (logical, mathematical, moral, causal) are candidates for truth and falsity.

Readings: All available on Quercus. Sections from Wittgenstein’s 1922 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Carnap’s 1928 Aufbau (The Logical Structure of the World); Lewis’s 1923 “A Pragmatist Conception of the A Priori”; Ramsey’s 1929 “General Propositions and Causality”; Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.”

This will be a flipped classroom, with students listening to recorded lectures and other materials in advance of the in-person discussions. There will be a dial-in option for those in-person discussions (Tuesdays 15-16:30).

Evaluation: Weekly discussion board participation 30%, mid-term exam 30%, final assignment 40%.

PHL331H1F — METAPHYSICS

Prof. Trevor Teitel
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00-13:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

In this course we’ll survey some of the central topics in metaphysics, also touching on some related issues in the philosophy of physics. Here are some of the questions that we’re likely to look at. Do things that exist now have some special status over things that existed in the past or will exist in the future? Can distinct objects be in exactly the same place at exactly the same time? Are space and time part of the fundamental structure of the world? What changes can you undergo without ceasing to be you? Is the idea of someone traveling through time to the distant past or far future somehow incoherent? In virtue of what are some propositions necessarily true or necessarily false, whereas others are merely contingently true or contingently false? Throughout the sciences certain propositions are described as laws of nature, but what makes a proposition a law of nature? Suppose our laws of nature are deterministic (the laws plus the state of the world at any time fix the state of the world at all times)—would that imply that we lack free will in any important sense? Finally, are questions like these even well posed? Or is the very project of metaphysics somehow misguided? Our focus will be on contemporary work. No familiarity with metaphysics or physics will be presupposed.

Recommended prerequisite: an introductory course in first-order logic (like PHL245).

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA, but will likely consist of weekly reading responses, a midterm exam, a final exam, and a final paper.

PHL332H1F — EPISTEMOLOGY

Prof. Evan Taylor
Tuesdays and Thursdays 13:30-15:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

We will examine historical and systematic approaches to topics in the theory of knowledge, such as truth, belief, justification, perception, a priori knowledge, certitude, skepticism, other minds.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL336H1S — ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Deborah Black
Tuesdays and Thursdays 13:30-15:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course is an introduction to classical Islamic or Arabic philosophy (falsafah), which developed when the works of the ancient Greek philosophers were translated into Arabic and became a part of the intellectual heritage of the Islamic world. We’ll study selections from the philosophical writings of the major figures in classical Islamic philosophy from the 9th to the 12th centuries, including al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Averroes (Ibn Rushd). We’ll also look at the rivalry between the philosophers and theologians (mutakallimun), in particular al-Ghazali. Topics covered will include the existence and knowability of God; creation and causality; human nature and knowledge; and the constitution of the ideal political regime. Students should be aware that this is a course in the history of philosophy, not a course on the religion of Islam or the Qur’an.

Reading: Classical Arabic Philosophy, translated Jon McGinnis and David C. Reisman (Hackett Publishing, 2007); additional readings TBA.

Evaluation: Details TBA, but likely to include one short and one longer essay; a take-home final exam; and class participation and engagement.

PHL338H1F — JEWISH PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Michael Rosenthal
Monday and Wednesday 10:30-12:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the central concepts of traditional Jewish philosophy. We shall look at how the most important Jewish philosophers of the medieval period—Saadia Gaon, Judah Halevi, Moses Maimonides, and others—used philosophical ideas and arguments to understand and defend the fundamental tenets of their own religion. After having discussed the problem of the relation between reason and revelation, we shall proceed topically, examining such central issues as proofs for the existence of God, the nature of miracles, the problems of free will and evil, and the question of Jewish ethics. We will also consider modern critiques of these canonical views.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL339H1S — INDIAN PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Jonardon Ganeri
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00-11:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

An intermediate level study of one or more topics in South Asian Philosophy.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL340H1F — ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

Prof. Mason Westfall
Thursdays 15:00-18:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Typical issues include: the mind-brain identity theory; intentionality and the mental; personal identity.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL341H1S — FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITY AND HUMAN ACTION

Instructor: TBA
Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00-13:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course examines human action and the nature of freedom and responsibility in the light of contemporary knowledge concerning the causation of behaviour.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: Attendance and participation, 15% ; weekly reading responses, 20% first essay, 30% ; second essay, 35%

PHL342H1F — MINDS AND MACHINES

Prof. Jim John
Wednesdays 14:00-15:00

This course will have online, synchronous lectures and dual-delivery tutorials.

“What is the nature of mind? What is it to think and feel? What is consciousness? And how do our mental natures relate to our brains and bodies?” Contemporary cognitive science—the interdisciplinary study of mind that draws on psychology, linguistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and other fields—bases its answers to these questions on the assumption that minds are computational, information-processing systems. This course will probe the philosophical foundations of cognitive science, with a focus on the “computational theory of mind.” Issues to be addressed include (among others): whether machines can think; the nature of computation; theories of intentionality, rationality, and consciousness; the connection between thought and action; embodied cognition; artificial neural networks and “deep learning”; the “singularity”; and the moral, social, and existential implications of cognitive science research.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL345H1S — INTERMEDIATE LOGIC

Prof. Michael Caie
Mondays and Wednesdays 3:30-5:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This is a continuation of PHL245H1, requiring no other prior knowledge of philosophy or mathematics. We will examine first-order logic, including basic metalogical results such as soundness and completeness. There will be an introduction to basic set theory and metalogic. Topics may include the Loewenheim-Skolem theorems for first-order logic and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL347H1S — MODAL LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL APPLICATIONS OF LOGIC

Instructor: TBA
Fridays 9:00-12:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Formal study of the concepts of necessity and possibility; modal, propositional, and quantificational logic; possible-worlds semantics, and the metaphysics of modality. Other topics may include counterfactuals, truth, vagueness, epistemic logic, temporal logic, or non-classical logic.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL351H1F — PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

Prof. Imogen Dickie
Mondays and Wednesdays 13:30-15:00

This course will have online, synchronous lectures.

In this course we will explore the nature of language as a system of human communication, theories of meaning and meaningfulness, and the relation of language to the world and to the human mind.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL354H1F — PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS

Instructors: TBA
Fridays 9:00-12:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

We will examine Platonism versus nominalism, the relation between logic and mathematics, implications of Gödel’s theorems, formalism and intuitionism.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL355H1S — PHILOSOPHY OF NATURAL SCIENCE

Prof. Michael Miller
Mondays 3:00-6:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course will introduce a number of central topics in the philosophy of science including causation, explanation, reduction, and laws of nature. Questions to be considered may include the following: What does it mean for one event to cause another? How do scientific theories explain the regularities we observe in the world? Are sciences like chemistry, biology, and economics reducible to fundamental physics? What are laws of nature? Can the laws change over time? Investigation of these questions will allow for a better understanding of how science works, and what we learn about the world by doing science.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL356H1F — PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS

Prof. Michael Miller
Mondays 3:00-6:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson marked a final step in the empirical verification of the Standard Model of particle physics, our best theory of the fundamental forces and the elementary particles that experience them. This course will discuss philosophical issues associated with the theoretical and experimental challenges posed by the Standard Model. We will discuss special relativity and quantum mechanics and how they revolutionized our understanding of space, time, and matter. We will then discuss how these theories are combined in the Standard Model and the peculiar picture of the world that emerges from this synthesis. Along the way we will address philosophical questions concerning scientific realism and the nature of the knowledge that is generated by the enormous experiments that are required to test the Standard Model. This course will be accessible for those with no background in physics but with an interest in the philosophical challenges that modern physics poses.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL357H1F — PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY

Instructor: TBA
Thursdays 12:00-15:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

We will discuss philosophical issues in the foundations of biology, for example, the nature of life, evolutionary theory; controversies about natural selection; competing mechanisms, units of selection; the place of teleology in biology; biological puzzles about sex and sexual reproduction; the problem of species; genetics and reductionism; sociobiology; natural and artificial life.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL367H1F — PHILOSOPHY OF FEMINISM

Prof. Belinda Piercy

This course will have online, asynchronous lectures.

This course will focus on feminist aesthetics. The aim of the course is to provide a philosophical background in both aesthetics and feminist theory that can help you engage in current discussions about feminism, art, and popular culture. Topics we may touch upon include feminist critiques of theoretical accounts of aesthetic experience, art and artistic genius, the importance (or not) of authorial intention, the male gaze, cultural appropriation, the ethical relevance of art for life and political aims, and finally the way disgust can operate as an aesthetic response that helps to other oppressed groups and discourage compassionate imagination.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: Weekly participation (10%), two papers (25% and 30%), and an exam (35%).

PHL370H1F — ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW

Prof. David Novak
Wednesdays 9:00-12:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This course examines major issues in the philosophy of law, such as legal positivism and its critics, law and liberalism, feminist critiques of law, punishment, and responsibility.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL373H1S — ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

Prof. Mason Westfall
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00-7:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

This is an intermediate-level examination of key issues in environmental philosophy, such as the ethics of animal welfare, duties to future generations, deep ecology, ecofeminism, sustainable development, and international justice.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL375H1F — ETHICS

Prof. Jordan Thomson
Wednesdays 17:00-20:00

This course will have online, synchronous lectures.

Equality, Impartiality, and Beneficence

We believe that all persons matter equally in some deep and important sense. Yet most of us don’t believe that we are morally required to treat people with equal concern. We care less about strangers than we do about ourselves, our friends, and our family members. Indeed, we believe that we morally ought to care more about some people than we do about others: true friends ought to put each other first and families ought to stick together. Can we reconcile this belief with a commitment to moral equality or must one give way to the other? This question becomes particularly acute when we turn our attention to the fact that we live our lives against a background of global poverty. Issues we will consider include: the normative significance personal relationships, self-concern, and the nature of moral reasons.

Readings: TBA

Evaluations: TBA

PHL376H1F — TOPICS IN MORAL PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Shruta Swarup
Mondays 18:00-21:00

This course will have online, synchronous lectures.

Pregnancy

In this course we will consider a number of ethical issues raised by pregnancy.

Readings: TBA

Evaluation: TBA (will consist primarily of class participation and writing assignments)

PHL376H1S — TOPICS IN MORAL PHILOSOPHY

Prof. Shruta Swarup
Wednesdays 18:00-21:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

The Ethics of Consent

Consent is absolutely central to our moral lives.  We think it matters morally whether a person has consented to surgery, to sex, to her photographs being used by Facebook, or to her personal information being distributed. This course will consider the role that consent plays in various domains: in medical ethics, political philosophy, and sexual ethics. We’ll ask questions such as the following: Can a person give morally binding consent under circumstances in which it is very costly for her to dissent? Are there harms to which we cannot consent? Throughout, we will attempt to draw out the similarities and differences in the way that consent functions across different domains.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL382H1F — DEATH AND DYING

Prof. Jennifer Gibson
Tuesdays 3:00-6:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the philosophical significance of death, the high-tech prolongation of life, the 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.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL384H1S — ETHICS, GENETICS AND REPRODUCTION

Prof. Jennifer Gibson
Tuesdays 3:00-6:00

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the ontological and moral status of the human embryo and fetus; human newborn, carrier and prenatal genetic screening for genetic defect, genetic therapy; reproductive technologies (e.g., artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization); recent legislative proposals and judicial decisions.

Reading: TBA

Evaluation: TBA

PHL394H1S — MARKETS AND MORALS

Prof. Jordan Thomson
Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:00-19:30

This course will have dual-delivery lectures.

Markets in commodities and labour significantly shape our lives in obvious and non-obvious ways. This fact raises several ethical questions that we will pursue in this class: Does respecting property rights require free markets, or should the effects of markets be controlled to mitigate the poverty of those who do not “compete” as well as others for jobs or profits? Do people have a right to a “living wage”? Are there some things that should simply not be for sale?

Reading: Why Not Socialism? by G.A. Cohen

Evaluation: TBA